October 27th Devotional

“For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

-1 Thessalonians 1:4-10

Pray and ask God to further your understanding of what He wants you to gain from this scripture.

What would it look like if all the believers in the area knew about your faith in God, and they considered you a model? Maybe you live your faith out in such a way that this is the case. Or maybe you wish you did. One of the important things to remark on with this scripture is that the Thessalonians had someone that they themselves were imitating. They had a person who they were working to be more like, someone they knew was striving to be like Christ. Paul, the author of this book, also wrote a book called 1 Corinthians where he writes to encourage the believers to “imitate me as I imitate Christ”. Finding a person to emulate can make a big difference in your relationship with Jesus, being a person to emulate is important as well! Go forward and work towards being a model!

Lord, You love us to stand in your sight upright and with such gentleness in us that some other will yearn to win its power.

-Hebridean Altars

October 26th devotional

“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Luke 18:9-14
Pray, ask God to reveal himself today through this scripture.
How often am I the pharisee, full of a self-righteous hubris that causes me to be unable to see the richness of God in others? I would often fall into this trap when I used to do orphan care. Orphan care is so obviously a great and wonderful thing to do to help the world. I think most people can agree that orphan care is a good thing to do, so it was easy for me, when I was immersed in caring for orphans to look around at people who were not necessarily doing orphan care and think about how good I was. But the truth of the matter is that I am not good. Only God is good. I am like the tax collector and when I finally come around to seeing that, then I am able to live more acutely in the mercy of Christ.
Deliver me from self-truthfulness.
In the frequent days in which I must do battle with
Myself for foe
Arm me with a constant trust in Thee
-Hebridean Altars

Grace and peace to you from God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.