Heavenly Father, there is a war going on in the souls of many of my family members. I will not be silent about this, and I pray that you will look after them. I also come to you today to pray for the salvation of my family as well. Lord, may my family know You. I pray that they will learn to crave You just as I do. I pray that they will learn to stand strong in the face of trials and tribulations in life. When people knock them down, I pray that they stand up even stronger in You than ever before. I pray that they show love instead of revenge on those who do not agree with them. Give me strength to persevere through any troubles that come my way today. It is time to rise above the sin that comes at me and to that of my family members. It is in Your precious name I pray these things,
Today, I will love my brothers and sisters.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
(1 Thess. 5:11-NIV)
The Resource... The Word !!!
No Longer an Island
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:13, 23-27
All the members care for each other equally. 1 Corinthians 12:25
KIMIKO’S MOM had to work long hours to keep the family afloat after she and Kimiko’s dad separated. As the divorce was being finalized, bitterness overwhelmed her, and Mom cut herself off from fourteen-year-old Kimiko. Kimiko felt doubly rejected first by her dad, then by her mom. When Kimiko accepted a friend’s invitation to her youth group, she found people who understood her problems. “Finally,” she says, “I feel like I belong again.”
God knew we might have a hard time grasping two enormous facts: that he finds us lovable, and that we belong to him. So he built us a support system. He gave us his church as our spot to find love and acceptance.
Before Jesus died and returned to heaven, he proclaimed, “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (John 14:11, NN). He mentions two persons in that union: God the Father and God the Son. The next few verses talk about God sending a third person, the Holy Spirit. And then Christ said, “On that day [perhaps referring to Pentecost and the birth of the church] you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (verse 20, NIV).
What in the world did Jesus mean by that? Well, when you believed in Christ as your Savior and Lord, you were placed in Christ and Christ took up his residence in you. And since Jesus and his Father are in union, you are also in the Father and the Father is in you. Talk about belonging!
But there’s more. If the Father is in you-and if you are in the Father-you and I have an incredibly close relationship. You might even say that our mutual relationship with God means I am in you and you are in me. As a Christian, you’re not an island. Neither am I. We’re in Christ, so we’re in each other.
Besides that, you and I are just two small parts of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:13, 23-27). There’s a whole world of members who are to show equal concern for one another. We’re to get together regularly so we can show each other that we’re lovable-and that we belong.
When you fumble or fail or feel rejected, someone in your church or Bible study group is there to remind you that you are loved and accepted no matter what. And when someone in your group goes the wrong way and feels ashamed, you get to come alongside with encouraging words (see 1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Hanging tight with other Christians is one way you transform a warped sense of identity into God’s beautiful picture of you.
REFLECT: Have you planted yourself in a group of loving believers and let God’s unconditional love touch you through them?
PRAY: Ask God to strengthen your relationships with your Christian sisters and brothers.
© 2019 Josh McDowell Ministry. All rights reserved. No part of these Materials may be changed in any way or reproduced in any form without written permission from Josh McDowell Ministry, 2001 West Plano Parkway, Suite 2400, Plano, TX 75075. www.Josh.org. +1 972 907 1000. Used by Permission.
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