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WEEKLY DEVOTION FOR OCTOBER 8-14


Background Passage: Romans 14:21-23

Key Verses: 14:21

Summary: Christians should refrain from things that would cause others to fall.

Self-Exam:
One of the crucial aspects of the Christian life is selflessness. We die to self for Christ. As believers who are called to emulate Christ, we also deeply care about others and their wellbeing. Therefore, we deny self for others as well. This means giving up things that are otherwise good for us. The sacrifice is small but the return is meaningful and great. Do you give up for others?

Meditate and Pray:
Meditate upon concerned you are for others. Pray for the heart of Christ.

Examine Our Church:
Do we sacrifice for others?


Background Passage: Romans 14:21-23

Key Verses: 14:22

Summary: There are things Christians do not share because of those who are weak.

Self-Exam:
In the face of ignorance, prejudicial understanding or misinformation, it is difficult to remain silent. There are times when those who are weak in faith simply cannot handle the full measure of the truth. They must be borne along until they reach a maturity. Concern for them must be stronger than the frustration of their error. Are you able to remain silent when it is better for others?

Meditate and Pray:
Meditate upon your level of patience for others. Pray for more patience.

Examine Our Church:
Are we patiently helping others?


Background Passage: Romans 14:21-23

Key Verses: 14:22b

Summary: We can bring condemnation for our behavior before others.

Self-Exam:
How others perceive us is of utmost importance to God. We cannot expect our pursuit of our “rights” to matter more than the need of others to know Christ. We cannot expect God to be pleased with us if we are more concerned with the “extras” at the expense of the “needs” of others. Most importantly, God cannot be pleased with a people who care more about self than others. Are you most concerned with self or salvation for others?

Meditate and Pray:
Meditate upon your concern for others. Pray it shapes your decisions and behaviors.

Examine Our Church:
Are we inclined to reach others at our own expense?


Background Passage: Romans 14:21-23

Key Verses: 14:23

Summary: Actions taken outside of faith are sin.

Self-Exam:
It is ironic that what is good can be bad for the simple reason of motive. If we are not sure about what we do, we are not acting in faith and are failing God. We cannot segregate our life into the areas which involve faith and those that do not. All things are connected for the Christian and all decisions and behaviors should be of faith. Are you living by faith?

Meditate and Pray:
Meditate upon the impact of faith in your life. Pray it grows.

Examine Our Church:
Are we acting in faith?



Background Passage: Romans 15:1-4

Key Verses: 15:1-2

Summary: Our focus should be upon the growth and welfare of others.

Self-Exam:
The strong should endure the failings of the weak and be concerned about their welfare. The Christian should seek ways to help and build up their neighbor. Our instinct is to care for self first. Christ did not think of himself first and taught us to follow him in that way. Christ calls us to care and act on behalf of others to the neglect of self. How is your life reflective of Christ’s value of others first?

Meditate and Pray:
Meditate upon your priorities. Pray self does not dominate them.

Examine Our Church:
Does our church care beyond its own walls?


Background Passage: Romans 15:1-4

Key Verses: 15:3

Summary: Christ lived for others.

Self-Exam:
The Christian value system is the very opposite of that of our culture when it comes to the view of self. Christ, who is deserving of all honor, became the focus of all contempt. When we commit our lives to Christ, we commit our living to the example he gave. We should expect to be selfless and in that selflessness find some encouraged but most contemptuous. Do you follow Christ’s selfless example?

Meditate and Pray:
Meditate upon your discipleship. Pray you fully emulate Christ.

Examine Our Church:
Does our church emulate Christ?


Background Passage: Romans 15:1-4

Key Verses: 15:4

Summary: Scripture teaches endurance and gives encouragement to hope.

Self-Exam:
Many read the scriptures to find history, doctrine, ethics or understanding. We sometimes forget that scripture speaks personally to the believer. Through understanding of scripture, we can find energizing strength and internal fortification. These are only available to the believer who truly listens and follows God’s guidance. What do you get out of your scripture reading?

Meditate and Pray:
Meditate upon your scriptural study. Pray it does what God intended.

Examine Our Church:
Is our church pursing an understanding of God’s word?


 
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