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This Changes Everything Day22

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Scripture: Acts 1:8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Devotional: Jesus’ last words to His followers before He was taken in to heaven are powerful words.  They gave mission to His disciples, and they give mission to us as His followers today.

You will be my witnesses…

Ever watch any of the Mission Impossible movies?  If so,  you’re familiar with the words that came, most recently to Ethan Hunt: “your mission, if you choose to accept it…”.  These words would precede the impossible mission that was given to the secret agent.   And then, of course, the message would self-destruct.

Well, Jesus didn’t self-destruct, but He did leave us with a mission-  not an impossible one, but one that can only be done in His power, the power of the Holy Spirit.

In essence, our mission is to carry on Jesus’ mission; to be witnesses of what He did and came to do.  And at the heart of that mission is mercy.  Jesus came to extend God’s mercy and love, and we are given that same mission; to be agents of mercy.

This week’s devotions will center around this mission of mercy; that is, your mission should you choose to accept it.

Reflect:

  • What do you think Jesus meant when He said “you will be my witnesses...”?
  • In what ways have you been His witness?

This Changes Everything Day 21

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Scripture: 1 Corinthians10:12-13  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it

Devotional: We saw at the beginning of this week’s devotions, that Peter thought he was standing firm when he proclaimed he would NEVER leave Jesus’ side.  But a mere hours later, he was denying he even knew Jesus.  A classic example of someone thinking they are standing firm.

But we all do this to some degree, don’t we?  We all have those places of unguarded strength in our lives where we truly believe we are not vulnerable.

I would never betray my spouse.

I would never gossip about my best friend.

I would never cheat on a test.

I’ll  never do drugs.

I’ll never become addicted to porn.

I would never steal from my place of employment.

Most people never set out to do any of these things.  Yet they happen all the time.  Mostly by folks who never in a million years thought they would fall prey to them.

It’s good to remind ourselves that “but by the grace of God, there go I”. In other words, you and I are absolutely capable of any sin.  And the only thing that keeps you from that sin is to trust in, and depend, on Christ’s strength in your life, not your own.

He alone provides a way out from whatever temptation may come your way.  But He also provides a way out when you’ve fallen prey to that temptation.  All because of His mercy.

Reflect:

  • Give thanks to God today for His immeasurable gift of mercy and grace.

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