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Living My Best Life Day 13

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Scripture: Philippians 2:1-8 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,notlooking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;rather, he made himself nothingby taking the very natureof a servant, being made in human likeness.And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

 Devotional: Paul writes this letter to the church in Philippi in order to encourage the believers there to have unity in the Spirit and to live selfless lives as followers of Jesus Christ.  He references all the comfort, compassion, love and tenderness that these Christians have received as a result of God’s grace and their relationship with Jesus. 

 Reread the passage with the thought that the apostle Paul is writing this to you personally. 

 Reflect:

  • With what self-interests do you spend most of your energy?
  • What might it look like for you to look to the interests of someone else more than you do your own?
  • What things have you thought beneath you that you would now do to value others, humble yourself and serve someone else?
  • Jesus was obedient to God’s will, even to the point of death.Reflect on your own obedience. Are there areas in which you need to walk in obedience?

Living My Best Life Day 12

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Scripture: Matthew 25:36-40. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Devotional: Have you ever wondered, in looking at these words of Jesus, how exactly you might live out this passage from day to day? 

Many years ago, after reading this very passage, I remember reflecting upon it and whispering up a prayer to God, “Lord, what does it look like in today’s world to see a stranger and invite them in? After all, I grew up with the not so subtle, “don’t talk to strangers” mantra.  I genuinely sought to understand how I might be able to serve Jesus in this way.

Unbelievably, within 24 hours of this whispered prayer, I received a call from an old friend requesting that we take in her 14-year-old daughter for a year while she was deployed to Iraq.  A daughter who was a stranger to us.   I was bowled over by this request and knew this was my answer. And of course, that we had to say yes.   

What ensued was a wonderful year of learning and growing together, overcoming the challenges of getting to know one another, and the realities of bringing someone new into your family. But more than that, I learned that when I really want to be obedient to God’s Word, all I have to do is ask, and He will provide an opportunity for that.  Rarely in the way I might want to follow Him, but most often in ways that help me grow tremendously.

Reflect:

  • Are you willing to serve Jesus by doing “to the least of these?” If so, pick one of the ways of service and ask God how He would have you live that out practically.  Then follow through with the opportunity He places before you.

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