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Love/Life Day 5

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Scripture: Philippians 4:11-13  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

 Devotional: Philippians 4:13 is one of the most misquoted verses in all of Scripture.  Many people single out the “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” portion of this passage and disregard the context in which it was written.  It has become a sports mantra, one quoted when working toward a goal, or a pick me up for when one is feeling weak.

 Certainly it is true that Christ strengthens us in our weakness.  But the context of this passage is that we are strengthened that we may be content.Paul talks about the secret of being content in any and every situation through Christ who empowers and enables this elusive state.

 Contentment is not considered a virtue in our day.  We might even say it’s been replaced with driven-ness. To be content is to find joy in your current circumstance.  But the subliminal message to you and me is never be content. Strive to be more, to be different, always. 

 Reflect:

  • In what areas do you most often feel discontent?
  • Give some thought to what it might look like for you to be content. How might you look to Christ for strength in experiencing joy no matter what your circumstances?

Love/Life Day 4

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Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried  and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.      

Devotional: Ever thought of singleness as a gift?  Most don’t in our culture today.  In fact, one of the social norms that single people are too often met with is an adverse attitude toward a person who is single. Somehow that person is perceived as less than or damaged in some way. 

 We certainly live in a “couples” world with constant pressure to be paired with another in order to have value.  In God’s providence, we are created for community, but that doesn’t necessarily mean every person is called to be married.  And ultimately, it is God’s calling and provision that matters most. 

 Reflect:

  • Whether you are married or single, how have you bought into and perpetuated the “couples” world message?
  • Think deeply about the attitudes you’ve adopted and the way in which you interact with those who are single, versus those who are married. What would it look like for you to begin to look at singleness as a gift, whether it is your own or that of someone you know?
  • How might you be able to live and act in a way that helps to raise the value of singleness in the culture around you?

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