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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, January 13, 2019
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May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb ♥
Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)
Today’s scripture reading:
The “royal command” is the law of our great King Jesus Christ, who said, “Love each other in the same way that I love you” (John 15:12). This law, originally summarized in Leviticus 19:18 [see below], is the basis for all the laws of how people should relate to one another. Christ reinforced this truth in Matthew 22:37-40 [see below], and Paul taught it in Romans 13:8 [see below] and Galatians 5:14 [see below]. (NLT)
James 2:1-9 – My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others?
For instance, suppose someone comes in to your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in shabby clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that you are guided by wrong motives?
Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the kingdom God promised to those who love him? And yet, you insult the poor man! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?
Yes indeed, it is good when you truly obey our Lord’s royal command found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you pay special attention to the rich, you are committing a sin, for you are guilty of breaking that law.
Quoted verse: [The Lord declares], “I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’” –Hosea 2:23 (NIV)
“Story” – Monica A. Andermann (New York) titled her story “WELCOMING ALL;” here is a portion of Monica’s story:
“At each Sunday service, a man at my church sits in the last pew and greets everyone who enters. It doesn’t matter who wanders into the church: stranger, newcomer, or homeless person. If he doesn’t know the visitor, he introduces himself and asks for his or her name. . . .
“I love this man’s spirit. It is the spirit of Jesus, for Jesus stands ready to welcome each and every one of us regardless of our circumstances. Our Lord calls us by name and takes our hand. Jesus loved and welcomed all to his teachings and promise of life eternal. I pray that I may always follow this example – not only on Sunday but on each day of the week.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God loves me and knows me by name.
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for sending your son Jesus Christ to show us the way to live. Help us always to follow his example and show kindness to everyone. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
Leviticus 19:18 – “Never seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. . . .
* Jesus said that if we truly love God and our neighbor, we will naturally keep the commandments. This is looking at God’s law positively. Rather than worrying about all we should not do, we should concentrate on all we can do to show our love for God and others. (NLT)
Matthew 22:37-40 – Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
* Why is love for others called a debt? We are permanently in debt to Christ for the lavish love he has poured out on us. The only way we can even begin to repay this debt is by loving others in turn. Because Christ’s love will always be infinitely greater than ours, we will always have the obligation to love our neighbors. (NLT)
Romans 13:8 – Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God’s law.
* When we are not motivated by love, we become critical of others. We stop looking for good in them and see only their faults. Soon the unity of believers is broken. Have you talked behind someone’s back? Have you focused on others’ shortcomings instead of their strengths? Remind yourself of Jesus’ command to love others as you love yourself. When you begin to feel critical of someone, make a list of that person’s positive qualities. If there are problems that need to be addressed, it is better to confront in love than to gossip. (NLT)
Galatians 5:14 – For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”