11 Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking
the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength
that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things
through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever
and ever. Amen.
Identifying a single
purpose to Christian life on this earth isn't an easy
task; God calls us to do and be many things during our
lifetimes. We are stewards, friends, children, leaders,
followers…but what is it that God wants for us?
We as a church are an
interceding community – a fellowship that loves and prays for its
members continuously. By the act of intercession, we are called to
love each other without reservation, as God loves us. Intercession
reminds us that we cannot live in community with whispered
intolerance or misunderstanding; praying for our family is wiping
the community clear of condemnation. As an interceding
community, we are to “love each other deeply, because love
covers over a multitude of sins. ” (1 Peter 4:8). When giving
and receiving the Kiss of Peace every Sunday, we are purposefully declaring that we
live in the love and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Being lighted to
lighten each other is fundamental in building our Church, but that
light does not live in the church – it lives within us. The light
of Jesus, living in us, is meant to be shined brightly before
others (Matthew 5:16),
not snuffed out at the church doors.
In 1 Peter 4:11 we
read, “if anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the
very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with
the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be
praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the
power for ever and ever. Amen.” Peter distinguishes two broad
categories of gifts: speaking and serving. Armed with both of these
gifts, Christians are called to speak and be light. Each word we
say is to be in accordance with what God himself would speak and
every task we carry out is to be done with grace and
These gifts are not
free; the responsibility that encompasses these gifts can be
daunting and arduous. Being a light is cumbersome and a true test
of patience, “but rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the
sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his
glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13). We are called to serve through God’s
strength for a reason; we cannot do it alone. Inspiring those
around us to recognize the full glory of God is not a one-man job.
Our purpose is only fulfilled by God’s grace and love – the same
grace and love we are called to show our fellow man.
Father, we praise you for
your son Jesus, who taught us how to love. Thank you for your
uninhibited love; may we see Jesus in the people whose paths we cross
and may we be reminded to love them boldly, like you. We pray for the
wisdom to discern what words to say, the strength to serve
wholeheartedly, and the courage to live a life of praise. Reignite our
fire today and everyday so we may see your work being done. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What would our universal
church look like if we spoke, served, and praised like our Lord?
Take extra care to be someone’s light today.
Community Formation Around
Resurrection ExperienceActs 23:1-10 Vinod JohnsonCarmel MTC, Boston,
MA6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others
were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son
of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the
Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you going through a brutal winter is
the hope for the spring. It may have been a hard hope to hold on to this
particular year in New England - a year in which Boston considered dumping not
tea, but the ever growing mounds of snow into its harbor. And yet, the waist
deep snow has dissolved away. White desolation has given way to increasingly
visible green shoots of spring. A resurrection is at hand!
this passage, Paul tries to defend himself before the Sanhedrin Council. He
seeks to drive a wedge between the Pharisees who believed in resurrection and
the Sadducees who did not; even though neither believed in the resurrection of
Revelation for LiberationActs 27:18-26 Sherine ThomasLong Island MTC, NY 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small
tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.
“After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn.
And after every storm, there comes clear open skies” so said a Scottish
clergyman from the 1600s. It’s been said, that hope can sometimes be the most
dangerous weapon. However, it’s sometimes the hardest weapon to carry
when you’re living with the loss of a loved one, something that almost feels
like a terrible nightmare that’ll never go away. It’s a weapon difficult
to carry when day in and day out no one seems to hear or see those tears that
are shed or silent cries that are made during a heartfelt prayer. It’s a
weapon difficult to carry as you see your loved one lying on that hospital bed.
It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you search and seek out answers to
tell a child as to why they’ve been abused, abandoned, and …
Exodus 40:12-16 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of
Meeting... wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments,
anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest (Exodus 40: 12-13). Priesthood
among the people of God was a divine command and initiation. God wanted some
people to be separated for the special ministry among his people. God appointed
Aaron and his descendants to take up this kind of ministry among the people of
God. Priests are always separated and appointed as channels that connect God
with his people. All throughout the history of Israel, priests played an
important role in connecting people with God and to lead and guide them in the
statutes of God. But there are incidents in the Bible where the priests failed
in their duties and that led the people to go away from God. So the priests
have a special and significant ministry to perform in this world among his
people. Two important things from thi…