06 Jan 1 John 4:16 (IN CHRIST)
God is Love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in Him. 1 John 4:16 (full readings)
Living Faith snippets: “This verse is one of the best doorways for me into the mystery that is God. It helps me understand that in all my experiences of love I have actually been shown God: in the tenderness with which my mother wiped my face when I was very sick, in the delight of a grandchild running towards me with her arms out, in the way friends and family have stood by me, heart and soul, in times of troubles and of rejoicing.” by Patricia Livingston
Steve’s Thoughts: I read a book this past year titled, “The Bondage Breaker”. It was a discourse on how to break habitual sins that plague even the most seasoned, upright, and devoted Christians. We all have them. Surprisingly, one of the first “misconceptions” that he addressed is our understanding of our place in the order of God’s creation. We are first and foremost “IN CHRIST”. We often hear about Jesus being in each of us which is no doubt true. We choose Jesus because Jesus first chose us. Our life is not our own, but was bought at a price – the blood of the lamb of God. Each of us was ransomed from captivity and are “IN CHRIST”. As I have contemplated this truth which is made clearly evident in this verse from 1 John, I have found comfort in knowing it’s not about me. Rather, my life is explicitly about Jesus and his loving care for my journey. Thank you Jesus, for first choosing us, so that we may choose you in love and freedom!
Faith Challenges: Let’s generously share the LIFE Group by forwarding a devotion to others or by using the “invite people to join” link on the Facebook Group. Steve, Rich, or Pat will gladly add others to the email list.
* NEW: Love is an action – reach out to those around you and wrap your arms around them in love: patiently bare a wrong from your neighbor, listen when you feel like talking, share a kind word, do one act of kindness to someone you struggle with at work, pay it forward…
Counter-Culture News: LifeSiteNews, American Family Association, Priests for Life
* Let’s never forget the horrific reality of abortion (images), #1 cause of death in America (23% of pregnancies). Let’s courageously share ProLife Truth to create social tension for exposing abortion’s unjust peace, rebuilding a Culture of Life for setting the unborn (and parents) free!
Our Prayers: Those who pray together stay together. Fasting ideas in footnote below.
* Prayer to end abortion, abused children, chastity, peace, our enemies, our troops, depression/despair, prisoners, politicians, illnesses/injuries, jobs, natural disasters, refugees, addictions, persecuted believers, Peters family (JP, Rebekah), Shantelle Castle (special intention), Health care reform bill, Shannon Ketchum (Grandma passed away), Michael Moon (thanksgiving for Metanoia)
Feast Day: Bl. Andre Bessette
Faith quotes: “People who suffer have something to offer to God. When they succeed in enduring their suffering, that is a daily miracle.” ~ Bl. Andre Bessette
Through Christ Our Lord,
* Prayer: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. ‘If you pray that God will move a mountain and He doesn’t, assume Christ wants you to climb it instead.’
* Fasting: Let’s fast from things that take our eyes off Jesus (selfishness, pornography, bitterness, criticalness, impatience, gossip, excessive video games, etc) and take on things that fix our eyes on Jesus (selflessness, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, patience, understanding, caring, helping, listening).
* Defend the unborn: ‘Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die’ (Prov 24:11). ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you’ (Jer 1:5). ‘It is a great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish’ (Blessed Mother Teresa).
* Evangelization: Let’s make room for unbelievers (be a friend, make a friend, lead a friend to Christ) and perpetual re-evangelization of self and those near us, by way of daily prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of selfless love, mercy, and service (Matt 28:19).