28 Oct Luke 6:13 (Avoiding Hasty Decisions)
Let’s welcome God today by reflecting on this short Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group Devotion (life-devotions.blogspot.com), which is based on Living Faith. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Col. 3:17
When the day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve…Luke 6:13 (full readings)
Living Faith snippets: “Most people have at least one article of clothing in the closet that produces a shake of the head and leaves them wondering what they were thinking when they bought it. The brown and blue pleated skirt that I have worn once in three years I have owned it comes to mind…It has become a reminder to me of what happens when I make hasty choices. Making a poor selection in clothing is fairly harmless, but entering into life-changing decisions without prayerful consideration is not. Throughout the gospels Jesus went away from the crowds and spent time apart when he was faced with a major decision or a life-altering event.” by Terri Mifek
Steve’s Thoughts: As I reflected on the Gospel and Terri’s words it struck me how often I have quickly responded with emotion to either words or emails or situations that ultimately made the situations even worse. Most recently I have had several situations come about where I had a choice to respond hastily and with raw emotion. As I reflected on these situations I realized that God was challenging me to be Christ to these people. Quite often when people respond with more force than is necessary for the situation it is a red flag to some wound in their own life. I was being challenged to first seek common ground, then to seek understanding. Our hasty responses have the potential to alienate hurting people even further. To reflect in prayer and gather our thoughts is not only wise, but being Christ to others. Lord, when I feel challenged by others give me the humility and patience to respond to these situations as You would respond with love for our neighbor. Amen.
Faith Challenge: Let’s all invite one person each week (John 14:6) to join our LIFE Group (~250 of God’s children).
* NEW: Let’s take a deep breath when we are faced with a challenge this day and ask ourselves how God is asking us to respond to this person.
Counter-Culture News: LifeSiteNews, 40 Days for Life (until 1 Nov), American Family Association, Priests for Life
* Let’s never forget the horrific reality of abortion (images)…#1 cause of death in America. Let’s courageously share ProLife Truth to create social tension for exposing abortion’s unjust peace…rebuilding a Culture of Life (Matt: 5:16) and setting the unborn 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, ProLife politicians, illnesses/injuries, jobs, natural disasters, refugees, addictions, persecuted believers, Peters family (JP in hospital), Lynn Bishara (for son Alex)
Feast Day: Sts. Simon and Jude
Faith Quote: “Do as little children who with one hand hold fast to the hand of their father and with the other gather strawberries. In the same manner, while managing the work in our state in life with one hand, hold fast with the other to the hand of our heavenly Father, turning to him form time to time to see if your actions are pleasing to him.” ~ St. Francis De Sales
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/movies/TV, 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 great poverty that a child might 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)