Matthew 4:16 (JOY: Jesus, Others, You)

04 Jan Matthew 4:16 (JOY: Jesus, Others, You)

Let’s welcome God today by reflecting on this Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group devotion (website, Facebook), 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

On those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death, light has risen. Matthew 4:16 (full readings)

Living Faith snippets: “The Magi witnessed Christ’s birth into a world where death might often seem to be the victor. Jesus’ family soon fled to Egypt to escape the forces of death that followed them. His eventual death was early and cruel. But for us, the crucifixion carries the secret of the resurrection, and therefore death is overshadowed by Life. Christ our Light, arise in our hearts.” by Mary Marrocco

Pat’s nuggets: Merry 11th day of Christ-mas!
* Within all the college football bowl games hoopla, high five to those players who pause to give God praise for their abilities, like FL quarterback Tim Tebow (today’s image, Eph 2:8-10). The image caption could read, “Yes, God…I will gladly use your playbook!”
* Pastor Don’s devotion (Happy New Day!): “…those every day promises that I am going to choose life over death. That I will choose love over hatred, grace over resentment, wisdom over folly, courage over fear, joy over sorrow, compassion over anger, patience over impatience.”
* Sr. Francelle’s devotion (Gratitude – the key to happiness): “As we begin a new year, let’s resolve to accept with joy the twists and turns life brings us. Let us open our hearts to the wonder of each new day. “For all that has been, THANKS. For all that will be, YES.””

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: Let’s commit ourselves to a year filled with JOY…Jesus, Others, You…in that priority order!

* 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
* NEW: Shannon Ketchum (Grandma passed away), Michael Moon (thanksgiving for Metanoia)

Feast Day of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: “…first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church.”

Faith quotes: “Walk with Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!” John Paul II

Blessed New Year!
Phil 4:13

* 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).

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