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Old 11-17-2017, 09:26 AM   #2221
GOLDDUSTERS5703

Name: GOLDDUSTERS5703
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Serve and Be Served

Read: Philippians 4:10–19 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 5–7; Hebrews 12

You were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. Philippians 4:10

Marilyn had been ill for many weeks, and many people had encouraged her through this difficult time. How will I ever repay all their kindnesses? she worried. Then one day she read the words of a written prayer: “Pray that [others] will develop humility, allowing them not only to serve, but also to be served.” Marilyn suddenly realized there was no need to balance any scale, but just to be thankful and allow others to experience the joy of serving.

In Philippians 4, the apostle Paul expressed his gratitude for all those who shared “in [his] troubles” (v. 14). He depended on people to support him as he preached and taught the gospel. He understood that the gifts provided for him when he was in need were simply an extension of people’s love for God: “[Your gifts] are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (v. 18).

Dear Lord, thank You for caring for us through Your people. May we graciously give and receive help.
It may not be easy to be the one on the receiving end—especially if you’ve usually been the first one to help other people. But with humility, we can allow God to gently care for us by a variety of means when we need help.

Paul wrote, “My God will meet all your needs” (v. 19). It was something he had learned during a life of trials. God is faithful and His provision for us has no limits.

Dear Lord, thank You for caring for us through Your people. May we graciously give and receive help.

Receive love. Give love. Repeat.

By Cindy Hess Kasper | See Other Authors
INSIGHT

Paul was a tentmaker by trade and often worked to support himself while he ministered to people in various cities (see Acts 18:3). However, at times Paul relied on the giving and generosity of others (see Phil 4:14–16). He also encouraged generosity among the churches, calling on members of the global body of Christ to meet each other’s needs (see 1 Cor. 16:1–4).

Many times God provides for us through the giving of others. Reflect on how God has provided for you or used you to meet the needs of others.

J.R. Hudberg
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1997 CTD2500 "CASPER"

PHILIPPIANS 4:13
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Old 11-21-2017, 09:39 AM   #2222
GOLDDUSTERS5703

Name: GOLDDUSTERS5703
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Helicopter Seeds

Read: John 12:23–33 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 16–17; James 3

Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24

When our children were young, they loved trying to catch the “helicopter seeds” that fell from our neighbor’s silver maple trees. Each seed resembles a wing. In late spring they twirl to the ground like a helicopter’s rotor blades. The seeds’ purpose is not to fly, but to fall to earth and grow into trees.

Before Jesus was crucified, He told His followers, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. . . . [U]nless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:23–24).

Lord Jesus, we are amazed by Your love. Give us grace to serve You today as we long to do.
While Jesus’s disciples wanted Him to be honored as the Messiah, He came to give His life so we could be forgiven and transformed through faith in Him. As Jesus’s followers, we hear His words, “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me” (vv. 25–26).

Helicopter seeds can point us to the miracle of Jesus, the Savior, who died that we might live for Him.

Lord Jesus, we are amazed by Your love. Give us grace to serve You today as we long to do.

Jesus calls us to give our lives in serving Him.

By David C. McCasland | See Other Authors
INSIGHT

Our passage today occurs shortly after Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. On that day Jesus rode into town on a donkey’s colt as a large crowd, who had traveled to the city to celebrate the Passover, threw palm branches on the road before Him shouting, “ ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ” (John 12:12–15). Though Jesus came as a king, He knew that the people cheering Him on were expecting a savior to free them from Rome, not a savior who would suffer for their sins. He was the kernel of wheat who must die so His kingdom could grow (v. 24).
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PHILIPPIANS 4:13
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:21 AM   #2223
GOLDDUSTERS5703

Name: GOLDDUSTERS5703
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Make a Joyful Noise

Read: Psalm 98 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 18–19; James 4

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music. Psalm 98:4

Back when I was searching for a church to attend regularly, a friend invited me to a service at her church. The worship leaders led the congregation in a song I particularly loved. So I sang with gusto, remembering my college choir director’s advice to “Project!”

After the song, my friend’s husband turned to me and said, “You really sang loud.” This remark was not intended as a compliment! After that, I self-consciously monitored my singing, making sure I sang softer than those around me and always wondering if the people around me judged my singing.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music. Psalm 98:4
But one Sunday, I noticed the singing of a woman in the pew beside me. She seemed to sing with adoration, without a trace of self-consciousness. Her worship reminded me of the enthusiastic, spontaneous worship that David demonstrated in his life. In Psalm 98, in fact, David suggests that “all the earth” should “burst into jubilant song” in worship (v. 4).

Verse one of Psalm 98 tells us why we should worship joyfully, reminding us that “[God] has done marvelous things.” Throughout the psalm, David recounts these marvelous things: God’s faithfulness and justice to all nations, His mercy, and salvation. Dwelling on who God is and what He’s done can fill our hearts with praise.

What “marvelous things” has God done in your life? Thanksgiving is the perfect time to recall His wondrous works and give God thanks. Lift your voice and sing!

Lord, thank You for who You are and for what You’ve done.

Worship takes the focus off us and places it where it belongs—on God.

By Linda Washington | See Other Authors
INSIGHT

Psalm 98 is jubilant in its invitation to praise God. In verses 4–6, the psalmist exalts God as King. He enlists the harp, trumpets, and horn to accompany the human voices lifted in praise and adoration of the sovereign King. In verses 7–9, God is praised for being the righteous Judge. Marvelous word pictures are used to magnify His justice. The fullness of the sea is to roar, the rivers are to clap their hands, and the mountains are to be joyful together. Voice, instruments, and nature join in to praise God. We too can enter into this same spirit by joyfully worshiping the Lord for His mighty power and holy character.

Today ponder how you can worship God who is both our Creator and righteous Judge.

Dennis Fisher
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