Thursday Quote Day: Darrell Bock

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features a quote from professor and theologian Darrell Bock:

“The issue is not who we may or may not serve, but serving where need exists. We are not to seek to limit who our neighbors might be. Rather, we are to be a neighbor to those whose needs we can meet.”  (Darrell Bock)

Sunday Devotional: Joshua 24:14-15

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14-15)

We all have choices to make every day.  We all have decisions big and small that we encounter.  And we each have to make those choices for ourselves.

In the book of Joshua, the Israelites had come out of Egypt and were about to take control of the land God had promised them.  At the end of the book, Joshua had gathered the people before they were to go their separate ways.  He reminds them of where they had come from and what it had taken to get them there.  And he reminds them that they have to decide whether they were going to worship God and follow Him or follow the gods of the people of the land.  Joshua made clear that his choice was to to follow and serve the Lord.

We have that same choice before us today.  We can choose to follow and serve God or we can choose to follow and serve what’s out in the world.  Let us have in our hearts and minds to follow and serve God.  Let that be our choice each and every day.

Sunday Devotional: Romans 12:9-13

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” (Romans 12:9-13)

Paul, in his letter to the Romans, wanted to encourage them and remind them of who they were as Christians.  They were to be about love, loving one another, loving their enemies.  They were to reflect Christ in that.  They were also to cling to what was good and run fast away from evil.  They could do that through the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of them.  He wanted to remind them to be patient, to rejoice, to be consistent in prayer and to care for one another.

These same exhortations are the same for us today as well.  We need to show and share Christ’s love with those around us.  We need to love one another and love our enemies.  We need to cling to what is good.  We need to be patient, to rejoice, to be constant in prayer and to care for one another.

This week, let us do just that.

Sunday Devotional: Esther 2:21-23

“In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.  And this came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai.  When the affair was investigated and found to be so, the men were both hanged on the gallows.  And it was recorded in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.”  Esther 2:21-23

Mordecai was a faithful follower of God even in the midst of being and serving in a court of those who didn’t.  He honored those in authority but ultimately honored God with his life and his actions.  This event that’s recorded in the verses here was a minor event but would have major implications.  At the time, Mordecai didn’t know this.  All he knew was that there was a threat to the King Ahasuerus (otherwise known as Xerses I) and warned the king about it.  This small act of service would later play a key role in helping the Jewish nation that lived under the rule of Ahasuerus.

Little things do matter.  You never know how the actions you do to serve someone can make a huge impact.  So as you’re going about this week, remember that the little things do matter.  God may use your “small” act for big purposes for His kingdom.

Sunday Devotional: 3 John

“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.  The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.”  (3 John verse 11)

The apostle John always made it a point in his writings to emphasize a few things.  To love one another, to test the message to make sure it’s true, the assurance of forgiveness with repentance and that the relationship with the Father will spur on good actions from those who follow Jesus.

We are to imitate what is good.  If we are followers of Jesus, we are to imitate Him.  We are to serve one another.  We are to love one another.  We do this not because we have to or because we’re trying to earn our salvation.  We do it because of the overflow of abundance of grace and mercy shown to us by God.

Let us this week reflect the love that has been shown to us by God to others.  Let us imitate what is good, because we follow the one who truly is good, Jesus.

Sunday Devotional: Acts 2:44-47

“And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,  praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”  (Acts 2:44-47)

This was a great description of the first century church.  They would come together regularly and worship.  They would share meals together.  They would help one another out.  They were a family.  That should be what the church should look like today.  There should be that feel of a family because as followers of Jesus, we are brothers and sisters in Christ.  The church is a family, it is not a business.  And yes, there are times when even family members don’t get along but they come together to resolve problems.

All people should be able to point to their local church and say “There is my family.”  Nonbelievers should be able to look at the church in the community and see loving people who serve and take care of others, who worship God and love Him.  If you’re a part of a community of believers like that, celebrate that and invite others to be a part of that.  If you’re not part of a community like that, seek one out.  It is such a blessing and is something as believers we’re all called to be about in following Jesus.