Small Group Devotionals
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David, despite his difficult life filled with trials was able to rejoice in some of the things that were certain in life, things that he (and we) could count on.
It seems that we often overlook the true rewards of what the Bible refers to as repentance. The scriptures extol the virtues of faith, perseverance and the doing of good, but upon careful reading we find that repentance can be the most valuable of all the spiritual exercises.
One of the most popular devotional songs is the one that asks God to "Make me a servant." The melody is beautiful and the words pierce through to the very core of the character of Jesus and the Christian faith. When we sing this song do we know what we are asking?
Measuring progress is an important factor in the success of any enterprise. However, we tend not to do this is in our spiritual lives.
In I Peter 5:8, the Apostle Peter warns his readers concerning the devil. He says that the devil prowls like a roaring lion seeking to devour and he seeks and knows where to find us in order to devour us.
In Matthew 5:44, Jesus tells His disciples that they should "pray for those who persecute you."
(Mark 8:34-38) Each week after a sermon or on Wednesday evening, we offer an invitation. We might miss the significance of this opportunity because we do it so often.
Christians never quit God in a single day. Oh, some give up the faith suddenly at times because of a great tragedy in their lives but these are the exceptions. No, the way that most Christians lose their faith is through "drifting".
When I was a boy growing up in the Catholic church, the nuns and priests used to teach us the 7 cardinal sins. They taught us that from these sins came all others.
In the book of Ezekiel, the Lord rebukes Jewish leaders for abandoning their role as spiritual shepherds over the nation. He says, "I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one." Ezekiel 22:30
Back in the seventies the heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali used to provoke his opponents by proclaiming "I am the greatest." It seems that Ali knew that deep down inside many of us thought this about ourselves but few would have the gall or the skills to actually say it in public.
Have you ever wondered why God required the Jews to give 10% of their wealth as an offering or "tithe" in the Old Testament (Lev. 27:30-32)?
Human Resources people tell us that the first step in motivating employees to better service is by showing them how their job fits in to the company's overall objectives. The idea is that if they understand the "big picture" and what part they play, they will work more intelligently and therefore more profitably and creatively.
Thanksgiving is Important
We have this unwritten rule in the church that when there is bad weather or a major holiday that falls on Sunday night or Wednesday night, we have a devo. Of course, a devotional is a good thing and edifying for the church but sometimes there is the impression that it is less than "real church" when the preacher preaches a sermon, have classes.