Wednesday, January 8, 2014

January 8, 2014

Psalm 72, 1 Kings 10:14-25, Ephesians 4:7, 11-16

What new insights can you glean from Psalm 72 after reading it for so many days in a row? For me it stands out that the poor will be cared for. It says so three times. So will the weak and the oppressed. It's a reminder that the common American saying, "God helps those who help themselves" isn't entirely true. God helps those who can't help themselves. God helps those whom the rest of the world overlooks. We can do nothing to save ourselves, it is a gift from the Lord. Whether you are as rich as Solomon, or the poorest of the poor (or somewhere in-between, likely), we all need the grace of God. 

Also, as we see in Ephesians, God gives each person in the Church (whether rich or poor) gifts to use to equip God's people to do his work and to build up the church, the body of Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-13
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

How is this encouraging to you? How is this a challenge? How can we make sure each person in the church feels valued and appreciated? How can we use our gifts to equip others? Can you think of a time when someone used their gifts to equip you?

Pray through the rest of the Ephesians passage:
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.


Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so
move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may
crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our
divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

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