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PRAY

Dear God, Lord may we learn to love the way that you love, and by this may we grow to know you more.

WRITE

READ Philippians 1:9-11

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11 NIV

  • What is Paul’s prayer for the Philippians?
  • As their (and our ) love abounds more and more in knowledge and insight what is the result?
  • As their (and our) discernment increases what is the result?
  • As they (and we) grow in Christ and the fruit of righteousness grows in us what is the result?

GROW

  • This is one of my favorite scriptures to pray for people and for myself. Take time now to pray this for yourself and for people that God has put on your heart.

Dear Father God, increase the love in our hearts that it may overflow from us. May that love grow in what we understand and see about others and about the world. May what we speak be wrapped in that knowledge and reveal your love to the world. Help our discernment to increase so that we may make right choices that reflect your love & character, and continue to conform us into the image of your Son. Help us to abide in Christ knowing that only when we abide in Him can we bear fruit, and Lord may the fruit that comes from that relationship with Christ be evident in us and bring you much glory and praise. In Jesus Name… Amen!

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Love is…

PRAY

Take time to pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.

Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

“And I will show you a still more excellent way.”
1 Corinthians 12:31

WRITE

In the 12th chapter of 1 Corinthians Paul talks about spiritual gifts and the necessity of each part of the body of Christ. He reminds us, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27), and  he encourages us to “earnestly desire the higher gifts” 1 Corinthians 12:31. It is a powerful message spurring  us on to both use our gifts for the benefit of the body of Christ and to seek after Him so as to grow  deeper in Him. And still, after these powerful words revealing to us how we grow in Christ and how we help the body – the church – he simply states… “And I will show you a still more excellent way” 1 Corinthians 12:31b. You see – all these gifts mean nothing if we do not act in love. If we do not speak in love. If we have any other motivator than love. 1 Peter 1:22 reminds us that we are called to “love earnestly from a pure heart.” So – what does that look like? 1 Corinthians 13 gives us a picture of just such love. I am confident that most of you have read, or heard this many many many times. Take time now to ask God to give you fresh eyes to see what He has for you in these precious verses.

  • Using 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Make a list of all the things that love is.
  • How is God calling you to change the way you love. Write it down…
  • Write down one thing you can do today to love in a more excellent way.

GROW

Praying that the Lord would perfect your love. That you can love others with a pure heart and in a way that will shine His love to the world. May we all live in the more excellent way!

In His Body

PRAY

Remember to pray & read the entire passage before beginning.
1 Peter 2:24

 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 2:24

WRITE

This whole chapter of 2 Peter is amazing. But as we  near the celebration of our risen Savior, I wanted to focus on this verse. It is so powerful… the image of Christ physically carrying our sins on the cross.

  • We often think of the physical torture, the physical pain of the crucifixion. But what do you think it may have felt like to bear all of the sins of the entire world – for all time – in his body on the cross?
  •  Consider the spiritual pain of the cross, the emotional pain of the cross, as well as the physical manifestation of  these as Jesus hung on that cross for you.
  • Write a prayer of thanksgiving to your Savior!

Praise Jesus with this song by Chris Tomlin – “At the Cross”

GROW

Praying that the complete, eternal, sacrificial love of Jesus would be new to you today! He is an awesome Savior!!! Alleluia! Alleluia!

As good as it gets

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How to Act Like a True Christian – Digging Deep Into Romans 12:9-21

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“Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.” 
Romans 12:16b

Ask the Spirit to guide you as you read God’s word for today. Remember to read the entire passage.

 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Luke 10:27

  • Paraphrase Romans 12:16b.
  • As Christians we are not to think of ourselves as better than anyone. Still, according to Luke 10 who are we called to love first.
  • Our love of God is entire and complete. Write down each way we are called to love God.
  • Honoring God by being faithful to Him and to His word must come first in our lives. What is the second great commandment?
  • It is so easy to think of ourselves first or better than others, but here we are told to love others as we love ourselves. Think of the ways you sometimes love yourself or put yourself above others.
  • Confess this now and ask Him to help see ways you can serve the lowly so that they will see His love and give Him glory!

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We never know who we are entertaining when we choose to help those in need (Hebrews 13:2). Seek to serve God by loving our neighbors. Praying for you!

Bless You

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How to Act Like a True Christian – Digging Deep Into Romans 12:9-21

 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.” 
Romans 12:14

Ask the Spirit to guide you as you read God’s word for today. Remember to read the entire passage.


“‘This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.‘”
1 Timothy 1:15-16 NLT

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  • Persecution can include many acts, actions & attitudes. Write down what the word means to you.
  • Despite what persecutions may come, as Christians we are called to respond in what way?
  • Using 1 Timothy 1:15-16, why would God call us to respond with blessings?
  • Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you,” (John 13:34). How are those who spit hate ever going to see true love unless we show them. Write down some ways you can share the love of Christ to those who oppose His truth.
  • It can be as simple as a smile or as deep as sharing the story of salvation-Jesus. Pray that the Lord will guide you each day to spread His love and bless those who persecute you (1 Peter 3:15).

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Praying that God will provide you strength, wisdom and words to bless…

Come on Over

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How to Act Like a True Christian – Digging Deep Into Romans 12:9-21

“When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them.
Always be eager to practice hospitality.” 

Romans 12:13 (NLT)

Ask the Spirit to guide you as you read God’s word for today. Remember to read the entire passage.


“‘In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way
we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus,
how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”
Romans 20:35

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  • As Christians we are called to build up the body of Christ. How do Jesus’ words that Paul quotes here help you gain perspective on what our attitude should be?
  • It’s not all about what’s in it for me. We are called to be eager, to seek out opportunities for hospitality. Do you feel you seek out people to minister to in this way?
  • In this time of Pinterest and entertainment blogs we sometimes get a false sense of what hospitality is. From these verses what do you think Biblical hospitality looks like?
  • This is not to say that it can’t be lovely or delicious, but it just means it does not have to be “perfect”. It is really about meeting a need in the name of Christ – it is about showing love even with a messy house or a simple spaghetti dinner. Is there someone who God is calling you seek out and offer His love?

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Praying God’s guiding and wisdom in how to share His love through the gift of hospitality. May you feel the truth of Jesus’ words…”It is more blessed to give than to recieve.”

Blessed Affliction?

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How to Act Like a True Christian – Digging Deep Into Romans 12:9-21

“Be patient in tribulation.” 
Romans 12:12b

Ask the Spirit to guide you as you read God’s word for today. Remember to read the entire passage.
Romans 5:2b-4

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  • The word tribulation holds many meanings from a simple sadness to great anguish. But in all states of suffering how are we called to face them?
  • It all goes back to the attitude that we talked about yesterday. What attitude do we need to maintain (Psalm 118:24)?
  • Romans 5:24 gives us a reason we should be patient in our suffering. Write it out using this format as an example Suffering = _________
  • And so… we end up back at Hope! What has God poured out for us?
  • He fills us with His love by the power of His Spirit! Read Romans 8:31-29. No matter what may come, physical trials, emotional difficulties, spiritual battles who is advocating for you?
  • Is there any thing that can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus?
  • He truly has a plan for your life to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11) and He can work all things together for the good of those who are called by Him (Romans 8:28). Listen to the song by Laura Story, “Blessings”. How does this change your perspective on suffering?

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Praying that you may feel God’s amazing love poured into your heart today. May you feel His peace, provision, and guidance no matter what you are going through.

No… I Love You More

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How to Act Like a True Christian – Digging Deep Into Romans 12:9-21

“Outdo one another in showing honor.” 
Romans 12:10b

Ask the Spirit to guide you as you read God’s word for today. Remember to read the entire passage.
Philippians 2:1-11

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  • Romans 12:10b is the opposite of what our culture encourages. It is not all about ME ME ME. Instead, who is our example (Philippians 2:1-11)?
  • What does Philippians 2:3 tell us about how we should think about others?
  • Do you think this only applies to our friends and family (see Matthew 5:44)?
  • It’s sometimes difficult to be nice or even to pray for someone we do not like. But, Genesis 1:27 has a great reminder. Write it down.
  • Now, insert the name of a person into verse 1:27. Then, write down a prayer for them.
  • Christ is our example. No matter how broken or sinful the person, he took time to stop, encourage, &  love those he came in contact with. Ask Him who you need to be showing more honor, then ask Him to change your heart and equip you with His love.

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This life really is all about Jesus. When we seek to emulate His sacrificial love, we teach others who He is. Go…Outdo yourself today! Praying for you…

Wear your Love

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How to Act Like a True Christian – Digging Deep Into Romans 12:9-21

“”Love one another with brotherly affection.” 
Romans 12:10

Ask the Spirit to guide you as you read God’s word for today. Remember to read the entire passage.
Colossians 3:12-14

love

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  • How are we called to clothe ourselves?
  • What binds together all of the characteristics?
  • Can others see that you are wearing the special garments that God has chosen for you?
  • Ask Him now to completely clothe and equip you to love the way He has called us to love.

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“Love one another as I have loved you.” John 13:34
Put on the garments the Lord has provided and love with His love! Praying for you…

True Love

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Digging Deep Into Romans 12:9-21

“Let love be genuine.” 
Romans 12:9a

Ask the Spirit to guide you as you read God’s word for today. Remember to read the entire passage.

“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love,
love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
 since you have been born again,
not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God”
1 Peter 1:22-23

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  • What is Truth  (to find out what Jesus said look up John 8:31, John 14:6, John 18:37) ?
  • How do we purify our soul (see 1 John 3:3)?
  • What is the result of our transformed life… our souls have become pure through Christ for a reason. What is it?
  • Who are we to love (see John 15:12)?
  • How are we to love?
  • The definition of “earnest” is – showing a sincere & intense conviction. Rewrite 1 Peter 3:22b inserting that definition in place of the word earnest. Love one another…
  • Still, earnest love will mean nothing unless we have what heart condition?
  • What does the word pure mean to you?
  • This pure, earnest love pours out of us as a result of what?
  • Respond… is there anything you need to change? What does “Genuine Love” look like to you?

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He has poured out Himself for you! Jesus is the Way the Truth & the Life. You have been eternally transformed by Christ.
– SO –
Love with a heart made new by the Spirit that lives within you!