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Category: Devotional (page 12 of 28)

My EU Lesson

Attitudes that Lead to Evangelism

1. Loving attitude toward One Another

Jesus says that a mark of His disciples would be their love for one another (John 13:35). This mark of discipleship is something our churches should show the world. When we love one another, when we are committed to each other, then we are more likely to want to invite others into our group, and they are more likely to be interested.

2. Welcoming attitude toward Outsiders

Jesus was a welcoming person. In fact His welcoming nature caused much strife with many in His day. He was willing to invite the outcasts and the sinners of His world into His company. He ate with them. He touched them. He talked with them. If this is our attitude then we will be more evangelistic.

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Extending Grace to Others

The story of Jonah and the whale (really a big fish) is one of the most popular stories in the Bible.  Little children love to hear about the man who stayed three days inside the fish.  Adults remember the story in the original context, but also remember Jesus comparing His resurrection to Jonah being in the fish.

The part of the story that caught my attention as I was reading Jonah was his prayer.  He prays inside the fish, thanking God for saving Him.  Jonah had disobeyed God’s will and in fact went completely opposite of where God told him to go.  Despite this God poured His grace out toward Jonah by sparing His life.

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Should I continue in sin?

Paul asks a rhetorical question in Romans 6.  It is a question that he anticipates the readers of the epistle might ask.  You see Paul has spent the last two chapters leading up to chapter 6 extolling the beauty of God’s new system.  A system of grace given by God. Grace is shown as the solution to our problem of sin.  This saving grace brings glory to God.  This might have left some with the idea that this new found grace was a license to sin.

Paul states in the strongest way possible that this is not the case.  The words leap off the page: MAY IT NEVER BE. In fact it is so strong that some versions say God forbid! (although the Greek word for God is nowhere to be found in the clause).  The point is this is far from the message of the gospel.  The gospel is a message of God’s grace, but grace should never be viewed as giving us permission to continue in sin.

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God and Football

Along with a lot of other people I watched the BCS National Championship Game last night.  Neither team was “my team,” but as a college football fan it was must see TV.  The game wasn’t the best.  It was sloppy and although the score was close it felt for the entire second half that one team was going to win.  At the end of the game I usually turn quickly from the interviews, because frankly, they bore me.  However, I watched this time.  And then I was frustrated.

You see players and coaches alike attributed the win to God.  Not in a way in which they were thanking God for life and talents, but rather in the sense (at least it appeared to me) of believing that God was in control of the outcome of the game, or that the Almighty had a cheering interest for one team.  I have always been frustrated with this idea.  Sports are fun to watch and play. They also can teach important life lessons (I know they did for me).  However, we need to put both the watching and playing of sports into a proper perspective.  I think God cares how we compete, but to say that He is rooting for one team over another to me hinges on idolatry.  It goes to show the overemphasis that our culture puts on Sports and Athletes when we view them as events that show us the mind of God.

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When You…

In Matthew 6, there are three “when you” statements.  These statements are connected with giving alms, praying, and fasting. After each one Jesus explains how we should engage in all of these acts.  What is interesting is there is not teaching on the actually “when” of the acts.  Instead, Jesus assumes these will be a part of the life of a disciple.  The assumption is we will do these things, and since we will do these things we need to know how to do it.  The when though is up to us.  It isn’t an optional “when,” but it is open to us to determine.  The acts also do not seem to be one time acts, or a checklist to prove ourselves worthy,  but rather acts that are a natural part of discipleship.

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