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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Online Ministry for the Week 02/13 - 02/19 2017

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

Open our eyes and our ears and all our senses, and shine in our hearts filled by your love that we may know your Word and live your righteousness and follow where you lead. Amen.


DAILY READING

Real Faith

I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me. Philippians 4:13 (GNT)

The key to a faith-filled life is not in trying harder. It's not in psyching yourself up, but in relaxing in God’s grace, so he can do through you what he desires to do.

Paul says this: “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me” (Philippians 4:13 GNT). Notice that it doesn’t say, “I have the strength for most conditions.” It says all conditions. That includes breaking bad habits and creating healthy ones.

—Pastor Rick Warren

—The Daniel Plan brief excerpt from The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier 
Life by Rick Warren, DMin; Daniel Amen, MD; & Mark Hyman, MD (Zondervan). © 2013 by The Daniel Plan. Used with permission. All rights reserved.


NIV DAILY

The Waiting Room (Hebrews 6:13–20)

Waiting might well be the hardest single thing we ever have to do. We wait in traffic. We wait in the doctor’s office (in the waiting room!). We wait to hear news—good or bad.

We’re not patient people. Most of us resemble a child at Christmastime, eagerly anticipating the time to open presents. Each hour seems like an eternity. When the designated time arrives, we can’t move fast enough to get to the Christmas tree and tear open all those tantalizingly wrapped gifts.

But try as we might, we can’t make time go any faster. Waiting is a part of our modern life. No matter how fast-paced and hectic our daily schedules may be, we still run up against times and places where we have no choice but to stop and sit or stand in line.

The Bible often connects waiting with faith. Sometimes Scripture even uses the two words interchangeably. While we might not like it, waiting serves an important role in our Christian life. The work God does within us while we wait is just as important as whatever it is we’re waiting for. Of course, none of us finds waiting easy. In fact, it might bring pain and will almost certainly try us and test us. Waiting demands patience and exacts a price. It’s the toll on the road that each of us must pay.

God promised Abraham a blessing: “I will . . . give you many descendants” (Hebrews 6:14). But to receive his blessing, Abraham had to wait—day after day, year after year. In time God did fulfill his promise. And Abraham’s waiting turned out to have been his greatest blessing; he was to become the father of the Jewish nation.

We also hear the promises of God and long for God to fulfill them. Yet we often wait. If Abraham’s story teaches us anything, it’s that God proves himself faithful again and again. As guys, we want something to do—some action to take. But sometimes our part is simply to wait, with a confident, disciplined and patient assurance that God will keep his promises. He will come through. While such times aren’t easy, in the end we can honestly reflect that “it was worth the wait.” Indeed, waiting can result in our greatest blessing.

Taken from NIV Men’s Devotional Bible©2017 HarperCollins Christian Publishing


PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

Holy God, you give generous blessings and fill our hearts with gratitude. Empower us to respond joyfully, sharing in ministry with those who are hungry for food and those who thirst for spiritual refreshment. May our community of faith reflect more fully the priorities of the kingdom of God, even as we look forward to Christ’s return. Receive our gifts and offerings for the sake of Christ our Lord. Amen. (Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18)

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