Forgiving Day-by-Day

To Be the Potter’s Hand

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Scripture

Jeremiah 18:5-6 (NRSV)

Then the word of the LORD came to me: Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the LORD. Just like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

Consider

Through the prophet Jeremiah, God is reminding Israel that a human being, like every other creature on earth, is fashioned according to the desire and purpose of God. Moreover, God holds a unique vision for each person and constantly works to shape and reshape one's heart and life toward the perfection of that vision.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

How to Resist Mockers

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Scripture

Psalm 22:6-8 (NLT)

But I am a worm and not a man. I am scorned and despised by all! Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, "Is this the one who relies on the LORD? Then let the LORD save him! If the LORD loves him so much, let the LORD rescue him!"

Consider

Scorned. Despised. Mocked. If you are a Christian who stands up for your faith, sooner or later you will be ridiculed. "Are you the one Jesus supposedly loves? Then why do you have problems? If your God is so great, then why isn't your life perfect?"

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Four Corners of Christian Community

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Scripture

Acts 2:42 (NRSV)

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Consider

This passage describes the earliest “new members class” of the Christian church. In response to Peter’s sermon on Pentecost, about three thousand men and women committed their lives to Christ and devoted themselves to living in community with one another.

There were, however, no programs in place to fold the new converts into the fabric of church life.

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Practices that Prosper

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Scripture

Psalm 128:1-2 (NLT)

How joyful are those who fear the LORD—all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!

Consider

Everyone knows that habits get us through life. If we could not reduce our routine activities to automated responses, we would be mentally paralyzed by the simplest challenges of daily life: eating, walking, driving a car, brushing our teeth. In fact, habits become so ingrained and necessary that we give them control of our lives without much conscious thought.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Look at the Stars

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Scripture

Isaiah 40:26-27 (NLT)

Look up into the heavens. Who created the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. O Jacob, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?

Consider

Relationship conflicts often boil down to uncertainties about our worth. Each of us has tender areas where we feel inadequate, and we are quick to take offense when these vulnerable areas are exposed.

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The Good Neighbor

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Scripture

Luke 10:36-37 (NIV)

"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

Consider

Perhaps it's animal instinct, but we humans tend to seek out people of our own kind. We group ourselves with others who think like us, look like us, live like us, vote like us. We can be wary, skeptical, and dismissive of "those others" who think and act differently from the way we and our friends do.

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Thorns That Won’t Go Away

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Scripture

2 Corinthians 12:7-9a (NIV)

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

Consider

Is there a relationship in your life that you would describe as "a thorn"? Perhaps there is a person at work who makes your job miserable or a family member who repeatedly breaks your heart.

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The Unseen Partner

Choose Kindness-210

Scripture

Proverbs 19:17 (NIV)

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.

Consider

God takes our relationships with one another very personally. As our Creator, Sustainer, and Savior, God is constantly present with us and intimately concerned with every activity and relationship we have.

When we show kindness and compassion toward one another, Scripture says we are doing the very same toward God. In other words, to ease the suffering of a brother or sister is the same as caring for God.

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Meeting God

Peaceful Woman with Bible-230

Scripture

Psalm 84:1-2 (NLT)

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of Heaven's Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.

Consider

This psalm was written centuries before Christ, when followers of God believed that God's Spirit dwelt in the Temple in Jerusalem. The psalmist writes about the joy and anticipation of the pilgrim who makes his way to the Temple. We realize, however, that he longs not for the Temple courts themselves but for the God who will meet him there.

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The Narrow Gate

Narrow Gate-230

Scripture

Matthew 7:13-14 (NRSV)

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it."

Consider

Discipleship is not an easy road. The Greek word for "disciple" in the New Testament means both a learner and an adherent, that is, one who studies with a teacher for instruction and also imitates the teacher as the ideal model. It is no coincidence that "disciple" and "discipline" come from the same Latin root.

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