DARE TO ASK

“Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]–”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

WITH RECKLESS ABANDON

From 30 devotions for youth leaders devotional

As Jesus peers across the Temple, He looks deeply into the souls of the congregants. He wasn’t auditing their actions. Instead, He was searching their hearts and assessing their motivations.

The way He commends the widow causes me to question my own patterns of living and giving. When Jesus affirms her for giving “out of her poverty,” it convicts me to the core. It reveals how little I understand the love of Christ, that I would underestimate His provision and care for me. Life has taught me:

To risk only from a place of safety.

To love only from a place of security.

To defend only from a place of certainty.

To explore only from a place of predictability.

To dream only from a place of realism.

To give only from a place of plenty.

This is not Jesus’ plan. He calls us to live with the abandon of souls set free. In spite of our desperation and brokenness, he asks us to live generously.

We love because He first loved us.

We give because He emptied the treasury of heaven for us.

We risk because our safety is found in Christ alone.

We forgive because He forgave.

We defend the defenseless because He wielded His sword for them.

We abandon bias and prejudice because His assessment of the soul exceeds our ability.

We reconcile because He alone is judge.

We live “out of our poverty” because it is there that we can plumb the depth of our worth in Him.

It is no sacrifice to give from a full account. But when Jesus looks across the temple, He sees beyond our actions to assess our motivation and sacrifice. Jesus, our model and master, knows the pain of our sacrifice, the depth of the well from which our gifts are given.

When we give out of our poverty we tap into the limitless love of Jesus. Live from a place of confidence in Christ, not from the “safety” of self­ reliance.

WORTHLESS WORSHIP

““Isn’t it true that a son honors his father and a worker his master? So if I’m your Father, where’s the honor? If I’m your Master, where’s the respect?” GOD -of-the-Angel-Armies is calling you on the carpet: “You priests despise me! “You say, ‘Not so! How do we despise you?’ “By your shoddy, sloppy, defiling worship. “You ask, ‘What do you mean, “defiling”? What’s defiling about it?’ “When you say, ‘The altar of GOD is not important anymore; worship of GOD is no longer a priority,’ that’s defiling. And when you offer worthless animals for sacrifices in worship, animals that you’re trying to get rid of—blind and sick and crippled animals—isn’t that defiling? Try a trick like that with your banker or your senator—how far do you think it will get you?” GOD -of-the-Angel-Armies asks you.

“Get on your knees and pray that I will be gracious to you. You priests have gotten everyone in trouble. With this kind of conduct, do you think I’ll pay attention to you?” GOD -of-the-Angel-Armies asks you. “Why doesn’t one of you just shut the Temple doors and lock them? Then none of you can get in and play at religion with this silly, empty-headed worship. I am not pleased. The GOD -of-the-Angel-Armies is not pleased. And I don’t want any more of this so-called worship! “I am honored all over the world. And there are people who know how to worship me all over the world, who honor me by bringing their best to me. They’re saying it everywhere: ‘God is greater, this GOD -of-the-Angel-Armies.’ “All except you. Instead of honoring me, you profane me. You profane me when you say, ‘Worship is not important, and what we bring to worship is of no account,’ and when you say, ‘I’m bored—this doesn’t do anything for me.’ You act so superior, sticking your noses in the air—act superior to me, GOD -of-the-Angel-Armies! And when you do offer something to me, it’s a hand-me-down, or broken, or useless. Do you think I’m going to accept it? This is GOD speaking to you!”

‭‭Malachi‬ ‭1:6-13‬ ‭MSG‬‬

May we never come to the place where the joy, wonder, and enthusiasm goes out of our worship. What we do for the Lord Jesus Christ should never be “a weariness.” OwPerhaps you’ve heard people complain, “Are we going to church again? Do we have to sit there and be bored?” No matter how large the crowd, it’s sad to see a full church with empty people trying to overflow. One of the worst insults to God is half-hearted worship

We need to ask ourselves daily, Have we become weary in our worship? Are we enthusiastic about our worship of God, about our daily walk with Him? The answer will help us gauge if our worship is worthless or not. We must never allow ourselves get to the point of offering worthless worship, it is both a waste of time and effort because it goes no where and achieves nothing.

ENGAGE YOUR HEART AND MIND IN THE WORSHIP OF GOD TODAY!!

VERSE OF THE DAY – DONT BE AFRAID

“But now, GOD ’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end— Because I am GOD, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:1-4‬ ‭MSG‬‬

BECOME FRIENDS WITH GOD, HE IS ALREADY A FRIEND WITH YOU

“Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:16-20‬ ‭MSG‬‬

VERSE OF THE DAY

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” ) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:35-37‬ ‭NLT‬‬