40 Days of Purpose – Day 21

This is the devotional for Saturday, May 20, 2006 which is Day 21 of our 40 Days of Purpose. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 21 of Rick Warren’s best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 21 – Protecting Your Church

It is your job to protect the unity of your church!

Unity is the soul of fellowship. Destroy it, and you rip the heart out of Christ’s Body. It is the essence, the core, of how God intends for us to experience life together in his church.

In his final moments before being arrested, Jesus prayed passionately for our unity. It was our unity that was uppermost in his mind during those agonizing hours. That shows how significant this subject is. Nothing on earth is more valuable to God than his church. He paid the highest price for it, and he wants it protected, especially from the devastating damage that is caused by division, conflict, and disharmony.

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3 (NIV)

How are we to do this? The Bible gives us practical advice:

– Focus on what we have in common, not our differences.

– Be realistic in your expectations. Choose to encourage rather than criticize.

– Refuse to listen to gossip.

– Practice God’s method for conflict resolution.

– And most importantly, support your pastor and leaders.

What are you doing personally to make your church family more warm and loving? There are many people in your community who are looking for love and a place to belong. The truth is, everyone needs and wants to be loved, and when people find a church where members genuinely love and care for each other, you would have to lock the doors to keep them away.

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders Podcast at buildyourfaith.net. Faith Church of the Nazarene in Jacksonville, NC sponsors this broadcast. We encourage you to unite with a body of believers in your area. To find a Church of the Nazarene near you look for the “Find a Church” link at http://www.nazarene.org. Build your faith today in unity with other believers.

Memory Verse for the week: “So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5 (NIV)

40 Days of Purpose – Day 5

This is the devotional for Thursday, May 4, 2006 which is Day 5 of our 40 Days of Purpose. For these 40 days we will be posting daily devotions based on the material in Rick Warren’s best selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life. We invite you to get a copy of the book and read daily one of the 40 chapter of the book along with us. We are scheduled to read Chapter 5 in the book today. Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional.

DAY 5 – SEEING LIFE FROM GOD’S VIEW

The way you see your life shapes your life!

The way you view life is your life metaphor. It’s your description of how life works and what you expect from it; it influences your life more than you realize and determines your expectations, values, relationships, goals, and priorities. But to fulfill the purposes God has for you, you will have to base your view, your life metaphor, on the biblical metaphors of life. These are: Life is a test, and life is a trust.

Life is a test – God continually tests people’s character, faith, obedience, love, integrity, and loyalty. Character is both developed and revealed, and all of life is a test. When you understand that life is a test, you realize that every day is important. God wants you to pass the tests of life, so he never allows the tests to be greater than the grace he gives you to handle them.

Life is a trust – We are to be stewards of whatever God gives us. All we enjoy is to be treated as a trust that God has placed in our hands. If you treat everything as a trust, God promises three rewards in eternity: affirmation, promotion, and celebration. So we must handle the trust as accountable servants of God.

“Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones.” Luke 16:10a (NLT)

Let’s review our memory verse for this week, Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10