The Quest – Day 17

This is the devotional for Thursday, October 12, 2006 which is the 17th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 17 of Frank Moore’s great book, The Power To Be Free.

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Day 17 – A Golden Rule

Apply the Golden Rule to everything you say and do every day with everyone

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 NIV)

We call this verse the Golden Rule for a couple of reasons. First, like valuable gold, Jesus placed it at the top of the list of most important things He said during His earthly ministry. Second, following this rule results in the best kind of life we can live. Let’s look closer at what Jesus says here.

Jewish tradition as well as world religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism, all urge us to: “Do no harm to others.” But Jesus reverses that thought into a positive command. Treat others with the same acts of kindness and goodwill that you would enjoy receiving. In other words, pursue joy and happiness for others. Think of the kind of party you would like to have, then plan that kind of party for someone else. Think of a really nice gift, then buy that kind of gift for a friend. Include those who frustrate and aggravate you on your list of possible recipients. Don’t forget to put your enemies on that list as well.

Jesus not only gave us an example for following the Golden Rule but also gave us the inspiration to follow it. He called us to a life that leads to peace and harmony in our relationships with others. He called us to a life of wholeness with this rule.

Jesus further gave us the strength and power to follow this Golden Rule. This love for which we quest does not find its source in us. It flows from God Himself. That’s why we must continually remind ourselves that it’s not ours to produce; it’s ours to receive. We must accept this gift of love from God and then pass it along in the same measure in which we have received it. So we find that living out the Golden Rule is impossible without a close personal relationship with God through the Spirit of Christ living in you.

It’s interesting, isn’t it, how your quest keeps bringing you back to the need of a close personal relationship with God?

The memory verse for this week is Mark 12:30-31, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

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Build your faith today and every day by applying the Golden Rule to everything you say and do with everyone.

40 Days of Purpose – Day 20

This is the devotional for Friday, May 19, 2006 which is Day 20 of our 40 Days of Purpose. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 20 of Rick Warren’s best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life.

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Day 20 – Restoring Broken Fellowship

Relationships are always worth restoring!

“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you … Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.” Philippians 2:1-2 (Msg)

Because life is all about learning how to love, God wants us to value relationships and make the effort to maintain them instead of discarding them whenever there is a rift, a hurt, or a conflict.

Paul taught that our ability to get along with others is a mark of spiritual maturity. If you want God’s blessing on your life and you want to be known as a child of God, you must learn to be a peacemaker. Here are seven Biblical steps to restoring fellowship:

1. Talk to God before talking to the person.

2. Always take the initiative.

3. Sympathize with their feelings.

4. Confess your part of the conflict.

5. Attack the problem, not the person.

6. Cooperate as much as possible.

7. Emphasize reconciliation, not resolution.

Who do you need to contact as a result of reading this today? With whom do you need to restore fellowship? Don’t delay another second. Pause right now and talk to God about that person. Then pick up the phone and begin the process.

It takes a lot of effort to restore a relationship. That’s why Peter urged, “Work hard at living in peace with others.” 1 Peter 3:11 (NLT)

But when you work for peace, you are doing what God would do. That’s why God calls peacemakers his children.

Thank you for reading “FaithBuilders” at The FaithBuilders blog is a ministry of Faith Church of the Nazarene in Jacksonville, NC. Build your faith by taking steps to restore any broken relationships in your life today.

Take time to review the 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)