Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 23 - The Interests of Others

Today's Reading:
Leviticus 14:1-57
John 4:4-54
Psalm 33:1-11

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Focus Verses:
John 4:31-34
31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something." 32 But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about." 33 Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?" 34 "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work."

Jesus put the needs and interests of others before his own. He was able to defer or put aside his own needs because he found such satisfaction in ministering to others. Jesus was a hungry and tired man as he sat down by a well in Sychar and asked the Samaritan woman for a drink. He became a satisfied and energized man once he saw the woman's response to God's truth and grace. Jesus' disciples, confused as they were by his words on this occasion, would eventually learn and experience the same satisfaction of ministry and selflessness Jesus spoke about.

Response and Action:
There is a satisfaction and joy in serving the interests of others. I want to understand and experience that satisfaction. I want to be more concerned with the Kingdom of God than in the gratifying of self. I want to know how much more blessed it is to give than to receive. I want my desire to bless others to far surpass the desire to bless myself.

O God, grant that I might not so much seek to be consoled, as to console. To be loved, as to love. To be understood, as to understand. To be satisfied, as to satisfy. Give me food that the self-centered person I am today cannot comprehend. Thank you for the power and grace of your Holy Spirit who is able to transform me and renew my mind as I offer myself to you as a living sacrifice. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
Philippians 2:3-5
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus... 

The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us?
by Richard Stearns

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