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Series: Not a Fan
This Week: Total Surrender
THURSDAY — I Surrender my relationships
Big Point: Surrendering your own interest for the interests of others and adopting an attitude of humility allows us to love others as Christ requires.
Have you ever seen the popular show, “What Would You Do” by John Quninones? The show sets up everyday scenarios that depict how people react, why they react, and when they decide to act in an array of situations-primarily when given a chance to help someone in need or when injustice arises. Actors and props are used as well as hidden cameras to show how this plays out in everyday life. It’s startling to watch at times when innocent people are being harmed and very few people jump to their rescue. When interviewed, some people say they just don’t want to get involved for fear they may be harmed themselves or others will say they just don’t want to take the time, they are busy or they were minding their own business and did not take interest in the matter.
What if there was a hidden camera in your own home or your neighborhood? Would you be ashamed and embarrassed if you were caught on film reacting in a negative way towards someone? Or, refusing to assist someone in need because you were too busy? We are supposed to love each other. In Christianity, when we speak of love, we speak of the type of love that would cause an individual to lay down his or her life for his or her friend’s life – we are talking about the kind of love that knows no limits and no conditions that allows us to love our enemies. We are talking about loving with the same type of love which God has demonstrated toward us. We are talking about unmerited love!
READ…What does the Bible say?
Philippians 2:3-4 (New Living Translation)
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Luke 10:27 (New Living Translation)
27 The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 6:27 (New Living Translation) 27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.
THINK…Find the answers
According to Luke 6:27, who are you supposed to love? What should we do to those that hate us?
Philippians 2:3-4 says we are not supposed to do things for our own interest. What does it ask us to do instead?
According to Luke 10:27, to what extent does God tell us to love him?
LIVE…What will you do now?
Let’s unpack this a bit more. Have you ever had instances where your neighbors just get on your nerves… you ask them to turn down the music and they won’t, or the dreaded non-acknowledgement when you wave to them or they rush to close the garage door before anyone is able to say “hello”? What happens when a loved one hurts you; how do you react? Can you relate to any of these scenarios? If there was a hidden camera in your house or in your neighborhood, would you like what you would see? Explain:
Describe how loving the Lord with all of your heart, soul, strength and mind can help you love others, including your neighbors, and to surrender your desire to “always be right” in a relationship:
Think of someone that you just can’t stand. In fact, thinking of them could actually make you nauseated. What can you do today to begin to make amends or forgive that person?
Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.
PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to teach you ways to regard others above yourself and to give you the strength to love your enemies and do good by them.
Daily Bible Reading Commentary: Ezekiel 31-36
31 Set in 587 B.C. Ezekiel compared Egypt to Assyria as a great cedar tree. Egyptians looked at the fall of the mighty nation of Assyria as an example of what would happen to them. Egypt took pride in its strength and beauty; this would be its downfall.
32 Prophecy given in 585 B.C., after the news of Jerusalem’s fall had reached the exiles in Babylon. Ezekiel prophesied numerous judgments upon many wicked nations showing that evil forces are continually being overcome and that one day God will overthrow all evil, making the world the perfect place He intended.
33 Sets forth new direction for Ezekiel’s prophecies. Judgment on Jerusalem and the surrounding evil nations for their sins. Messages of hope, comfort and future restoration for God’s people were given. God blesses those who are faithful to Him.
34 Refers to all Jews in captivity from the northern and southern kingdoms. Israel’s leaders were criticized for taking care of themselves rather than taking care of their people and their judgment was pronounced. A good shepherd (the Messiah) would come who would take care of the people as the other leaders were supposed to do.
35 Prophecy against Edom, probably using Edom to represent all the nations opposed to God’s people. Edom offered to help destroy Jerusalem, rejoiced when the city fell, and its hostility against God’s people resulted in God’s judgment.
36 Prophecy that Israel would be restored as a nation and would return to its own land. Mountains were symbolic of Israel’s strength. This message again emphasized God’s sovereignty and trustworthiness.