#MondayMotivation is a free weekly devotional
which includes bible verses, stories, thoughts, and prayers.
This weekly devotional guide by #WorldVisionPH was crafted to invite people to:
This weekly devotional guide by #WorldVisionPH was crafted to invite people to:
Psalm 139:1,13,14 (NRSV) O Lord, you have searched me and known me. For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
Isaiah 43:1,4 (NRSV) But now thus says the Lord…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine…you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.
Psalm 139 tells that God knows us fully (v1-5), has made us all be intricately and uniquely wonderful (v.13-15), and has a good plan for our lives (v.16) We are created in the image and likeness of God and are far more valuable than anything we can imagine! Isaiah 4:1-4 goes on to say that God owns us, loves us, redeemed us, and we are precious and honoured in his sight!
Not many people understand this well. Quite a number are still hurting over rejection they received even from the people close to them.
Most of us look to people to give us the validation we need (to parents, teachers, relatives and friends). We gauge our self-worth by what they say about us and how they treat us. Many of us go through the same struggles of seeking acceptance and approval from others which greatly affects our self-esteem.
It is not bad to long for love and validation from people but if we depend only on their approval to build our self-worth we will be disappointed. As children and adults we all need to build our self-worth on what God says about us.
Since we are entrusted to care for those around us, we need to speak God’s truth about how God thinks of them – and let them experience His love and care by the way we treat and value them, and by teaching the people around them to do the same.
Philippians 4:4–9 (NIV)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
In this passage, Paul teaches that the life of a believer should be marked by joy, gentleness, trust, prayer, thankfulness, peace, truth and righteous thoughts. Paul does not call the Philippians to escape suffering, but rather to face death with hope, as Christ did. Paul explains that when believers pray with trust, submission and thankfulness, we will be filled with peace instead of worry. Joy and peace are fruits of the spirit, and they are part of a life of shalom (wholeness, well-being) that God desires for God’s children.
Paul’s instructions do not mean that believers should fake an appearance of happiness even if we’re not happy inside. Rather, Paul gives the reason why we have the power to have joy and peace in all circumstances – that is, because our Lord is near. The Spirit of God truly can grant us peace in all circumstances. Christ is our ultimate example of how to live out this gentle perseverance. Our thoughts can lead us to fear and distress. That’s why God’s peace guards our minds, so that we can maintain our joy. We need peace in our relationships in order to have peace in our minds – Paul calls for the Philippians to maintain peace and unity with one another, instead of giving in to conflict. Paul writes that the peace of God will protect their thoughts as they live out the gospel and together incarnate God’s love within their Philippian society.
As we live out the gospel of wholeness and well-being, we point others to its source in the true God. Verse 5 describes how the character and attitude of the believer influence others. The early church was concerned with influencing the society around it so that others would also to come to know and follow the true God. Paul himself was a testament to the character transformation that he writes about. Before he came to know Christ, Paul was arrogant and filled with misguided zeal, and he persecuted and killed Christians. His letter to the Philippians reflects the complete change in Paul’s life. The spirit of God filled Paul and changed him so that he would reflect God’s loving, gentle, faithful and righteous character. Paul preached about Christ all the time, but his character had to match his words. If Paul was still an arrogant, hate filled person, he would not have integrity to preach about righteousness, and no one would have listened to him.
This is the connection between our well-being and our witness to Christ. Our life and character speak more powerfully than our words do. When we reflect the loving and righteous nature of God in our lives, we are giving those around us a reason to believe in God. It is important for us as individuals to reflect God in this way. And in order for us to reflect God together as a community, we must care for one another, serve and listen to those around us in order to create an atmosphere that promotes joy, peace and righteousness. We cannot promote transformation for others if we are not experiencing transformation ourselves.
“As we live out the gospel of well-being, we point others to its source in the true God.”
John 20:24-29 (NIV)
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Thomas’ encounter with Jesus happened a week after the resurrection. Jesus came to Thomas personally within the community of believers, because he knew Thomas’ doubts. He spoke to him tenderly and with such intimacy and invited him to touch His wounds.
Thomas’ personal experience of Jesus led to transformation. After touching Jesus wounds his response is “My Lord and my God”, revealing such a swift change of belief: his confession and surrender, his transformed trust and true worship of Jesus as his God.
Every encounter with Jesus is transformative. Each one of us has our own story to share how Jesus personally came to us and how our lives were changed.
In verse 29, Jesus says: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” This verse is teaching us to live by the unseen, living by believer and through the presence of the Holy Spirit rather than Jesus’ physical presence. This is how we live by faith, completely trusting in God in all of life’s circumstances, even those we do not understand.
12“And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?’
What does God expect of me, how can I please Him? So often we complicate our faith trying to find things to do to please God that we bombard our life with rules and regulations of what we must do. At times we can be so frustrated and tired from trying hard to please God. But in the above verse, Moses gives a summary that is simple and easy to remember.
What we need to do is concentrate on His real requirements and find peace by respecting, following, loving, serving and obeying Him.
Hosea 6:6 says:‘ For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.’ God does not want your religious traditions, He longs for your heart. If your heart is far from God then the religious acts that you carry out will seem empty and will not deepen your relationship with Him. He desires a relationship with you.
In the above verse God didn’t want the Israelites’ rituals, he wanted their hearts. We are created to worship God and often we think of worship as just singing songs to God. However worship is so much more than that. We should worship God with our whole lives and in all that we do. Why do you worship? What is the motive behind your sacrifices, your time, and in everything you do? Is it to bring Glory and Honour to God?
Mark 12:30-31 also says: ‘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 neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ Jesus clearly states that the greatest commandments are to love God and to love others. These are not rules to bind you but are simple principles for living. We tend to complicate the most simplest of things in life. However when you love God completely and care for others as you care for yourself, God is more than pleased, He longs for this.
Let these two commandments reign in your heart, your thoughts, your decisions and your actions. When you are unsure about what to do in situations, ask yourself, what action best demonstrates your love for God and for others.
People are constantly trying to find all kinds of ways to please God but He has made His desires clear. He wants us to be just, merciful, and to walk humbly with Him.What does that mean? Look at these areas in your life.
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