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For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.

-Matthew 20:28


Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website. 

More of Devotions.Org: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

THE TEST OF A TRUE FRIEND -  

So when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, "What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?" So Moses' father-in-law said to him, "The thing that you do is not good." - Exodus 18:14, 17


Antisthenes, the cynic philosopher, use to say, "There are only two people who will tell you the truth about yourself--an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly." The true test of a friend is not how frequently he is with you but how honest he is with you.

Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, was a true friend. When he saw Moses wearing himself out doing something that others could do just as well, he plainly said, "The thing that you do is not good." His concern for his son-in-law's health would not allow him to stay quiet.

Telling our friends the truth has its hazards because the truth often hurts. Their initial reaction may not be a positive one. Yet Scripture says, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful" (Prov. 27:6). The role of a faithful friend is not always an easy one.

If you find it necessary to share a potentially hurtful truth with your friend, approach the situation only after much prayer. Pray that your attitude would be one of humility and servanthood. Ask God to provide the right situation in which to share the truth. Seek wisdom in how to best express yourself so that what you say will be viewed by your friend as constructive rather than destructive. Pray, prepare, then just do it. Faithfulness is not gauged by your intentions but by your actions. You never help your friend with good intentions alone, but with good intentions that result in good actions.

A faithful friend is a truthful friend.


Shared from here with the author's permission.

Dr. Woodrow Kroll served as President and Senior Bible Teacher at Back to the Bible from 1990-2013. Author of more than 50 books, Dr. Kroll's passion is to increase Bible literacy in America by engaging people in the Bible and connecting them with the Author. His clear, incisive teaching of the Word keeps him in demand as a speaker all over the world. - See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/authors/woodrow-kroll#sthash.7Yrcap6W.dpuf

More of Dr. Woodrow Kroll: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

Loving Others: Not a Role, But A Lifestyle -  

This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

“A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  - John 13:34

I saw a church advertisement in a newspaper that read something like the following:

First Church

“God’s Love Offered Here”

One Sunday Only, June 12

Special Musical Guest…

Reading this, I laughed out loud. My mind had put the second and third lines together instead of the first two lines, creating “God’s Love Offered Here – One Sunday Only, June 12.”  I’m sure the church didn’t intend for anyone to walk away with the message that they would only offer God’s love on one special Sunday, but that’s what I came away with! Still, reflecting further on the ad, it occurred to me that withholding God’s love from others is all too common for us, who consider ourselves to be followers of Christ.

If you are at all like me, it seems far too easy to compartmentalize our lives into the different roles we play: employee, student, father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, friend, consumer, teammate, neighbor, Christian.

 

Do any of the following sound familiar?

 

• On Sundays, many families who have been arguing all morning arrive at church, put on their smiles and turn on their best behavior – because it’s SUNDAY – where everyone is supposed to act happy and show that they’re filled with God’s love.

 

• On Mondays, many students who have spent hours with fellow Christians over the weekend in their youth groups, performing service projects, and participating in church services arrive at school and instantly transform into their school personality – where they turn selfish and unloving, picking on or ignoring the “un-cool” kids around them.

 

• Throughout the week, millions of Christ followers won’t utter a single word to their next door neighbors – not because they won’t see their neighbors – but because it’s too inconvenient, or the neighbors seem strange, or they don’t take any initiative to get to know “us.”

 

Jesus didn’t call his followers to play a role on Sundays or to love others when it is convenient. His own example shows us time and again that love is a lifestyle to be lived 24/7. He took time out from his teaching to reach out and heal a crippled woman. He singled out a despised tax collector from the crowds to build a relationship with Him. And ultimately, He suffered a criminal’s death to offer forgiveness of sins to each one of us.  No, Jesus does not call us to play an occasional loving role, but rather He calls us to live a lifestyle of love. Today, may you take up the challenge to love at all times.

 

Going Deeper:

1. Do the people in your world see you as loving? What would your family say? What would your coworkers say? What would your neighbors say?

 

2. What action steps can you take this week to intentionally demonstrate God’s love at work in your life?

 

Further Reading:

This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.

More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/

Looking Toward the Son -  

This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden

 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” —John 14:6

 

Isn’t it amazing how sunflowers follow the sun? This phenomenon is a result of the sunflower being a phototropic plant. Meaning the sunflower follows the movement of the sun from east in the morning to west in the afternoon. The flower constantly looks towards and depends on the bright, radiant sun for life.

 

The Christian life should be like the sunflower. We should have our eyes focused on Jesus. It is when we aren’t dependent on our maker or when we get caught in the shadows of sin that we, like the sunflower, fade. The sun does not move in the sky. It is the world that rotates and moves. In your life, no matter how the world changes keep your eyes focused on what is constant - Christ.

 

We must always keep our eyes on the Son, our source of life.

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. What does it mean that Jesus is your “source of life”?

 

2. With so much change in this world, why is it so important to keep your eyes focused on Jesus?

 

FURTHER READING:

Philippians 2:3-11; Hebrews 12:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:4-10

This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.

More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/

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