Evening Devotional

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:17-5:2

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.


[Ephesians 4:32]


I hope that this month’s consideration of “Loving One An­other” has been showing that being a follower of Christ Jesus makes a difference in the way we live!


In the verses we have read today, we find some contrasts between our old ways of living and the new way of living in Christ. Though we are “made new” and “created to be like God in true righteousness,” this is an ongoing process that is not completed in this life.


Today’s reading gives reasons for our being called to live as “members of one body.” We must live by the truth and avoid giving the devil any kind of foothold in our lives.


Because we can still be tempted to sin, we must pay attention to Paul’s strong warnings about anger, stealing, unwholesome talk, and grieving the Holy Spirit. We all can strive to be kinder and more compassionate, doing “what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.”


And who has not harbored bitterness in their heart? What about “rage and anger, brawling and slander”?


Instead we must be mindful of “forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave [us].” In the Holy Spirit’s power, we truly can “follow God’s example” and “walk in the way of love.”


Prayer:


Spirit of God, empower us to understand more clearly your call to acts of kindness and compassion. Guide us to be forgiving and loving, like Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.


~ George Vink ~

Live Loved

By humility and fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.

[Proverbs 22:4]

Pursue Humility

The story of David and Bathsheba is less a story of lust and more a story of power. A story of a man who rose too high for his own good. A man who needed to hear these words: “Come down before you fall.”

“First pride, then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall” (Proverbs 16:18 msg).

This must be why God hates arrogance. He hates to see his children fall. He hates to see his Davids seduce and his Bathshebas be victimized. God hates what pride does to his children. He doesn’t dislike arrogance. He hates it. Could he state it any clearer than Proverbs 8:13: “I hate pride and arrogance” (niv)? And then a few chapters later: “God can’t stomach arrogance or pretense; believe me, he’ll put those upstarts in their place” (16:5 msg).

You don’t want God to do that… ’Tis far wiser to descend the mountain than fall from it.

Pursue humility. Humility doesn’t mean you think less of yourself but that you think of yourself less. “Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself or your importance, but try to have a sane estimate of your capabilities by the light of the faith that God has given to you” (Romans 12:3 Phillips)…

Resist the place of celebrity. “Go sit in a seat that is not important. When the host comes to you, he may say, ‘Friend, move up here to a more important place.’ Then all the other guests will respect you” (Luke 14:10 ncv).

Wouldn’t you rather be invited up than put down?

[Facing Your Giants]

Heavenly Father,

You have taught us in your Word that you hate pride but you honor humility. We live in a culture that feeds the natural desire to put ourselves first and to inflate our egos. It is far easier for us to be selfish than to be selfless. We need your help to live humbly in a way that pleases you. Remind us of the self-giving example of your Son, Jesus Christ. Like him, may we learn to think less of ourselves and more of others,

Amen.

Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

[Proverbs 16:19]

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.

[Proverbs 22:4]

With all lowliness and gentleness, with long suffering, bearing with one another in love.

[Ephesians 4:2]

~ Max Lucado ~