daily devotional

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5

In music, harmony adds dimension and fullness to the melody. Its different parts work together to enhance the song, adding flavor and depth.

The same is true of the family of God. Individuals don’t do and say the same thing, but all of them work together, each using their unique gifts and abilities to bring depth and dimension to the ONE purpose.

And there’s the rub. Working together brings friction, conflict, and tension.

We all are familiar with this chafing, but often we fail to see the beauty that comes from the abrasiveness. It is in the friction where beauty is born.

Working together with other people who are broken and imperfect like us is God’s beautiful design. We are like rocks in a stream: bouncing, rubbing, and polishing off each others rough edges.

So, let’s welcome the tension, open the door to conflict, and allow it to refine and perfect us.

If you find yourself in conflict with another follower of Jesus, don’t be surprised. Remember, we’re all still in the process of being perfected. Peter tells us, “And you are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple.…” 1 Peter 2:5 (NLT)

Know this: God wants to use this friction in your life to polish you into a beautiful living stone for all the world to see!

Heavenly Father, I know You designed family. It’s part of Your plan, but I confess there are times when I don’t like the pain that comes with it! I want to run and hide. I want to escape the hurt, throw it to the winds and be done with it. But teach me to STAY, to embrace the pain and see the beauty. Amen.

devotional on prayer

Then Moses returned to the Lord, and said, “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. But now, if Thou wilt, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Thy book which Thou hast written!” Exodus 32:31-32

The prayer of Moses is remarkable. Moses was not only the leader of Israel, he was an intercessor as well. Ultimately, an intercessor gives up all personal advantage for the sake of those for whom he prays. Moses knew he personally had favor with God. Yet he presented himself as a remarkable portrait of one irreversibly committed to Israel’s transformation. He said, “If Thou wilt, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Thy book.”

Moses said, in effect, that he was not serving for individual gain or glory – this was not about him, but about the people he loved and served, rebellious as they were. The soul of Moses was bound together with the future of Israel. Similarly, we must see ourselves irreversibly bound together with the lives of those we pray for, both family and friends, as well as our community and nation. Moses would not be blessed, honored or pleased apart from the fulfillment of God’s promise to the Hebrews. If God would not forgive them, He could not have Moses either. Israel and Moses had become a package deal.

Have you struggled with situations in your personal life in which you cannot seem to break through? Perhaps you are spending too much time on your needs and not enough time praying for others. Make a prayer list of people with desperate needs, and as you intercede for them, see if the Holy Spirit doesn’t break through for you, too. Indeed, include your enemies and those who have hurt you. Remember the story of Job. When he prayed for his friends, God healed him (see Job 42:10). Intercession not only transforms the world, but also transforms us.

Lord Jesus, I am awed at Your willingness to show mercy. You actually changed Your mind about judgment on sinners because of one man, Moses. Lord, in my world and times, let me be that one who so delights You, who is so intimate with You, that my prayer for mercy outweighs Your judgment to destroy the disobedient. May the favor You have given to me be multiplied to those who yet do not know You, and may it spread until all the earth is filled with Your glory.