Fasting, Series, Uncategorized

Fasting Devotion, Day Eighteen

(Post submitted by Paul O’Rourke)

Psalm 133

We can all agree with King David that people living together in unity is beautiful and pleasant. The Psalmist likens unity to precious oil, signifying the cleansing, healing and directing power of the Holy Spirit being poured out on us by the bucketload. It’s like fresh rain falling on normally barren dry ground (dew of Hermon falling on Mt Zion).

And there, in the midst of true Biblical unity, the Lord commands blessing and life.

Unity is obvious. It’s attractive and sweet-smelling. It’s exemplified by a genuine love for one another, a commitment to others’ success and welfare. Discernible peace and contentment within a marriage, a family, a congregation exist alongside people living in harmony.

John says that when we are of one heart and mind, we reflect Jesus to the world. Where there is unity, people care; they go the extra mile; they forgive quickly and completely; they are secure.

Disunity repels; it stinks. Dissension is characterised by jealousy, strife, malice and anger where people put up with one another – tolerating, rather than forgiving and serving.

Jesus said people would know we are his followers by our LOVE.

Love is the means, unity the ends.

God, thank you for your promises in your word. They bring life and favour to me. I commit to living in unity with those you have placed in my life. I choose to go the extra mile, to serve, to encourage, and submit where necessary. This brings blessing upon my life and I receive this word today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Fasting, Inspiration, Series, Uncategorized

Fasting Devotion, Day Ten

(Submitted by Paul O’Rourke)

Ephesians 4:1-6

Paul exhorts us to “live a life worthy of the calling we have received.” The Message version encourages us to RUN on the path God has called us. He says, “I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere.”

So how do we live a life worth of this calling?

Paul tells us in Ephesians, “Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” In yesterday’s post, we talked about healthy relationships. Looking beyond our own personal influence and happiness, think of the corporate influence we have when we live at peace with one another.

Imagine a church, family, marriage, workplace where the individuals are completely humble and gentle, patient and loving. Where each one makes every effort, and takes personal responsibility to maintain unity through the bond of peace? A life worthy of the calling!

Everyone generously donating their gifts for the benefit of others.

Speaking the truth in love.

Renewing our minds.

Not allowing disagreements to go unresolved.

Working hard.

Ridding ourselves of all bitterness, malice and slander.

Being kind and compassionate.

Speaking words that benefit those who listen.

Everything we do either contributes to unity or takes from it.

Heavenly Father, I want nothing more than to live a life worthy of the calling you have for me. Thank you for giving me clear guidelines for how to live in unity with others to create peace all around me. Help me to be kind, compassionate, uplifting, hard-working, generous and loving to those you have placed in my sphere of influence. I pray your name will be glorified as I continue to seek you in everything I do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.