Daily Lenten devotional 2.16.16

basinDay 7, Week 1:  Service (Basin)

Today’s scripture passage:

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.  Ephesians 6:7-8 NIV

When my children were very young and I was a stay-at-home mom, menial tasks abounded.  Changing diapers, cleaning up spilled food, putting away toys, dressing them from head to toe, giving baths, and clipping tiny fingernails.  Day after day, these chores wore me out.  However, these verses brought me comfort.  I knew my menial acts of service counted to God.  I pretended God was my boss, and I had to answer to him for my work ethic and attitude.  Now that I’m in a different stage of life, I still see God as my boss, and I feel accountable to him for the way I serve others.

Today’s reflection:  

When you face everyday tasks, how can this passage help you?

Daily Lenten devotional 2.15.16

basinDay 6, Week 1:  Service (Basin)

Today’s scripture passage:

You, my brothers, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.  The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Galatians 5:13-14 NIV

In these verses, God does not simply tell us to “serve one another” or “love your neighbor.”  He adds extra stipulations:  “in love” and “as yourself.”  He knows our human tendency to serve begrudgingly, cutting corners, giving only if it’s easy or convenient. The attitude of Christ is giving in the way we would want to receive from others:  unselfish, kind, and loving.

Today’s reflection:  

In what practical ways can you serve others while treating them as you would like to be treated?

Daily Lenten devotional 2.14.16

basinDay 5, Week 1:  Service (Basin)

Today’s scripture passage:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  Philippians 2:5-7 NIV

Humility is a rare virtue today.  The media focuses on narcissistic celebrities, advertising preys on our vanity, and social media often serves as an arena for self-glorification.  To be humble – looking out for the interests of others – is countercultural.  The Philippian church must have struggled with this issue as well, because Paul held up Christ’s example as the one to follow in a self-centered world.  Jesus laid aside his glory to sacrifice himself for all people, for all time, including you!

Today’s reflection:  

In what ways can you modify your attitude to be more Christlike?