This Week’s Quiet Times: April 16-20, 2012 VALUING ONE ANOTHERMONDAYAs we have recently learned,God has commanded us to loveour neighbors as ourselves. Inorder for us to fulfill thiscommand we need to learn howto love ourselves. How can welove our neighbor if we cannotlove ourselves? And how canwe love ourselves and ourneighbors in a way that pleasesthe Lord? In John 12:20-26Jesus teaches us that we musthate our lives in the world tofollow him. But we need to love the life that he has given us in the kingdom! Inthe world peoples’ self love or self esteem is usually based on their physicalattractiveness, abilities and or their achievements in life. In the Lord we must notfall into these trappings. We need to love ourselves for very different reasons.Read 1Peter 2:9-ff. How does God describe you in verses 9-10? How did He showyou how valuable you are to Him (read verses 24-ff)? Read Romans 8:15-17. Asadopted children of God we cry out ‘Abba’, Father!! The Lord has adopted each ofus to be his own and he is our Father!! As his children we are blessed to share inhis sufferings and in his glory!! Esteem (value) yourself because God loves you.Think of a particular passage which helps you understand this. Call a brother orsister and encourage them with it today. And praise God, our loving Father- weare valuable because He loves us!!!TUESDAY Today, let’s focus on how we can love others better. How can we have theloving relationships the Lord desires for us? Read Colossians 3:12-14 carefully.How are we addressed by God? If you were to look at this as a recipe for perfectunity - what would the essential ingredients be? What is the main ingredient?Now read the chapter from beginning to end. The keys to great relationships arehere. As you read, notice your need to remember who you were - who you arenow in the Lord -and how we are to be different! If we have the ingredients asdescribed in verses 12-14 then we can successfully fulfill verse 18-ff.
WEDNESDAY In previous weeks we learned about the power of the spoken word. Let’s look atthe power of our words in light of our relationships. Review what we learned inEphesians 4:29-ff. Only wholesome words should come out of our mouths. Doyou see the ingredients for unity (great relationships) in these verses? Verysimilar to what we read in Colossians, isn’t it? Notice that we need to know whateach others needs are in order to build one another up!! This is absolutely key tohaving great relationships. The opportunity for true loving relationships has beengiven to us!! Combine your words with action - read John 13:1-17 and seek toimitate the Lord’s love today. Look at verse 34-35 as well and notice the results ofour love for one another. It is the most powerful testimony to the world that weare truly Jesus’ disciples!!THURSDAYThe Lord can use us to build one another up in awesome and powerful ways whenwe yield to him and follow the recipe for great relationships which he has givenus. In the same way, when we don’t follow his instructions we can destroy ourrelationships and do tremendous damage to one another. Read Proverbs 18:19-21. What are some ways that you offend your brother, sister, son, daughter,husband or wife? What are the results? What does verse 21 say about the powerof the tongue? Read Colossians 3:18-21 again. Wives ask yourself, “am Isubmissive to my husband as is fitting in the Lord or do I put my own needsbefore my husbands and offend him with my words and attitudes?” Husbandsask yourselves, “am I loving my wife (like Jesus loves the church) or am I offensivein my words and actions and harsh with her?” Children ask yourself, “am Iobedient to my parents and pleasing the Lord or am I offensive by beingdisrespectful and disobedient?” Fathers ask yourself, “am I embittering mychildren and discouraging them by being unloving?” Reread verses 12-14 as areminder of the ingredients we need to have for loving relationships and repentto those you need to repent to. With repentance comes times of refreshing fromthe Lord (Acts 3:19-20)!!FRIDAYYou may have noticed a common ingredient for love in all the passages we havelooked at is humility. In Philippians 2 the Lord teaches us that we must honor(value, esteem) one another above ourselves. His example to us is exactly that -he honors us above himself and that is how he shows he loves us! ReadEphesians 4:1-16. Humility is absolutely necessary for unity and love. Withouthumility we will not attain maturity in Christ nor will we have the love we all needso much. Pursue love (1 Tim. 6:11-16), strive for it in all your relationshipsbecause God is love (1 John 4:16)!!