Our mourning ends with God's comfort
The Extraordinary Life
Weekly Devotional Email
For Sunday, January 22, 2017
John 10:10 (ESV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Dear Church Family,
God desires for us to live ‘The Extraordinary Life’.
Isn’t that an incredible thought? The God of the universe, the Creator of everything, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords desires for YOU to live an ‘extraordinary life’. His will is not for us to go through life and to live a mundane, ordinary life. His will is for us to live the abundant life that only He provides.
The Extraordinary Life begins with a choice.
Remember, we are as close to God as we choose to be. You are as close to God as you choose to be. YOU are as close to God as YOU choose to be. It doesn’t happen by accident. We don’t stumble upon the Extraordinary Life. There needs to be a deliberate decision made on our parts for us to live the Extraordinary Life. We saw last week that the ‘extraordinary life’ begins with our ability to recognize that we cannot gain the kingdom of heaven a part from God. The first step in this pathway is worded by Jesus like this, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” We are helpless without God.
We are without hope, without a future a part from God. Yet, when we can admit that we have missed the mark completely and that Jesus is our only hope…we see that the kingdom of heaven can be ours. This journey begins with our reliance on Him and our eyes on Heaven.
This Sunday in our study…
This week we will deal with two difficult subjects: pain and grief. All of us are broken in one way or another and our brokenness can manifest itself in pain or grief. We carry hurts, we carry betrayals, we carry burdens…and all of this carrying can be downright devastating. We can only gain comfort and healing from God when we bring this pain and grief to Jesus. As strange as it may sound, the road to comfort goes through pain and grief. At the end of our mourning is God’s comfort.
The pathway to The Extraordinary Life…
Jesus gives us the pathway to this life in His sermon on the mount…
Matthew 5:1-12 (NIV)
1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Bible Verses we’ll study together on Sunday…
Isaiah 61:1-3 (NLT)
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. 2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 3 To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
Isaiah 49:15 (ESV)
Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
Psalms 103:13 (NIV)
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)
Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you.
Psalms 34:18 (ESV)
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalms 55:22 (NIV)
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Psalms 119:76 (TLB)
Now let your loving-kindness comfort me, just as you promised
Psalms 56:8 (NLT)
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
Ephesians 1:19-20 (NLT)
19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power
20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.
Questions for Personal Growth and Discovery…
- When you hear the words ‘pain’, ‘grief’ or ‘mourning’ what do you think of?
- C.S. Lewis said “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” What pain has God been using as a megaphone in your life to alert you to your need for help?
- Who or what have you blamed for your problems – either partially or completely?
- In what areas do you feel stuck (powerless to change) in the pain of your past?
- What area(s) of your life are you now ready to allow God to start helping you?
Making the most of this study…
As with any study there are several ways that you can prepare your heart before and during this study:
Read Matthew 5:1-12 daily over the next few weeks.
- Memorize our theme verse for this new study listed above (John 10:10 NIV).
- Prepare your heart for next Sunday’s message with this weekly devotional email (if this was forwarded to you by a friend or loved one and you would like to be included, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office).
- Have questions during this study? Email them to email@example.com or text them to (541) 530-4912.
- Resolve now to be with each Sunday in our study ‘The Extraordinary Life’.
- Pray that God will help us understand the truths found in Matthew 5 that he will enable us to live the extraordinary life that He intends for us to live.
I’m looking forward to Sunday!
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