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Daily Devotion

boldstardex

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October 14
Thriving Together
Bible in a Year:

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

Colossians 3:15
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Today's Scripture & Insight:
Colossians 3:5–16
My husband, Alan, stood below the towering lights illuminating the athletic field, as a member of the opposing team hit a ball into the air. With his eyes fixed on the ball, Alan ran full speed toward the darkest corner of the field—and slammed into the chain link fence.
Later that night, I handed him an ice pack. “Are you feeling okay?” I asked. He rubbed his shoulder. “I’d feel better if my buddies had warned me that I was getting near the fence,” he said.
Teams function best when they work together. Alan’s injury could have been avoided, if only one of his teammates had yelled out a warning as he approached the fence.
Scripture reminds us that members of the church are designed to work together and watch out for each other like a team. The apostle Paul tells us that God cares about how we interact with each other, because the actions of one person can impact the whole community of believers (Colossians 3:13–14). When we all embrace opportunities to serve each other, fully devoted to unity and peace, the church flourishes (v. 15).
Paul instructed his readers to “let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit” (v. 16). In this way we can inspire and protect one another through loving and honest relationships, obeying and praising God with grateful hearts—thriving together.
By: Xochitl Dixon
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Reflect & Pray
How can you share Scripture this week with others to encourage unity and love in the body of Christ? What does it mean for you to have “the message of Christ [dwelling] among you richly”?
Father God, thank You for using Scripture to instruct me, Your Spirit to guide me, and Your people to keep me focused and accountable.
 

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October 19
Stronger than Hate
Bible in a Year:

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

Luke 23:34
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Today's Scripture & Insight:
Luke 23:32–34, 44–46
Within twenty-four hours of his mother Sharonda’s tragic death, Chris found himself uttering these powerful, grace-filled words: “Love is stronger than hate.” His mother, along with eight others, had been killed at a Wednesday night Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina. What was it that had so shaped this teenager’s life that these words could flow from his lips and his heart? Chris is a believer in Jesus whose mother had “loved everybody with all her heart.”
In Luke 23:26–49 we get a front row seat to an execution scene that included two criminals and the innocent Jesus (v. 32). All three were crucified (v. 33). Amid the gasps and sighs and the likely groans from those hanging on the crosses, the following words of Jesus could be heard: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (v. 34). The hate-filled initiative of the religious leaders had resulted in the crucifixion of the very One who championed love. Though in agony, Jesus’ love continued to triumph.
How have you or someone you love been the target of hate, ill-will, bitterness, or ugliness? May your pain prompt your prayers, and may the example of Jesus and people like Chris encourage you by the power of the Spirit to choose love over hate.
By: Arthur Jackson
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Reflect & Pray
When have you found it hard to love someone? Is there someone you find it hard to forgive now? What steps might you take?
Father, forgive me when I find it hard to forgive others. Help me to demonstrate that love is stronger than hate.
 

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October 20
Golden Scars
Bible in a Year:

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

2 Corinthians 11:30
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Today's Scripture & Insight:
2 Corinthians 12:1–10
In the Netherlands, a group of fashion designers offer a “Golden Joinery” workshop. Inspired by the Japanese technique Kintsugi, where broken porcelain is visibly repaired with gold, participants collaborate in mending clothes in ways that highlight the mending work rather than trying to mask it. Those who are invited bring “a dear but broken garment and mend it with gold.” As they remake their clothes, the repair becomes ornamental, a “golden scar.”
Articles of clothing are transformed in ways that highlight the places where they were torn or frayed. Perhaps this is something like what Paul meant when he said that he would “boast” in the things that showed his weakness. Although he’d experienced “surpassingly great revelations,” he doesn’t brag about them (2 Corinthians 12:6). He is kept from getting proud and overconfident, he says, by a “thorn” in his flesh (v. 7). No one knows exactly what he was referring to—perhaps depression, a form of malaria, persecution from enemies, or something else. Whatever it was, he begged God to take it away. But God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (v. 9).
Just as the rips and tears in old clothes can become sights of beauty as they’re remade by designers, the broken and weak places in our lives can become places where God’s power and glory may shine. He holds us together, transforms us, and makes our weaknesses beautiful.
By: Amy Peterson
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Reflect & Pray
What are some weaknesses you try to keep hidden from the world? How has God revealed His power through your weakness?
God, may all my scars become golden as You heal and repair me in ways that bring glory to Your name.
 

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October 21
What’s Wrong with the World?
Bible in a Year:

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

1 Timothy 1:15
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Today's Scripture & Insight:
1 Timothy 1:12–17
There is an oft-heard story that The London Times posed a question to readers at the turn of the twentieth century. What’s wrong with the world?
That’s quite the question, isn’t it? Someone might quickly respond, “Well, how much time do you have for me to tell you?” And that would be fair, as there seems to be so much that’s wrong with our world. As the story goes, The Times received a number of responses, but one in particular has endured in its brief brilliance. The English writer, poet, and philosopher G. K. Chesterton penned this four-word response, a refreshing surprise to the usual passing-of-the-buck: “Dear Sirs, I am.”
Whether the story is factual or not is up for debate. But that response? It’s nothing but true. Long before Chesterton came along, there was an apostle named Paul. Far from a lifelong model citizen, Paul confessed his past shortcomings: “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man” (v. 13). After naming who Jesus came to save (“sinners”), he goes on to make a very Chesterton-like qualification: “of whom I am the worst” (v. 15). Paul knew exactly what was and is wrong with the world. And he further knew the only hope of making things right—“the grace of our Lord” (v. 14). What an amazing reality! This enduring truth lifts our eyes to the light of Christ’s saving love.
By: John Blase
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Reflect & Pray
What is wrong with the world? Can you own the answer Paul and Chesterton gave? What is one way you can accept that without sliding into self-hatred?
God, thank You for Your immense patience with me, a sinner. To You be honor and glory forever and ever.
To learn about answering questions related to the Christian faith, visit ChristianUniversity.org/CA101.
 

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October 22
Laundry Day
Bible in a Year:

Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples.

Matthew 28:19 gnt
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Today's Scripture & Insight:
Matthew 28:16–20
Driving through a low-income area near his church, Colorado pastor Chad Graham started praying for his “neighbors.” When he noticed a small laundromat, he stopped to take a look inside and found it filled with customers. One asked Graham for a spare coin to operate the clothes dryer. That small request inspired a weekly “Laundry Day” sponsored by Graham’s church. Members donate coins and soap to the laundromat, pray with customers, and support the owner of the laundry facility.
Their neighborhood outreach, which dares to include a laundromat, reflects Jesus’ Great Commission to His disciples. As He said, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:18–19 gnt).
His Holy Spirit’s powerful presence enables “everywhere” outreach, including even a laundromat. Indeed, we don’t go alone. As Jesus promised, “I will be with you always, to the end of the age” (v. 20 gnt).
Pastor Chad experienced that truth after praying at the laundromat for a customer named Jeff who is battling cancer. As Chad reported, “When we opened our eyes, every customer in the room was praying with us, hands stretched out toward Jeff. It was one of the most sacred moments I have experienced as a pastor.”
The lesson? Let’s go everywhere to proclaim Christ.
By: Patricia Raybon
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Reflect & Pray
Where can you go in your neighborhood today to proclaim Christ? How could His powerful presence enable you?
Jesus, enable me to proclaim Your good news today—everywhere.
 
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