Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective
autumn in Hudson, Ohio 2018
Malankara World Journal Monthly
Themes: Church, Psalm 91 - Bible Study
Volume 9 No. 507 November, 2018
 

II. MWJ Supplement - Church, The Body of Christ

What's The Purpose of The Church?

One thing we learn from the church in the 1st century is that the church grows in numbers and effectiveness – not to mention to the glory of God – in times of persecution. ...

God Created the Church to Be a Family

The church not only helps you center on God, it also helps you connect with other believers. ...

We Are Spiritually Anemic

Every single problem the Church has all flows from one central issue: Our spiritual health is lacking. ...

2 Things I Learned about the Church in a Psych Ward

Most pastors in America say they are not comfortable talking about mental illness or being a part of a support system. Those of us in the church who are struggling mentally feel unwelcome, because nobody knows what to do with us. ...

The Reason Why We Have Scandal in the Church

One answer: We took our eyes off Christ. Like Peter walking on the water, when we take our eyes off Christ, we sink. ...

You Need the Support of Your Spiritual Family

The Bible says that God never meant for you to go through life alone. In fact, God hates loneliness. ... What is God’s family? “That family is the church of the living God. The church is not an organization or a social club. The church is God’s family....

We Need Each Other

Accountability frees us to grow and change and is an important part of every relationship. ...

II. MWJ Supplement - Church, The Body of Christ

What's The Purpose of The Church?

by Joseph Farah

[Editor's Note: as we start a new church calendar year, and look at the establishment of the church by Jesus Christ, by handing over the keys to St. Peter, we investigate the state of affairs of the church. This extends to the entire Christian Church, not just Orthodox Church. Some of these may be talking about the church in America.]

Jesus gave us a model and clear instructions. Why aren't we following them?

Have you ever considered the purpose of churches?

I've been thinking about this subject because we have a model. Our model is the first century church, which witnessed the biggest explosion not just in numbers of believers, but in power.

One thing we learn from that experience is that the church grows in numbers and effectiveness – not to mention to the glory of God – in times of persecution.

But let's start at the beginning. What did Jesus teach His church to do?

I think it's worth noting that His first instruction to His disciples, who numbered no more than a few hundred, was not to do anything except keep together. They were ready to go restore the Kingdom to Israel. In Acts 1, He told them to forget that for a while. That would have to wait for Him to come back.

What was the first instruction from Jesus?

He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the father in the form of the Holy Spirit.

It wouldn't take long. Jesus evidently knew that, because once the power fell upon them, this was their next and only assignment:

"And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

They would have to figure the rest out for themselves, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and all Jesus taught them.

It wasn't the only time Jesus had given them this instruction. He also did so in Matthew 24:14:

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

It would seem to me we already learned two important lessons about the role of the church.

Make sure you are working under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Then, as Frank Sinatra would say, start spreading the news – the Good News, that is.

There are all kinds of debates going on in the American church today about "church planting," "church growth strategies" and "how we must seek a new approach today with Christianity in decline."

But I wonder if we're going about this in an entirely wrong way.

For starters, if the goal is to reach the uttermost parts of the earth – not to mention our own neighborhoods – are we really waiting on the Holy Spirit? And are we really focused on evangelism?

I've heard that American-style "evangelism" largely consists of attracting people away from other churches. Here the American church is like one big revolving door. Some churches grow, others do not. Some whither away, others grow stronger and bigger. Yet neither of those ends has much bearing on what Jesus commanded us to do.

So, what did the first century church do?

Exactly what Jesus said to do.

They waited, got empowered and they turned the world upside down. Was that just for then?

I wonder. What I do know is that their church didn't look like ours.

They met together.
They prayed together.
They ate together.
They worshipped together.
They comforted each other.
They discipled.
They edified.
They fellowshipped.
They glorified God.
And they recited or read the Scriptures.

In the American church, we're watching the clock. People can't wait to get out of there. I recently read that one large mega-church built a multi-lane overpass to ensure that they could get everyone out of the 35,000-attendee parking lot within 30 minutes of the close of service.

In how many churches have you experienced evangelism training or expeditions?

Isn't that the urgent mission of the church? Why don't we do it? Do you know I was 21 years old before anyone ever evangelized me – in America? Am I that unusual? What are we waiting for? Who are we going to recruit to do it, if not us?

That's why the light is going out in America -- because the Christian culture, which was healthy and vibrant in America when it was founded, has been ceded over to the world.

Meanwhile, what about elsewhere? Where is the church exploding? Where it is persecuted. You know that. That's where the Holy Spirit is. That's where miracles are taking place today – in China, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America.

There have been some notable revivals in the U.S. over the years – but not one for some time.

Another thing we learn from the first century church is that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Does that still work?

I know it does for me. That doesn't mean it works for everyone. Unless you believe everyone is going to be saved, nothing is going to work for everyone.

But I find it deeply disturbing that some pastors believe we should stop emphasizing the Word. Some say we should drop the Old Testament pretty much altogether. They say we should tell stories and attribute them to people rather than the Word of God.

Do we no longer believe in the Word of God?
Are we ashamed of it?
Are we ashamed of doing exactly what Jesus told us to do?

I don't have all the answers, but I do have one.

  • Do you think there is a more important book than the Bible anywhere on earth?
  • Do you think getting people to crack it open would generally bring them closer to the Lord – maybe even get them saved?
  • Do you think God has changed His mind about the way He spoke the world into existence and revealed His plan to His children?

Is there really anything new under the sun?

Or, is it time for the church to start following instructions?
Has the salt lost its savor?
Or are we ready to be the salt and the light in the world again?

By the way, that's one of the things the church is supposed to be.

Matthew 5:13-16:

"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

That's right. The church is supposed to glorify our Father in heaven.

We're supposed to be Jesus' heavenly bride. We're His children if we are doing His will – yes, even in this age of grace. We all fall short of the mark, but the mark goes beyond salvation, does it not? Does He not take pleasure in us when we are obedient to His call, holy, when we surrender all to Him?

I don't consider myself an expert on the church. But I do know how I came to know and love Jesus – and love Him more every day.

I would like everyone to understand that – not wishing that anyone would perish.

And that's why I took several years to research and write "The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament." I wanted people to see what I see when I look at the Bible – the most miraculous book in the whole world, one that has stayed the test of time, one that is fully integrated, singular in purpose, abounding in wisdom, cohesive and without contradictions, one supernatural message of repentance, revival, redemption and restoration from Genesis to Revelation.

It's all about the Word. It will always be about the Word – whether its written on our hearts, etched in our minds or seared in our souls.

Amen? Amen.

Source: WND

God Created the Church to Be a Family

By Rick Warren

“Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other” (Romans 12:5 GW).

The church not only helps you center on God, it also helps you connect with other believers.

God did not put you here to live an isolated life. While you’re here on Earth, God wants you to learn to love other people, and he wants you to practice loving others in his family. The Bible says,“Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other” (Romans 12:5 GW).There’s a connection once you become a child of God; you become a brother or sister.

What is this body?

“The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much” (Romans 12:5 The Message).

Your spiritual life does not amount to anything if it’s disconnected from the family of God. If I cut off my finger, it’s not only going to stop growing, it’s also not going to live. It has to be connected to the body. In the same way, we need each other in the body of Christ if we want to grow spiritually and fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.

The California Department of Mental Health once did a study and discovered that if you isolate yourself from others and don’t develop close friendships like in a small group, you are three times more likely to die an early death. You’re four times more likely to suffer emotional burnout. You’re five times more likely to be clinically depressed. And you’re 10 times more likely to be hospitalized for an emotional or mental disorder. So for your own mental health, get in a small group! Be a part of the family of God. Get connected.

“You are members of God’s very own family . . . and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian” (Ephesians 2:19 TLB).

About Pastor Rick Warren

Pastor Rick’s mission is to provide Daily Hope to listeners through sound Biblical teaching, and he plans to mobilize believers to reach the 2,900 remaining tribes that have not received the Gospel of Jesus. His latest book, The Purpose Driven Life, is about the purpose we find in following Christ, and is the best-selling hardback book in American history, according to Publisher’s Weekly.

Source: Daily Hope with Rick Warren
This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

We Are Spiritually Anemic

by Fr. Bill Peckman

Why Abandoning Sacramental Life is the Root of All Problems in the Church

Every single problem the Church has all flows from one central issue:

Our spiritual health is lacking.

In most places in the western world, Mass attendance is well below 40 percent. In other words: 60 percent+ willfully starve themselves spiritually.

An even greater number allow this to fester as the use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is widely disregarded and abandoned.

The overwhelming majority of Catholics in the United States and in the West have abandoned the sacramental life of the Church.

That sickness infects everything: our finances, vocations, outreach, quality of clergy, and institutions. It empties our convents, monasteries, seminaries, and closes our parishes.

It can become a chicken/egg discussion.

For example:

Did a falling sense of transcendence cause the fall in Mass attendance or did a fall in Mass attendance create a rush to make the Mass “more relevant” to retain those who stayed?

I don’t know. Maybe it is a mix.

If it seems as as if I am laying a lot at the feet of the laity, perhaps I am to an extent.

The clergy are not a separate species from the laity. We don’t have a Levitical tribe, and priesthood is not something passed on down from father to son.

All priests spent the first 25+ years among the ranks of the laity. It was while in the ranks of laity, especially in their families, that they learned (or should have learned) the importance of prayer and selfless service.

It is the family that they should have learned the necessity of fidelity and chastity.

As the domestic Church (the family) started coming undone, it affected everything it touched. From it came the next generation of clergy. It became a vicious downward cycle.

As the domestic Church became a place where we became comfortable with sin,
clergy was produced that also was comfortable with sin.

This, in turn, taught succeeding generations to be more comfortable with sin,
which created domestic churches, which became even more comfortable with sin, and so on.

The more comfortable we become with sin, the more uncomfortable we become with grace.

The more comfortable we became with sin, the more uncomfortable we became with Confession and Mass.

Perhaps this is why each succeeding generation drifts further and further away until many Masses in many parishes are seas of gray.

Perhaps that is why we see fewer marrying in the Church, fewer baptisms, fewer in education, fewer in the seminaries.

In starving ourselves spiritually, we have become spiritually anemic.

This is why I believe that a focus of the restoration of the domestic Church is absolutely necessary to the restoration of the Church as a whole.

Hence, it is why I am insistent that those families who have children in any education program go to Mass and make better use of Confession.

If we can get families to quit starving themselves sacramentally, if we can get our families to desire grace over sin, and if we can get our families to fully accept the grace God wants to give them, that changes everything.

Those families become the way Christ restores His Church.

Those families produce the future clergy who will teach what has been taught them–who having grown in a incubator of prayer, service, and fidelity, will teach the necessity of such to the next group of burgeoning domestic churches.

For my part, as a pastor of souls, I must emphasize this in the Mass, make this clear in our educational apparatuses, and make a clarion call to our families that fall under my pastoral care to strengthen their families as places of grace fed by the sacramental life of the Church.

To do this, I have to make people uncomfortable with sin and seek comfort in the mercy and forgiveness of Christ. That doesn’t mean browbeating. It means showing the superior way laid out by Christ which to follow will necessitate abandoning sin.

I truly believe fully embracing the sacramental life of the Church brings a springtime of growth to replace the long winter of our discontent.

It starts in the family. It starts in the laity. It starts in the domestic Church.

Originally posted to Facebook

2 Things I Learned about the Church in a Psych Ward

by Chris Morris

I recently spent a week in a mental hospital. There. I said it.

Family life had been a bit stressful, work was going well, and my side business was growing. Oh, and I was editing a new book about mental illness. But for the better part of a week, I realized I was not okay in my head.

I had suicidal thoughts, and I wasn’t safe to be left alone at my house. A psychiatric ward was the best place for me to recuperate and return to my normal frame of mind.

While I was there, I learned a lot about myself, and how fragile my soul really is. I was truly awestruck by the kindness of the nurses and techs in the ward. And I realized how much my perception of personal freedom was shaped by everyday choices we take for granted—like choosing my own food and schedule.

I also learned a lot about the American church.

Most of the people in my wing of the hospital were either literal widows and orphans, or members of a similarly ignored part of society: a grandma forgotten by her family, a young man whose parents had died tragically and left him ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of life, homeless military veterans whose wartime injuries rendered them unemployable, and struggling drug addicts desperate to get clean but struggling to make it happen.

Each of these people felt that nobody cared about them. From what I could tell, they weren’t wrong.

No visitors came for anyone but me that week. Most of the other patients didn’t receive any incoming phone calls except from social workers. Outgoing calls involved lots of crying and promises to do better—and very few “I love you's." It broke my heart.

We in local churches need to reassess where we spend our resources at a global level, but we also need to do the same individually. We have the opportunity to demonstrate pure and undefiled religion.

Mental illness is still a dirty little secret in the church.

I came face to face with my own unhealthiness in the psych ward. There’s no way to avoid deep introspection when you’re lying in bed under suicide watch.

Every day I carefully consider how much to tell people about my week in the hospital. Because, if I’m honest, I have some shame. I’m a good Christian, so I shouldn’t have ended up where I did (says the lies I’ve been fed). And I know I’m not alone.

Nobody wants to talk about the facts, but mental illness is rampant in America. Approximately 25% of people in the country self-identify with, or have been diagnosed with, one or more mental illnesses.

This includes the “easy” mental illnesses like anxiety or depression, but it’s not limited to those. PTSD impacts people from every walk of life, not just military veterans. Narcissism is an epidemic in corporate America. Sometimes it’s even considered a strategy for success and advancement. As a country, we are not mentally healthy.

And yet, we continue to hear sermons like 7 Steps to a Successful Life, at the exclusion of helping families bring their challenges into the light.

Indeed, most pastors in America say they are not comfortable talking about mental illness or being a part of a support system. Those of us in the church who are struggling mentally feel unwelcome, because nobody knows what to do with us.

So we dry our tears, stuff our fears, and pretend everything is okay. Or, we leave the church altogether. I know churches can do better, and that’s why I’m sharing my story.

Do people with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses attend church and receive emotional support? Every week. It’s possible to treat mental illness as normal, because for so many it is. It’s possible to view depression through an accurate lens rather than as a sin, and to treat anxiety as something deeper than a lack of faith.

Churches can become a safe haven for the mentally ill.

My pastor visited me while I was in the psych ward, and what he said to me gave me hope—for my own future and the church as a whole.

“You have too much to live for. Yes, you’re depressed right now, but you are still beautifully and wonderfully made. God’s not done with you yet. Don’t you go leaving us. People in our church need what you’ve got.”

My pastor didn’t shy away me. He visited me and gave me a snippet of hope in a dark place. He knew what to do, and he did it.

I’ve felt the affirmation of hearing some of my own mental health conditions mentioned in sermons. I’ve seen groups of believers rally around a suicidal man to affirm his worth, staving off the darkness with love. I have watched as an anxious woman is enveloped in care instead of ridicule.

So, I choose hope. I believe the future will hold powerful moments where the mentally ill feel inclusion, acceptance, and hope.

There’s one more thing I believe: no person can achieve all that God has in mind for them when they exist outside a local church body. Mentally ill or otherwise, each of us only becomes the best version of ourselves, the most clear representation of Jesus, living the most sanctified lives, and expressing the fullness of what God has placed into our hearts—together.

It’s time to stop withholding this opportunity for maturity from those with mental illnesses. No more should the lie be told that only the mentally well can serve God and pursue Him wholeheartedly. With the exception of Jesus, God has only used broken humans to accomplish his purposes.

Are you okay?

Have you ever felt “not okay” in your head? Most have at one time. Instead of running from the reality or shaming yourself, will you bring your thoughts and feelings to God?

The church won’t get any better at caring for the mentally ill if we don’t talk about it. We need to engage in honest conversations around what mental illness looks like—and welcome people to bring their thoughts and feelings to us.

That’s when real change will start. The time is now.

About The Author:

Chris Morris is a husband, father of four, CPA, and author. He writes honestly about pain, chronic illness, and hope. He’s the author of the new book Perfectly Abnormal, and co-author of the new release, Whispers in the Pews, Voices on Mental Illness in the Church.

Source: crosswalk.com

The Reason Why We Have Scandal in the Church

by Fr. Bill Peckman

Why is there scandal in the Church?

One answer: We took our eyes off Christ. Like Peter walking on the water, when we take our eyes off Christ, we sink.

We took our eyes off Christ when we thought a good idea to water down the Gospel with worldly wisdom.

We took our eyes off Christ when we gave room in our lives for sin. Be that the sins of lust, or wrath, or pride, or greed, or gluttony, or envy, or sloth (spiritual and otherwise) – when we gave quarter to these, we took our eyes off Christ.

We took our eyes off Christ when we thought it a good idea to respond to such sin with more sin. We took our eyes off Christ when we responded to the sins of others with derision, vengeance, and apathy.

We took our eyes off Christ when we allowed faith to be reduced to a pious hobby. We took our eyes off Christ when we found other things as more worthy of our time and energy.

We took our eyes off Christ when prayer in the home fell away, when the devotional life in homes and parishes fell off.

We took our eyes off Christ when Mass became an encounter primarily with a priest or with the community and not an encounter primarily with God.

We took our eyes off Christ when we reduced the validity of a Catholic teaching to how we feel about it. We took our eyes off Christ when we were too busy looking to our own reflection for the validity of truth.

When we take our eyes off Christ, we sink. We become unable to walk on water tossed about by the prevailing winds.

We take our eyes off Christ because to keep our eyes fixed on Christ requires a constant death to oneself, a constant deepening of being poor in spirit to recognize our need for Christ to navigate the sea.

We can have all the protocols we want. We can have all the rules, laws, regulations, and such we want. If our eyes are not fixed on Christ, they will be little more than stopgap measures, little more than band-aids over a gaping wound.

If we truly want reform and renewal, it must start with re-fixing our own eyes onto to Christ. This means our reactions and responses must flow from that fixed gaze on Christ.

This will help us not answer sin with more sin, but to bring the healing of Christ to a wound that came about from our taking our eyes off Christ.

Originally posted on Facebook

You Need the Support of Your Spiritual Family

By Rick Warren

“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (Ephesians 1:5 NLT).

The Bible says, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (Ephesians 1:5 NLT).

God wanted more than angels and animals and plants. He wanted a family. The Bible says the whole reason you exist is because God wanted you to become a part of his family, and that family is going to last forever.

Your spiritual family, God’s family, is going to outlast even your physical family. Physical families don’t last. They grow up, they move away, they die. But the spiritual family of God is going to go on and on for eternity.

The Bible says that God never meant for you to go through life alone. In fact, God hates loneliness. When God created man, he put him in the Garden of Eden, a perfect environment, and the first thing God said was, “It is not good for man to be alone.” God wants you to be part of the family of God.

What is God’s family? “That family is the church of the living God, the support and foundation of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15 NCV). The church, the body of Christ, is not an institution. The church is not a bureaucracy. The church is not an organization or a social club. The church is God’s family. It’s not about rules and regulations and rituals and religion. It’s about relationships. It’s about love.

The church is “the support and foundation of the truth.” What happens when a building has no support and foundation? It collapses. Those of us in California understand this more than most because we have earthquakes. If you don’t have a good foundation under your building, it’s going to collapse when the earthquake comes.

God says your life is the same way. You’re going to experience some earthquakes in your life—financial earthquakes, health earthquakes, emotional earthquakes, relational earthquakes, career earthquakes. When those tough times come along, you’re going to collapse if you don’t have a spiritual family to support you.

You cannot fulfill God’s purposes by yourself. God wired us to need each other. We need each other in the family of God.

About Pastor Rick Warren

Pastor Rick Warren is passionate about teaching people to learn, love, and LIVE the Word! Through the Word, he believes people can attack what he calls the five “Global Goliaths” – spiritual emptiness, egocentric leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease, and illiteracy/poor education. Pastor Rick founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, which has grown to over 25,000 members, and has more than 300 ministries to groups such as prisoners, CEOs, addicts, single parents, and those with HIV/AIDS.

Pastor Rick’s mission is to provide Daily Hope to listeners through sound Biblical teaching, and he plans to mobilize believers to reach the 2,900 remaining tribes that have not received the Gospel of Jesus. His latest book, The Purpose Driven Life, is about the purpose we find in following Christ, and is the best-selling hardback book in American history, according to Publisher’s Weekly.

Source: Daily Hope with Rick Warren

This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

We Need Each Other

by Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

“…and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5b

Friend to Friend

A certain expert guide lived in the deserts of Arabia. He was known for his tracking skills and the fact that he never lost his way. The secret of his success could be found in the fact that he carried with him a homing pigeon that had a very fine cord attached to one of its legs. When he had doubts as to which path to take, he threw the bird into the air. The pigeon quickly strained at the cord to fly in the direction of home, leading the guide accurately to his goal. Because of this unique practice, the man was known as "The Dove Man."

We always need connections to those who will point us in the right direction. We will take the wrong path or make a wrong turn and there will be times when we have no idea which way to go or how to get home. We must then turn to God and to those who hold us accountable.

Accountability is often seen as confining, a relationship straight jacket that limits freedom of expression and hinders those who “march to the beat of a different drummer.” Actually, the opposite is true. Accountability frees us to grow and change and is an important part of every relationship.

When I married into the Southerland family, I didn’t know that tent camping was part of the deal. I might have reconsidered (just kidding). I decided that I could learn to camp and maybe even enjoy it. My first trip to Lake Greeson in the foothills of the Ozarks was quite an experience. It did not take me long to learn the daily routine.

Each morning, Dan’s mom would prepare a huge breakfast, after which, the kids did dishes while Mom changed into her swim suit, donned her sun glasses, grabbed a towel and headed for the lake. On the shore, she would grab an inner tube, position her towel in just the right spot over the tube, turn around and sit down. She would then float blissfully for hours. There was a slight problem with this plan. Lake Greeson had a current that would carry Mom down the lake, around the bend and into the path of ski boats. Several times a day, someone would have to swim after her and pull her back to the safety of the shore, where she would profusely thank them and go right back to floating.

Someone finally came up with a great idea – a rope. We grabbed a ski rope, tied one end to mom’s inner tube and the other end to a wooden stake driven securely into the ground. She could then float until the rope ran out and someone “reeled her in.”

What a perfect picture of accountability – giving someone who loves you the permission to “reel you in” when they see you headed in a dangerous direction. When we willingly make ourselves accountable to others, we are creating a hedge of protection that ultimately yields boundaries, parameters or behavioral lines that should not be crossed.

Honestly, most of us have experienced very little accountability in life because at the heart of being accountable to someone is the willingness to be submissive to them. We have abused the concept of submission. It was never intended to be demeaning and does not involve slavery in any form. Submission is protection and an intentional willingness to consider first the desires and wishes of another before our own. Submission is harnessed strength, a controlled strength that is born out of obedience to God’s command. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).

Jesus submitted Himself to the will of His father. He willingly laid down His desires and dreams, His plans and hopes in total submission. Out of that total surrender came the most powerful life ever lived. When we willingly submit ourselves to God and choose to make ourselves accountable to others, we will experience a freedom and power we have never known before.

Let’s Pray

Father, I come to You today, submitting myself to You. Thank You for the protection, direction, and power that comes from that submission. Forgive me when I have stood silent while someone I loved made dangerous decisions. Give me the courage to confront in love. Give me the wisdom to receive correction and to be accountable to others. Thank You for Your love that never condemns but always stands ready to keep me from making mistakes. And when I do fall, thank You for being there to pick me up and walk with me.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are wounds of a friend.”
What does this verse mean to you?
How does this verse relate to accountability?

Name two people in your life to whom you are accountable.
Are they willing to tell you the truth instead of what you want to hear?
Are they godly people who will constantly point you to Christ?

Who is accountable to you?
Are you willing to step between that person and the wrong choices?
Can you confront in love for the sole purpose of restoration?

Source: GirlfriendsInGod.com

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