How Do We Behave?
Day 1 How Do We Behave?
Our Trinity answer is to look, live, and love more like Jesus. We take the complex journey of following Jesus step by step, attitude by attitude, action by action, a journey of becoming. Here’s a paraphrased message from God for you to keep handy on the journey.
“My child, sit down, be quiet, and listen to me! In order to do my bidding, you must shed that old skin of yours and shrug on the new one. I must warn you, it will be a struggle and involve making a lot of adjustments, but once you stop fighting and get into step with what I’m telling you to do, man! You have no idea what I have in store for you! When my Holy Spirit begins to work with you to bring you more into alignment with My plan, you can expect suffering to occur. My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. Do not fret over the suffering but be joyful because once you get through, the results are bountiful: patience, endurance, steadfastness, wisdom, perseverance - all qualities necessary to carry out the work I have invited you to do.”
Psalm 46:10; Ephesians 4:17-24; Jeremiah 29:11; Isaiah 55:8-9; James 1:4-5
Thank You, God for not giving up on me despite my flaws but seeing them as opportunities for growth. Thank You for giving me the Holy Spirit as my Counselor and Comforter.
Day 2 Outwardly Focused
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. Matthew 5:13 (The Message)
When I was 16 my father presented me with a large box filled with salt and pepper shakers, a collection he had built for me all through my life. I enjoy unwrapping them occasionally and remembering Dad’s journeys, but it does have a note of irony… all those shakers boxed up and treasured, yet serving no real salty purpose.
Jesus tells us that we have a purpose. He hasn’t saved us to be boxed up and treasured. He gives us a focus beyond ourselves, a purpose that transforms everything we come in contact with. At Trinity, we know we can’t stay safe in our “box” at any one site. We have these sites to be in contact with more communities, more people. He’s shaking us out like salt for the world.
Thank God for Trinity’s outward focus and ask the Holy Spirit keep you salty and point you into your community network.
Day 3 Teachable
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:4-5
Do you remember how you felt after a final exam? I would file the course in my memory, check “complete” and move on. I never felt I needed to re-learn the material. I could always brush up from a text book or course notes if needed. Learning a human subject had an ending.
Do you ever approach the Word of God this way? Sometimes I am tempted to file the Gospel and move on. Jesus, true God and true Man, came down from heaven to live, die and rise again to save me from my sins and give me eternal life -- got it -- move on to living the Christian life. Here’s the difference. God’s precious Word is living, active, and infinite in meeting the moment – a school course or a degree program are finite words of men.
See the heart and mind of the psalmist above. He asks the Lord to make known his “ways” and teach His “paths”. His ways are new for us each day. His paths take us from where we are and point us to Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Life , and His Kingdom. Spend time in His Word. Wait for Him all the day long. He will teach you more about His love all the days of your life and you will bear wonderful fruit in Him!
Day 4 Soft Hearted
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.
Psalm 3:5-6 NLT
To behave as Jesus would behave is a very complex concept to embrace because trust and obedience are required, which is hard. Too many years are spent doing this life per the flesh and for a while, these tactics work. Suddenly, you hit a brick wall and all your strategies to get around or over situations just stop working and your world starts to crumble and fall apart. The fear that grips you is overwhelming, the sense of complete and utter weakness sets in and that’s when you cry out, “God, save me! I can’t do this anymore!” His reply, “All you had to do was ask and it will be given to you.” (Matthew 7:7). At that point, being confronted with the soft heart of God, divine tranquility rushes in and uproots the oppressing distress.
Trust in our Savior, softens our heart. We see others struggling with the same barriers we know so well. Our heart hurts with them when their world breaks. More than compassion, we can give them the comfort and the strength of the love God has given us.
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 ESV
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for hearing my cry every time. Thank You for Your promise of peace and rest. Please soften my heart for others and show me a path that brings your love into many lives. Amen
Day 5 Generous
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life- and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-2 MSG
It’s hard to not give into the ways of society- the fast moving, chaos inducing distractions, the swirl of the world with me at the center. All of this steals your attention, focus, love, and devotion away from God. But when you respond to God’s nudges and the still small voice, your attention is shifted revealing God in the center of all. That’s when we see our generous God giving us a renewed mind and a Spirit filled with truth. With His generosity filling us, we see every moment of our living as a sacrifice of praise to Him. Our generosity with others raises thanksgiving for His generosity towards us.
Thank God not only for the abundant life He has given, not only for the everlasting life He has given, but for the opportunity to pass on His gifts to the people around you. Ask for a willing heart to make adjustments and respond quickly.
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