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This Week's Journeys
Prayer Journal Entry
Over the next week, please open my eyes to the areas of my life where humility and submission are scarce and offer me the wisdom to strengthen those areas. (Psalm 139:23) I am not yet a finished work of Your hands, but I know one day You will complete the good works you have started in me. (Philippians 1:6)
Until then, I will strive to serve those You have placed in my life with a humble heart and lean into all opportunities of growth with an eager spirit, using Your Son as my example. I wish for Your heart to guide my own; teach me to rest in Your promises, Lord.
In Jesus’ name that I pray, Amen.
Worship Through Song
The image of an ax and the act of its sharpening is used throughout the Bible in both the Old and the New Testaments. It is a powerful image and quite pertinent to living out our faith as we follow Jesus.
An ax dulls after just a few uses and a dull ax is both inefficient and requires more strength. In keeping with His wisdom, God highlighted this very fact in Ecclesiastes 10:10. One way God sharpens us is through other people. (Proverbs 27:17)
Just as it is important to grind into the edge of the ax when sharpening it, we must lean into the grind of being honed with a humble heart. It can be uncomfortable, painful even, but with each stroke of the file we become more like Jesus and we reflect God’s light to those around us.
Who is God using to sharpen you? Have you leaned into the process or fought it? When the Spirit convicts us of fighting against spiritual growth, we can accept His reprimand with gratitude because it means we are hearing the Spirit!
We can be encouraged to draw near to Him as He aligns our hearts with God’s will in the future.
Jesus taught us by practical example how to live a righteous life pleasing to the Lord, but the most important thing He taught us is how to love.
Just before His death, Jesus left His disciples with this, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.” (John 13:34) In Paul’s letters to the church of Corinth, he clearly expounds upon what loving one another looks like in real, everyday life. He details the attributes of love, as well as what love does not look like. (1 Corinthians 13)
Take time this week to study 1 Corinthians 13, read a few studies from GT’s Journey Into Kaleidoscope, and consider where you see evidence of love in your life and where it could use some cultivating.
I struggle with putting my desire to be right over my duty to love others. Somewhere along the way, I started associating being right with my self-worth, which led to me selfishly and sinfully putting myself over Jesus’ command in John 13. Love begins with a thought, just like its counterpart hate.
This is why we must spend time wrapped up in God’s loving Word, so we are ensuring our thoughts, and consequently our actions, are stemming from truth and love!
Plato said art imitates life. Biblically, this idea is fleshed out with the imagery of Jesus as the Bread of Life (John 6:35) and us as His work of art. (Ephesians 2:10, Isaiah 64:8) We are instructed to live as Jesus lived (1 John 2:6), starting with humility and submission.
Through Jesus’ many examples of submission to His Father, we find encouragement in our own pursuit of submission to His will. We may find ourselves asking God why He favors the humble and submissive spirit. We need only look as far as Isaiah 66:1-2, which reminds us we have nothing to offer God that isn’t already His.
However, He gives us the choice to follow Him, which means our submission is the greatest gift we can offer the Creator of Everything.
What is the result of submission? There are many blessings found in submission, but a few notable benefits are the grace lavished on those with a submissive spirit (1 Peter 5:5), protection from the enemy (James 4:7), and the ability to spread the gospel in perhaps the most powerful way…by humble example! (Philippians 1:27-28) When we live a life worthy of the Gospel, others take note and His good news of forgiveness and restoration spreads!
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