Be Careful To Live Properly

The Virtuous Life - Day 225 - 1 Peter 2-11-12 - Be Careful To Live Properly - Growing As Disciples

The Virtuous Life – Day 225 – 1 Peter 2-11-12 – Be Careful To Live Properly – Growing As Disciples

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.  Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world. 1 Peter 2:11-12 (NLT)

A Witness

That is what I want to be. That is what I want to do. That is how I will live my life. What do you want to be and do? How do you want to live your life? I want to live as a bold and bright witness for you in the world. I want my values, and priorities and goals to be sharply focused on being your bold and bright witness in the world. That is a very good desire that you have within you. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions? Not at all, I’m listening, ask away. What will try to prevent you from being a bold and bright witness for me in the world? Well, I live in a world that is constantly waging war against my soul. I need to be on guard against worldly desires. I need to be continually mindful of the fact that I am a very temporary resident and foreigner in this world. My true and eternal home will be in heaven with you. How does that knowledge impact the way you live your life each day? Knowing that my life on this earth is very temporary guides all my values, priorities, and goals. I don’t want to waste my life and spend it on what will have no lasting and eternal value. How will you spend your life? I will spend my life doing what is pleasing to you. I will go where you guide me. I will do what you ask of me. I will live the life that you are calling me to live. What kind of life am I calling you to live? You are calling me to live like you lived. You want me to think and speak and act like you. You want me to love like you loved. You want me to serve like you served. You want me to give like you gave. You want others to see your life and light being lived out in and through me. You also want my life to be a bold and bright witness for you. You want me to shine like a star in the universe for you. You want others to come to know and love and follow and serve you because of the witness and testimony of my life. Yes, I do. So, I will be very careful to live properly so that nothing will tarnish or disqualify me as your witness. That will be very good. And I know that you will be with me to help me to be your witness in the world. Yes, I will. Thank you, Lord.

Lord, I know I am a very temporary resident and foreigner in this world. I will be living here for a very short time. I will be on guard against worldly desires that wage war against my soul. I will be careful to live as a bold and bright witness for you in this world. Amen

Key Question…  How has your life born fruit for the kingdom of God because you have lived as a witness for Christ?

Living It Out…  Make living as a bold and bright witness for Christ your top value, priority, and goal.

Seeing It Happen…  Have faith that you will bear fruit for the Kingdom of God as you live as a bold and bright witness for Christ.

Get Ready To Share…  Share with another person or your small group how you are be careful to live as a bold and bright witness for Christ.

Prayer To Bless Others…  May you live properly so you can be a bold and bright witness for the Lord to unbelievers.

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

The Virtuous Life – Day 225 – 1 Peter 2-11-12 – Be Careful To Live Properly – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                                Copying not permitted                                           www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

The Results Of Your Salvation

The Virtuous Life - Day 201 - Philippians 2:12-13 - The Results Of Your Salvation - Growing As Disciples

The Virtuous Life – Day 201 – Philippians 2:12-13 – The Results Of Your Salvation – Growing As Disciples

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.  For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:12-13 (NLT)

Pleasing To You

That should be the result of my salvation. What should be the result of your salvation? Living a life that is pleasing to you should be the result of the salvation I have in you. If being saved by you hasn’t completely changed my thoughts and words and actions, I would think something is amiss, that something is lacking, or that something has gone wrong or been short circuited. That is a very good, right, and true thought. How have your thoughts and words and actions changed since you began your new life of salvation with me? The answer to that question could go at least a couple different ways. First, I would like to say that you have been and are continuing to change everything about me. You are molding and shaping my life. You are making me into the person into the person you designed me to be. You are helping me to live the life you have called me to live. All my thoughts and words and actions are different because I am coming to know and love and follow and serve you. In your presence I am becoming a new and completely different person. I will say something odd; you are making it easy for me to obey you. I know that sounds crazy. Not to me. You have been and are continuing to change the desires of my heart. How difficult is it to want to please the one I love? How hard is it to look for ways to please you when there is nothing I would rather do instead? The desire to humbly, and reverently, love, follow, and serve you, is the greatest and best gift that you could have given to me. For this gift, I couldn’t be more grateful and thankful. You are welcome. So, the second, and most obvious thing that I could say is, you have and are continuing to help me to take my focus off myself. I am living to come to know you. I am living to do your will. I am living to accomplish your purposes and fulfill your plans. It is my desire to live in an intimate relationship with you. How is that for being the results of the salvation I have in you? That is very good. There can be now better result. Thank you, Heavenly Father.

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me the desire and the power to do what is pleasing to you. Help me to live a life of humbly and reverently doing what pleases you in all my thoughts and words and actions. I will love, follow, and serve you with all my heart.  Amen

Key Question…  What joy do you have in knowing you are thinking, speaking, and acting in ways that please the Lord?

Living It Out… Live a life of humbly and reverently doing what is pleasing to God in all your thoughts, words, and actions.

Seeing It Happen…  Have faith that God has and will continue to give you both the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

Get Ready To Share…  Share with another person or your small group the joy you have found in doing what is pleasing to God.

Prayer To Bless Others…  May you live a humble and reverent life of doing what is pleasing to God.

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Devotional Study Guide click here

The Virtuous Life – Day 201 – Philippians 2-12-13 – The Results Of Your Salvation – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                                                        Copying not permitted                                                                                    http://www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Love Comes From God

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Promises - Day 208 - 1 John 4:7-12 - Love Comes From God - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 208 – 1 John 4:7-12 – Love Comes From God – Growing As Disciples

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.  But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.  This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.  Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.  1 John 4:7-12 (NLT)

Full Expression

That’s what I want from you. That is what I will do in you. That is what I will do through you. Alright, you have aroused my curiosity. What is it that you want from me? What will you do in me? What will you do through me? I will answer your questions more directly after I ask you a couple questions. What have I done for you? How have I demonstrated my love for you? You sent your Son into this world to live and die for me. He paid for my sins by His sacrificial death on the cross. He shed His innocent blood for me. He made it so I could be drawn to you to confess my sins to you. He made it so I could be forgiven of all my sins and cleansed of all my righteousness. He broke down the barrier that stood between you and me. He made it so I could give my life to you. He became my Savior and Lord. In Him, I have a brand-new life to live. He made it so you and I could live in an intimate relationship with you. He made it so your Holy Spirit could come to live and dwell inside of me. He made it possible for me to come to know and love and follow and serve you. He made it so I could become like Him in all that I think and so and do. This is what you have done for me. This is how you powerfully demonstrated your love for me. Yes, I have done all these things for you. Now, I am ready to directly answer your questions. By my Spirit, I have come to live and dwell inside you. By my Spirit, I am molding and shaping your life. By my Spirit, I am making you to be like me. So, I want my living in and through you to fully express my love to others. Just as I have loved you, so I want you to love others. I want my love that is living in you to draw others to me. That is what I want from you. That is what I will do in you. That is what I will do through you. Have I fully answered your questions? Yes, I have no remaining questions. That’s good. Will you allow me to love others through you? Yes Lord, I will. I welcome this good work of yours in and through me. That is very good.

Lord, thank you for loving me. You powerfully demonstrated your love for me by sending your Son into this world to live and die for me. You forgave my sins. Help me now to love others just as you have loved me. Help me to be a full expression of your love. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Promises – Day 208 – 1 John 4-7-12 – Love Comes From God – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Continue To Love One Another

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ - Let Us - 1 John 4-7-8 - Continue To Love One Another - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ – Let Us – 1 John 4-7-8 – Continue To Love One Another – Growing As Disciples

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 (NLT)

Make Me Able

Only you can make me able to love like you love. I can’t give like you gave. I can’t love like you love. My love always falls short. You are absolutely right when you say that you can’t give like I gave or love like I love. There is however a very important question that I want to ask you. What’s that? Do you want to give like I gave? Do you want to love others with my love? Do you want my love to flow in and through you? In every way I want to know you and your love. In every way I want your love to flow in and through my life. I want to be like a vessel that is overflowing with your love. I want your love to spill out of me so that others will want to come to you to know your love.

Do you know what it will cost you to give like I gave and love like I love? I know that the kind of love that we are talking about is not just a feeling. Giving like you gave and loving like you love requires a choice and demands taking action. What is that choice and what is that action? I must choose to be a vessel in which your love can flow in and though. I must choose to allow you to use me. I must say yes to you. I must rely on you to make me able to love others. Yes, you must rely on me to use you to love others. Then I must be willing to go where you guide me to do what you ask of me. That’s right.

This is all pretty clear isn’t it? Yes, it is very clear. You have more to say, don’t you? It’s very clear and also very scary. Why do you say that? I have no idea where you will lead me. I have no idea what you will ask of me. I wonder if I will be willing. I wonder if I will be able to love like you love. I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to say no. I don’t want to disappoint you. I want to be used by you however, whenever and wherever you call me. But, you have already said that you will rely on me. Yes, I will rely on you. Do you believe that I can make you able to give like I gave and love like I love? Yes Lord, I believe in you. Then you have nothing to worry about. Rely on me. Yes Lord, I will rely on you.

Lord, loving others has not been my strong suit. My ability to love others falls short. Only you can make me able to love others with your love. Only you can make me able to love difficult and seemingly unlovable people. Let your love flow in and through me. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Let Us – 1 John 4-7-8 – Continue To Love One Another – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Love Comes From God

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Becoming Like Christ - Day 42 - 1 John 4:7-8 - Love Comes From God - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ – Day 42 – 1 John 4:7-8 – Love Comes From God – Growing As Disciples

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)

Love Others

Is that a difficult challenge for you? Is what a difficult challenge for me? Is it a difficult challenge for you to love others? You know how that goes. Tell me what you have on your mind. Some people are easier to love. Other people are much more difficult, sometimes seemingly impossible, to love. At one time or another everyone becomes difficult to love. Who am I calling you to love? Who have I chosen to love?  You love everyone, no matter how unlovable they have allowed themselves to become. You love even those who hurt and harmed and rejected you. You loved me, even when I had no time for you. You loved me, even when I rejected you. You loved me, even when I was living a life that was not pleasing to you. You are calling me to love like you loved. You are calling me to love everyone. How do you know that I want you to love everyone? You want me to become like you. You want your love to flow in and out of my life. You want others to see your love on display in my life. You want your love in me to shine brightly in a dark and unloving world. You want your love in me to be a witness that draws others to you. Yes, I do.

Why are you able to love others? Why is it no burdensome task for you to go and do what I ask of you? You made it possible for me to come to know and love you. Your love for me, ignited my love for you. Your love for me is continually changing my heart. How so? Every day you are helping me to know and love you more. Day by day my passionate desire to know and love you is growing. Your love for me and mine for you compels me to go and do what you ask of me. I am continually looking for ways to live a life that is pleasing you. I know that these desires did not originate with me. You have placed these desires in my heart and mind. You are fanning the flame of these desires in me. You are both the giver and granter of my desire to love you and others. You are helping and making me able to love others just as you have loved me. Yes, I am.

Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me so I could come to know and love you. I love you with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. It is my passionate desire and joy to go and do all that you ask of me. I want to live a life that is fully pleasing to you. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Becoming Like Christ – Day 42 – 1 John 4-7-8 – Love Comes From God – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Abstain From Sinful Desires

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Becoming Like Christ - Day 17 - 1 Peter 2:11-12 - Abstain From Sinful Desires - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ – Day 17 – 1 Peter 2:11-12 – Abstain From Sinful Desires – Growing As Disciples

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 1 Peter 2:11-12 (NIV)

My True Home

I think I am just starting to see life in its proper perspective. How so? I am like an alien or stranger just passing through this life. This is not my true home. In a very brief amount of time, my life on this earth will be over. It will be nothing but a foolish waste of time and effort for me to try to make myself too cozy in this life. After all, I brought nothing into this world, I will take nothing out of this world. Why is it significant that you see the brevity of your life? Why is it important that you identify your true home? Why is critical for you to know that you can take nothing out of this world? Well, I will tell you one thing for sure. What’s that? The world and all that is in it, is trying to wage war against my soul. How so? The world is trying to captivate me and allure me and entice me into pursuing all that it has to offer. Why is that so bad? I really have two choices. I can either pursue the life you want me to live or I can pursue the life that the world is trying to entice me to live. I can pursue earthly or heavenly treasure. My heart and mind and life can be focused on heaven or on earth. There is no middle ground. I can’t have it both ways. No, you cannot. Not only that, time is flying by. I don’t have an unlimited number of days to live. You have given me places to go. You have given me things to do. I want to live each day faithfully and fully and fruitfully for you. I want to bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. That’s very good.

So, what will you do? How will you live your life differently? I will guard my heart and mind and life from being captivated by the world and all that is in it. I will rely on you to help me to live a faithful and fruitful and good life. I will endeavor to be a bold and bright witness for you in the world. It will be my hope and desire and plan to do good works that will cause even unbelievers to give thanks and praise to you. These will not be my good works. These will be the good works that you give me to do. It is my prayer that these good works will help draw a multitude of people to you. Then many will come to know and love and follow you. Then I will be storing up treasure in heaven with you. Yes, you will and that will be very good.  

Heavenly Father, I know I am just passing through this life. This world is not my true home. I am like a stranger in this world. So, I will not try to make myself too cozy in this life. Instead, help me to do good works that cause even unbelievers to give thanks to you. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Becoming Like Christ – Day 17 – 1 Peter 2-11-12 – Abstain From Sinful Desires – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com