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Weekly Devotional | "The Basis for Our Service"

This devotional is based on Bill Berry's sermon, The Basis for Our Service, given on May 22, 2016.

 

Day 1: The qualification for our service is God’s grace

Quotes:

  • “The basis for our service to our God is not found in anything that is in and of us, but the basis for our service is God’s grace, and God’s grace alone.” Bill Berry
  • “He (God) only shows us our sin, asks us for our confession, and puts us back to work.” Bill Berry

Questions and Reflections:

  • Has the enemy been whispering that you are not fit to serve God? What truths can you take from this interaction between Peter and Jesus to prove those whispers are actually lies?
  • Jesus had every right to shun Peter, but he spoke to Peter. Jesus had every right to judge Peter, but he responded to Peter’s confession with mercy and grace. Put yourself in Peter’s shoes. How would you respond to this amazing grace?

Prayer Recommendations:

  • Bill pointed us to Romans 5:1 and 8:1 to encourage us that, despite our sinfulness, we are declared righteous by God’s grace. Pray these verses, thanking God there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!

 

Day 2: The motivation for our service is love

Quotes:

  • “There is more grace in Christ than sin in us.” Richard Sibbes
  • “Love for God and love for others has to be our motivation” Bill Berry

Questions and Reflections:

  • Jesus had every right to dismiss Peter from service, but in love he speaks to Peter. From the same heart of mercy, he gives us the Word. Take some time to read scripture, letting the words penetrate your heart as pure love from your Father.
  • Bill reminds us there will be times when life is smooth and ministry is great. Awareness of God’s love often comes easier during these times. When we are at our lowest points, it is our awareness of God’s love and our reciprocal love for the Savior that will motivate us to serve. What season are you in? How can you make the most of this time?

Prayer Recommendations:

  • Meditate on 1 Peter 1:22-25. Thank God that his word remains forever! Also take some time to pray for your brothers and sisters in our church. Consider opening up the church directory to guide your prayers.

 

Day 3: The demand of grace is our obedience

Quotes:

  • “We do not serve a God who just saves us so we can live, and go, and do what we please, but we serve a God who has a plan for our life, and that plan demands obedience.” Bill Berry

Questions and Reflections:

  • Is there a neighbor, coworker, sibling, or any other unbeliever God has strategically placed in your life you could give focused prayer to this week? How might God’s decision to speak to you despite your rebellion spur you to want to converse with this individual?
  • God’s grace not only saves us but works to restore us in times when we sin. Such a work may be humiliating and painful. But this is not a meaningless or merciless humbling. It is meant to bring us an awareness of our sin so we can repent and be reconciled to God. Is there an area of sin which you dread repenting of? Will you act in obedience by bringing this transgression to the cross?

Prayer Recommendations:

  • What an expression of grace, that we can follow God. Read Hebrews 12:1. Lighten your load for the race set before you. Go to the cross and turn from your “sin which clings so closely”.

 

Group Discussion Questions:

  • Can you think of a recent occasion where you held back from an opportunity for service because you felt undeserving or poorly equipped for the task at hand? How can Peter’s encounter with the risen Lord transform your thinking about serving?
  • Share some examples of ways in which members of this community group have lovingly served you or others in the group.
  • Pick one way you’d like to come alongside someone else in the church or your community group and serve them? In what way might you “feed” or encourage them with the Word of God?