“You’re not the boss of me!” Most of us have said or been told this expression of desired autonomy. Part of maturing personally and spiritually is self-differentiation. If we are not tethered to an external authority—a parent, the church, or God—then who are we?
It is a potent brew when...
O God, thank you for all the influences that help me respond to your call on my life. Help me to cultivate always those that honor you. Amen.
For the second time this year, we read the story of the Israelites complaining in the desert about their lack of water, only to see God provide a miraculous spring. The psalmist reminds the people of the many powerful deeds performed by the Lord, including leading them through the sea out of Egypt and providing them water from the rock. Paul emphasizes to the Philippians the need for humility and unity. In quoting the earliest known Christian hymn, Paul encourages them with the example of Christ, who gives up all his rights for the sake of others. In back-to-back encounters with religious leaders, Jesus evades an attempt to trap him in his words and then teaches that true obedience is shown not by our speech but by our actions.
Read Exodus 17:1-7. When have you tried to “do it all”? How can admitting your limitations help you lead?
Read Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16. Recall times when you have known God’s presence. How might remembering and retelling these stories shape your faith?
Read Philippians 2:1-13. How does your life speak of God’s love for you and for all humanity?
Read Matthew 21:23-32. How have you created your idea of Jesus in your own image? What would change if you found your identity in Jesus rather than creating Jesus’ identity from your own?
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