Given August 22-26
The third time Jesus takes bread into His hands, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it happens on the road to Emmaus. This time it is a moment of mission. Jesus is blessing bread to open the eyes of people who are disillusioned and downcast. In a way, this encounter shows that being blessed, broken, and given, is for the sake of the world—not just for ourselves, and not even just for the church. To be given is to be spent out of love for Jesus. It is the profound love of Jesus that leads us to give ourselves for others. To be given is to live for the life of the world. Like Jesus, we need to listen, learn and then enter the places of pain in our communities. To be given is to continue the circle of grace. Our God’s self-giving generates our own self-giving to others.
Day 1 Luke 24:13-35
Reflect: Why do you think Jesus waited to reveal Himself to the men? What did it take for the men to recognize Jesus? What did Jesus give to them?
Apply: When has Jesus met with you, revealing truths and what He has done for you? When have you begged Him to stay with you? What has Jesus given you to share with others?
Pray: Jesus, I invite You to linger and to open my eyes to see the wonderful things in Your Word. Even when doubts appear in my heart, help me trust in Your greater plans and purposes, confident that You remain faithful to Your promises.
Day 2 John 21:15-18
Reflect: Why did Jesus choose the word love in His questions for Peter? What other words could He have used? What three things did Jesus give him to do and what would result?
Apply: Jesus used the Greek word “agapao” for love in the first two questions, and “phileo” in the third. What do these two words mean? Why did Jesus use both? How would you describe your love for Jesus? (Note: Peter used “phileo” in his replies to Jesus.)
Pray: Jesus, I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but when You look at me and ask me to follow, give me courage and strength, no matter what challenges, difficulties, or hardships come my way.
Day 3 Matthew 10:5-8
Reflect: What did Jesus empower the disciples to give in His name? What reason did He give?
Apply: Have you used your God-given authority to do what Jesus did? Why or why not? What have you received for free from Jesus that you can give freely to others (verse 8)?
Pray: Lord Jesus, I know there is power and authority in Your name to subdue powers and principalities. Teach me to exercise this authority to pray and seek healing and justice on behalf of others and as a witness of Your love to a lost world.
Day 4 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Reflect: For what reasons does God give us all we need? It has been said that God’s character of generosity is the basis for all He does. How have you experienced this?
Apply: With what are you most generous? What has God given you that might be His encouragement for you to generously give? How have you been blessed by the generosity of others?
Pray: Lord, create in me a generous heart that gives freely, abundantly, and with joyful purpose! Help me to abundantly apply the principle of sowing and reaping so that others are blessed and Your name may be glorified.
Day 5 Philippians 1:12-26
Reflect: How would you describe Paul’s “givenness”? What examples of profound love for God and profound love for others do you see here?
Apply: Those who receive God’s good gifts are to return them upward in praise and outward in service. What gift will you give away this week?
Pray: Write a list of ten gifts from God and praise Him for what He has given you.
Put It into Practice!
Week 4: In your prayer time, imagine Jesus asking you like He asked Peter, “Do you love Me?” When you respond, “Yes,” listen for what He may tell you to do. Ask Jesus about what He wants you to surrender in order to bless others. With what does He want you to be generous? How can you profoundly love Jesus by loving others in His name?