28 Jan Day 5
Scripture: Philippians 2:3-4 NLT- “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”
Observation: It is easy to get so caught up in our worry that we believe we are not able to help someone else. But by putting our focus on the needs of others we are able to take on the character of Jesus and experience the full richness of our relationship with God and others.
Application: Over the next three days we are going to take a deeper look at our relationship with others. It is through those relationships that God can teach us lessons that we cannot learn in any other way.
At the end of March 2020, the world had shut down. Like so many others, I was out of work and fearful for the future of the career I had spent years building. Amidst the worry, I received an unexpected letter in the mail. It contained a $50 check and a note from the woman I work for stating, “Just a little extra, we’ll get through this!” It brought tears to my eyes. She had her own worries at the time with her small business dangling in the uncertainty of a lockdown; she certainly didn’t owe me anything! Nonetheless, she wanted to make sure I was encouraged and supported. I still have that note posted above my desk as a reminder of her kindness.
I’m sure you have stories like this one too. Stories about how another person touched your heart or impacted your life, whether that is in big or small ways. I know you have those stories; because, the truth is, though God can create miracles all on his own, he’d rather use ordinary people like you and me to make them happen. Everyday God is using people who know that what is on their to-do list, or in their past, or in their bank account, will never be more important than the needs of those around them. In Philippians 2:3-4 we are reminded to set our focus away from ourselves and onto the needs of others. We don’t need to worry about ourselves. God’s got our back and is already working on putting people in our lives who will provide all the encouragement and support that we need. Our energies are much better spent taking on the attitude of Jesus and serving those God puts in our life. When we surrender our plans and desires to a father who will always provide for us, it becomes so easy to humble ourselves and put others’ needs before our own.
Today, take some time to cherish those stories you have. Thank God for how they have changed your life, and decide to give freely of the gifts and abilities he has given you. How blessed are we to get to take an active part in God’s amazing plans?
Prayer: Father, I am so in awe of the beautiful way you work in our lives. Thank you so much for the people you put in my path and the gifts you have given me to serve them. Please lift up from me the anxiety I feel when I become too focused on my own interests; and instead help me to set my eyes on the needs of others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Take some time today to read John 13: 1-17 and pray over how Jesus humbled himself to wash the feet of his disciples.
- Imagine how it must have felt for the disciples to be served by their Lord.
- Ask God how you can humble yourself to those in your life.
- Serve on the J-Team and discover the gifts God has given you to serve others.
- Join a J-Group to open yourself up to the amazing relationships God has for you.
Kimberly Leigh/Newark J-Groups Area Coordinator
Kimberly Leigh serves as the Newark J-Groups Area Coordinator and will graduate the JLI Evening Program in the spring of 2022. Kim came to The Journey with her amazing husband and kids four years ago. During that time she has grown deeper in her relationship with Jesus than she could have ever imagined, in large part due to the support and love she found here. She feels so blessed to be able to serve on the J-Groups Team so she can help people to connect in meaningful relationships. Kim will be leading Anytime J-Group this semester with her dear friends Court and Marqueita and she hopes you will join them!