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All Things

[5 minutes]
Mindsetter Moment: Start out your day reading Psalm 29:1-11 and Proverbs 20:26-27. Have you seen those “take what you need” pages on community boards? We are going to create our own version of that today. Choose one verse that encourages you from these readings. Write it down on a sticky note or piece of paper, then place the note where you will see it throughout the day.

[15 minutes]
Scripture reading:

Ezra 4:24
Ezra 5:1-17
Ezra 6:1-22
1 Corinthians 3:5-23
Psalm 29:1-11
Proverbs 20:26-27

Devotional thought
A few days ago, we looked at the history of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. We reviewed the challenge of disunity in the group and how the church was rife with fighting and disagreements. Paul addresses this head-on in 1 Corinthians 3. He writes about how members of the group are trying to one-up each other based on who baptized them, or which leader’s ideas they follow.

The Apostle Paul uses several great analogies about plants and temples and then, at the very end, in what sounds like a flourish, he gets to the heart of the whole thing.

“All things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future - all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” 1 Corinthians 3:21b-23

Paul sums up the first part of his letter with a mindset challenge. Paul says “All things are yours!” Why break “all” down into parts, fighting about minor minutia, when it’s all been given to you? Paul invites the church of Corinth to step out of a limited mindset into an expansive one. God invites us into the expanse of his love, his freedom, his grace, and his forgiveness.

What applies to me?
At the end of the day, we all want to do the “right” thing. We don’t want avoidable messes, and we don’t want to create uncomfortable situations for ourselves! It’s admirable to think and live the “right” way, but in our obsession with rightness, it is easy to become limited, restrictive, and judgmental.

Today, try something new. Look past petty disagreements with your spouse, children or boss. Look past the world around you. Lift your eyes above your worries and fears. Look up at the expanse of God’s great love for you. Look at that, and don’t look away. Look to the greatness of God, until everything else has become quite small.

Invite God’s expansive love to open your eyes to how full his grace really is. Step out into it. When things go wrong or disagreements arise today, choose a wider view, an expansive mindset, a gracious response.

[10 minutes]
Write it out: Is there a fear, worry, or situation you are having a hard time with? Perhaps a relationship in your life is characterized by strife. Use 3 sentences to write it out. One sentence about the problem, one sentence about how it makes you feel, and one sentence requesting grace over the situation.

Pray it out: Take some time to pray about the situation/problem/concern you wrote about in your journal. Give it over to God, remember who and whose you are.

Live it out:  When faced with two options today, reach for grace.