food-restaurant-summer-nuts.jpgCheck out the Five Minute Fridays Writing Community here: Once a week, one word writing prompt, write for five minutes, and post. Unedited flat out writing. The prompt is this week is INTENTIONAL.

I wrote this devotional last year, and with a five minutes worth of changes (inspired by  Ann Kroeker) I decided to use it this week for FMF. Oh! By the way, this is the first official post from my new WordPress blog. Hope you like it.

Ice Cream Social Devotional

When a friend shared what was on her heart for a Women’s Ministry social event, I got excited. She asked me to write the devotional. This was a first so I had to be intentional about accurately conveying her message.

First she wanted to bring the women of the church together in a social gathering. She wanted us to move toward being a community of women.  Ice-cream is a great first step!

Second, she wanted this community of women to be strong. Strong in Jesus as we face the situations the world creates. Strong when we are asked the hard questions. Not to shrink away from the tough stuff.

Third, that we handle the tough stuff in a godly fashion with a strength that reflects Jesus in our response.

This passage from Philippians 2 (1-5a) aligns perfectly with what God placed on my friend’s heart.

1Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, [NASB] 

Now, let’s take another look at that passage and see how it applies in the context of bringing women of the church together and making us strong in Christ. I see verses 1 & 2 speaking to us about community.

The definition of community is a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

We become of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, [and] intent on one purpose when we pray together, study together and even when we eat ice cream together. We grow into a community of friends by spending time together, by learning about each other and about what God can do in and through us for one purpose – His.

Taking a look at verses 3 & 4, I see strength described through meekness. In Bakers Evangelical Dictionary of Bible Theology, Samuel Meier wrote “Meekness does not identify the weak but more precisely the strong who have been placed in a position of weakness where they persevere without giving up.” We grow stronger when we rely on the Holy Spirit, understand our identity in Christ and assume a position of meekness (strength under control).  We are strong in Christ.

Finally, how do we provide a godly response to the hard questions and in tough situations, especially when we know what we are witnessing is not of God? There’s only one way–we need to develop an attitude in [ourselves] which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5a).

God enables us to use scripture in the right circumstances and in just the right way; for His glory. In 2 Timothy, Paul tells Timothy that all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (3:16).

When we intentionally seek Him in His word, we find ourselves intentionally ready to give a godly response. Sometimes our words might be as sweet as ice cream and other times they may be a bit sour. One thing is for sure; when God is leading the words are always right.

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