READ: Luke 8:1-21
THINK: How are you at finishing what you start? Think back over the years about things you were so excited about, things you had to have or be part of--but they have no place in your life today? Would any of these have changed your life dramatically? Probably not. However, what God starts in you will change things for eternity. But you must persevere in your relationship with Jesus, not giving up when things get tough or you lack enthusiasm. God won't give up on you, but He expects you to make the most of what He's given and to act on what you know of His Word. That way, your relationship with Jesus will grow and endure, and He will entrust you with even more (cf. v. 18)
RESPOND: How are the actions of the women who followed Jesus an example for all followers of Christ? (See 8:3 note.) In what ways can you show gratitude to Jesus? How can you support and contribute to ministry in practical ways? Is it possible for a person to accept Christ and His message, but later to lose faith and fall away from Him? How might this happen? (See 8:13 note.) In what ways can "life's worries" choke a person's commitment to Jesus? (See 8:14 note.) What does it take on your part to "produce a crop"--to grow and mature and endure spiritually (v. 15)? What does Jesus mean when He talks about putting a light on a stand instead of hiding it under something (v. 16)? Whom does Jesus consider to be part of His family? (See 8:21 note.)
PRAY: Pray that the activities, cares and worries of your life will not distract you and rob you of your devotion to Jesus. Ask God to help you develop the strength and discipline to persevere in your faith.
ACT: Put aside some extra money and make a contribution beyond your current commitment to a missions effort of your church or youth ministry. If you are not currently active in ministry or service in your church, talk to one of your leaders and make plans to get involved. If there is any issue, concern, or activity in your life that is crowding out your commitment to Christ, ask Him for help in dealing with or getting rid of that distraction.
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