READ: Luke 9:37-62
THINK: Have you ever been jealous of anyone at church who got an opportunity you would have liked to have or who received recognition you felt was undeserved? Perhaps you've been skeptical of someone's ministry or motives based solely on prejudice. Such attitudes are not uncommon, but they are destructive because they influence our attitudes toward God. They also keep us from appreciating and celebrating what He's doing through the church to bring help, healing and inspiration to others. No matter how good your intentions are, your attitudes toward both Christians and non-Christians must be humble, gracious and aimed at bringing others closer to Christ.
RESPOND: Why couldn't Jesus' disciples exercise authority over the demon that controlled the boy? Why was the significance of Jesus' betrayal and suffering hidden from His disciples at the time (vv. 44-45)? What was Jesus teaching us using the child as an example (vv. 47-48)? Why do you suppose the disciples felt as they did toward others who were driving out demons in Jesus' name (v. )? In what ways is jealousy over ministry sometimes evident among Christians? What are the consequences of such behavior? What was the reason behind the Samaritans' attitude toward Jesus and His followers? (See 9:53 note.) Why did Jesus rebuke His disciples for their attitude toward the Samaritans? (See 9:55 note.) How can Christians' enthusiasm for Jesus sometimes be misguided in their attitudes and actions toward non-Christians? What was Jesus trying to teach in verses 57-62 about following Him?
PRAY: Confess any selfish pride you've held on to. Ask Jesus to help you avoid competition or jealousy in ministry. Pray that your enthusiasm for God never becomes misguided in a way that pushes people away from Him.
ACT: If you've harbored any jealousy, resentment or a bad attitude toward someone regarding ministry or Christian service, ask God to forgive you. Then, contact that person to confess your attitude and apologize. Express appreciation for their service and encourage them to make the most of their opportunities. If you've been impatient, unkind or difficult toward anyone because of their non-Christian behavior, make a personal apology to them as well.
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