Pause

Approach God with quiet, gentle movements.

Refuse to be “loud” and eager to do the talking.

Come ready to bow down . . .

and listen . . .

and find purpose,

as one who remembers what it is to be less than holy.

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Listen

Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort in love, any sharing in the Spirit, any sympathy, complete my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, being united, and agreeing with each other. Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others.

Philippians 2:1-4

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Think

Do we have any milk left? Is there any leftover pizza? Maybe you’ve asked your mom or dad a question like this in the past. Sometimes, any amount will do. We just need a little bit, just a piece. Keep this mindset as you think about today’s passage.

The Apostle Paul encourages the church in the city of Philippi to rally around some areas of overlap or commonality within their congregation. He guides them to imitate Christ. Paul asks them to consider if any encouragement, any comfort, any sharing, or any sympathy characterizes their fellowship. Any at all? Just a little bit?

Identifying such an overlap within a youth group or church family creates a powerful sense of unity. Learning how to “watch out” for others evolves to including neighbors, strangers, and even enemies. Jesus made a space for the needs of others without worrying about himself. Paul believed in the ability of the Philippians to follow the example of Christ. Now it’s our turn. Any chance you want to “watch out,” too?

Brian Abel

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Pray

God, any moment when I pause to pray, you are ready to spend time with me. Any time I see a need while driving around, watching TV, or checking social media, you can guide my response. Increase my willingness to “watch out” for others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Go

Rise from a kneeling place.

Embrace God’s call to put others first today.

Resist the urge to find a spotlight.

Allow the light of God’s love to shine brightly, even boldly, through you.

Brian Abel

Brian Abel started serving at a church in Beaumont, Texas right out of seminary 25 years ago. He enjoys running, playing tennis, and downhill skiing whenever he gets the opportunity. Brian is grateful to share life with his dad and siblings.

Quiet Contemplation

John Morton

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