Welcome to Daily Steps!
A weekly devotional message with daily scripture readings and prayer prompts to help you spend time with, and draw closer to Jesus.
John 17:22-23 “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me."
Royalty Among Us
Honor is not really a word most of us use in our daily vocabulary. With a few exceptions, the inclusion of the word in books and public discourse has been on a steady decline since its peak way back in 1852. Most Americans regard it as a lofty word associated with royalty, medieval knighthood, the Victorian period, or the military. At best, people often use the word as a slightly higher form of respect for those among us who have made a great sacrifice or hold a place of prestige in society, like veterans, judges, and the British royalty. Society's understanding of honor and, more importantly, the practice of it, is woefully lacking. While we may be tempted to think this is a new problem given the turbulence and horrifying events of recent weeks, the act of giving heartfelt, authentic honor has always been rare. History proves humankind just doesn’t get it, no matter what word we use for it.
Jesus clearly defined and modeled what it means to truly honor others regardless of their stature, race, or goodness, and it shocked and upended the culture of His day. It’s just as offensive to us living in modern society. According to His definition and example, no human is capable of practicing honor with everyone we encounter. We are too self-centered. We are too judgmental. We are too fearful. If we do try, then by comparison to Jesus, every attempt we make to honor others is tainted by our own perspectives, experiences, and need for self-protection. No matter how earnest, our attempts cannot be viewed without the lens of sin — both on our part and that of those we are trying to honor.
As followers of Jesus, there is only one path to honoring others the way Jesus did. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Simply put, we are called to think and act like the royal sons and daughters we are. We are to be reflections of a sacrificial, servant King. And if that weren’t enough, Jesus asks us to treat every human being we encounter as royals as well — whether or not we see any evidence of royalty or not. The King who sets the example for us didn’t reserve the royal treatment for those who were similar to Him and neither should we.
In his sermon "The Weight of Glory," C.S. Lewis said that there is no one you will ever meet who is a mere mortal. No one is just an ordinary person, according to Genesis 1:27, which tells us that every human being on earth bears the image of our King. Every interaction you have bears the weight of helping someone on his or her spiritual journey. Here is how Lewis put it: “The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses … All-day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.”
Every follower of Jesus is a royal ambassador of Heaven walking through a very earthly realm and bearing the sole charge of honoring, loving, and serving other royals-in-the-making. The imprint of God marks every person, regardless of race, background, religion, or lifestyle. As Jesus’ witnesses throughout the earth bearing the image of His glory, the primary goal for Christians is to share the love of the King and invite others to get to know Him. In John 17:20-26, Jesus asks God to make us one, united in reflecting His glory throughout the ages. Dr. Tony Evans said in the Oneness Embraced video study, “If we do not address the unity issue across race, culture and class lines, we are blocking the witness of Christ and limiting the reflection of the glory of God. This issue of unity must be solved. And because it has not been solved by God’s people — and has not yet been solved as it ought to have been by the church — the culture remains in disarray.”
This week as you reflect on the Scripture readings, begin each day by asking God to help you answer this question: What needs to change within me to view every human being as a fellow royal-in-the-making, and what can I do to give everyone the honor worthy of the King I serve? What can I do to help solve the problem and be the Kingdom ambassador who God has called me to be?
Daily Bible Readings with Prayer Prompts
As you contemplate these passages throughout the week, make time to pray before you read them and then again, afterward. In each reading, ask God to show you what the verses mean specifically to you. God’s Word is alive, so even if you’re familiar with these Scriptures, approach them with an expectant heart and an open mind. God wants to spend time with you.
Monday - Read John 17 several times and then spend time praying it back to God, asking Him to make each thing that Jesus prayed for to be a reality in your life. Then take at least five minutes to sit quietly, allowing the Holy Spirit to whisper to your soul. Let Him stir up any feelings of conviction or indications of change, writing down anything that gets in the way of you honoring those who are different from you.
Tuesday - Read Ephesians 2:13-22. Make a list of the words that stand out to you the most or trigger your strongest reactions. Ask God to reveal the reasons why and what it means for your life. Then praise Him for what He will do in you and through you as His Kingdom witness.
Wednesday - Read Romans 8:15-17 and then ask God to help you see every person you encounter as a fellow heir in the Kingdom. Spend time asking the Holy Spirit to help you and your fellow believers treat others with the kind of honor Jesus modeled for us. Ask God to reveal anyone from whom you need to ask for his or her forgiveness.
Thursday - Read 1 John 4:10-11. Sometimes we hold back love for others out of fear, personal agenda, or selfishness. Spend time reflecting on what might hold you back most often. Surrender that to Jesus and ask Him to bring whatever it takes to help you honor and love others regardless of their differences.
Friday - Read 1 Peter 2:17 and Luke 22:28-30. Spend your prayer time today asking the Holy Spirit to empower the body of Christ to be a vessel of healing, peace, and unity in your community, your church, in our country, and around the world.
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
Grow closer to Jesus each day and explore what it means to love others as He did.
Want to Go Even Further?
If you are not already using our weekly study guide with your community group or family members, you're missing out on thought-provoking questions for discussion or individual study.
SERMON STUDY GUIDE - LISTEN LEARN LOVE - WEEK 1
Take Another Step on this Topic
Visit this special Love Others webpage with additional resources, including a practical list of 10 things we can each do right now to love others. These resources will help you explore the topic of Biblical justice and racial unity in greater depth.
Watch CF Beyond Sunday this Monday!
After each sermon, our pastors and various church leaders sit down for about 20 minutes to have a lively discussion about the weekend's topic. It will be posted on YouTube and the church website on Monday night, June 8!