West End Assembly of God
Sunday, May 03, 2015
Daily Devotional Guide
DAILY DEVOTIONS – April 27-May 2, 2015
MONDAY, April 27
Isaiah 58:10-11- And if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed…the Lord will guide you always…
There are a number of conditions mentioned in the Bible that need to be met in order to enjoy divine guidance throughout life. Unselfishness is one of them. Selfishness produces a hardened spirit and makes it difficult for the Lord to minister to and through us. Have you noticed the more we love God the more unselfish we become toward others? We blame our limited service on our busy lifestyles and all the pressures and demands of everyday living. Yet, God’s prescription for a balanced, healthy faith includes serving others; and when God sees that our hearts are becoming hardened, He often calls us aside for a tune-up. It may include emptying our hands and opening our wallet and doing something outside our comfort zone. When is the last time you spent yourself on someone who was hungry or oppressed?
TUESDAY, April 28
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; & lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
Don’t be too quick to place an undo reliance on your own understanding. God knows what lies ahead, so He often redirects our steps. He sees what we do not see and He leads one step at a time accordingly. We want to travel one mile at a time or one year at a time; but walking with the Lord is a day-by-day experience. We must learn to trust Him all along the way. This is difficult for those of us who like to chart the course and prepare in advance for every stopping point. But the walk of faith keeps us on our knees, keeps us listening for His voice, and keeps us attending to the nudge of the Spirit. Trust Him. Acknowledge Him. He will direct your path.
WEDNESDAY, April 29
Psalm 32:9– Be not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding; whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
If we want divine guidance, we should not be like the horse or mule--led by the reins and guided by the force of circumstances. Both animals lack understanding. The mule is stubborn and willful. If we want divine guidance, we need to be pliable (Ps. 25:9) and have meekness of spirit that enables God to gently guide us. He wants to be able to guide us with instruction, teaching, and the quiet look of His eye (vs. 8). How easily can God guide you? Are you willful and set in your ways? Or is your heart open and pliable to the Lord’s shaping process? God wants to guide us. What method must He use with you?
THURSDAY, April 30
Exodus 3:8 – …I have come down to rescue (Israel) from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey...
Getting from “here” to “there” on the journey of life requires several important things. First, you have to be dissatisfied with the “here.” The pain of remaining the same must outweigh the pain of change, or people won’t change. Second, you have to have a vision of “there.” God carefully described the Promised Land as “good and spacious” and “flowing with milk and honey.” God’s Word describes our “there” as He calls us to a life filled with joy, peace, community, and loving relationships. Third, we need faith-filled, encouraging traveling companions who can help us keep our eyes on the goal, not wither in discouragement when the journey gets difficult. Finally, we need celebrations and mile-markers to help us realize how far we’ve actually come. Don’t be discouraged by the pain of change. Let God use it to take you into your destiny.
FRIDAY, May 1
Colossians 3:1-2– Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Spiritual practices, such as fasting and prayer and meditation on God’s Word, are a means to receiving God’s grace, a way to position ourselves before God for spiritual transformation. The inner attitude of heart is more important than the outer mechanics and duties. Inner transformation does not come from gaining more information. While information is indispensible, it is not sufficient in itself. Spiritual practices are meant to affect both the mind and the heart by disrupting the normal patterns of thoughts and feelings that flow through us every day and by giving godly thoughts and feelings a chance within us. As we arrange our lives around spiritual practices (i.e. spiritual disciplines), we find power to do what we never could do through direct effort. The Holy Spirit empowers us, and spiritual transformation automatically occurs. Set your heart (affections) and mind on things above. Change will come.
SATURDAY, May 2
Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
When we repent, we start moving a different direction. We turn away from old, futile patterns of living. John the Baptist preached: “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8). Job’s wife “looked back” and died. We must be intentional with our faith, keeping our “hand to the plow” (Luke 9:62), making progress no matter how slowly it seems to come. Christ is the “shepherd and overseer of our souls” (I Pet. 2:25) so trust Him. He will make all things new.