West End Assembly of God
Monday, March 02, 2015
Daily Devotional Guide
March 2-7, 2015
UNSHAKEABLE: Building A Steadfast Faith
MONDAY, March 2
Colossians 2:6-7 – So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Learning who we are in Christ significantly impacts how we perceive ourselves and evaluate our history; and it frees us to move forward into healthy, productive living on every level. God’s Word paints the clearest picture of our belovedness, our value, and our potential; so we have to make time for serious Bible study. It is the primary way we take root and grow strong in every dimension of our lives. Without it we can be taken “captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (vs. 8). Every one of us grapples with guilt, fear, and shame of some brand. But Christ died to set us free from sin’s dominion making it possible for us to reach our fullest potential--glorifying God and strengthening others. Now it is our responsibility to grow our faith through intentional practices that will help us become “rooted” and “built up” and “strengthened in the faith.” How are you living this out?
TUESDAY, March 3
Psalm 32:7– You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
When life gets tough, it’s hard to hear the sound of God’s songs of deliverance. Sorrow plugs our ears and discouragement clouds our vision. Our hearts grow heavy with cares. But if we listen carefully, we will begin to hear a song rise up from some hidden place in our souls. The Holy Spirit will breathe into our hearts melodious words that bring hope and encouragement: worship songs, old hymns of the church. Pause and listen for what David heard—songs of deliverance. Know what He knew—God is our hiding place. Whatever your struggle today, lift your eyes, lift your heart, and tune your ears. God is singing songs of deliverance all around you.
WEDNESDAY, March 4
Luke 10:40-42 – But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made…”Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better…”
Most of us know this narrative. Martha is busy preparing the meal for Jesus and the disciples; and there is much to do. Meanwhile, Mary has slipped into the other room to listen to Jesus. Absorbed with His teaching, she forgets her kitchen duties. Martha goes to Jesus in frustration only to hear his gentle rebuke. Poor Martha will forever be remember as the distracted, worried sister. To those of us who are task-oriented people, this is an annoying, but important, narrative. Hear the lesson. Sometimes the thing we do becomes more important to us than the One we serve! Sometimes we busy ourselves with much serving only to forget the focal point of all service—Jesus. Mary has chosen what is better… Time with Jesus became her priority. We go off balance when Jesus is not the center of it all. That’s when anxiety and worry takes hold of our hearts. The solution is not just pausing to listen, but taking time out to sit at His feet and absorb his words. Jesus said, “few things are needed.” What are those few things? Conversation. People. Connection. When we align with Jesus’ heart, our priorities change. What should remain at the core of all our service? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and…Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-40).
THURSDAY, March 5
John 11:25 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Mary and Martha were in crisis mode. Their brother Lazarus had died. Their impulsive, first words: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died…” (vs. 21 & 32). Jesus answered Martha with a profound “I AM” declaration. He was about to reveal His glory in a way that trumped everything else He had ever done in His ministry to date; and His statement about the essence of life was taken from the core of His teachings. Jesus is “the creator,” “the sustainer,” no matter what our loss (Colossians 1:16). He breathes divine breath into our lifeless souls (Gen. 2:7; Job 33:4). He is the manna that sustains us on the long journey home (John 6:35). He brings beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3). He resurrects the dead. Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) and He guides us through every heartache. Are you swallowed up in a crisis? Jesus can cause life to emerge from things sealed closed, dead and gone. He doesn’t just bring life, He IS life. Never forget it.
FRIDAY, March 6
John 12:3 – Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Mary’s act of worship ministered to Jesus in ways that nobody would understand, since in about a week He would be crucified. While Judas complained about the waste and how the perfume could have been sold to raise money to give to the poor (vs. 6 tells us he was a thief), Jesus defended Mary and brought perspective: You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. Only Jesus knows the motivation behind our expressions of adoration. When it comes to worship, let us be careful not to judge anyone harshly. True worship comes from the heart and it finds expression in a variety of methods. Each of us has our own preferences, but God looks at the heart.
SATURDAY, March 7
Psalm 40:1-3 – I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.
In this passage, David did only one thing. He waited patiently. That’s all. The Lord, on the other hand, did many things for David. He turned, lifted, set David in a firm place, and gave David a new song. God always does more for us than we could ever do for Him. What is happening in your life that requires this one thing from you: patient waiting? Don’t give up. While you are waiting, God is at work behind the scenes acting on your behalf in a multitude of ways. Take comfort today for He has turned to you and heard your cry.