West End Assembly of God
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Daily Devotional Guide
November 24-29, 2014
WEAG Devotions: MOVE: Moving Forward with Your Faith
MONDAY – November 24
Ephesians 4:11 – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people…
Christ has given to the Church several categories of leaders for the purpose of equipping us to do the work of ministry and guiding us into spiritual maturity. In the early church, apostles had two qualifications: 1) He or she must have seen Jesus; and, 2) they had to be a witness of the resurrection and the risen Lord. While the original apostles have died, the “role” continues today and functions through the spiritual gift of apostleship. Some of the distinctives include: “pioneering and establishing new ministries or churches; adapting to different surroundings by being culturally sensitive and aware; desiring to minister to unreached people in other communities or countries; having responsibilities to oversee ministries or groups of churches; and demonstrating authority and vision for the mission of the church.”* They are adventurous risk-takers, entrepreneurial, persevering, adaptable, cause-driven, and culturally sensitive. Some of our own WEAGers demonstrate this gift as they continually engage in missionary endeavors throughout the world, unafraid of taking Jesus into new cultures, and establishing beachheads of new ministries. Today, pray for our homegrown missionaries. (*Network, by Bugbee, Cousins, & Hybels; Zondervan)
TUESDAY – November 25
Ephesians 4:14 – Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.
In every church there are some people who must be protected. Like children, they are dominated by a desire for novelty and live at the mercy of the latest religious fad. Church must be a place where solid food is provided from God’s Word. It must be a place where people find strength and stability as they grow in their faith. In every church there are some people whose false beliefs need to be guarded against. Paul warned of false teachers that invade with clever arguments without biblical basis. Young believers who are not grounded in the Word of God are easy prey for false teachers. Paul tells us we need to grow in faith. Never stop learning. Are you being tossed back and forth—not sure what to believe or why? Our new Media Library (resourced by RightNow Media) is an excellent way to “self-feed” at times when your schedule is free to listen and learn. Be intentional about attending Bible studies regularly, partnering with spiritual mentors, journeying with a small group through a focused study on parenting or marriage skills. Wednesday night four-week topical studies will resume in January. Get moving!
WEDNESDAY – November 26
Philippians 4:6-9 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Paul gives us a solution for overcoming worry. We must pray with thanksgiving over every concern. God does not expect us to pretend that we do not have problems; but He does want us to use our energy to commit setbacks to the Lord and trust Him to help us make then right. We can bring our petitions to God, bathing them in faith-filled prayer. Have your prayers degenerated into fretful statements of fear, or have you learned to capture those fearful thoughts and turn them into faith-filled petitions for divine intervention? You can pray with confidence in God’s faithful character. He wants us to bring our fears to Him and trade them for His peace. Are you willing to make that exchange?
THURSDAY – November 27
I Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
It is difficult to give thanks in all circumstances. How can we give thanks when there is a car wreck, we have a sick child, or we experience a financial loss? Notice the scripture says to give thanks “in all circumstances” not “for all circumstances.” Paul learned this the hard way—through persecutions, shipwreck, beatings, false charges. He learned how to be content, He knew God had the final say in his life and could be trusted with everything most precious to him. Praise God no matter the circumstances. In the middle of heartaches we can discover new dimensions of God’s care for us—He can miraculously bring life out of death, surface faith in the most timid heart, reveal the love in the Body of Christ, and make His word come alive as never before. We can discover supernatural peace in spite of a broken heart. Thanksgiving is the doorway into God’s great room of provision. Learn to live with an attitude of gratitude as your default emotion.
FRIDAY – November 28
Psalm 104:33-34 – I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.
If you will follow this prescription of song and meditation, it will help inoculate you from selfishness. It will evoke from you a spirit of worship and position you for blessings. Praise is both simple and profound. It is the first step towards God’s holy presence. As you celebrate the Thanksgiving season, realize the importance of praise in the whole scheme of life. A thankful attitude is foundational for good mental health for it helps us focus on the positive aspects of life. For Christians, praise is a daily exercise that stirs faith, strengthens our connection to God, and equips joyful living. Today, sing praise to your God.
SATURDAY – November 29
Psalm 121:1-2 – I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
The psalmist lifted his eyes to the hills, where idols and shrines to false gods dotted the landscape. While others prayed to these gods who could not answer, the psalmist knew the Lord would hear and respond to his prayers for Jehovah was the Maker of heaven and earth. Today America’s landscape is dotted with gods of materialism, self-exaltation, carnal knowledge and power. We must lift our eyes up and beyond them and join the ancient psalmist in declaring that our help comes from the Lord. He is our source of provision and the Maker of heaven and earth. Lift up your eyes to see Him.