West End Assembly of God
Saturday, September 05, 2015
Daily Devotional Guide
DAILY DEVOTIONS – August 31-September 5, 2015
MONDAY, August 31 – Psalm 32: 9 – Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. How do you learn? Do you wait for life circumstances to level you before you ask questions and seek out a teacher? Or do you ask, “Who has mastered life and is worthy of being the teacher I sit under?” Jesus was the disciples’ teacher before He was their Savior. You think of Him as your Savior—the one who will get you into Heaven; but have you accepted Him as your teacher? His textbook chronicles the spiritual history of mankind and shows the results of both good and bad choices. Do we study the Bible to learn? More than that, Jesus modeled how to connect the principles of God’s Word to everyday life. Don’t be like the horse or mule. Don’t walk blindly through life, a victim to its disfunctions. Pursue Jesus as your teacher.
TUESDAY, Sept. 1 – Psalm 1:1 – Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
Where do we find wisdom to know how to live? This Psalm points the way. “We live in a world where just to drift is disaster. The counsel of the wicked is: Live as if it matters what people think of you. Live as if the outcomes of your life are on your shoulders and you control them. Live as if aging is something to worry about. Live as if satisfying your desires and appetites is central to your well-being and a wise strategy for living. This counsel goes on all the time, and we rarely see it. Turn on the television, go online, listen to conversations throughout the day and you will hear about being more successful, looking younger and sexier, and getting even with those who hurt you.” It’s the counsel of the ungodly; and we must intentionally push past it and into the eternal truth of God’s Word. Revelation sends out a chilling call: “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die” (3:2). Our enemy lulls us to sleep, distracts us from godly mission, and whispers “compromise” into our minds. Don’t drift into disaster.
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 2 –Psalm 1:2–But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night. Those who delight in God’s plan for life can experience a life that flourishes. “Jesus is the best and only one from which human beings should learn how to live. Just Jesus. All attempts to do things that don’t start with God will betray us. They are inadequate to provide a foundation for life. By all means, learn and think deeply; but recognize that God’s wisdom looks like folly to the world (I Cor. 1). Other voices are promoted and get heard, but they ultimately lead to death.” Delight in and meditate on God’s word.
THURSDAY, September 3 – Luke 8:1– “Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.”
Jesus proclaimed that the Kingdom of God had come; but what does that mean? “A lot of people’s idea of the gospel revolves around that big question: How do you know you’re going to get into heaven when you die? which ends up meaning, Have you satisfied the minimal entrance requirements? The gospel becomes the announcement of the minimal entrance requirements for getting into heaven! But where did Jesus ever say that? If my goal is to get into heaven when I die, I have a cartoonish view of heaven as a pleasure factory…This is a hopelessly distorted view that focuses on heaven and misses God completely.” It is utterly unconnected with the call to be a disciple of Jesus, who says, “Come and be with me, watch me, learn from me, and do what I do.” The Kingdom of God connects to your whole life, not just one segment. Explore it. Prioritize it. Seek it first.
FRIDAY, September 4 – Job 42:5-6– My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.
Sometimes suffering can open our eyes to the vastness of God’s Kingdom. Its refining fires can transform our faith from limited realms of hearing to deeper levels of knowing. Job experienced this. His “before suffering” experience was rooted in a righteousness as best as possible. But his “after suffering” experience involved a different kind of knowledge of God. He acknowledged: I spoke of things I did not understand. His suffering became a space for divine revelation. Have you experienced that too? God does not cause suffering, but He reveals Himself in the midst of it to those who keep their trust in Him.
SATURDAY, September 5 – Job 42:10-After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.
Job’s experience in suffering not only transformed his life but also brought him into a ministry of reconciliation. Job’s friends came under God’s judgment for their words and perspectives during Job’s trial. God called them on it and demanded not only a sacrifice but also an intercessory prayer: My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly (vs. 8). Those who have no scars are often quick to judge, quick to speak, less compassionate, lacking in humility, legalistic with God’s Word and accusatory toward God’s people. Those who graduate from the crucible of suffering have learned the lessons of humility (vs. 3-4) and gained new levels of spiritual authority. How has suffering changed your spiritual life?
Quotes are excerpts from Living in Christ’s Presence, by Dallas Willard.
Devotions compiled and/or written by Pastor Marlyn DeFoggi