Use this devo as you are able, in whole or in part. Don’t feel compelled to read it all. Simply read and meditate upon whatever catches your attention. The goal is enjoying time with God through His Word and in prayer. Questions about the devotional elements?
Call to Prayer
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1)
Prayer of Confession
Just and forgiving God,I want to repent of my “repentance.” I’ve tried to repent, usually out of fear or anxiety, and sometimes as a pious way to earn your forgiveness.
But when I see the beauty of your kindness, when the mercy of Christ grips my heart, I’m led back to you.
Today, I joyfully turn from all my sin and walk in your ways because of your acceptance of me. Amen. (a prayer based on the Westminster Confession, 15.2)
*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
This reading plan will help you to develop the habit of being in God’s Word each morning and evening. Come to this time with expectation. Expect God to reveal himself to you. Expect that he delights in you being there, even when you’ve wandered away. Growing a spiritual habit is a slow, patient process. So be kind to yourself as you grow!
Readings are hyperlinked. Simply hover over the passage or click Morning/Evening Reading (email version).
Praying the Psalms: Read slowly. Take note of words and phrases. Bring them before the Lord in prayer and personalize the passage as you pray.
NT Context: “The two letters Peter wrote exhibit the qualities of Jesus that the Holy Spirit shaped in him: a readiness to embrace suffering rather than prestige, a wisdom developed from experience and not imposed from a book, a humility that lacked nothing in vigor or imagination.” Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.
OT Context: “Twice in Judges (17:6 and 21:25) there is the telling refrain: “At that time there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing.” But we readers know that there was a king in Israel: God was king. And so, while the lack of an earthly king accounts for the moral and political anarchy, the presence of the sovereign God, however obscurely realized, means that the reality of the kingdom is never in doubt.” Reflect on the passage. Who was the original audience, and what was their situation? How is that relevant to you today?
Read: Luke 9:22-25, 51-62
So far this week we have looked at multiplication from the viewpoint of The Great Commission. The rest of the week we will look at what we mean when we say that we want to help grow disciples who make disciples.
Take a look at this summary from Gospel Christianity below and THEN spend some time with the reflection question. We’ll spend the remainder of the week looking at how discipleship leads to various kinds of multiplication.
“A disciple of Jesus is someone who has found a whole new identity. Jesus uses the metaphor “taking up your cross” to convey what it means to follow him, to be his disciple. You only took up your cross on the way to your execution! Discipleship, then, is a kind of death. Why would Jesus use such a radical metaphor?It is because discipleship is such a radical change of allegiances that it essentially means to die to your old self and identity and to get a new one. Jesus contrasts building your life on him with building your life on gaining and putting your hopes on the world. He says that if you try to build your life on anything in the world more than on him, then you lose your true self, your very self.
Discipleship changes our identity. At the heart of discipleship is a transfer of ultimate authority from your own wisdom and will to God’s wisdom and will. The difference between a disciple and a generally moral person is the word if.Persons who are generally moral and religious but who ultimately retain control over their own lives say “I’ll obey if —.”
a) “If it doesn’t offend my modern sensibility”
b) “If it doesn’t really cost me my reputation”
c) “If it doesn’t really cost me the possibility of marriage”
d) “If it doesn’t really cost me serious money.”
If there is any “if” to your obedience, the rest of the sentence shows what your identity is really built upon…In short, if there are any conditions or “ifs” to your obedience at all — you are still on the “throne” of your life. You are willing to consider God’s recommendations, but you are ultimately the one with the final decision-making authority. You have kept control of your life. And you haven’t fundamentally shifted your identity to Christ. You are still essentially deriving your significance and joy from other things, and these things limit and condition your obedience.
Disciples, then, are those who have “died.” They have died to their old volitional foundation: their ego-centric desire to be their own masters. They have given up the right of self- determination. But they have also died to their old psychological foundations. What they once found in career, family, recognition, reputation, success, status and relationships, they now find in Christ.
Reflect: How has your new identity in Christ changed the conditions you place on your obedience?
Evening Prayer of Examen
Where did you move with or feel close to Jesus today?
Where did you resist or feel far from Jesus today?
Where is Jesus leading you tomorrow? Ask for joy as you follow him.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Eph. 3:16-17)