Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk7/Day1)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Mark 4:24-25—“Consider carefully what you hear,” He continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” (NIV)

CONSIDER

In America, we have a fundamental truth we believe in: “All men are created equal.” Of course, this doesn’t mean all men and women LIVE equally and EXPERIENCE EQUAL BLESSING as a result. Why is listening to God and how we live so vital to Jesus?

He equates living our lives with “measuring.” What do you think this means?

PRAY

Lord, listening to You takes time and discernment. Honestly, I’m not always sure when I hear You or when I’m just hearing my own thoughts bang around in my head. So, I thank You for Your Word which is something I don’t need to doubt whether You’re saying or not to me. Help me to respond to Your directions—both in the Word and in the Spirit’s speaking to me—by measuring out to my neighbor all the effort, holiness, kindness, and love as You have measured to me. For Jesus’ name, Amen.

Deeper Dive: “Homeward Bound” (Week 1)

Attached below is Week 1 of a deeper dive into the profoundly relevant letters Peter the Apostle penned 2000 years ago–into what has become the books we know as First and Second Peter. This look into these formative teachings is becoming a series of sermons and studies we’re calling “Homeward Bound.” What we’ll find in these 7 weeks of readings in 1 & 2 Peter is this: We all ought to be moving towards Heaven by loving everyone and everything rightly on Earth.

Feel free to click on the Download button and jump into this week’s first five daily readings. You are welcome to download it to any of your devices or just return here each day this week to read the next day’s reading. Reading these words and having them transform your life is done best in a group, so circle up with someone and learn together how the Kingdom of God might best look in you live this life . . . Homeward Bound!

Click here to open the pdf of Week 1’s readings:

To view Week 2’s readings in Homeward Bound, click here.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk6/Day3)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Matthew 5:6—Blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty for what is right. They will be filled. (NIRv)

Luke 6:21—Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. (NASB)

CONSIDER

When things aren’t as they ought to be or relationships are broken, it doesn’t feel right to us. To those who love God and hunger for a better world, we want things to be made as they ought to be. What around you or in you needs to be “filled” or “satisfied” because it’s not right?

What might you need to do to be a part of making it “right”?

PRAY

Lord, it’s impossible for me to count all the things about the world (and my life) that aren’t exactly as they ought to be, but there are things I can do about some of them. Please reveal to me what You’re hungering to see me act on. And whatever I can’t, help me to trust that You know how to lead others to make the world look more and more like Heaven and Your heart. Make me right, Jesus. Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk6/Day2)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

John 21:17-18, 19—A third time [ Jesus ] asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, You know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed My sheep . . . follow Me.” (NLT)

CONSIDER

Loving God, Jesus teaches Peter is can never be dis-equated with loving and serving people (God’s “sheep”). While we don’t have to create the food, we do have a part to play in leading others to those pastures where God’s sustenance is. Before we can lead others there, though, we must be healthy and finding spiritual nutrition from God ourselves. What feeds YOUR soul?

Who is the Holy Spirit revealing you might need to be sensitive to their spiritual well-being around you?

PRAY

Loving You, Lord—I am discovering—requires a lot more than having an emotion towards You. The fact is, first, I don’t always feel emotional in Your direction and, second, You apparently want me to show my love for You by loving others who need caring for. I do pray You build that emotional connection with me, but I also ask for Your compassion for everyone around me, Jesus. In Your name I ask it, Amen.

Deeper Dive Devo (Wk6/Day1)

Click on the link below for today’s daily devotional and group encounter. (While the button next to the devotional says “download,” it is simply a link that will safely open a new page with the pdf reading.)


Read: Genesis 11:10-32

This is the account of Shem’s family. Two years after the great flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad. 11 After the birth of Arphaxad, Shem lived another 500 years and had other sons and daughters. 12 When Arphaxad was 35 years old, he became the father of Shelah. 13 After the birth of Shelah, Arphaxad lived another 403 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 When Shelah was 30 years old, he became the father of Eber. 15 After the birth of Eber, Shelah lived another 403 years and had other sons and daughters. 16 When Eber was 34 years old, he became the father of Peleg. 17 After the birth of Peleg, Eber lived another 430 years and had other sons and daughters. 18 When Peleg was 30 years old, he became the father of Reu. 19 After the birth of Reu, Peleg lived another 209 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 When Reu was 32 years old, he became the father of Serug. 21 After the birth of Serug, Reu lived another 207 years and had other sons and daughters. 22 When Serug was 30 years old, he became the father of Nahor. 23 After the birth of Nahor, Serug lived another 200 years and had other sons and daughters. 24 When Nahor was 29 years old, he became the father of Terah. 25 After the birth of Terah, Nahor lived another 119 years and had other sons and daughters.

26 After Terah was 70 years old, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. 27 This is the account of Terah’s family. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot. 28 But Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, the land of his birth, while his father, Terah, was still living. 29 Meanwhile, Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah. (Milcah and her sister Iscah were daughters of Nahor’s brother Haran.) 30 But Sarai was unable to become pregnant and had no children. 31 One day Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai (his son Abram’s wife), and his grandson Lot (his son Haran’s child) and moved away from Ur of the Chaldeans. He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there. 32 Terah lived for 205 years and died while still in Haran. (NLT)

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk6/Day1)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Matthew 5:5—The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth. (HCSB)

Matthew 11:29—Jesus: “Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (NLT)

CONSIDER

Since God Himself is gentle with us, He directs us to be gentle with others. Who is someone who could benefit from your being gentle with them?

Thinking even one step deeper, how could you be gentle in a perfect way with their needs?

Frances de Sales: “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.”

PRAY

Lord, Your Scriptures tell me that it’s Your kindness that leads me to repent of my sins . . . not fear of Your judgment! This is so encouraging! Of course, while I do fear what You could do to me in punishment, I know that I’m compelled to come closer to You because of Your gentle way with my imperfection. Give me Your heart so I will mirror that gentleness with others today. When I am like You, it can be so, Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk5/WKND)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Hebrews 12:10-11—Our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in His holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. (NLT)

CONSIDER

Do you think God’s discipline feels more like getting spanked or like having to run wind sprints at practice for not maintaining intense focus?

What is “holiness”? How do you believe the author means discipline leads us to be able to “share” in God’s holiness with Him?

PRAY

God, You are holy and perfect. This holiness of Yours is far beyond both my comprehension and my capacities. But I know just because I can’t understand Your holiness or achieve it perfectly myself, You still want me to pursue Your holiness by being near to You. Please lead me into situations today that will test my choices as Your son/daughter. Light the way for me to choose as You would choose so that I might be more like You, my Father. In Jesus’ name I ask You, Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk5/Day5)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Matthew 5:4—God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (NLT)

Luke 6:21—Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. (NIV)

Psalm 30:11—You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy . . . (NLT)

CONSIDER

What’s the most painful thing you’ve ever experienced? Does it seem counter-intuitive to you that the level of this pain will be more than counter-acted by God’s joy and laughter? Why/why not?

Jesus wants us to know that we’ll not always be in pain in this life (and, for sure, not in the life to come). Because of this, how might you open yourself to laughter (or give others laughter) today as a way to be nearer to your own comfort and joy?

“You don’t stop laughing because you grow older. You grow older because you stop laughing.” –Maurice Chevalier

PRAY

It’s encouraging to know that You are trying to “clothe” me in Heaven’s fashions of joy and laughter. While this fashion should lead every trend of what people are wearing in this world (and it’s what I want to wear every day, Lord!), sometimes I still feel like I’m dressed in sadness at the people and things I’ve lost or am losing. So, please bring joy to this constant pain and mourning I sense in myself and I’ll thank You for your comforts as You do, Lord. I long to laugh with You and with those who love You in Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ laughter, Amen.

Deeper Dive Devo (Wk5/Day5)

Click on the link below for today’s daily devotional and group encounter. (While the button next to the devotional says “download,” it is simply a link that will safely open a new page with the pdf reading.)


Read: Genesis 9:18-29

The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth. 20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” 26 He also said, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. 27 May God extend Japheth’s territory; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”
28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died. (NIV)