Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk4/Day5)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

1 Samuel 16:6-7—When Jesse and his sons arrived, Samuel [the prophet] noticed Jesse’s oldest son, Eliab. “He has to be the one the Lord has chosen,” Samuel said to himself. 7 But the Lord told him, “Samuel, don’t think Eliab is the one just because he’s tall and handsome. He isn’t the one I’ve chosen. People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.” (CEV)

CONSIDER

Max Lucado: “Those words were written for misfits and outcasts. God uses them all. Moses ran from justice, but God used him. Jonah ran from God, but God used him. Rahab ran a brothel. Sarah ran out of hope, Lot ran with the wrong crowd, but God used them all. And David? Human eyes saw a gangly teenager, smelling like sheep. Yet the Lord said, ‘Arise, anoint him, for this is the one!’ . . . God saw what no one else saw–a God-seeking heart. David took after God’s heart, because he stayed after God’s heart. In the end, that is all God wants or needs. Others measure your waist size or wallet. Not God. He examines hearts. When he finds one set on Him, He calls it and claims it.” (Facing Your Giants, 2006)

What causes us to judge things based on how they are presenting on the surface instead of how things may be churning in the heart?

What would Jesus see right this minute if He looked into your heart?

PRAY

I am Yours today, Lord, to look deeply into. It frightens me to know You know every little thing about me. Every sin. Every thought that slides away from You. Every unkind act towards another. But, I know that Your knowing everything about me is how You begin every good thing, so I open myself to You to have You re-wash what’s become soiled again, rewrite what’s poorly written, redirect steps that are errant, and rebolster courage in me to continue those things I have been choosing rightly. I love You, Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk4/Day4)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Luke 9:59-62—[Jesus] said to another person, “Come, follow Me.” The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” 60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.” 61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow You, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” 62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” (NLT)

CONSIDER

There are a lot of distractions that pop up that cause us to delay how intense we allow our relationship to Jesus become. Some of these “interruptions” don’t seem like interruptions. Frankly, they’re life-sized events (like Jesus’ example of a funeral for your father). But Christ explains that patterns of always starting, stopping, starting and then stopping again usually result in more stilts and stops than starts. You see, for those of Hesitant Faith, funerals aren’t the only thing that causes delays.

What is in a holding pattern regarding something Jesus tried to start in you?

PRAY

Jesus, we’re more like the hesitant people in this story than servants who give immediate obedience to following each thing You tell us to do. Elsewhere in Scripture, You tell us that Your ‘yoke is easy’ and your ‘burden is light,’ but it doesn’t mean I can be careless in taking the “yoke” of Your discipleship on my shoulders. Following You, Father, is how my life is defined and measured. Help me to respond with immediacy to Your work in me and to keep my hand on the plow. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk4/Day3)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Hebrews 11:24-27—After Moses grew up, his faith made him refuse to be called Pharaoh’s grandson. 25 He chose to be mistreated with God’s people instead of having the good time that sin could bring for a little while. 26 Moses knew that the treasures of Egypt were not as wonderful as what he would receive from suffering for the Messiah, and he looked forward to his reward. 27 Because of his faith, Moses left Egypt. Moses had seen the invisible God . . . (CEV)

CONSIDER

“Growing up” is not about getting older, but about being more mature in our understanding of what God’s trying to do in the world. Moses gave pleasures up to stay lined up with God’s people. What did Moses understand at this younger age that could help us in our own decision-making about our life?

What reward are you looking forward to in Heaven for your right choices on Earth?

PRAY

Father of Heaven’s People on Earth, You are invisible to us most of the time, yet You ask us to make visible choices. You often lead us to deny a lot of what we see–things that would surely give us obvious pleasures if we did them instead of Your will. It’s certainly easier to pray for help to deny ourselves these “pleasures”; it’s much harder to do something about those prayers. Please, we pray, show us Yourself enough so that we know You and Your plan for us so that we experience the pleasures of Heaven on Earth when we live with Your worldview, lifestyle, and mission. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk4/Day2)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Psalm 139:13-15, 17-18—You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together . . . How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, You are still with me! (NLT)

CONSIDER

How intriguing it is that God acknowledges He knows how “complex” we are. Why do you think God says you are “wonderfully complex” and mean it as a compliment?

What do you think God is thinking about you right now?

REFLECTION: What do you wish that other people understood better about how God made you?

PRAY

God, I am blown away that my birthright is to be exactly who you made me to be . . . in all of my wild complexity. I want to tell You thank You for knowing exactly how to make me as well as knowing that You think about me as precious. Your thoughts about me are so many and come so often. Help me have the actions and the attitude You had in mind when You made me at the start. Through Jesus’ name I praise You for Your creative perfection and power, Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk4/Day1)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

1 Samuel 17:38-40, 45—[As he was preparing to fight Goliath, King] Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. 39 David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before. “I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again. 40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started . . . 45 David replied to [Goliath] the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel . . .” (NLT)

CONSIDER

Why would David have initially been tempted to wear Saul’s armor and use his sword?

Why would Saul’s armor and sword have been useless to David?

What would happen if you were fully confident in the design God gave you with your personality and gifts?

PRAY

Lord, forgive me that, sometimes, I try to be like someone else other than the person you made me to be. I would love to have more and more confidence in not only YOU, but also who you made ME to be. Teach me what my slingshot and five smooth stones are so I can be courageous like David. I know that sometimes me and my wrong views of myself may be the biggest Goliath in between me and courageous victories, Lord. In Jesus’ name I ask You, Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk3/WKND)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Nehemiah 9:1-3,38—On October 31 the people assembled again, and this time they fasted and dressed in burlap and sprinkled dust on their heads . . . they confessed their own sins and the sins of their ancestors. 3 They remained standing in place for three hours while the Book of the Law of the Lord their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God. . . . 38 The people responded, “In view of all this, we are making a solemn promise and putting it in writing. On this sealed document are the names of our leaders and Levites and priests.” (HCSB)

CONSIDER

On Oct 31, the Israelites took their spiritual Halloween masks off and were honest about who they were. Why do you think people don’t confess sins nowadays–quite like this story describes?

What are the benefits of being so publicly honest about the things we struggle with? What are the risks of doing it this way?

PRAY

Lord, we are sinners and we know it. There are sins we struggle with in our personal lives and as a family and as a church and as a community. We ask for your forgiveness, but even more, we pray for your help to change so that we don’t have to confess them again tomorrow. Thank You, Father, for reminding me that my sins and my victories in life are always connected to others. Help me and help us all, Jesus. I pray this in Your name, Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk3/Day5)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Psalm 62:5-8—Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. 6 Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. (NIV)

CONSIDER

What things are worrying or upsetting your soul today?

Sit quietly for a moment. Then meditate on each of these phrases in Psalm 62 as a slow prayer to God. What did God say to you during that quietness?

How do you “feel” when you know you’re trusting God?

PRAY

Help me to be still, God. My anxieties often feel larger than my trust. But because You say that You not only care, but are also my fortress, I will offer You each one of my anxieties and worries today. Here’s one of my anxieties that have been wrestling me down, Father. It’s ___________. It’s Yours now. Here’s another worry I’ve been dwelling on, Lord: __________. It’s Yours, too. Teach me how I can find a restful spirit when I know You are near. In Jesus’ name I ask for Your Spirit, Amen.