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.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk5/Day4)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Hebrews 12:7-9—As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as He does all of His children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really His children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? (NLT)

CONSIDER

Henry Blackaby: “God is interested in developing your character. At times He lets you proceed, but He will never let you go too far without discipline to bring you back. In your relationship with God, He may let you make a wrong decision. Then the Spirit of God causes you to recognize that it is not God’s will. He guides you back to the right path.”

How long does it normally take for you to recognize that Your Father in Heaven may be disciplining you for an attitude or action that doesn’t reflect His Family or His Way?

Why is being disciplined by God actually a signature that He loves you? How might He be loving you in this way right now?

PRAY

Holy Spirit, I pray for Your clear direction so that I’ll make fewer wrong steps and an increasing number of steps on Your path with You. Restraining myself under temptation and un-restraining the Holy Spirit when I would otherwise quit will mean You will need to act less like a Disciplinarian and more like the Dad You long to be to me. But, when You have no alternative but to discipline me, I’ll accept it as love from You–just in the same way I receive Your blessings. Thank You that You love me in every painful and precious way I need. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk5/Day3)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Matthew 5:3—God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. (NLT)

Luke 6:20—God will bless you people who are poor. His Kingdom belongs to you! (CEV)

CONSIDER

When do you feel like you need God? How do you feel that need?

God says when we realize we are poor, it’s the first moment our hands can be fully open to receive Heaven. What about God’s Kingdom would you love to have belong to you?

PRAY

Dear Father in Heaven, Your Kingdom sometimes makes me feel poor because I have to go without to see the heavenly gains You’re trying to add to me and to the world I’m in. Help me to be perfectly content with having You. Make my hands open to You so that I’ll realize my soul and life are as abundantly blessed as Heaven is making me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk5/Day2)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Genesis 12:1-3—The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” (NLT)

CONSIDER

Why is blessing others its own blessing upon us?

Wherever God plants us, being a blessing to all the families of the earth is the primary mission. Who do you think God is putting in your path today to bless?

How will you bless them, do you think?

PRAY

Lord, it would have been much easier for You if You would have just stayed in Heaven, I’m sure. You wouldn’t have had to endure pain and persecution for Your love for us. Yet You left Heaven so You could bring Heaven to Earth. I will follow You wherever You go and I will bless others as You have always blessed me. ‘Show’ me in each moment today how I can bless others wherever I am and whatever state my heart is in. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk5/Day1)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Hebrews 12:1-3—Since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility He endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. (NLT)

CONSIDER

What are the three impacts of keeping our eyes on Jesus?

Why does considering Jesus’ patient endurance help us with our own?

PRAY

Messiah, You endured so much for me. You accepted me without giving my sin a pass, You bled and died so I wouldn’t have to let sin kill me, and You went all the way to the finish line so I can have You and eternity. Give me so much of You that I require so much less of this earthly life to be full. Forgive the sin that seems to always trip me up and exorcise it from my life. Help me to endure the temptations of the darkness and the trials of this life so that I become more like You today. I believe in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk4/WKND)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Exodus 14:10,13-16—As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw the Egyptians coming after them. Then the Israelites were terrified and cried out to the Lord for help . . . 13 But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.” 15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to break camp. 16 As for you, lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it so that the Israelites can go through . . . (HCSB)

CONSIDER

From a standpoint of human instinct, it’s easier to become emotionally and spiritually untethered during tough circumstances than it is to stand firm and trust God would never leave us standing alone. Today, how do you need to trust God with your heart more than your instincts might normally respond with calm?

What is an intentional act you can choose to do today to get ‘quiet’ enough (Exodus 14:14) to hear the sound of God fighting for you?

PRAY

Holy Spirit, I’m listening closely to the sounds of You fighting for me and for my life. I know the battle for me already took Your life on the Cross, but I am made even more confident knowing that You and Your angels are busy fighting for this very moment in my heart, too. I dedicate this day to You so I don’t lose my anchor. In fact, I promise to join You in fighting for others that are scared at the terrors they’re encountering in this world. Empower me to help part the seas on those fears so they can see You! In Jesus’ name I ask You, Amen.