Friday 7/6/2012 Daily Devotional

Ecclesiastes 3:9-22. What is the God given task for Christians? God has designed us to glory in Him.  We glory in many things of the world (sports, hobbies, etc…). We are actually really good glorifiers! The question that I want you to ask yourself is what do you most glorify yourself in? We, and those things created, are nothing more than dust to dust according to this passage.  Adam was formed from dust and we return to dust when we die, so why do we marvel in our own thoughts and works? We should be enthralled by God’s great work and glorify him.

Joshua 4. After crossing over the Jordan, God commands Joshua to build an altar celebrating what God did.  I see two specific applications for us from this passage.  First of all, we should take the purpose clause from verse 22 and apply it to us.  We should remember what God did on that day forever, and that he will ever be watching out for us.  Secondly we should be documenting things that happen in our own lives as individuals and a church that turn us back to glorifying God.  There are times when we need strong encouragement and cannot find it. Take time to pray a prayer of thankfulness today for God’s provision for his plan and for what he has been doing in your own life as well.

Zephaniah 3:9-20. There is a great promise coming from this passage.  We are being delivered through God’s plan! The odd thing is that, yes we have been delivered already through Christ’s sacrifice for us, but we are also going to see a physical deliverance when God wipes clean the face of the earth physically. Take verses 14-20 and pray these back to God in thankfulness for what he has already done and in expectation of what is to come.

Matthew 15. Jesus is carrying one theme through three different situations in the passage presented from the New Testament today.  First of all Jesus is telling the people of the change that has taken place.  It used to be that what went into a person made them unclean, whether it was blood, food, or work, the people were held to a standard of physical cleanliness.  But now that Christ has come that has changed.  It is now what comes out in one’s words and actions that shows the holiness that is in them already.  Jesus shows the Pharisees that they are wrong in what defiles a person by allowing sexual indulgences through divorce but condemning someone for not washing one’s hands before eating.  The Law is backwards to what Christ is trying to bring about.  This is shown no clearer that the Canaanite woman being healed in the next part of the text. She, as one who was once an enemy, has now been cleaned and washed pure because of her great faith.  Life as they know it has changed.  Lastly we see this in the large feeding at the end of the passage.  Jesus them after making provision for one, makes provision for many, as was his purpose. He has come to make a way for many and so that many may eat the bread of life with unclean physical hands.  Thank God today for his provision, and ask him to reveal areas where we can put away clean hands and promote clean hearts.

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Thursday 7/5/2012 Daily Devotional

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. What time and season are you currently in after having read this passage?

Joshua 3. When reading this passage we see a couple of different purposes from the Lord.  First, he is moving the promised people into the promised land.  God had promised Joshua that he would deliver the people from the wilderness that Moses had been left in and that he would give them great victory over many foes.  The only problem with this was that the Jordan river was flooding the banks for all to see. What river is flooding your life and keeping you from crossing the Jordan? This is the same Jordan river that the Savior was baptized in hundreds of years later.  God showed his good pleasure in saving the world and showing he would do so twice using the same element. How great is our God? A second point is that God had to show the people of Israel that Joshua was his man for the job.  Maybe you are not the one who needs to see a great faith movement of God happen but someone around you. Never assume that the reason God is requiring something of you is for your purpose and good pleasure only.

Zephaniah 3:1-8. Think about how God moves in your life today.  Sometimes he does so quickly and sometimes it is more slowly. Both of these are God’s movement and in his will. As we see here, God’s timing is not always immediate but always perfect.  He waited until the right time to send his son and he is waiting on the right time now to return again. Pray that we will have patience for the Justice of the Lord to come and thank him for his righteousness on us.

Matthew 14. For us, we are seeing a great time of God feeding our ’5000.’ While this is a great blessing, we cannot be so consumed with ourselves that we forget to reach out to others.  Jesus had just come under great sorrow, like many of us recently, with the loss of his beloved friend.  Some of you have lost loved ones recently and found great sorrow. Jesus did not let this keep him from serving and loving people however, because he knew that through loving others we are healed.  Pray that God would give you the opportunity to love on someone today and through doing that i can promise he will fill your cup.

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Tuesday 7/3/2012 Daily Devotional

Ecc. 2:18-23. While much of what we have seen in Ecclesiastes to this point has encouraged us to not work in vain, this passage says that we can work in the right ways and still be doing so in vain. How could this happen you may ask? Well it happens if we do not take the time to rest as the Bible requires us to. Resting is a biblical act of worship at times.  Notice that Solomon does not scold after a brief time of work but after too much toil without sharing it has taken place.  Ask your self today if you have stored up for treasures on earth or have you put your treasures in heaven through a relationship with others.

Joshua 1. My friends, God has called us to be strong and courageous.  I almost do not want to write on this text for I feel that I can not do it justice but I will try.  God has given us the promise of holiness in eternity through his son.  This calling was greater than anything Joshua was given.  God called him to live by the book of the law and lead his people.  At the time the Jordan was impossible to pass because there was no bridge to get across. It would have been like trying to cross the Mississippi river with no bridge.  God was making a way for them, however, and when God makes a way you can believe it to be faithful.  Pray this passage back to God, that he might make you strong and courageous.  I know that we are all fighting some great evil, or some sinful temptation, but I tell you now that God has victory over that sin through Jesus on the cross.

Zephaniah 1-2:3. In reading this passage, my heart cannot help but be saddened by how much my life looks like this sometimes.  I am more consumed with myself and my idols than the Lord. I would encourage you to do two things upon reading this passage.  First of all take the first half and pray that you might be forgiven of the injustices that we commit against the Lord and pray for the repentance of others afterword.  Secondly take the last few verses and pray them over your own life.  For we have been hidden from his wrath and his anger because of what Christ did on our behalf.

Matthew 12. As Jesus speaks to those with authority, so he also speaks to our hearts.  If we are tied to the Law of the Old Testament rather than the life of the New Testament, then we will always be blind to the truth of the Gospel.  Jesus made those who he was speaking to angry with his words of truth.  Now you and I do not speak with the same authority if flawless nature as Christ but we do speak with authority as the sons of God. We have responsibility to speak truth and recognize bad fruit.  Maybe you have bad fruit from your own tree? Today pray that God would show that fruit to you so that you can repent and purge of it. Also lastly pray that God would give you eyes toward other to see them as just as important as your worldly family.

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