Hearing God’s Voice from His Word
James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Take a moment and turn your attention to God. Tell God that you desire to trust and obey Him. Ask God to speak to you from His word.
Psalm of the Day
Psalm 27:1-4 The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
Read the entire Psalm
Light, Salvation, and Stronghold: The writer of this Psalm says that the Lord is all of those things. Light – showing the way, revealing the truth. Salvation – He has saved us. He is the only one who can save completely. He is a stronghold. He keeps us safe. Praise God for being all light, salvation, and stronghold in your life.
2 Corinthians 2:12-3:6 – New International Version
12 Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, 13 I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia.
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
3 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Having God’s Ear through Prayer
- Express thanks to God.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you.
- Confess your sin to Him and receive forgiveness.
(1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.”)
- Bring your personal requests to God.
(Psalm 62:8 “Pour out your heart before God”)
- Pray for someone in your small group.
- Join with others from River and pray for Austin and Jenni. Ask God to encourage them and guide them as they serve overseas. Pray that God would encourage their children as well.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
It’s only about 65 miles from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea in Israel. They are actually lakes not “seas”. Galilee is a freshwater lake about the size of Table Rock lake in Missouri. The Dead Sea is a saltwater lake, and is about the size of Lake Tahoe in the Pacific Northwest. The Jordan river runs into Galilee and then travels south into the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is the lowest elevation on the surface of the earth. Its surface is 1,400 feet below sea level. This means that there is no outflow from the lake, water doesn’t flow “up.” It also means that the lake is about 10 times saltier than the ocean. It is called the “Dead” sea because it is not conducive for life. No vegetation can survive its waters and no human can drink it. The reason for this geography lesson is that we are going to spend this week considering our investment in others. The reason we spend time each day in these devotionals each morning is so that we can know and love Christ more deeply. In order to know Christ more deeply we must have both input and output. Galilee is alive because it has the Jordan flowing in and the Jordan flowing out. The Dead Sea is not “alive” because the Jordan flows in but nothing flows out. Our input is God’s Word, empowered by his Spirit and encouraged by his people. Our output is our investment in the lives of others. God pours his life into ours(often through others) so we can pour our lives into others.
Application: Ask God to help you think through your investment in others. How can you “train” not just “try” to be more faithful? You may not be investing, how can this change? You may be investing but would like to be more intentional or consistent, what would that look like? You may be consistent and intentional; how can you help others be the same?