Demolish Strongholds

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Promises - Day 10 - 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 - Demolish Strongholds- Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 10 – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – Demolish Strongholds- Growing As Disciples

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)

Strongholds

This world would like nothing better than to take captive hearts and minds. This world is filled full of strongholds of evil that come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. I need to be on guard against strongholds of evil. I must not let my heart and mind be taken captive by the thoughts and values and principles of this world. What are some examples of strongholds of evil? What types of thoughts and values and principles are taking hearts and minds captive? What specifically do you need to be on guard against? First, of all I need to be on guard against any thought or idea or value or principle that sets itself up against you. Strongholds of evil do just that. Strongholds of evil will prevent many from coming to know and love and follow and serve you. Strongholds of evil can even hinder your followers from coming to live fully in the freedom you have secured for them. Nothing will be more depressing or discouraging to one of your followers than to be held captive by a stronghold of evil. Nothing will be more defeating to one of your followers than to allow themselves to be made unproductive or unfruitful, because they are ensnared in a stronghold of evil. Would you like me to name some strongholds of evil? Yes, I would. Strongholds of evil come in a wide variety of types. Fear and doubt, greed and lust can and often are strongholds of evil. Pride and envy and anger can and often are very powerful strongholds of evil. Any one of these can take a heart and mind captive. That’s true.

Where is the battle fought against strongholds of evil? The battle ground is in the heart and mind. What are the weapons that are used in the battle against stronghold of evil? Your word and the power of your Holy Spirit fights against strongholds of evil. How so? Your word changes hearts and transforms minds. Your word is continually changing my heart and transforming my mind. Your word has pushed worldly thoughts out of my heart and mind. Your word has strengthened my heart and mind so that I can take every thought and make it captive to you. That is true. That is right. That is good. But I am not alone in this fight. No, you are not. Your Holy Spirit takes your word and uses it like a sword to fight in me, with me, for me, and through me. Your word and the power of your Holy Spirit tears down strongholds, they have done so in my life, that is for sure, without a doubt. So, I will continue to allow your word and the power of the Holy Spirit to tear down strongholds in my life and in the lives of others. That will be very good.

Lord, I don’t want anything to be a stronghold that has control over any portion of my life. I want to live in all the freedom you have secured for me. I will allow your word and the power of the Holy Spirit to take my thoughts and make them obedient to you. Amen

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Promises – Day 10 – 2 Corinthians 10-3-5 – Demolish Strongholds – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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His Workmanship

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Promises - Day 9 - Ephesians 2:8-10 - His Workmanship - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 9 – Ephesians 2:8-10 – His Workmanship – Growing As Disciples

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)

Good Works

I know a few things about those. You know a few things about what? I know a few things about good works. I’d like to hear what you know about good works. So, go ahead, I’m listening. Tell me what you know. First, I know only what I have been taught. I am not pridefully holding up what I know. I only know what I have heard and seen and learned and received from you. And even then, my knowing, is faulty. Understood, go ahead. Most importantly, I have learned, your salvation is a free gift. Nothing I have done or could ever do would earn or merit my salvation. Trying to earn or merit my salvation, by doing good works, would not be pleasing to you in any way, shape or form. No, it would not. What is pleasing to you, is receiving my salvation by faith in all that Jesus Christ has done for me on the cross. His death and resurrection secured my salvation and has given me a completely new life in Him. He is my Savior and Lord. You are my God and Father. I have been filled by your Holy Spirit, who is like a deposit, guaranteeing my inheritance in heaven. All this has come to me by faith, as a gift. Yes. None of what you have given to me has been earned. So, I have nothing to boast about. How am I doing so far? You have listened and learned well. Keep going.

So, I can confidently say that I have not been saved by good works. That is correct. But on the day, I turned my life over to you, a work was started in me. What sort of work? You have been molding and shaping my life. I am your workmanship. You are the potter. I am the clay. I am the work of your hands. Yes, you are, without a doubt. You have been preparing me to do good work for you. You have given me gifts and talents and abilities. You have been teaching and training me. You have been getting me ready. What have I been getting you ready for? You have good works already lined up and ready for me to do for you. You have a purpose and plan for my life. You have places you want me to go. You have things you want me to do. How do you feel about that? I feel excited. I feel grateful. I feel thankful. The idea that you want to use me to accomplish your purposes and fulfill your plans is incredibly amazing. The thought that I can bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name is astounding. To all of this I can only say, “Here I am Lord, use me!” That is very good. Yes, I will use you to do good works that I have prepared for you. You will bear fruit for my Kingdom and bring glory to my name. Thank you, Heavenly Father.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the free gift of salvation I have in Jesus Christ. I know I have not been saved by any of my good works. Thank you for molding and shaping my life. I’m the work of your hands. Help me to do the good works you have prepared for me. Amen

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Promises – Day 9 – Ephesians 2-8-10 – His Workmanship – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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Power To The Weak

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Promises - Day 8 - Isaiah 40:29-31 - Power To The Weak - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 8 – Isaiah 40:29-31 – Power To The Weak – Growing As Disciples

He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31 (NKJV)

Power 

I certainly need that. You certainly need what? I certainly need your power. For what do you need my power? I need your power to be able to accomplish your purposes and fulfill your plans. I need your power to do the work you have given me to do for you. I need your power to live the life you have called me to live. When did you come to the conclusion that you need my power? Well, it has become quite obvious to me that I don’t have the power I need to accomplish your purposes, fulfill your plans, do the work you have given me to do, or even live the life you have called me to love. How did that become obvious to you? My weariness has certainly revealed my lack of power. My own fruitless efforts have also revealed my lack of power. I know that you have said that, apart from you, I can do nothing. Yes, that is true. Well, I have done a lot of nothing, under my own power and strength. I know it is not your will for me to accomplish nothing. No, it is not.

It is a very good that you have come to realize that you need my power and strengthen working in and through you. Why do you suppose that you need my power and strength? Why do you suppose that I did not create you with all the power and strength that you would need in life? You did not want me to be self-reliant You did not want me to be self-sufficient. Why is that? You love me. You want me to live in an intimate relationship with you. You want me to come to you for all that I need. You want to refresh and revive and renew and strengthen me as I come to rest in your presence. You want me to walk through life with you. Yes, I do. If I never needed your help, would I be drawn into an intimate relationship with you? Would I come to rest in your presence, if I was never weary or worn out? Would I ever rely on you, if I never needed your help? Would I ever come to know and love you as I do, had you not made me as I am? I doubt it. So, I am thankful that you made me to want to enter into your presence to live my life in an intimate relationship with you. That is very good. You will have all that you need from me. Thank you, Lord.

Lord, I have set apart a time and place to meet with you on a daily basis. It is my joy to rest in your presence. You refresh, revive, renew and strengthen me. Give me your power to accomplish your purposes and fulfill your plans. Work in and through my life. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Promises – Day 8 – Isaiah 40-29-31 – Power To The Weak – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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Meditates Day And Night

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Promises - Day 7 - Psalm 1:1-6 - Meditates Day And Night - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 7 – Psalm 1:1-6 – Meditates Day And Night – Growing As Disciples

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.  Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.  For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Psalm 1:1-6 (NIV)

A Blessed Life

Who wouldn’t want to live that kind of life? What would living that kind of life require? What kind of life do you want to live? I want to live a blessed life. What do you mean by that? I want to live a happy life. I want to live a life that is good and right and pleasing to you. I want to live a life that you can and will bless. Do you not know what kind of life I can and will bless? Do you not know what you must do if you want to live a life that I will bless? Is there some mystery here? Is there something that is unclear to you? Have I not been specific enough? You have been quite clear. You have been very specific. I have no doubt in my heart and mind about what goes into living a life that you can and will bless.

Very well then, describe a blessed life to me. If I want to live a blessed life, I will separate myself from evil of every kind. I will withdraw from both evil circumstances and evil people. I will not walk in the counsel of the wicked. I will not stand in the way with sinners. I will not sit in a seat with mockers. No, I will not allow myself to fit in the world’s pattern of thinking or speaking or acting evilly. I will not allow my heart and mind and life to be molded according to values and practices of this world. How will this be possible? That is a very good question. Only your word living and dwelling in me richly will make me able to separate myself from the evil that is in this world. Only your word dwelling in me richly will make me able to live a life that is good and right and pleasing to you. So, I will meditate on your word day and night. Your word will change my heart. Your word will transform my mind. Your word will guide my life. Then I will be able to live a life that you can and will bless. Yes, you will, without a doubt. Thank you, Lord. 

Lord, I know that there are both unhelpful and unhealthy situations and people I must separate myself from as I follow you. I also know that you want me to meditate on your word day and night so you can change my heart, transform my mind and guide my life. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Promises – Day 7 – Psalm 1-1-6 – Meditates Day And Night – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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Ask

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Promises - Day 6 - Mathew 7:7-8 - Ask - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 6 – Mathew 7:7-8 – Ask – Growing As Disciples

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

Ask, Seek, Knock

I have definitely not been doing enough of that. You have not been doing enough of what? I have not been doing enough asking. I have not asked you for all that I need. I have not turned all my worries into prayers to you. I have not been doing enough seeking. I have let my life become too comfortable, maybe even complacent. I have no urgency to seek and find all that you have for me. I’m not sure that my eyes have been wide open to all that you want to show me. I have certainly have not been knocking on doors of opportunity that you want me to walk through. There are some elements of truth to what you are saying. I do want your prayers to be urgent and energetic. I do want you to ask, I do want you to seek, I do want you to knock, all with great passion and persistence. But from my vantage point I see that you are weary and worn out. You are discouraged and depressed. You are filled with worry and anxiety. In your current state, you do not even realize that you have been walking through doors of opportunity that I have opened before you. You are forgetting that you have been and are now asking for my help and seeking all that I want you to know and to learn from me. So, much of what you are feeling is not true. Well then, what should I do?

Come close to me. Rest in my presence. Let me revive and refresh and restore your soul. Keep on asking me for all you need. Turn every one of your worries into a prayer to me. I will hear and answer your prayers. Listen attentively to my voice. Seek to receive all that I have for you. Don’t be in a hurry. Don’t rush off. Linger in my presence. I will strengthen you. I will encourage you. I will lift you up. Keep on going through the doors I open for you. Don’t retreat. Don’t back up. Keep on moving forward with me. I will be with you to help you. I will be all that you need. Thank you, Lord. I will keep on asking. I will keep on seeking. I will keep on knocking, as I rest in your presence. That will be very good. 

Lord, I will ask, I will seek, I will knock. I believe you will hear and answer my prayers. You will give me what I need. You will help me to find what I am seeking. You will open doors for me to walk through. Thank you for all your goodness, kindness and mercy. Amen

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Promises – Day 6 – Matthew 7-7-8 – Ask – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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Come Close To God

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Promises - Day 5 - James 4:7-10 - Come Close To God - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 5 – James 4:7-10 – Come Close To God – Growing As Disciples

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.  Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. James 4:7-10 (NLT)

Humility

What is it that has most prevented you from coming to me? What has hindered you from drawing near to me? Those are good questions. Do you have an answer? Yes, I have an answer, but it is not a good one. Why is that? My answer will be correct. It will not be good. I’m listening.  I have lived a pride filled, self-reliant and self-sufficient life. Somewhere deep down inside of me, I must have told myself that I have no need to draw near to you, because my life was going quite nicely. You’re right, that is a correct answer and it is not a good one. It is only correct in that it described my almost unconscious self-talk and thoughts. Yet, it is a false answer in every other way. How so? A life without you, is never going quite nicely. A pride filled, self-reliant and self-sufficient life is an empty life without hope or joy or peace. It is a life headed toward disaster. It is a dark and sinful life that will most certainly be bruised and battered and broken before long. This is your voice of experience isn’t it? Yes, it is.

You are no longer living a pride-filled, self-reliant, and self-sufficient life. No, I am not. What happened to you? I discovered the error of my ways. I learned that the true wages of sin is death. I was fully bruised and battered and broken. My lifestyle led me to rock bottom. There was no more pride or self-reliance, or self-sufficiency left in me. All I could do was humbly cry out to you. All I wanted to do was draw near to you. You helped me to come to you. Yes, I did. What else did I do for you? You drew near to me. You heard my cry and prayer. You came into my life. You healed my bruised and battered and broken life. You allowed me to taste of your kindness and mercy and love. You lifted me up and have set me on a path of loving and following and serving you. Yes, I have done all these things for you. My life has never been the same since. That is very good. Yes, it is. Thank you, Lord. 

Lord, I have lived a pride filled life with divided loyalties. I have followed you and the ways of the world. No more, no longer, not me. I will submit my heart, mind and life to you. I will draw near to you. Draw near to me. I will follow you to wherever you lead me. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Promises – Day 5 – James 4-7-10 – Come Close To God – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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You Are The Potter

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Promises - Day 4- Isaiah 64:8 - You Are The Potter - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 4 – Isaiah 64:8 – You Are The Potter – Growing As Disciples

Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.  Isaiah 64:8 (NIV)

Clay

I am your Father. I am the potter. You are the clay. What does all this mean to you? What are your thoughts? You are my Heavenly Father. You love me perfectly. You know what’s best for me. You see what I cannot see. You know what I cannot know. You have a purpose and plan for my life. Your love designed me and is now continuing to shape me as I follow you. Why is it important for you to know and remember that I am your loving Heavenly Father? As I know and remember your love for me I will trust you. As I trust you I will allow you to mold and shape my life. Your molding and shaping of my life might not always feel pleasant or be comfortable. You will stretch me. You will remove from my life what is not pleasing to you. You will change me according to your purposes and plans. Yes, I will. 

Why is it important to know that you are clay? I am in rough shape. I am not a completed work. I will need molding and shaping now and up until the day I meet you face to face. Yes, you will. I am not wise or knowledgeable enough to know what you want me to look like. I don’t always know how you want to use me. As the clay, all I need to be is willing to be molded and shaped by you. That’s right. It’s very important that I willingly welcome all the molding and shaping you want to do in my life. If I am reluctant or unwilling to allow you to mold and shape me then your work will be hindered. Yes, it will.

Why is important for you to know that you are the work of my hands? I need to know and remember and expect that you will continually be molding and shaping my life according to your design. Your work will never stop. You will use your word to shape me. You will use circumstances to mold me. You will use other people to mold and shape me. You will use the ministry that you have called me to do for you to mold and shape me. You will use my participation in the body of Christ to mold and shape me. You will use all of life to mold and shape me into the person you want me to become. Yes, I will. I will not always understand how you are molding and shaping my life. No, you will not. I need to know and remember that I am a work in your hands. I need to have faith in you. I need to trust you. I need to be patient and let your work continue. Yes, you do. Will you? Yes Lord, I will.

Heavenly Father, thank you for molding and shaping my life according to your purposes and plans. I willingly welcome all your molding and shaping of my life. You are the potter. I am the clay. I trust you wholeheartedly. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Promises – Day 4 – Isaiah 64-8 – You Are The Potter – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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Chosen What Is Better

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises - Day 3 - Luke 10:38-42 - Chosen What Is Better - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 3 – Luke 10:38-42 – Chosen What Is Better – Growing As Disciples

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)

Choices

Life is full of choices. Nothing probably could be more important than critically evaluating the choices I make. Why is that? Choosing one thing often eliminates another thing. If I make unwise choices of how to spend my time and energy and resources, someday I will no doubt live with regret. Give me an example. If I allow my life to become all about completing an urgent, but largely unimportant, “to do” list, I will most likely misspend my life on what wasn’t really important. What is really important to you? Knowing and loving and following and serving you is really important to me. In fact, nothing is more important or of higher priority to me than meeting with you in prayer. Why is that? As I meet with you in prayer I come to know. As I come to know you, I come to love you. As I know and love you, the desire to live a life following and serving you burns hotly within me. I want to do what is good and right and pleasing to you because I have come to know and love you. That is very good.

So, what choice will you make? I will make it my choice to meet with you daily in prayer.  I will set a time and a place to meet with you in prayer. You will not receive my left-over time. Is there such a thing? I doubt it. In fact, that is the danger of an unprioritized, task orientated life. How so? “To do” lists never end. If I were to say to myself, “I will meet with you sometime during my day, when my schedule opens up”, that sometime will most often never come. In that scenario, all I hope for and dream and desire in my relationship with you would never materialize. Why is that? We will have remained largely strangers. That won’t happen to me. That won’t happen to us. That is why I have and will continue to make meeting with you in prayer the priority of my life. That will be very good. Keep on coming to me. Keep on learning from me. Keep on receiving from me. Yes Lord, I will. You have chosen what is better. 

Lord, often times I have raced through life trying to accomplish a never ending “to do” list. What a waste of time and energy. My life is not the sum total of a completed “to do” list. Help me to choose what is far better by daily spending time with you in prayer. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Promises – Day 3 – Luke 10-38-42 – Chosen What Is Better – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

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A Way Out

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises - Day 2 - 1 Corinthians 10:13 - A Way Out - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 2 – 1 Corinthians 10:13 – A Way Out – Growing As Disciples

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

Way Out 

I have no doubt that you will provide a way out for me. I will provide what kind of way out for you? You will provide a way out of temptation for me to take. Yes, I will. Tell me what you know about temptation. You went through temptation. I will go through temptation. Temptation and evil are part of this sin broken world. Keep going. I will never experience a temptation that is unique to me. So, I will never need to have a “poor me” attitude toward temptations. Others will experience temptations that I have or will go through. That’s true. What else? You will never let me be tempted beyond my ability to resist. You will always provide a way out of temptation for me to take. Let’s talk more about that. What might the way out of temptation look like for you? I like that question. Why is that? I have discovered that often your way out of temptation is to not let myself get into tempting situations in the first place. Say more. I have learned the most likely ways in which I might be tempted. I can take action ahead of time to avoid situations that would give the devil and all his evil ripe opportunities to tempt me. Avoiding tempting situations is very wise of you. You must never come to think that you are above being tempted. If you proudly think you are standing, you will likely fall into temptation. Don’t I know that. That’s good.

You know that I will provide a way out of temptation. Yes, I do. We have discussed avoiding tempting situations in the first place. You will still, at times, find yourself in the middle of tempting situations. What will you do? I will look for the way out. I will take the way out. How quickly will you take the way out of temptation? I will immediately take the way out that you provide. Why is that critically important? If I linger around evil, I will no doubt succumb to it. I believe that it is your plan that I quickly run away from temptation and evil. Yes, it is. Indecision within myself will lead nowhere good. I cannot debate with myself about giving in or not giving into temptation. That is the road to certain defeat. That’s true.

I have not left you defenseless against temptation. What do you mean? How did I battle temptation? You used God’s word to fight against temptations from the devil. Yes, I did. God’s word is like a sword that the Holy Spirit will use to fight in you, with you, for you and through you. With that in mind, what will you do with God’s word? I will take God’s word deep into my heart and mind and life. How so? I will meditate on and memorize God’s word. I will let God’s word dwell in me richly. I will allow God’s word to change my heart, transform my mind and guide my life. That is another way out of temptation that you have provided for me. Yes, it is.

Heavenly Father, thank you for not letting me be tempted beyond what I am able to resist. Thank you for always providing a way out of temptation for me. Help me to avoid all known tempting situations. I will immediately take your way out of every temptation. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Promises – Day 2 – 1 Corinthians 10-13 – A Way Out – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

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Consider It Pure Joy

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – 365 Days Of Promises - Day 1 - James 1:2-8 - Consider It Pure Joy - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – 365 Days Of Promises – Day 1 – James 1:2-8 – Consider It Pure Joy – Growing As Disciples

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:2-8 (NIV)

Joy

This life is filled with trials, of that I am sure. Sometimes, it seems like I have just left a trial, or I am about to enter another one. Yes, I know that I have been the cause of many of my own trials. I have made many dumb decisions and stupid mistakes that have brought trials into the heart and center of my life. But there are many trials that I did not cause. There are many trials I have not brought on myself. Trials are part of life. Trials are rampant in this sin broken world. Trials come in an almost unlimited variety of shape and sizes. Yes, they do. Did I mention, I am not a fan of trials. No, you did not. I would rather not go through them. If I can go around or pass by a trial that is fine with me. Yet, you say that I can have joy as I go through trials. It almost sounds like you are almost saying that I could welcome trials into my life as friends. Why is that? You tell me. I don’t know. What has happened to you as you have gone through trials?  I’m not sure what you are asking me. Has your faith grown stronger as you have persevered through trials? Yes, my faith has grown stronger as I have persevered through trials. Why is that? As I have gone through trials, I have cried out to you. I have asked you for your help. Would you know and rely on me less if you had not gone through trials? I’m sure that’s true. So, trials have helped you to come to know and rely on me more fully? Yes, that is true. There is no doubt about that. That’s right.

What have you learned about yourself as you have gone through trials? I have learned that I need wisdom, especially when I am going through trials. On my own, I am not likely to think or speak or act wisely when I am in the midst of trials. That sounds like an understatement to me. It is. I have thought and spoken and acted very foolishly when I have been in the midst of trials. What have your learned about me as you have gone through trials? You are the giver of wisdom. You are wise. You are all knowing. I can ask you for wisdom. You will not turn me away when I ask you for wisdom. You will generously give me all the wisdom I need when I ask you for it. Yes, I will.

Let’s recap this. I’m listening. Trials have caused your faith to grow. Trials have helped you to rely on me. Trials have led you to ask for and receive wisdom from me. Through trials you have come to know me better and follow me more closely. Is this all true? Yes, it is. Can you have joy in knowing all this about trials? Yes, I can. That is very good. 

Lord, I know trials will test my perseverance and strengthen my faith. I will let trials do their work in me so I will be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Help me through trials. With faith, I’m asking for all your wisdom as I go through various trials. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Promises – Day 1 – James 1-2-8- Consider It Pure Joy – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

Please consider sharing these devotionals with others through the social media you use.

Individual users may save the Discipleship Devotional Study Guide to their desktop for private use. All the blanks in the study guides are fields that allow typed responses. To use the fields on the study guide you may need to open the guide with a free version of adobe reader.

By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

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