Out Of The Boat

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Miracles - Matthew 14:29-31 - Out Of The Boat - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Miracles – Matthew 14:29-31 – Out Of The Boat – Growing As Disciples

“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:29-31 (NIV)

Comfort Zone

Is that what you want me to do? What’s that? Do you want me to get out of the boat? Do you want me to leave my comfort zone? I am very pleased that you are asking me these questions. What do you think I am calling you to do? What do you think I will be able to do in and through you if you are unwilling to leave your comfort zone? How will I be able to use the gifts and talents and abilities I have given to you if you never leave your comfort zone? How will you be able to bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name if you only do what is comfortable to you? I think your questions are giving me a very clear answer to my questions. What’s that? You want me to leave my comfort zone. I will need to leave my comfort zone if I want to take bold steps of faith with you. I can’t really even follow you if I am unwilling to leave my comfort zone. Why is that? You want to lead me to where I have never been. You want me to do what I have never done. To follow you, I must go where you guide me. To follow you, I must do what you ask me of me. Neither where you lead me nor what you ask of me is likely to be comfortable. That’s true. 

You want to become like me. Is that true? Yes, I want to become like you. I have no higher desire than to become like you in all that I think, say and do. I want to know your will. I want to walk in your ways. I want to live my life in ways that please you. Let me ask you a few questions? I’m listening. Did I leave my comfort zone? Did I go to the unfamiliar to do the uncomfortable? Did I take the easy route through life? Was there anything I was unwilling to do? Was there any place I was unwilling to go? Did I set a limit? Did I set a boundary? Did I ever say, “I will do this and nothing more?” No, you did not take the easy route through life. You left your comfort zone. Yes, I did. You were willing to go wherever your Heavenly Father guided you, to do whatever He asked of you. Yes, I was. Will you go where I guide you? Will you do what I ask you? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.  

Lord, I have wanted to play it safe. I have wanted to stay in my comfort zone. I have not wanted to go anywhere unfamiliar. I have not wanted to do anything unusual. Help me to get out of my comfort zone. Help me to take bold steps of faith with you. Amen

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

Miracles – Matthew 14-29-31 – Out Of The Boat – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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If It Is The Lord’s Will

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Life - James 4:13-17 - If It Is The Lord's Will - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Life – James 4:13-17 – If It Is The Lord’s Will – Growing As Disciples

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.  James 4:13-17 (NIV)

My Plans 

That’s quite a plan you have there, did you come up with that all on your own? Yes, I did.  This plan is all original and all mine. I didn’t ask anyone for help. No one gave me any advice. From start to finish this is my very own plan. No one will be able to share in the brilliance of this little plan of mine. I shouldn’t use the word little. Why is that? This plan is huge, don’t you think? Yes, I can see that you have tried to think of everything. Obviously, you didn’t want to leave any detail uncovered. That’s for sure. It’s too bad really. You went to all this time and effort. You have worked so long and so hard to implement your plan. What’s too bad? It sounds like you think that I might have wasted my time. You did leave out one very important detail in all your planning and in all your work. What’s that? What detail have I missed? You have left me out of your plans and all your work. You didn’t ask me what I thought. You didn’t seek my counsel and guidance. You just ran off in this direction on your own all by yourself. You don’t like my plan? Isn’t this plan according to your purposes and plans for my life? Isn’t this something that you want me to do? Couldn’t I serve you in this way? I’m asking all these questions of you now. Isn’t now a little too late? If what I am doing is not your plan then I have wasted my time. I have done my own thing.  These huge plans of mine might result in a huge failure. Yes, they might. They might also teach you a very valuable lesson.  

What could I learn from such a huge mistake and colossal failure? You tell me. I have been following my own counsel and pursuing my own plans. Yes, that’s true. Apart from you I can do nothing. Nothing? I can do nothing that will stand the test of time and last for all eternity. Only you can do that kind of work in and through my life. Yes, that’s right. I want my life to count for something. I want you to use my life for your kingdom and your glory. I want to know your will and do your will. Then what must you do? Then I must ask you to show me your will. Then I must ask you to help me to do your will. That’s right. What must you not do? I must not run off in thousand different directions following my own counsel and pursing my own plans. You’ve got that right. Follow me. Yes Lord, I will.

Lord, I have run off in a thousand different directions based on my ill-conceived plans. I thought I had good ideas and great plans. I was foolish. No idea is good or plan great that doesn’t consult you. I want to know and do your will. Amen

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

Life – James 4-13-17 – If It Is The Lord’s Will – 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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The Lord’s Will

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Wisdom - Ephesians 5:15-17 - The Lord's Will - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Wisdom – Ephesians 5:15-17 – The Lord’s Will – Growing As Disciples

Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV) 

Every Opportunity

Are you being very careful how you live? I’m sure that I’m making mistakes and that I could be much more careful. Yes, you are and yes, you can. What kind of mistakes am I making? You tell me. I’m sure that you are aware of some of your mistakes, right now. Yes, I am. Let’s talk about them.

I’m making the mistake of losing perspective. I forget what is most important and of ultimate value.  Can you give me an example? Yes, I can. Sometimes I live with an earthly rather than heavenly perspective. An earthly, “this is all there is” perspective measures everything with today’s value.  With this perspective, how I am treated, matters a great deal to me. If I’m wronged in some way, I’m likely to react negatively. Setting the record straight or seeking justice for myself becomes a primary concern to me. I’m sure that some of my reactions relate to my expectations. What are you expecting?  I’m expecting that I will be treated with kindness, honor and respect.  Does that seem like a realistic expectation to you? No, not really.  Why not? This world is broken and corrupted by sin.  Yes, it is. People don’t think and speak and act as they should.  No, they do not.

What kind of perspective do you want to have? I want to have an eternal perspective. I want to be aware of the fact, that I am living in a broken world that is corrupted by sin.  What will you do differently with that perspective in mind?  I won’t expect to be treated with kindness, honor, and respect, that’s for sure.  So, I won’t get all bent out of shape when I experience mistreatment. What will you do instead? I will look for every opportunity to do good and be a witness for you in this world, even when I’m being mistreated.  Why will you do that?  This world and this life is passing away.  Life on earth is very temporary. I want my life to be used by you. I want to be a witness for you in this world. I want to bear fruit for you, that will last for all eternity. How will you do that? I will do good, even in response to evil. Doing good in the face of evil will stand out. It will get noticed. People will wonder why someone would respond to evil by doing good. They will ask questions. Yes, they will. What will you tell them? I will tell them about you. I will tell them that I am simply following the example that you have placed before me. They will see that I am loving like you loved. They will see that I am giving like you gave. They will see that I am living like you lived. They will see that you have given me a completely new life to live. They will want the same kind of new life that you have given to me. They will be drawn to you. They will want to live and walk in an intimate relationship with you. Yes, they will because they will see that you are taking advantage of every opportunity to love others with my love. They will see that you are both knowing and doing my will. That will be very good.  

Lord, help me to make the most of every opportunity to serve you in this world. I want to live my life as your witness in the world. Help me to love like you loved, give like you gave and live like you lived. Use me to bear fruit for your kingdom and glory. Amen

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

Wisdom – Ephesians 5-15-17 – The Lord’s Will – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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Drives out Fear

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Love - 1 John 4:17-18 -Drives Out Fear - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Love – 1 John 4:17-18 -Drives Out Fear – Growing As Disciples

In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:17-18 (NIV)

Drives Out Fear 

How will love drive out fear in you? That is a good question. I don’t understand the relationship between love and fear. I will help you to understand the relationship between love and fear. I’d like that. Let me ask you a few questions. I’m game. What are you afraid of? What have been some of the biggest fears that you have faced in life? I have faced the fear of the unknown. I have worried about what may come next in life. I have had anxiety with the thought that I might miss out on something critically important to my life. I have let my mind dwell on the question, “What happens if I make a wrong turn and fail to go and do your will?” You know that I love you, don’t you? Yes, I know that you love me. Do you believe that my love will guard and guide your life? Do you believe that my love will not let you miss out on going and doing my will? Can you trust in my love more than in the uncertainty of the future? Yes, I can trust in your love. Yes, I believe that your love will protect my future. Yes, I believe that your love will guard and guide my life and make me able to know and do your will. Then my love has driven this fear of the unknown out of you, hasn’t it? Yes, it has. That’s good. 

Name another fear. I have feared failure. Sometimes, my fear of failure has been so strong that I have felt paralyzed by it. What have you done when fear has paralyzed your life? When fear has paralyzed my life, I have done nothing. What will doing nothing accomplish? Doing nothing will accomplish nothing and lead to certain failure. That’s true. Will my love for you allow you to be a failure? Will you ever be a failure in my eyes? Do you know that you are the work of my hands? Do you know that I am lovingly making you into my masterpiece? Do you know that I lovingly began a good work in you that I will certainly bring to completion? Yes, I believe that you are working in and through my life. I believe that your love will not allow me to be a failure. Then my love has cast this fear of failure out of you, hasn’t it? Yes, it has. That’s good. 

Let’s talk about one more fear. I have feared death. Why have you feared death? I’m not sure. You can’t say your future, after death, is unknown. No, I cannot say my future after death is unknown. I know that on the day of my death, I will come to live forever in heaven with you. I will leave this life that is filled with pain and suffering and difficulties for my new and eternal life in heaven with you. That’s true. Do you believe that my love has prepared a place for you in heaven? Do you believe that my love has made heaven a place far beyond what you could hope for or even imagine? Yes, I do. Then my love for you driven out your fear of death, hasn’t it? Yes, it has. Live in my love and you will nothing to fear. Yes, I will. I will let your love drive every fear out of me. That will be very good. 

Lord, my life has been filled with both real and imagined fears of every shape, size and kind. This is no way to live. Thank you for the love that we have for each other. Your love is driving fear out of my life because I know that you have everything under control. Amen

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

Love – 1 John 4-17-18 – Drives Out Fear – 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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Gift Of God

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Faith - Ephesians 2:8-9 - Gift Of God - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Faith – Ephesians 2:8-9 – Gift Of God – Growing As Disciples

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

An Incredible Gift 

You have given me an incredible gift. You have given me what I did not deserve. You have given me what I could never earn. What’s that? You have given me your gift of salvation. You rescued me from a life without you both now and forever. You forgave all my sins. You cleansed all my unrighteousness. You broke down the barrier that separated me from you. You made it so I could live and walk in an intimate relationship with you. You adopted me into your family. You made me to be your child. You made it so I will be able to come and live with you forever in heaven. Yes, I did. That is an incredible gift. Yes, it is.

You are now both my Savior and Lord. Yes, I am. It is now my joy to live in an intimate relationship with you. I will come to meet with you. I will rest in your presence. I want to come to know you. I will listen to all you have to say to me. I will allow you change my heart, transform my mind, and guide my life. I want to become like you in all that I think and say and do. I want you to change the thoughts of my mind, words of my mouth and deeds of my life. I will go where you guide me. I will do whatever you ask of me. I know that you have set me apart to love and follow and serve you. That’s true. That is exactly what I have done for you. For that, I am so grateful and thankful. That is very good.

I know for sure that I cannot earn your favor. I know for sure that I cannot merit your salvation. You gave me your salvation as I gift. Yes, I did. I cannot now try to earn or merit what you have already given to me. That’s true. But, I do know that living out my life of salvation with you will involve me go and doing good things that you will give me to do. Yes, it will. It could be said that I was and am not saved by doing good works but that I have been saved for goods. What does that mean? It means that the good works you have given me to do will flow out of the life of salvation you have given me to live. Yes, they will.

I will love and follow and serve you. You are my Savior and Lord. My life is in your hands. I am at your service. It will be my pleasure to do whatever you ask of me. That is very good. 

Lord, I have nothing to boast about. I did not merit or deserve or could not possibly earn your salvation. By your grace I have been saved. You have forgiven my sins and cleansed all my unrighteousness. You are my Savior and Lord. I will follow and serve you. Amen

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

Faith – Ephesians 2-8-9 – Gift Of God – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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Who Is This?

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Faith - Luke 8:25 - Who Is This? - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Faith – Luke 8:25 – Who Is This? – Growing As Disciples

“Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” Luke 8:25 (NIV)

Your Faith

Where is your faith? That is a good question. It is a very important question. How so? You really only have two choices about where you place your faith. How can that be? You can place your faith in me or you can place your faith in something or someone else. Have you every placed your faith in something or someone other than me? Yes, I have. Tell me about that. I have placed my faith in myself. I have placed my faith in others. I have placed my faith in my education, knowledge and training. I have placed my faith in my gifts, talents and abilities. I have placed my faith in circumstances with the unfounded hope that everything will somehow work out in the end. How has that worked out? Not well. Tell me about that.

It has been a mistake to place my faith in anyone or anything other than you. Why is that? You alone are worthy of all my faith. Only you can sustain and strengthen me through all the storms of life. Only you can be my refuge in the midst of a storm. How do you know that? I have been let down by placing my faith in anyone or anything other than you. The storms of life have swamped me when I have trusted myself. The storms of life have swept over me when I have trusted anyone or anything other than you. In the storms of life, you have not left me alone. You have stayed with me. You have held on to me as I have held on to you. You have been my fortress. You have been my refuge. You have been my deliverer. You have been my hope and joy and strength. You have brought me through every storm in life. Yes, I have.

Why is it good for you to remember how I have helped you through every storm? As I remember your past help, I am encouraged to rely on your current and future help. I know that you will do for me now, what you have done for me in the past. I can place all my faith in you. Yes, you can.

How has your faith grown as you have trusted me? Little by little and day by day my faith has grown stronger as I have continued to trust you. I will continue to place my faith in you. I will continue to trust you. That is very good. Grow my faith as I continue to rely on you. Yes, I will. 

Lord, I have gone through so many storms in life. You have never left me alone. You have never abandoned me. You have always been with me to help me. You have been my refuge in every storm. I will rely on you. I will place all my faith and trust in you. Amen

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

Faith – Luke 8-25 – Who Is This? – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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The Law Of The Lord

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Wisdom - Psalm 19:7-11- The Law Of The Lord - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Wisdom – Psalm 19:7-11- The Law Of The Lord – Growing As Disciples

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.  By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-11 (NIV)

Your Word

I don’t know where I would be without your word. How so? Your word is what has fed and sustained and strengthened me as I have followed you. Your word has guarded and guided my life. When I have been weary and worn out your word has revived me. Without your word I have been foolish. I have made so many mistakes. I have taken so many missteps. Your word is making me, this simple self, to be wise. Who would have ever thought that could be possible? That’s a good question. Keep in mind, I am still not claiming to be wise in my own self. That’s good. I need to take in the wisdom of your word every day. Like the daily manna you gave to your people, so also do I need the daily insight you give me from your word. I can’t live solely on what you gave me up to and including yesterday. I need to meet with you daily in your word. I need to live in a moment by moment intimate relationship with you. Yes, you do.

I can truly say that I have found your word to be more valuable than gold and sweeter than honey. Why is that? Your word keeps my focus on you. Your word keeps me listening to all that you have to say to me. Your word keeps the efforts of my life focused on what is eternal. I want to bear fruit for your kingdom. I want to bring glory to your name. Everything else is of no value. Your word has guided me to where you want me to go. Your word has given me what you want me to do. It has been my joy to go and do what is pleasing to you. That’s good.

Your word has warned me. How so? Your word has taught me where not to go. Your word has shown me what not to do. Your word has protected my life. Your word has rewarded me? How so? Your word has helped me to know you. There is nothing I would rather do than meet with you in your word. There is no place I would rather be than with you in your word. Your word has given me life and peace and joy. Not for the moment only, but for now and forever. Your word has shown me your kindness, mercy and love. Oh how sweet that is. Nothing is better. Nothing is more desirable. Your word has focused my attention on you now and the future I have with you forever. I look forward to that day when time ends and my eternal life with you begins. Your word has given me this certain hope. That is very good.

Lord, I am so thankful for your word. It is my joy to meet with you daily in your word. I could not live the life you have for me without your word. Use your word to do your full and complete work in me. I will keep your word in my heart and mind as I follow you. Amen

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

Wisdom – Psalm 19-7-11 – The Law Of The Lord – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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Fruit Of The Spirit

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Holy Spirit - Galatians 5:22-25 - Fruit Of The Spirit - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Holy Spirit – Galatians 5:22-25 – Fruit Of The Spirit – Growing As Disciples

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV)

In Step

That is what I want to do. This is the kind of life that I want to live.  What do you want to do? What kind of life do you want to live? I want to keep in step with you. How will you know if you are keeping in step with me? I will listen to your voice. I will meet with you in your word. I will hear all that you have to say to me. I will put into practice all that you are showing me. I will take hold of you word as it takes hold of me. I will go wherever you guide me. I will do whatever you ask of me. That’s good. What else? What changes will you notice in your heart and mind and life as you keep in step with me? I will notice that my hunger and thirst for God will grow as I keep in step with you. My passion to love and follow and serve Him will increase while my desire for the world will decrease as I keep in step with you. Passion to know God and be known by Him will burn within me. I will want what He wants. I will want to live the life that He has called me to live. He will change the thoughts of my mind, the words of my mouth, and the deeds of my life. I will think and speak and act differently as I keep in step with you. That’s true. What else? Your fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control will grow in me as I keep in step with you. That’s true. Will you be able to notice that my fruit is growing in you on a daily basis? No, probably not, that doesn’t seem likely. Why is that? Little by little and day by day you will be changing me as your fruit is growing in me. I may not notice. I may be the last to notice. But, the growth of your fruit in me is certain as I keep in step with you. Yes, it is. You will mold and shape my life. You will make me into the person I have been called to be. You will enable me to live the life that I have been called to live. Yes, I will as you keep in step with me. Of that, I am certain. That is very good. 

Holy Spirit, help me to keep in step with you. Give me a hunger for you and a distaste for the things of this world. I no longer want to keep in step with my old sinful nature and the passions and desires of this world. Instead, I want your fruit to grow fully in me. Amen

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

Holy Spirit – Galatians 5-22-25 – Fruit Of The Spirit – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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Our Competence Comes From The Lord

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Holy Spirit - 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 - Competent - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Holy Spirit – 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 – Competent – Growing As Disciples

Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 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. 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (NIV) 

Competent

I don’t feel competent. I don’t have confidence. That isn’t all bad. Why is that? Think of all the people that I have used to bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. Do you have anyone in mind? I have a one person in mind. Who? I have Moses in mind. You mightily used Him. Yes, I did. He led an entire nation out of captivity. Yes, he did.

Moses is the perfect person for you to have in mind. Why is that? In what way was he lacking confidence? Why did he think that he was not competent? He lacked confidence as a speaker. He struggled with his words. He felt incompetent because he was not well spoken. What did he do when I called him? He argued with you. He tried to avoid doing what you were calling him to go and do. He said he was unable to go and do what you were asking of him. He begged for you to send someone else. Yes, he did. Did I listen to him? Did I let him reject my call? Did I give up on him? Did I go on to use someone else instead of him? No, you did not. You would not let him reject your call. No, I would not. 

Have you argued with me? Have you tried to avoid my call on your life? Have you told me that you were unable to go and do what I asked of you? Yes, I have done all these things. Have I ever given up on you? Have I ever left you alone and set you aside because you convinced me that you were incompetent? No, you have not. Will I listen to your argument? Will I let you out of your call? No you will not.

When Moses was being used by me, what can you be sure of? I can be sure that Moses was not relying on himself to go and do what you were asking of him. He would never do that. Why not? He lacked confidence and felt incompetent. So, isn’t that a good thing that Moses came to rely on me? He allowed me to work in and through his life. I made him competent. I gave him confidence. I was able to work in and through his life. Yes, you were.

Can I work in and through your life? Can I make you competent? Can I give you confidence? Yes, you can. Will you stop arguing with me? Will you come to rely on me? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.  

Lord, in my own strength and with my own abilities I am not qualified or competent to serve you. But, you have made me competent. Thank you for giving me spiritual gifts, talents and abilities with which I can faithfully serve you. Amen

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

Holy Spirit – 2 Corinthians 3-4-6 – Our Competence Comes From The Lord – 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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Not Offend Them

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Miracles - Matthew 17:27 - Offensive - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Miracles – Matthew 17:27 – Offensive – Growing As Disciples

“But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” Matthew 17:27 (NIV)

Offensive

You are not be offensive. Why is that? You tell me. You want me to be a bright and shining witness for you in the world. You want me to become like you in all that I think and say and do. Yes, I do. Was I offensive? Well, that is a good question. Some of what you did ended up offending people. That is true. But, you were not deliberately offensive. It was not your desire and plan to be offensive. Speaking the truth, even with a heart filled with kindness, mercy and love can be offensive. That is also true. People can become offended by hearing the truth about their own thoughts, words and deeds. People can often pridefully react defensively and take up an offense when their evil thoughts, words, or deeds are exposed. You exposed thoughts and words and deeds of darkness and that caused some to repent and others to take up an offense. So, only in that sense and for that reason were you offensive. That is true.

Can you see a danger here in our conversation? Yes, I can. Tell me what you see. I could wrongly justify my causing someone to take up an offense by telling myself that I was simply exposing thoughts or words or deeds that are evil. Have you ever done that before? Yes, I am sad to say that I have wrongly caused others to take up an offense against me because I simply acted offensively. For that I am truly sorry. For that I ask for your forgiveness. You are forgiven.

What damage will being offensive cause? Being offensive will cause me to shine less brightly as a witness for you in the world. Being offensive will hinder my ability to bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. Being offensive will eliminate my ability to minister to others and to speak positively into their lives. So, it will be very costly for you to conduct yourself in a way that is offensive to others. That is true. 

Will you be willing to suffer wrong so that you will be able to shine brightly for me in the world? Will you be willing to experience mistreatment so that you can bring glory to my name? Will you set aside your privileges and rights so that you will be able to minister to others and speak positively into their lives? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.

Lord, you know me, I don’t like to be involved in conflict. I have no desire to live in ways that are offensive to others. On my own, I’m sure I will not be able to successfully navigate my way through conflict. Give me your wisdom. Help me to not offend others. Amen

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

Miracles – Matthew 17-27 – Not Offend Them – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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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

Posted in Miracles | Tagged , | Leave a comment