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

Mary Has Chosen What Is Better

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

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 3 – Luke 10:38-42 – Mary Has 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

Key Question…  How are you making choosing what is better, by meeting in prayer with the Lord, the priority of your life?

Living It Out…  Choose what is better by making spending time with the Lord the priority of your life.

Seeing It Happen…  Have faith that you cannot chose anything better than spending time in prayer with the Lord.

Get Ready To Share…  Share with another person or your small group how spending time with the Lord is part of your daily life.

Prayer To Bless Others…  May you choose what is better by spending time with the Lord so you can learn from Him.

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

Promises – Day 3 – Luke 10-38-42 – Mary Has 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

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

Key Question…  Why must you immediately take God’s way out of temptation in order to not succumb to it?

Living It Out…  Immediately take the way out of temptation that God will always provide to you.

Seeing It Happen…  Have faith that God will always provide a way out of temptation so that you will not succumb to it.

Get Ready To Share…  Share with another person or your small group how the Lord has provided ways out of temptation to you.

Prayer To Bless Others…  May you take the way out of temptation that God provides.

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

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

Key Question…  What do you know that will help you to remain joyful even in the midst of trials?

Living It Out…  Ask God to give you wisdom as you go through trials in life.

Seeing It Happen…  Have faith that God will give you wisdom as you go through trails in life.

Get Ready To Share…  Share with another person or your small group how God has given you wisdom as you have gone through trials in life.

Prayer To Bless Others… May you your faith grow strong as you are tested by trials.

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

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

More Than Conquerors

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ - Day 364 - Romans 8:35-39 - More Than Conquerors - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ – Day 364 – Romans 8:35-39 – More Than Conquerors – Growing As Disciples

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 (NIV)  

Your Love

Your love surrounds me. Your love comforts and encourages and strengthens me. Your love guards and guides me. Your love protects me from trouble and hardship, persecution or famine or nakedness danger or sword. Nothing will ever be able to separate me from your love. Will I go through dark and difficult days? Will the forces of evil come against me? Will I face trials and tribulations in life? Yes, without a doubt. You did, why wouldn’t I? Why would I be exempt from the pain and suffering that is in this sin broken world? Might I have to endure something quite difficult. Might some say, “I’m done for now.” It is certainly possible. But they would not know the whole truth. They would not see the entire picture. They would not know that you have always been with me. You have never abandoned me. I am yours. You are my Savior and Lord. You are my God and Father. I am your child. Yes, I am your Savior and Lord. Yes, I am your God and Father. Yes, you are my child. You are holding on to me and I am holding on to you. Yes, I am holding on to you. Your grip on me is unbreakable. You will never let me go. Yes, I will never let you go. What else do you know? You have a glorious eternal future that is stored up and being kept and guarded in heaven for me. Can there be any greater hope? Can there be any greater victory? Could I have any more joy? Could I want or ask for anything more? What do you think? I think, I am and will be more than a conqueror because of all that you have done for me. That’s right. That’s true. That’s certain.

So, what kind of thoughts will you think? What kind of life will you live? Will you be timid and weak? Will you be fearful and afraid? No, certainly not. I will not be fearful or afraid. My life is in your hands and you will never let me go. You will be with me to help me. Nothing will ever be able to separate me from your love. So, my heart and mind and life will be focused entirely on you. I will boldly and joyfully live the life you are calling me to live. That will be very good.

Lord, I know nothing will ever be able to separate me from your love. You have been with me to help me through dark and difficult days in life. You have comforted, strengthened and sustained me. You have made me more than a conqueror through your love. Amen

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

Becoming Like Christ – Day 364 – Romans 8-35-39 – More Than Conquerors – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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

Do Not Worry

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ - Day 363 - Luke 12:22-31 - Do Not Worry - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ – Day 363 – Luke 12:22-31 – Do Not Worry – Growing As Disciples

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?  “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:22-31 (NIV)

Worry

I have allowed my life to be filled with worry. What has filled your life with worry? I have worried about security. I have worried about my job. I have worried about money. I have worried about my health. I have worried about my family. I have worried about what is going on in the world. You name it, I have worried about it. Now, it seems like the whole world is in a state of worry together. These are very unsettling times. Yes, you are living in unsettling times. Is that a bad thing? It seems so to me. Who wants to live in unsettling times? Think a little more about the subject. What has happened to you when you have had no need, and everything has seemed to be going your way? Have you become complacent in your faith? Have you allowed yourself to become a little more distant from me? Have you become more self-reliant, self-sufficient and maybe even self-indulgent? None of those are good things. No, they are not. You know the answers to the questions you have asked me. Yes, I do, but do you know the answers to the questions I have asked you? Yes, I do. Let me hear your answer. My faith is much more living and active when I have been living in unsettling times. Worry has actually helped draw me back to you. How so? You have helped me to turn my worries into prayers to you. When I have been worried and unsettled and filled with fear, I have drawn near to you. What have I done? You have drawn near to me. What else? You have calmed my worries and fears. You have given me your peace. You have reminded me of the fact that you are with me to help me. You love and care for me. Yes, I do. What else have I done for you as you have drawn near to me? You have refocused my heart and mind and life. On what? You have focused my heart and mind and life on you and your Kingdom. You have reminded me of how you want me to live, where you want me to go and what you want me to do. You have helped me to take my eyes off of the things of this life so I can focus on living the Kingdom focused life you have called me to live. That is very good. Yes, it is. Keep on drawing near to me in these unsettling times. Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good. 

Lord, so much of my life has been focused on the things of earth. I have spent a great deal of time and energy worrying about the things of life that are out of my control. No more. Now, I will focus my heart and mind and life on your Kingdom as I seek you. Amen

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

Becoming Like Christ – Day 363 – Luke 12-22-31 – Do Not Worry – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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

God Intended It For Good

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Life - Genesis 50:20 - God Intended It For Good - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Life – Genesis 50:20 – God Intended It For Good – Growing As Disciples

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20 (NIV)

A Dream

You have a dream don’t you? Yes, I do.  Where do you think that your dream came from? It certainly didn’t come from me. Why do you say that? I’m sure that the dream that I have came from you. Why is that? The dream that I have is to bear an abundance of fruit for you. I want you to use me for your kingdom and your glory. That dream could have never started with me. Why is that? I would have never dreamed up something like that on my own. I would never have desired that without you placing it in my heart. You have a very good point. I understand why you are so certain about the origin of your dream. You are right, by the way, that dream of yours did originate with me. I’m very glad that you have embraced it as your own. Yes, I have embraced it as my own. That dream burns in my heart to be fulfilled. I ache with desire for you to use me in your service. Aren’t I using you right now? Yes, you are, but I sense that there is more. What I have been experiencing has seemed like preparation for something more. I think you want to use me more fully in some larger way. Yes, I do, you can be sure of that.

You’re anxious aren’t you? Yes, I am. You are a little discouraged? Yes, I am. Why is that? I have had so many twists and turns and ups and downs in life. I have had one trial and setback after another. I have begun to wonder if the dream that you have given to me will ever be fulfilled. Are you beginning to doubt me? No, I don’t doubt you. I think I am beginning to doubt myself. I have been wondering if I have heard you correctly. I have been wondering if you really will be able to use me for your purposes and in your plans. Do you think my ability to use you depends on you? Now, that’s an attention getter of a question. No, your ability to use me depends on you, not me. That’s right don’t ever forget that. You have been waiting for me to use you is that right? Not really. What have you been doing? I have been going wherever you have directed me. I have been doing whatever you have asked of me. So, you haven’t been sitting around waiting for me to use you, is that right? No, I have been busy doing whatever you have given me to do. Yes, that’s right and that’s very good. Have I have been using you everyday? Yes, you have been using me everyday. But, you sense that I have much more for you. You know that I have some larger purpose and plan for your life, is that right? Yes, that’s right.

You said that you have gone through twists, turns, ups, downs, trials and setbacks, is that right? Yes, that’s right. What have all those detours, trials and setbacks felt like to you? They have felt like preparation. It feels like you have been teaching me to rely on you so that I can persevere through every difficulty. When you look back over your life up to this point what do you see? I see that your hand has been on me. You have used every twist, turn, up, down, trial and setback to teach and strengthen me. Do you want me to stop teaching you? No, I don’t. Do you want me to stop preparing you for the work that I have for you? No, I don’t. Can you be thankful for every twist, turn, up, down, trial and setback that I have been able to use for good in your life? Yes, I can. Do you believe that I will accomplish my purposes and plans in your life? Yes Lord, I do. That’s very good, because I will.

Lord, thank you that you can even use evil that people have done to me to accomplish your purposes and plans in my life. Help me to persevere through every setback in life on the way to you accomplishing your plans in my life. Amen

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

Life – Genesis 50-20 – God Intended It For Good – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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

Keep A Grip On Hope

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ - Day 362 - Lamentations 3:19-26 - Keep A Grip On Hope - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ – Day 362 – Lamentations 3:19-26 – Keep A Grip On Hope – Growing As Disciples

I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.  I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom.  But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:  GOD’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.  They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!  I’m sticking with GOD (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.  GOD proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks.  It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from GOD. Lamentations 3:19-26 (MSG)

Remember

That is what I will do. What will you do? I will remember your love that never ends and your compassion that never runs out. When will you remember my love and compassion? How will you remember my love and compassion? Is remembering my love and compassion something that may be easier said than done? I’d like to tackle that last question first. Go right ahead, tackle that last question. Remembering your love and compassion is easier said than done. This world and this life is filled with adversity and hardship. This world and life and all its adversity and hardship could easily divert my focus and take my eyes off of you. I could be tempted to focus my heart and mind and life on all that is swirling and raging around me in this world. And at this time, in this current situation, there is plenty to make me fearful and afraid and forgetful of your love and compassion. That would be a big mistake. Why is that? You want me to know your love and compassion. You want me to live in your love and compassion. You want your love and compassion to give me a firm grip on the hope I have in you, right now, and in my eternal future in heaven with you. Yes, I do want you to have a firm grip on all the hope you have in me. It is my love and compassion that will give you hope to carry you through all the adversity and hardship you will face in this life. I get that. I understand. That’s good.

Now, I will tackle your other questions. I’m listening. To remember your love and compassion, I will meet with you in the morning. I will not let a day start without meeting with you. As I am in your presence, I will once again be reminded of your love and compassion for me. Why is that? Each morning as we meet together you will once again, as always and forever, show your love and compassion to me. Yes, I will continually show you my love and compassion as we meet together. As we meet together my heart and mind and life will be focused on you, rather than on all that swirls around me in the world. That’s good. I will be comforted and encouraged and strengthened and given an abundance of hope. Why is that? Because, I know that you have a firm grip on me, and I have a firm grip on you. Nothing could be better than or stronger than that. Yes, we both have a firm grip on each other and that is very good. Thank you, Lord.

Lord, I will remember your love that never ends and your compassion that never runs out. They are new every morning. Your love and compassion is what continues to give me a firm grip on hope. Thank you that your love and compassion has sustained my life. Amen

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

Becoming Like Christ – Day 362 – Lamentations 3-19-26 – Keep A Grip On Hope – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide.pdf

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

The Hope Of All The World

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ - Day 360 - Matthew 12:18-21 - The Hope Of The World - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ – Day 361 – Matthew 12:18-21 – The Hope Of The World – Growing As Disciples

Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.  He will not fight or shout or raise his voice in public.  He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.  And his name will be the hope of all the world.” Matthew 12:18-21 (NLT)

Look

“Look,” that sounds like such a casual word. It sounds not too dissimilar from a glance. I know without a doubt that this is not the intent or meaning of this word in this context. What do you think it means? I think it means to look intently. I think it means to look with intensity. I think it means to look with all that is within me. I think it means to look in such a way that my heart and mind and life will be transformed. Looking at you, cannot leave me unchanged. You couldn’t be more correct.

How has looking intently at me changed you? How have you been transformed by looking at me with all that is within you? I have come to know and love you with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. It has become my passionate desire to do what is good and right and pleasing to you. It is my joy to follow and serve you. Say more. Looking intently at you has filled my life with hope and peace and joy. I have been able to place my full and complete trust in you as I have remained in your presence, keeping my focus on you. That is very good.

Say more. Even in the midst of a significant crisis, which we are all now in, I have been able to live in the fullness of hope that you have given to me. Is this a hope that you wish to hold on to and keep to yourself? No, not at all. Now, more than ever it is my desire and plan to proclaim to all, the hope that is available in you. You are not only my hope. You are the hope of all the world. So, it is my prayer that you will powerfully use me and all your followers to boldly proclaim you to the world. There is hope in no one or nothing else. Your kindness and mercy and love is available to all. All who hear your call have an open invitation to come to you. So, powerfully use me to proclaim the hope and salvation available to all through you. That is a prayer that I will certainly hear and answer. Proclaim me to the world. Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.  

Lord, thank for being my hope. I will place all my faith, hope and trust in you. Thank you for also being the hope of the whole world. Help me to be a bold witness for you in the world. Guide my prayers today, as I pray through these times of significant crisis. Amen

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

Becoming Like Christ – Day 361 – Matthew 12-18-21 – The Hope Of All The World – 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

The One Who Is In You

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises - 1 John 4:4-6 - The One Who Is In You - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – 1 John 4:4-6 – The One Who Is In You – Growing As Disciples

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. 1 John 4:4-6 (NIV) 

Overcoming Evil

There is evil in this world, are you watching and on guard against it? Yes, I’m watching and on guard. What do I need to be on guard against? What do I need to be watching out for? Those are good questions. You need to have an attitude of watchfulness. You need to have ears that are attentive to my voice. You need to be listening to all that I want to say to you. You need to be watching for all that I want to show to you. Does this sound like something that will be hard for you to accomplish? It sounds easy. But, I’m not foolish enough to think that it will be easy. Why is that? It’s easy to be absorbed in all the activities of life. It’s easy to race through life and forget to listen to all that you want to say to me or to fail to watch all that you want to show to me. It’s easy to become conformed to all the patterns, practices and values of the world. If I am not very careful, I could become unaware of how the world is continually trying to shape me into its mold. It’s much harder to be attentive and watchful to all that you want me to hear and see. Yes, it is.

Let’s talk about the focus of your attention. Alright, go ahead. You have my full attention. Good, that’s what I want. You have mentioned two possibilities. You can either focus your attention on the world or you can focus your attention on me. If I focus my attention on the world I will have a very difficult time listening to what you want me to hear or watching what you want me to see. Yes, that’s exactly right. I will have a very difficult time identifying what is true and what is false. Does that sound like an understatement to you? I will have an impossible time identifying what is true and what is false. That’s more like it. If I have the focus of my attention on you, I will be able to know what is true and what is false because my eyes and ears will be open to you. That is also correct. As I continue to have my focus on you I will grow in my ability to listen to what you want me to hear and to watch what you want me to see. How do you know that? That has been my experience as I have had my focus on you. That is very good.

Let’s talk about overcoming evil that is in the world. To overcome evil in the world I must be able to identify it. I also must have the strength and desire to resist it. Can you identify or overcome evil if your focus is on the world? Certainly not, if my focus is on the world then I will be wrapped up and enticed by evil. That is not my will for you. It is my will that my Spirit living in you will make you able to overcome evil that is in the world. Do you believe that my Spirit living in you will make you able to overcome evil in the world? Yes, I do. Why do you believe? You have changed the desires of my heart as I have had my focus on you. You have given me both the desire and strength to do your will. You have made me able to overcome evil in the world. Yes, I have.

Holy Spirit, thank you that you live inside of me. You have made me able to know what is true and what is false. You have made me able to recognize and overcome evil that is in the world. Help me to hear and really listen to you. Amen

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

Promises – 1 John 4-4-6 – The One Who Is In You – 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