Category: Devotionals

Deeper reflections that focus on God and preview posts that link to devotional blogs,

Do You Have Blind Faith?

Do You Have Blind Faith?

I’m writing over at The Glorious Table today. Here’s a preview:

Jesus had a special friendship with the siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. The Gospels highlight this in a few places, especially Jesus’ interactions with Mary. My favorite story about Jesus and these siblings is in John 11. It’s the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.

John 11 begins by stating that Lazarus was sick. We pick up in verse 3, where Mary and Martha do the only thing they know to do: “So the sisters sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one you love is sick’” (NIV).

When Jesus receives the message in verse John 11:4, his response gives us insight that things are about to get interesting: “When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.’”

Jesus delays going to see Lazarus by two days, and when he is finally ready to go, he tells his disciples,

“Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.”Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” (John 11:11-14 NIV)

As Jesus and the disciples arrive, they encounter Mary and Martha mourning Lazarus, who was placed in a tomb four days earlier. Traditional Jewish mourning begins with seven days of intentional mourning known as sitting shiva. Read the rest over at The Glorious Table

Adoration Devotions

Adoration Devotions

Adoration Devotions

As I focus on my one word for 2020 pursue and pursuing God more intentionally this year I’m revisiting different Bible study and prayer disciplines I’ve incorporated through the years beginning with adoration.

Growing up in the church you will likely learn a lot of catchy phrases that come to form a language of their own, but don’t make a lot of sense to people outside of the church. Additionally, because the lingo seems familiar to everyone around you, many times it can feel intimidating to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something as clearly as you perceive others around you may grasp. 

One of those phrases is the ACTS prayer:

Adoration: Praise God for who he is/For his character

Confession: Tell God about your personal sin and corporate sin, ask for forgiveness

Thanksgiving: Thank God for how he is present in our lives, what he has done and what he will do 

Supplication: Dialogue with God, ask for clarification and guidance about situations, pray about needs, wants, fears, joys.

The ACTS prayer is a catchy way to make sure that we have an order to our conversations with God, but they aren’t a requirement for prayer. Growing up I found this structure helpful, but I didn’t fully understand the difference between Adoration and Thanksgiving. 

Thankfully Sara Hagerty has taken the time clarify Adoration in detail. She also has a monthly adoration plan you can follow to help put this important prayer discipline into practice.

The Discipline of Adoration

Life is hard and often feels deeply unfair. In recent years documentation of depression is on the rise as well as teen suicide.There is no doubt that people are outrageously more cruel to each other with the ability to hide behind fake identites. Bolstered by the example of poor leadership that is justfied by those who call themselves moral, for many there doesn’t seem to be a safe place to turn for help. 

But God is always available to comfort his children. He loves to reveal his character to us when we ask, and he is unchanging so we can always trust him. Adoration reminds us God is our comforter. Consider Psalms 23.

Psalms 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Adoration Tools

I mentioned Sara Hagerty has a monthly guide. I’ve also found the book Adoration Prayer Book by Bob Hartley very helpful.  Hartley says “Adoration is the pattern we see in heaven! The Lord is surrounded by worship and adoration continually throughout all of eternity.”

If you haven’t included adoration in your journaling or prayer times maybe this is the month to give it a try!

Is It Your Turn?

Is It Your Turn?

Is it Your Turn? A Devotional Post for The Glorious Table

I’m writing over at The Glorious Table today about Leadership. Here’s a preview:

 love January. For me, this is the time when hope bubbles up in every conversation. As the new year begins, we get to not only start a new page in our planners, we get to throw away the battered pages from the past year and open a brand-new calendar. Empty spaces on each day whisper of new opportunities.

Are you training a new business partner? Is it your turn to prepare the next generation for ministry? Is it time to start obeying that nudge and courageously step up and start leading somewhere? What’s holding you back?

There is something about the first page of a new planner that sparks hope for me. I believe strongly in fresh starts and new opportunities. Over the years, I’ve developed a conviction that one of the most generous gifts we can extend to each other is the space to use our spiritual gifts, strengths, talents, and skills in our individual passion areas.

It takes courage to pursue a fresh start with a ministry or step onto a new career path. Having a mentor to look to and learn from is invaluable. A mentor can help build our confidence as well as guide us with years of experience.

As important as it is for the less experienced person to have a mentor, it’s just as valuable for the mentor to invest in someone. Our time on earth will eventually end, but that doesn’t mean our ministry won’t go on. And our ministry will grow when we can train people to work alongside us rather than trying to manage everything ourselves. Read the rest over at The Glorious Table

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