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Day 18: Respond In Dependence

Psalm 73:25-26 “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Devotional · · · Jesus assures us as His followers, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Faithfully following after Jesus, dealing the sinful desires of our flesh or facing the struggles of life, is impossible on our own strength. So, we rely on His promise to carry the heavy burdens we face and accept His offer of rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-30). We trust in God’s ability to meet our every need (Philippians 4:19). And we remain rooted in Christ as the true source of a vibrant and fruitful life (John 15:1-11). Let us join King David’s song of thanks and declare this over our lives, our families, and our church, “Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually!” (1 Chronicles 16:10-11)

Prayer · · · Faithful God, may we adhere to the prayer of James and count it all joy when we face spiritual trials and battles. For we know we are being strengthened and grown as our faith is tested. Rather than turning to this world for comfort and fulfillment, may we instead depend on You as our comfort and our fortress. May we look to You alone as our sustenance, our strength in times of need, and our joy in times of sorrow. Help us Lord to trust in You fully, to abide in You daily, and to seek You continually.


Day 17: Respond In Awe

Hebrews 12:28-29 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Devotional · · · The Bible tells us that our worship must first and foremost be acceptable to God, not what is acceptable or pleasing to us. What should be the real objective of our worship? Doesn't it have to do with the God whom we worship? Worship is a response of reverence at the revelation of God, acknowledging His worth and realigning us to His reality. And, we worship a truly awesome God. The author of Hebrews is referring here to God as “a consuming fire” from Deuteronomy 4:24 and 9:3, revealing His jealousy and warning against idolatry but also pointing to His power in clearing the way for the Israelites to enter the Promised Land. God’s holiness burns up anything that is unholy. Isaiah 33:14 declares how sinners shake with fear and asks, “Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?” The answer is none of us, if we don’t have Christ. We are only able to come before a holy God because Jesus made a way by dying for our sins and making us citizens of His kingdom! So, we respond with thankfulness, with reverence and with awe.

Prayer · · · Almighty God, may we worship you with a holy reverence and may it be pleasing and acceptable in Your sight. We desire to give you our best and to bring joy to Your heart rather than our own. We reject anything that would take a higher place in our life than You. We are so thankful for the good news of forgiveness found in Jesus and the access we now have, because of His sacrificial death on the cross, to come with confidence before Your throne as members of Your kingdom. We pray Paul’s prayer of Ephesians 1:8 for spiritual wisdom that the eyes of our hearts would be enlightened to see the confident hope we have through You, the glorious inheritance we have as Your people, and that it would increase our worship for You all the more.


Day 16: Respond In Obedience

Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Devotional · · · Worship is a response of reverence at the revelation of God, acknowledging His worth and realigning us to His reality. In the first half of Romans, Paul reveals just how great God’s mercy toward us is, ending with a beautiful doxology of praise in Romans 11:33-36. It is in view of that amazing mercy that Paul then urges us to respond with true and proper worship— which is no longer about giving an animal sacrifice to pay for our sins, but about giving our whole lives in response to Jesus paying the ultimate price once and for all. So, live in awe-filled and reverent response to the reality of God today. Allow yourself to be transformed by the God-breathed, life-giving truth of Holy Scripture (2 Timothy 3:14-17) and the mind-renewing, life-freeing work of the Holy Spirit (John 14:1-31; Romans 8). Then you will be able to walk in obedience, realigning the pattern of your life to His perfect will.

Prayer · · · Holy and Merciful God, I long to give You reverence because You are most worthy to receive it. Help me to value You above all else because You are my greatest treasure. Help me to bring true and proper worship, giving all I am to You. Help me to live sacrificially, allowing Your Spirit to put any selfish or worldly ways in me to death. May I know more and more of the depths of Your mercy and the goodness of Your will. Continually be renewing my mind Lord, so that I can respond in obedience to Your realigning presence and power in my life. May all that I do point others to You as You transform me from the inside out. This is my spiritual service of worship, showing to the world the great worth and great glory of Christ by the way I live.