Morning Meditation with God – Daily Devotions for the Week of June 5 – 11, 2011

Please click here for a printable version of this week’s Daily Devotions.
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Sunday, June 5 – What Manner of Person Ought You to Be?
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Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, [it is clear] what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness—2 Peter 3:11
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When God told Abraham He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham’s life was immediately and radically affected. Noah could not carry on business as usual once he knew what God was planning for his generation. Knowing that God is preparing judgment brings a sobering reality to Christians, helping us recognize what is eternally significant and what is not.
Peter cautions us that a catastrophic time of judgment is coming. On the day of the Lord there will be a great noise, and the elements will melt with a fervent heat. On that day, he warns, the earth will be consumed. Peter assures us that this is not mere speculation; it is certain and imminent. He then asks the crucial question that applies to each generation: “What kind of persons ought you to be?” With judgment pending for us and countless millions of people facing destruction, how should we live our lives?
Many Christians attach great value to temporal things. Hobbies and possessions consume us, leaving little time or energy to invest in what is eternal. More than anyone else, Christians should be sensitive to the times in which we live. We should walk so closely with God that if He were preparing to bring judgment upon people, we could warn those in imminent peril. Since Christ has been long-suffering in His return so that no one might perish (2 Pet. 3:9), should we not invest our effort in building God’s eternal kingdom? Should there not be an urgency about us to complete the tasks that God gives us?
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Monday, June 6 – Sow Generously
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Remember this: the person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously.—2 Corinthians 9:6
You are called to be intentional about your Christianity. You must be determined to experience the fullness of God in every area of your Christian life and never to settle for a shallow, lackadaisical relationship with almighty God. God will bless you according to how you respond to His invitations. If He finds in you a generous heart that willingly and freely gives what it has to others, then God responds toward you in like manner.
When the apostle Paul encouraged the believers in Corinth to help the Christians in Jerusalem, he promised them that if they would sow generously, they would reap a generous return from God.
This truth holds life-changing potential for us. If we invest everything we have in our relationship with God, we will experience the full dimensions of being children of God. If our desire is to know God more intimately, and if we spend ample time studying His word, God will generously enrich our relationship with Him. If we discipline ourselves to remain in prayer even when praying is difficult, He will reward us with a deeper, more powerful prayer life. If we reconcile any broken relationships and prepare our hearts before worship, and if we participate fully and reverently in every part of worship, God promises that we will meet Him and our lives will be changed.
Why is it that some Christians grow rapidly in their Christian faith and others remain unchanged year after year? Our Christian maturity is deeply affected by what we sow. Let us choose to sow generously in everything we do in our Christian lives. The harvest we reap will be Christlikeness.
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Tuesday, June 7 – God Speaks in Many Times and Ways
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Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways.—Hebrews 1:1
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Our generation is preoccupied with methods. When we find a program that works in one business, we immediately want to package and distribute it so that it will work for others. This attitude carries over into the spiritual life as well. We spend much energy looking for spiritual disciplines, books, seminars, or conferences that “work” in order to feel satisfied with our Christian life. God does not want us to trust in methods. He wants us to trust in Him.
Trusting in methods rather than in a Person seriously limits the way we experience God. When we expect Him to speak to us only in predictable ways, we forget that God is much more complex than our perception of Him. In times past, God spoke in dreams and visions. He used nature; miraculous signs; prophets; a still, small voice; fire; trumpets; fleece; the casting of lots; and angels. He spoke in the middle of the night, during worship services, at mealtimes, during funerals, while people were walking along the road, through sermons, in the middle of a storm, and through His Son.
The important thing was not how God communicated, but that He spoke. If God always spoke to us through dreams, we would remain in our beds awaiting a divine revelation! The means God uses to communicate with us is irrelevant; the fact that He is communicating is what is critical.
Don’t limit yourself to a method, expecting only to hear from your Father in predictable ways. Rather, open yourself up to other means by which God wants to commune with you. Allow the Holy Spirit to sensitize you to God’s message at all times, in every location, under any circumstance.
Then you will experience God in entirely new dimensions as you are receptive to His voice.
Wednesday, June 8 – Tempted As We Are
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For since He Himself was tested and has suffered, He is able to help those who are tested.—Hebrews 2:18
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You will never face a temptation so strong that God has not made complete provision for you to overcome it. God, out of His love, has done everything necessary for you to be victorious whenever you face temptation. He has clearly revealed His will to you in Scripture so that you will not be confused about the right thing to do. He has placed the Holy Spirit within you to guide you in your decisions and to convict you when you make harmful choices. With every temptation God also provides a way of escape so that you never have to yield to it (1 Cor. 10:13). Everything is in place for you to experience victory over every temptation.
God in His infinite love, however, has done even more to safeguard you from temptation. He has allowed Himself to suffer the full brunt of temptation. The very Son of God humbled Himself, taking on all the limitations of frail human flesh, and was tempted in every way that we are. Jesus knew what it was like to grow tired, to be hungry, to experience the same limitations we have; yet He was without sin. It is to this One that we turn when we are facing temptation. Ours is not an unsympathetic God who is unconcerned with our struggle to live righteously, but we follow a God who knows how difficult it is to resist sin and withstand temptation. We can approach Christ with confidence, knowing that He understands our plight. He knows how to aid us when we are tempted.
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Thursday, June 9 – As for Me and My House
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“But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.”—Joshua 24:15
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Serving God was not Joshua’s only option. He could have adopted the religious beliefs and practices of his family heritage in the pagan land of Egypt. He could have accepted the idolatrous religion of his neighbors in the region where he now lived. These options probably looked like easier choices than worshiping God. But Joshua had witnessed God’s faithfulness (Josh. 23:14). He was convinced that his Lord was the only true God and that serving Him would bring victory and blessing.
Joshua decided to serve God alone. He was determined to teach his entire household to honor his Lord as well. He had trusted God for victory on the battlefield, and he knew that God could also give him spiritual victory in his home.
You, too, must decide whom you will serve. An assortment of popular religions clamors for your allegiance. If you come from a Christian heritage, you may choose to embrace the faith of your parents and grandparents. If you did not grow up in a Christian home, you can decide, as Joshua did, to reject your heritage of unbelief and begin a generation that serves the Lord.
If you set your mind wholeheartedly on serving God, your example will bring a tremendous blessing to your family. If you place your confidence in God, those around you will witness your faith, and they may decide to trust Him too. Choose, as Joshua did, to serve God unashamedly with all your heart, and then watch to see how God blesses your family.
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Friday, June 10 – The Fruit of the Spirit
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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.—Galatians 5:22–23
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An examination of the fruits of the Spirit can be intimidating. Working all nine of these traits into your life seems impossible, and indeed it is. But the moment you became a Christian, the Holy Spirit began a divine work to produce Christ’s character in you. Regardless of who you are, the Spirit works from the same model, Jesus Christ. The Spirit looks to Christ in order to find the blueprint for your character. The Spirit will immediately begin helping you experience and practice the same love that Jesus had when He laid down His life for His friends. The same joy He experienced will now fill you. The identical peace that guarded the heart of Jesus, even as He was being beaten and mocked, will be the peace that the Spirit works to instill in you. The patience Jesus had for His most unteachable disciple will be the patience that the Spirit now develops in you. The kindness Jesus showed toward children and sinners will soften your heart toward others. There will be a goodness about you that is only explainable by the presence of the Spirit of God. The Spirit will build the same faithfulness into you that led Jesus to be entirely obedient to His Father. The Spirit will teach you self-control so that you will have strength to do what is right and to resist temptation.
All of this is as natural as the growth of fruit on a tree. You do not have to orchestrate it on your own. It automatically begins the moment you become a believer. How quickly it happens depends upon how completely you yield yourself to the Holy Spirit’s activity.
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Saturday, June 11 – The Keys of the Kingdom
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“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven.”—Matthew 16:19
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The keys of the kingdom represent the access you have to the Father through your relationship to Jesus Christ. With this relationship you have access to everything that is accessible to Christ. However, this access is not given indiscriminately; Jesus gave the keys to His disciples only after they recognized that He was the Christ. Once the disciples were convinced that Jesus was the Savior, they entered into a unique and personal relationship with Him. Their relationship to Jesus gave them direct access to their heavenly Father. Likewise, your relationship with Christ opens the door of heaven for you and gives you direct access to the Father.
Peter discovered that once he had keys to the kingdom, he could go to the Father in every situation. When he stood to preach before thousands on the day of Pentecost, this simple fisherman opened the door to the kingdom for three thousand people in one day (Acts 2:41). When he encountered a lame man, he used his access to God and His healing power, and the man was healed (Acts 3:6). When he was imprisoned, Peter discovered that the keys of the kingdom could open even the most secure prison door (Acts 12:6–10).
If you are a Christian you, too, have keys to the kingdom of heaven. You do not need an intermediary, for you have an unobstructed access to God. With that access come all the resources you need to face any circumstance. When you are afraid, you have access to God’s peace that surpasses comprehension (Phil. 4:6). When you have a broken relationship, you have access to the God of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18–21). When you meet someone in need, you have access to God’s provision for that person. What an incredible privilege to be entrusted with keys to the kingdom of heaven!
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