The next month of devotions focus on living under the direction of the Holy Spirit, yielding to His work and His ways in life. The goal is to be intentional about immersing ourselves in God by submitting to His Spirit. God calls us to live by the Spirit, not the law (rules and regulations). Our primary teacher about God is God himself. Pray that He opens your heart and mind to the insight of His Word.
Life Through the Spirit
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
• In Christ, I am a child of God. Even though my body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives me life because of righteousness. By that Spirit I call on God as “Abba, Father.”
Read Romans 8:1-16. What would God tell you that your mind is set on lately? Ask Him. Ask a few close friends. Do you want to know the answer to such a question?
Father God, may I not be unwittingly ruled by the flesh, but instead having my spirit live by Your Spirit and His (Your) desires. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
What is it that you thirst for? If you had to identify what you long or hunger for, what would make the list. What would your family say about you in response to this? What would your friends say about you in response to this?
AND – what do you think God himself hopes and desires for you? What does God want to see happen in your life through the leadership of His Holy Spirit?
Spirit of God, gift of Jesus my Lord, come slake my thirst. Flow in me, through me, over me, out of me. Let me become what Father God wants me to be. Let me live by You, bringing glory to God in all I think, say and do. Amen.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Jesus here values remaining in Him. How would you explain “remaining” in Jesus to another person? How about “my words remain in you”? While I don’t think the Lord is looking for perfection here before blessing, it does seem He is looking for practice of his precept as part of the plan.
Lord Jesus, teach me to remain in You. Let Your words remain in me. You said that the Holy Spirit would remind Your disciples of all that You taught. I am your disciple. Let that promise extend to me by having the Holy Spirit remind me of all of your words. Then teach me to ask and see it done. Amen.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
Modeling Paul, we are going to pray this for ourselves and those on our hearts. To prepare for that time of prayer, let’s do a short review, repent, and return as we re-center or re-orient around God.
Are you in touch with your “inner being”? Do you welcome Christ’s presence and leadership in your heart and life?
Ask forgiveness if you have neglected your inner being, if you have neglected his leadership or spurned the riches of God for lesser shiny things of this world.
Between you and God, commit to address the ongoing health of your inner being. Let God remind you of the riches He brings to the table through Jesus. Open your heart up anew to Jesus Christ and his presence and leadership. This means you are requesting the Father, Son and Spirit of God to live in You.
Lord, You are so generous: I am praying for ____________, that he/she/they may be strengthened in their spirit by your Holy Spirit, so that by Your power, Christ may dwell in their hearts by faith. Come Spirit, come.
And in Your generosity Lord, I pray that You would strengthen me in my spirit by your Holy Spirit, so that by Your power, Christ may powerfully dwell in my heart by faith. Come Spirit, come. Amen.
Remembering that we were "bought at a price" (1 Corinthians 6:20) and understanding that we now belong to God helps us to see that we can no longer be self-sufficient. Because God "sends me," my life will change: I will not do what I want, but what God wants, in every area of my life.
p.33, The Prideful Soul’s Guide to Humility, Fontenot/Jones
Oh Father God, truly I have been "bought at a price" through Jesus’ life and death. Let me reject self-sufficiency – not because I can’t do it, but because I shouldn’t do it. I am not my own; I am Yours. “Send me," as it were, to do what You want in every area of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
A mere understanding of salvation in Jesus doesn’t make a person Christ-like in action or mature in faith. God uses multiple relationships to bring us to maturity.
Often people see their relationship with God primarily as a vertical experience and minimize the weight of God discipling us through person-to-person relationships.
The Holy Spirit does a huge part of His discipleship through people. Author Jim Putman suggests four “spheres” of life drawn from Ephesians in which a disciple grows under God’s hand:
Father God, let Your Holy Spirit help me to grow in Your hands – to be discipled. Put opportunities and people in my life to make it happen. I commit to work with and under your Spirit to see this fruit in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jesus' Departure to Heaven
1 In my [Apostle Paul's] former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.
14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
Prior to Jesus’ death, his disciples were with him nearly all the time. Granted there were times that the Lord went off by himself to solitary places to meet with His Father unencumbered. But for the most part, he was always accessible to his closest followers.
After His death, he appeared to his followers (over five hundred of them – see 1 Corinthians 15:6). But something was different. They could not “follow” Him to the garden or next town or next location. Jesus would just disappear ‘into thin air’ as some say. And it happened multiple times. But this time – something is significantly different, as is His message to them before he disappears. Check it out as you internalize Jesus’ words so that they “remain in you” as our Immersion taught this week.
Jesus, let me remain in You and Your words remain in me. Amen.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to Him…
May the LORD bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
May you live to see your children’s children— peace be on Israel.
Zion is the mount in Jerusalem on which the temple used to sit, the place “where God’s glory dwells” (Psalm 26:8). The primary content of the blessing being mentioned is in Psalm 128:2-4. As you read this passage, pray about your fear and obedience factors.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
4 Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.
[Pray about whatever God has put upon your heart.]
Any insights you share are helpful as we carry out our mission of building discipleship resources that God can use to strengthen us to “make disciples who make disciples”, the vision of our church.
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