Monday, June 10
Theme for the week:
Disciples and the Holy Spirit

Our devotions continue to focus on living under the Holy Spirit, yielding to His work and ways. The goal is to immerse 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 to insights of His Word.

Galatians 5:13-24

Life by the Spirit

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

• In Christ, I live and walk by the Spirit.

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Pondering Point

Read Galatians 5:13-24.

According to the bible, there are contrasting or even competing parts within you. Romans 7 describes them as sinful nature vs. inner being, unspiritual vs spiritual, or competing desires to follow the ways of sin or the ways of God. Here in Galatians, Paul uses flesh and Spirit terminology. Some part in you is not going to be happy – either your spirit or your flesh.

God teaches us to live not under the ways of the flesh, nor under the law, but according to the Spirit. When walking in the Spirit we transgress no laws. When walking out of step with the Spirit it is a whole other deal. In fact, any indulgence to the sinful nature – thought, word, deed, or attitude -- betrays that you are drifting from living by the Spirit. Walk in Him and talk in Him. Think in Him and think on Him. Dwell on Him and dwell in Him.

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Prayer for the Day

Lord Jesus, in my spirit I desire to be like You, to live like you and love like you. Thank you for the gift of Your Holy Spirit to empower me to do so, producing in me the characteristic fruit You were known for: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I am Your disciple walking with You – by Your Spirit In Your name Lord Jesus I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, June 11
God’s Mission

John 14:15-24

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

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Pondering Point

Read John 14:15-24. The Spirit of God is alive and kicking within you. Get to know Him and His unworldly ways. Learn to keep in step with those unworldly ways – making you unworldly. Are you too worldly? Remember the call of Romans 12:1-2? It includes a call to rise against conforming to the world’s ways and allowing yourself to be transformed by the ways of God. Let this be you basis of prayer today – for you and others.

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Father God, make me unworldly by Your Spirit of truth. Let me not be conformed to the ways of this world, but transformed by the renewing of my mind. Spirit of God, teach me to number my steps aright, right along with You – step by step, one step at a time, dancing the two-step, avoiding the misstep. In Jesus’ name I pray and walk – and dance. Amen.

Wednesday, June 12
Biblical Teachings on Prayer

Acts 1:12-14

The apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives…When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying… They all joined together constantly in prayer… 

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Pondering Point

This 10-day long event followed Jesus’ ascension and was just remembered this past Sunday in worship. Along with Jesus’ personal family and some faithful women, the apostles seemed to have spent the bulk of those ten days praying. They were in constant prayer expectantly waiting for the promised Holy Spirit.

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Ask yourself this question: How are you like those faithful followers of Jesus? How are you different? Ponder it with God – see where he takes you in thought and prayer. Take 10-15 minutes or even more. That is what I did after writing this devotion material for the week.

Thursday, June 13
Prayerfully Re-Center Around God

Philippians 1:9-11

This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
~ Apostle Paul

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Pondering Point

Capture this idea in your mind and dwell on it: Seeing your love toward God connect with a deep knowledge and wisdom about Him. Now see that combination of love and insight of God enabling you to know what is best and carry it out, bearing fruit to the glory and praise of God. Can you see picture of God celebrating His will being done on earth as it is in heaven? Let see it as we prayerfully re-center around God:

Review the week

Review your love toward God. Remember why you love Him and how he first loved you.

Repent (if necessary)

Knowing that “repent” includes turning, turn to God and ask for greater knowledge and insight.

Return (as necessary)

Return your attention to loving God first – above all things – and let Him produce in you a Spirit-filled life of righteousness through Jesus. And God will be glorified.

Friday, June 14
Discipleship Point and Prayer

When we walk humbly with our God he works in our lives and accomplishes what we cannot.

p. 98, The Prideful Soul’s Guide to Humility, Fontenot/Jones
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Humility Prayer

Father God, I desire to walk humbly with You and walk humbly with others who are walking with You. I look forward to You working in our lives. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Discipleship Point about Growing under the Holy Spirit

What is the role of the Holy Spirit in transforming us into the image of Christ? The Spirit is holy, for he produces the character of Christ in those in whom he dwells. These character qualities are known as the fruit of the Spirit (Discipleship Essentials, Ogden, p. 129).
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Discipleship Prayer

Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ, I submit to You and pray that you produce in me the image of Christ in all of his love, joy, and peace; patience, kindness, and goodness; faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. May they dwell in me like Christ himself dwells in me with You and the Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Saturday, June 15
Scripture's Story for the Week

Luke 11:5-13

5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

This is a parable of Jesus sometimes titled the persistent neighbor. It is the neighbor who persists in asking for help to be hospitable to a friend who dropped by at midnight of all times.

We know it to be a lesson in prayer because of allusions that Jesus himself draws in relation to prayer surrounding the story. Prior to it is the Lord’s Prayer and after is the Ask, Seek, Knock lesson in Luke. If you have not read yet, use the prayer below first.

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Prayer for the Day

Father God, let my primary discipler (the Holy Spirit) teach me about persisting in praying for others until You meet needs for them that I am not capable of meeting on my own. I am willing to partner with you. Show me the way and give me all I need for my friends. In Jesus I pray. Amen.

Sunday, June 16
Call to Gather, Pray and Worship God

God Bless You

1 Peter 1:1-2

To God’s elect… who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 

You are a child of God, part of what the bible calls the elect. listen to this blessing through that identity: You have been chosen in God’s foreknowledge to be holy and obedient (both by faith), and – having been sprinkled with the blood of Jesus – have grace and peace being offering in abundance. Thank God! say this aloud to yourself to hear it in your ears:

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Prayer for the Day

Grace and peace are mine in abundance!
Thank you Jesus! Thank you Father!. Thank You Spirit!
Amen! I praise and worship You! Amen.

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