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Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

JohnWesleyProject.com: Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions
There are five daily devotions for each of the fifteen weeks.  The devotional material is related
to the talk and is best used after viewing the relevant talk. The devotions encourage meditation on a relevant verse from the Scriptures. Many include John Wesley's comments on that particular verse and most
conclude with a relevant verse from a Wesleyan hymn to use as a prayer. 

Sometimes the specific prayers that Wesley wrote for children and for families are used.
As with the rest of the material in the JohnWesleyProject.com, the devotional material can be used by the individual but can also be used as a family devotion.

The following are some examples of a Daily Devotions:

Week 1 Day 1 Devotions
He Lives
I know that my Redeemer lives,
       and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

Job 19:25
One need look no further than Job in the Old Testament to see someone
around whom floods rose and against whom winds raged.
The Lord himself describes Job as a perfect and upright man who
fears God and shuns evil (Job 1:8). Job loses first his children, then his wealth
and finally his health. As he sits on a rubbish dump scratching his sores
with bits of broken pot he experiences estrangement from his wife,
his friends and his God. His wife wants him to dump his religion which
she felt should have protected him from such calamity; his friends insist
that the reason for his hardship must lie in something he has done and t
hey bring him no comfort; and his God seems distant and uninvolved.
 This experience is not unique to Job- perhaps you can identify with it or
know someone who does. How do we get to that place where from the midst
of pain and suffering we can make a statement of faith like Job’s:
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.”?
Do you want to get to such a place, or are you at such a place?
The good news is that every one of us can be in such a place in our faith walk.
In fact such a faith can be the norm for us, not the exception and it begins
with knowing Jesus the Redeemer as Jesus my Redeemer, a personal and
intimate relationship. This relationship is based on and made possible by
the fact that this Redeemer, who has become my redeemer, lives. He lives!
This is our faith, that the One against whom the floods rose and the winds raged,
the One who died is the One who lives; the One who seemed overcome was in fact the overcomer.
The redeemer Job looked forward to in faith is the Redeemer we look back
to in faith and the work He did in Job is the same work He longs to do in us.
Believe that God’s promises are true and for you and commit yourself to

adjusting your life as God speaks to you through His Son’s Sermon on the Mount.

I know that my redeemer lives
And ever prays for me;
A token of his love he gives,
 A pledge of liberty.
                                                                                  (Collection of Hymns Number 373)
                                 

Week 6 Day 1 Devotions
But What Does It Mean?
Your word is a lamp to my feet
       and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105

When the Psalmist writes about God's word he is usually referring to the Law
but we can quite comfortably take what the Psalmist says about the Law and apply it to the entirety of God's written communication to us, the Bible.  Someone has painted the picture (with words) of the Psalmist having
little candles or lamps tied to his feet and only as he lifts his foot and moves
forward does some light shine on the path ahead.  The idea is that God's
word guides us more step-by-step than by illuminating the whole of our future for us. 
In another context we are told to ask for daily bread, not monthly provisions. 
So it is that Christians turn expectantly to God's word, the Bible, for guidance and direction
.  While most (one would hope all) Christians agree that God speaks to us
by His Spirit through the words of the Bible there is not always agreement
on what the words mean or what a particular text really says.  When it comes to
interpreting the Scriptures, some believe a literal interpretation is the only way,
others that a literal interpretation must always take precedence
(John Wesley was certainly part of this school of thought) while others allow
for varying degrees of freedom in deciding what a text might mean; for example,
who really believes that if our hand causes us to sin we should get a knife out the
drawer and cut it off?  How does God's word become a lamp for my feet
and a light for my path if it doesn't always mean what it says?
The Beatitudes might be helpful here: always come to God's word spiritually poor,
acknowledging the bankruptcy of your understanding.  Mourn the fact that
God's Word doesn't have a more important place in your life. 
Approach God's word meekly willing to come under the submission
of whatever God might reveal to you and then hunger and thirst for God-given revelation. 
Celebrate God's mercy in deigning to communicate with you through
His word and come to His word with a heart purified by the cleansing
forgiveness which follows honest repentance.  Make peace with your Bible
and especially those parts of it that you wish weren't there. 
Be prepared to persecute, to banish or even put to death wrong
interpretations of God's word that you have clung to.
The Bible is God's word for us today and is an important means of God
communicating His grace to us.  There was a time when the Bible
was not in the hands of ordinary people like you and me and the interpretation
of its meaning was in the hands of a select few.  Believe and then praise God
for the fact that with the guidance that His Holy Spirit gives,
you can read the Bible and be led into understanding what it means.
As far from abjectness as pride,
With condescending dignity,
Jesus, I make thy Word my guide,
And keep the post assigned by thee.
(458)

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