Today's Devotions

Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire +

    It is doubtful if, in 1972, those attending one of Jim Cymbala's worship services in a run-down Brooklyn church imagined Read More
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Reflection

Transformed

mountains1_500Webster defines devotion as “love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause.” How do we fall in love with God? Devotional Spirituality is an important process by which a Christian knows God better. As we know God better, we love God better, and our character becomes more like His. Paul said. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2).

God reveals Himself through His world, His works, and His Word. We not only gain knowledge; we gain the wisdom necessary for transforming our lives to be more aligned to His will. We know Him better by the study on His Word: “lectio devina”. We know Him better by observing and meditating on His Word, His creation, and His actions in our lives: “meditatio”. We know Him better through prayer: “oratio”. And we know Him better through thoughtful, prayerful contemplation: “contemplio”.

There is a difference between reading scripture for information versus study to gain wisdom. Who wrote it and why? What is the context? What does it say? What might God be saying to me? These questions help me dig deeper into His Word and better understand who He is and what He is teaching me. Meditation is not only an intellectual process, but a spiritual process as well. Meditation requires the Holy Spirit’s prodding, and direction. It requires discipline, a special time and place, and no distractions. Memorizing scripture helps me to meditate on God during interstices of time throughout the day.

I cannot know God better without prayer. And although I erroneously think of prayer as talking to God, I should be talking with God; a conversation----listening as well as speaking. It should be less about me, and more about God. How can I know Him better if my prayer is one way, and all about my needs and desires? Contemplating the truths discovered in God’s world, works, and Word requires persistent, intentional thought and prayer. Mediation is more like eating the food. Contemplation is digesting it—absorbing the food into my body. I learn truth about God’s character, then incorporate His truth into our being. I am being transformed!

Nicole C. Mullen: Redeemer

A  powerful song about the majesty and love of our redeemer, Christ the King.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpCaNBhK4S0&feature=fvsr

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
and Who told the ocean you can only come this far?
and Who showed the moon where to hide 'til evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives:
Let all creations testify
Let this, life within me cry
I know my Redeemer lives, yeah.

The very same God that spins things in orbit
runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creations testify
Let this life within we cry
I know my Redeemer, He lives
To take away my shame
And He lives forever, I'll proclaim

That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He's alive and
There's an empty grave.

And I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creations testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer,

I know my Redeemer
I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
I know that I know that I know that I know that I know my redeemer lives
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
I Know I know
He lives He lives yeah, yeah I spoke with him this morning
He lives He lives, the tomb is empty,
He lives I gotta tell everybody

Falling in Love With God

grapevine2_500

“falling in love with God,” as Boa’s subtitle for the facet explains. In this approach we attempt to enter into God’s presence for the primary purpose of appreciating who God is: to behold his beauty, majesty, and holiness, and to soak in his desires for us. The four chapters that make up Facet 6 discuss various things that are important and helpful as we embark on the greatest and most intimate of relationships, our life with God.

In the next chapter he discusses the role of contemplative practices in actualizing our desire to make God the chief focus of our life, our time, and our affections. . Boa wisely begins with addressing important negative ideas many have about what contemplation and meditation are, and are not. He rightly asserts that both practices must always be firmly bound to the Word, both written and incarnate. The contemplative traditions are focused on various means by which we can translate the first commandment, “to love God with all your heart. . . soul. . . [and] strength,” into a living reality in our lives. His discussion of how markedly the Christian practices of meditation and contemplation differ from those most often used in non-Christian traditions should do much to allay the fears of those who have previously steered clear of contemplative means for developing a passion for God. Perhaps the greatest challenge that contemplation of God offers to us today is the necessary emphasis on making the time to listen, to be still before God. And, Boa wisely advises that contemplative practices are not best suited to new believers. Just as a novice scuba enthusiast might begin by snorkeling until she is ready for greater depths, the contemplative way is most helpful to believers who are prepared through training to dive into the depths of life with God.

The third chapter in the facet discusses in a very practical way the centuries old practice of Sacred Reading, or lectio divina. Sadly, this is not a practice familiar to most modern day believers, and only fairly recently have Protestants discovered the benefit that comes from the four basic components of lectio divina: reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation. The chapter excels at providing concrete suggestions for how to implement the practice and gives a very helpful comparison (again, in chart form) of the differences between meditative and contemplative prayer.

Finally, the fourth chapter of the facet, “Falling in Love with God,” reiterates the importance of recognizing that “God alone is our highest good” and outlines briefly, but with helpful discussions, what sorts of things might prove to be what he calls “Enemies of Spiritual Passion” (e.g., “loving truth more than Christ,” “elevating service and ministry above Christ,” as well as the more expected problems such as disobedience) vs. what may promote spiritual passion (e.g., “Sitting at Jesus’ feet” “Focused intention,” “Willingness to let God break our outward self,” and “Desiring to please God more than impress people”). He ends the facet by again demonstrating how to use the Psalms and other Christians’ writing as means to open our mouths, hearts, and spirits in adoration of God.

Reflections to Consider

  • Corporate Spirituality

    Encouragement, Accountability, and Worship Solitude, community and ministry are three areas requiring balance and integration in the Christian walk. The Read More
  • Companion of the Souls

    When the two disciples recognised Jesus as he broke the bread for them in their house in Emmaus, he "vanished Read More
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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • What is Good in a World that Defies Hope: a talk by NT Wright +

    This is the second part of three talks by NT Wright at Harvard University in November, 2008 on the topic Read More
  • The Stream, the Lake and the River: NT Wright +

      Acts 2.1-21; John 7.37-39; a sermon at the Eucharist on the Feast of Pentecost, 11 May 2008, by the Read More
  • Jesus in the Perfect Storm by NT Wright +

    Zechariah 9.9-17; Luke 19.28-48; A sermon for Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011, In the University Chapel of St Salvator, St Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Warfare Spirituality +

    The Trinity function as farmers of our souls, actively caring for God’s creation: an ongoing, radical reclamation of His creation. Read More
  • You are free +

    The Jesus who calmed a sea of deadly, stormy waves, whose arrival sent thousands of demons cringing and cowering to Read More
  • Deliver us from Evil +

    Spiritual warfare is something that few Christians, regardless of their denomination, are accustomed to thinking about, let alone engaging in. Read More
  • Baby, you're a rich man! +

    The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This also is Read More
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