June 2019

Week Four

By now you’ve had 21 days to deepen your personal discipline of daily scripture reading. I trust, as well, this discipline of grace has been enhanced by your time of journaling and your weekly discussion and prayer with an accountability partner.

During the last couple of decades, my sister (my dearest friend and pastor’s wife) and I have found weekly time together to be not only beneficial to our so-journeying in bible study but often crucial to the health of our sometimes weary souls. God puts us in communities for His purpose and for our good, and we are made rich in fellowship when we make room for the Holy Spirit to cheer, guide and comfort through His work in fellow believers. No matter what I am facing in life circumstances or relationships, time with someone else who loves the Lord and loves me never fails to encourage my heart, which admittedly sometimes “grows weary in doing good” (Gal 6:9).

This week we finished our reading in Ephesians, and I was, again, greatly encouraged to “stand firm.” Isn’t is good to be reminded that our battle is not against flesh and blood? We stand in faith on the finished work of the cross. We stand on the substance of eternal truth rather than the mere present facts of situations and circumstances. Jesus Christ, our victorious savior, is now seated at the right hand of Our Father. He is there praying for us, and He has sent the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, to empower us to live beyond ourselves, and to fill our hearts with the love of God as ministers of reconciliation.

Father in heaven, increase the capacity of my heart to know your love so that I may join you in your pleasant desire to love the people who are in the path you have chosen for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Week Four Daily Reading: Philippians 1 through 4.

Journaling Prompts: 1. Write a prayer of gratitude for the work He has begun in you, and praise Him for the confidence you have that He will finish what He started. 2. Consider that His work is both individual and corporate. In other words, His work in you is for your good as well as for the community, family, church and job in which He has placed you. In what ways are you giving out what He has poured in? 3. Consider the divine nature of humility and God’s desire that you look to the interests of others. 4. What things might you be clinging to that are keeping you from “pressing on?” 5. Write out Phil 4:8 and consider how this can be applied in your life and relationships.

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:19 NKJV

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