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JW Summer Devos

Summer Devos are written by 15 different Jacob's Well staff members, from their real-world perspectives. You can pick up a printed copy at the Connection Center, and they are also posted online each week! You can subscribe to the RSS Feed in your browser, or using a free feed reader app on your phone (such as Feedly).

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July 22-26: Week Six

Posted by Jenna Kaiser on

Monday, July 22nd

“Lectio Divina is reading Scripture to “encounter God Himself or hear His voice.” Dallas Willard

The four components of Lectio Divina are read, reflect, respond, rest.  Today the focus will be read/reflect and tomorrow respond/rest.

“And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside.  And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'  And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.  But he cried out all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!' And Jesus stopped and said, 'Call him.' And they called the blind man, saying to him, 'Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.' And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.  And Jesus said to him, 'What do you want me to do for you?' And the blind man said to him, 'Rabbi, let me recover my sight.' And Jesus said to him, 'Go your way; your faith has made you well.' And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.” Mark 10:46-52

Read (lectio)… listen for God's word… re-read and absorb the words and listen with the “ear of your heart” for:

  • A word, phrase, detail or moment in the story that “shimmers” or stands out
  • Where you find yourself...who/what do you identify with in the story?
  • The Holy Spirit to bring you into the story

Reflect (meditation)… receive God's word… again, re-read the story slowly even out loud.

  • What words or phrases resonated with you? Why do you think these words stood out?
  • Who or what did you find yourself to be in this passage? How does it feel? What draws you? What thoughts/feelings about God are you recognizing?

Stay with the passage for a bit and prayerfully ponder “How does this connect with my life today?”

 


Tuesday, July 23rd

Lectio Divina (Part 2)

Re-read Mark 10:46-52.  Feel the crowds, the noise, the dirt, the heat, see the opaque eyes of the blind man, hear his yelling and the crowd telling him to “shut-up”, listen as Jesus asks for him, see him throw off his rags and leap to his feet, listen to Jesus' question and the beggar's response

Respond (oratio)....pray response to God's word

  • With this last reading, talk to God in honest expression of your deepest thoughts and feelings in response to the Spirit's direction or in response to Jesus' question “What do you want me to do for you?”

Rest (contemplation)...behold God's beauty

  • Consider: From my focus on this story, what about God draws me to worship Him? Be with Him? Rest in Him?  Listen and be silent.
  • Do as the Holy Spirit leads. Express gratitude to God.

What was the process of Lectio Divina like for you? What did you enjoy? What was difficult? Consider looking into some Lectio Divina resources such as Hearing God by Dallas Willard; The Artist's Rule by Christine
Paintner


 

Wednesday, July 24th

(Contributed by Whitney Berthiaume)

“I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today: I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. And love God, your God, listening obediently to him, firmly embracing him.”  Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Ruth Haley Barton says, “Paying attention to all things burning in and around us keeps us in touch with what is truest about God, ourselves and our world so that we can hear God calling us by name again.  The practice of paying attention awakens us to what is extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary.”

Many times we choose death, but we forget that we are allowed to choose life.  Make a special effort today to slow down—stop and think about the things you are experiencing, paying special attention to your five senses.  What do you see? What do you smell? What to you hear? What do you feel? Slow down, pay attention to how you are feeling, what is going on around you, and choose life.

 


Thursday, July 25th

(Contributed by Isaac Addie)

Whether we think about it or not, we are always communicating. Consciously and sub-consciously we are always making connections with the people around us and as such have influence on their lives and affect them to various degrees. Often though we don’t think about our speech patterns, because it’s often habitual, but with this incredible gift it can give a reflection into where we are at on your walk and even deeper into our own spiritual well-being.  With this devotional, I encourage you to look at your language and what it may say.

Read. James 3

What sticks out to you in this passage? How do the metaphors described convey the power of language?

Read Luke 6:45

What is it that gives you life? How do those things affect how you interact with others?

How does staying connected to God through prayer and His word affect not just how you see the world but how you see other people and in turn how you interact with them? What’s the difference when you do and do not?

What do your words and interactions say about your heart condition? Do you find yourself being very negative? Judgmental? Short tempered?  What is God revealing to you through your language? Spend some time with God in prayer on what He is showing you through your language. Ask Him to reveal those things to you so you can surrender it to Him.

 


Friday, July 26th

(Contributed by Kristi Irvin)

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7

When I think of leaving a spiritual legacy, I think of my mom. She and my dad became Christians when I was very young. Mom was so excited about her new relationship with Christ; hungry and thirsty to find out more about Him. Everything she learned she passed on to us kids. Her gift of teaching helped to make this fun and challenging. After lunch mom would write a verse on a little chalkboard my dad made. We’d repeat the verse over and over, but each time she’d erase a word. We hid countless verses in our hearts this way. I remember learning the books of the Bible in the kitchen while mom did the dishes in the evenings. To help us learn what God is like, she wrote what she called an “Essence Box” on a poster, explaining the meaning of the words. Sovereign, Righteous, Justice, Love, Eternal, Omniscience, Omnipotent, Omnipresence, Immutable, Veracity.

All this gave me a tender heart toward God. He was dependable. He cared about the details of my life. He was full of compassion. My roots really did go deep into the soil of God’s love! (Thanks mom!)

Are you in a position to influence a young person? You may say, “But I’m not a parent.” Well, are you an uncle, aunt, grandparent, youth worker, teacher, scout leader, JW Kids/Students leader, tutor? You have an awesome opportunity to lay a godly foundation that will bear fruit that will last and help guide young people through the many challenges they’ll face in an ever changing, unstable world.

 

Tags: hope, summer, ruth, devo, unexpected

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