Daily Devotionals
Week of November 18 to November 23, 2019

MEMORY VERSE

Psalm 136:1
“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

MONDAY                                     Philippians 4:10-11

One of the reasons Paul is writing this letter to the church at Philippi is to thank them for the money they had sent. As a prisoner, Paul had no resources to continue his ministry apart from the generosity of the church. Paul is also writing to let them know that he is lacking in nothing. Although his circumstances are difficult, he has everything he needs. Paul is encouraging the Philippian church because they too are under persecution and Paul is letting them know that you can be content even during hardship. Contentment must be learned. The world won’t teach you contentment. Only God can teach us contentment. God can use our circumstances to help us learn how to find contentment in Him rather than our circumstances.  

Prayer: “God, open my eyes so I can see you and learn how to be content in you.   Amen.”

 

TUESDAY                                          2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Here is a great example of Paul’s learning contentment through his circumstances. He has a thorn that is disrupting his life. We’ve all experienced thorns. Like Paul, we pray for God to remove it. We want the easy fix. Jesus tells Paul that He will do something much greater than simply removing it: He is going to reveal His power through Paul’s weakness. Jesus has an important lesson for Paul. He wants Paul to rely on Him for strength. In doing this, Paul will know the faithfulness of Christ. This was necessary for Paul because he would go on to endure all kinds of hardships for the sake of the gospel, a lesson he learned through a thorn in his side.

Prayer: “Jesus, your grace is sufficient for me. Give me strength for my hardships so I can be a greater witness for you.  Amen”

 

WEDNESDAY                                   Exodus 17:1-7

God has been providing for the Israelites for two and a half months in the wilderness after miraculously delivering them from slavery in Egypt. God has given them daily provisions, yet they are still complaining about their circumstances. They blame God, accusing Him of being unfaithful to them. God has chosen to provide for them in a specific way. He gives them only enough for the day. The reason God provided for them in this way was to teach them to trust Him. He wanted to prove His faithfulness to them. Even though God upholds His promises, they still complain. After months of God’s daily provision, they still don’t trust Him. We must be willing to learn and receive the lessons God has for us.  

Prayer: “God, please help me to be open to what you want to teach me.   Amen”

THURSDAY                                         Philippians 4:12

Paul’s life is a great example of life’s ups and downs. Before his conversion, Paul was a man of great renown. He was wealthy and powerful. All that changed once he turned to Jesus. He was beaten, robbed, shipwrecked, and jailed. Paul knew what it was like to have good and bad times, but for Paul, the real value of his life wasn’t measured by good or bad circumstances but by his being in relationship with Jesus. Paul’s relationship with Christ motivated him to have a Kingdom perspective.  A worldly perspective claims that life is only good when things are comfortable. A Kingdom perspective says that life is always good because Jesus is near. We can be content with where we are, no matter what is going on, because we know that we are not alone.

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to live for you. Empower me to live with a Kingdom perspective.  Amen”

FRIDAY                                                 Philippians 4:13

Here is the secret to contentment. This is what God has taught Paul through his life experiences. Paul has learned that he has the strength to endure anything life can throw at him because it is Jesus who supplies the strength he needs. So often we feel that when things get tough, it’s all up to us. When hardships come, we slip into the independent mindset that says, “I’ll grit my way through this.” Paul has learned that in order to thrive in the midst of hardships, he must become completely dependent on Jesus for strength.  

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to abide in you because You are more than enough for me.   Amen”

 

SATURDAY                                      Ephesians 3:14-19

The dominant Greek philosophical goal of Paul’s day was to be self-sufficient. They hoped they could live in such a way that they didn’t need anyone or anything. To accomplish this, they stripped themselves of all emotions and feelings. The idea was that being indifferent was the key to contentment. Paul offers a different approach. He invites us to dive into the vast mystery that is God’s love for us. For Paul, love wasn’t the enemy to contentment, but rather the key. God’s love is sufficient to see us through any and all circumstances.

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to know the breadth and length and height and depth of your love. I want to be filled with you. Amen”