Weekly Readings – November 28
Part 4 – True Wealth
Nov 28, 2021
3 Ways to Be Rich:
- Do More – be rich in good deeds
- Give More – generous and willing to share
- On Purpose – make the choice
Note: the NIV version was used to prepare these devotions.
- Begin your time with praise. Praise gets our hearts and minds focused on God and the things above.
- Confess any sin that might hinder God’s Word and God’s Spirit from working in your heart.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to transform your life through the Word of God.
Day 1 – Do not deceive yourselves
Growing spiritually is a process. You can’t fix everything at once but you can take small steps each day. Over a lifetime this produces maturity and a fruitful life. So, just focus on taking that small step each day.
What strong exhortation does Paul give believers in verse 7? Why?
What happens to the person who justifies their actions to please their flesh (8)?
What about the person who desires to please the Spirit (8)?
What is Paul’s solution (9)?
Paul summarizes the application in verse 10. What does he want us to do?
We deceive ourselves when we justify our actions to please our flesh. Our self-centered sinful nature is revealed when we put ourselves before God and others. Here’s an important truth. Jesus wants to replace our sinful, self-focused heart with a heart like His. The Spirit uses the Word of God to transform our hearts which is why it is so important that we read or hear the Word of God daily and put it into practice. It takes time. It takes surrender.
How are you deceiving yourself? Take some time on this. Without accepting the truth about you and your heart, you will continue to sow to the flesh.
To sow to the Spirit means to plant spiritual seeds in your life and others. A seed starts small but the more it is watered and cultivated, the bigger it gets. The more you put into your relationship with God, the more you will become like Jesus, putting His Father and others before yourself.
What is one specific thing you will do today to cultivate your relationship with God?
Look for the opportunity to do good to those who cross your path today.
Who, in the church or your small group, can you call and encourage today?
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for being an example of how to live and put God and others first. Search my heart. Show me where I am sowing to my flesh. Reveal how I am deceiving myself. Help me to grow in my spiritual walk today. Amen.
Day 2 – Sow to the Spirit
Read James 3:13-18.
How does one show they are wise and understanding (13)?
What is the difference between deeds done in humility and those that are not?
What are we to do if we harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in our hearts (14)?
How would you define bitter envy?
What is selfish ambition?
Where do bitter envy and selfish ambition (sowing to the flesh) come from (15)?
What comes with envy and selfish ambition (16)?
How does sowing to the Spirit transform our lives (17)?
What does sowing to the Spirit reap in our lives (18)?
In what ways do you struggle with bitter envy?
Where does selfish ambition manifest itself in your life?
How does your life demonstrate that you have embraced wisdom from above?
How can you seek to ‘sow in peace’ in your relationships today?
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the wisdom you have given us from above. Forgive me for the times I have been bitter because of what others have and I don’t. Help me to care about others and pursue peace rather than my agenda and division. Amen.
Day 3 – Give more
Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58.
Paul was explaining in this part of his letter what happens when some dies and the importance of sowing to our spiritual lives.
What two important truths does Paul declare in verse 50?
What is the mystery Paul wants the believers to understand (51-52)?
When we are born, we are flesh and perishable. What must we be clothed with (53)?
How does Paul describe what happens when we are clothed with the imperishable (54)?
What is the sting of death? What is power of sin (56)?
The law was given to show us we are unable to live up to God’s righteous standards and that we needed a Savior.
How does God give us victory (57)?
Because we are being clothed with the imperishable, what do we need to do first (58)?
To what are we to give ourselves fully (58)? Why (58)?
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the salvation that has come to my life through You. As I continue to sow seeds in my spiritual life, let it be evident that I am becoming more like You. Show me when I am being deceived by sin or being disobedient. Help me keep my mind and heart focused on the things above.
Day 4 – Purpose to love God
Read Mark 10:30.
What is the most important thing we do?
Read John 14:21.
How do we show Jesus that we love Him?
What is the blessing we receive in return?
Read John 14:30-31.
What did Jesus model for us?
For what purpose (keyword: so that)?
Read John 15:10.
How do we abide (dwell) in Jesus’ love?
How was Jesus as an example of this?
1 John 5:3.
What do you think it means that Jesus’ commands are not burdensome?
How we respond to Jesus reflects what is in our hearts. If we are bitter, angry and resentful, we have a heart problem. When you read the Scriptures with your heart is oriented to God, wanting to do what He asks becomes the natural response.
What does your response to our Lord’s commands reveal about your heart?
Do you grudgingly obey or it is your heart’s desire to please your Lord?
What is one thing Jesus has asked you to do that you can do today to show your love for Him?
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for showing us what it looks like to love the Father and abide in His love. Forgive me for all the time I have resented, ignored or outright rebelled against Your commands. Help me to say ‘yes’ to You and live out Your Word in my life. Amen.
Day 5 – Do more and give more
Read Luke 6:43-49
In this passage Jesus has just shared that we need to look at our own sin before we judge the sins of others. What we say and what we do is a reflection of what is in our hearts.
How does Jesus use nature to illustrate this point (43-44)?
What does the person with a good heart produce (45)? The evil person (45)?
What question does Jesus ask those who were calling Him Lord (46)?
What will someone be like who hears the words of Jesus and puts them into practice (47-48)?
Why didn’t the house fall?
What happens to the person who built his house without a foundation, who built his house on the sand (49)?
Take an inventory of your life over the past few days. What does your fruit reveal about your heart? What do the storms of life reveal about the foundation of your walk with God?
When we get in the habit of daily putting God’s Word into practice, we strengthen our foundation, it renovates our hearts, and it shows that we truly love God. Remember, putting God’s Word into practice doesn’t save you. It’s because Jesus saved you that you want to put it into practice.
What can you do to do more and to give more?
Prayer: Jesus, I want to live for You because You gave Your life for me. Help me to put Your Word into practice so that my foundation in You will grow stronger and stronger. Convict me when I need to work on my heart. Give me a heart that wants to live for you. Amen