God sent His Holy Spirit to be our source of power and guidance. But how much do you know about this most mysterious third of the Trinity? Using The Message/REMIX text, this 10-week devotional on the Holy Spirit takes just 7 minutes per day. Tyndale House Publishers
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The Navigators is an interdenominational, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people "know Christ and make Him known” as they look to Him and His Word to chart their lives.
Navigators have invested their lives in people for more than seventy-five years, coming alongside them life on life to study the Bible, develop a deepening prayer life, and memorize and apply Scripture, The ultimate goal is to equip Christ followers to fulfill 2 Timothy 2:2—to teach what they have learned to others.
Today, tens of thousands of people worldwide are coming to know and grow in Jesus Christ through the various ministries of The Navigators. Internationally, more than 4,600 Navigator staff of 70 nationalities serve in more than 100 countries.
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7 Minutes with the Holy Spirit
Daily Devotions for a Deeper Relationship
By Think Books Th1nk Books
Copyright © 2005 Think Books
All right reserved.
"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion-do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers-most of which are never even seen-don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?"
We usually hear only one command in these verses: Don't worry. But I want you to focus on what elseJesus told us to do. We will spend this week walking in the fields and looking at the wildflowers. No, this isn't your first foray into life as a botany major. Instead, it's an excursion to see the artistry of God. When He created the universe, He didn't just make it functional like a well-oiled machine. He filled it with beauty.
As we come face-to-face with the creative genius of our God, we will discover His thumbprint on our own lives. Every time we draw a picture or write a story or mow designs into the outfield at a ballpark, we express the creative image of God within us.
God's glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon. Madame Day holds classes every morning, Professor Night lectures each evening.
Their words aren't heard, their voices aren't recorded, But their silence fills the earth: unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
God makes a huge dome for the sun-a superdome! The morning sun's a new husband leaping from his honeymoon bed, The daybreaking sun an athlete racing to the tape. PSALM 19:1-6
That's how God's Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset, Melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith.
You, O God, are an awesome and holy God who loves and continually blesses Your children. You are powerful and amazing. The artistry of Your creation stirs my heart, even though my small mind can't fathom the vast universe You spoke into existence. All of creation gives You praise and honor! Day after day and night after night, Your glory and amazing love show through all that You have made.
I cannot hide from You, for You are everywhere and You show up in everything I do. O God, I long for You to be the focus of my life instead of my focus being the temporary material objects I crave. Fix my heart on You. Open my eyes to see all You have blessed me with. Make me more grateful for the things I take for granted. Lord, please humble me. Focus all my attention on You so I don't focus on myself. Draw me away from my meaningless possessions and closer to Your side.
Lord, I pray that You will be glorified every day through Your incredible universe. You are the awesome Maker, and I pray that those who don't know You will see Your amazing grace and magnificence through creation. I pray that someday everyone will see Your beauty. O God, You are the reason I breathe, for no one is greater or more loving than You. I praise You for the wonder of Your grace and kindness.
Tiffany Jean BeMent Age: 18 Major: business marketing
* What does the beauty of creation tell me about God?
* What will happen to my focus if I learn to seek God's artistry in everything?
Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice?
Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes.
God made everything. He wrote the laws of physics that determine how fast the sun burns its fuel, how far the Earth stays from the sun, and everything else that makes life possible in this universe. God designed you down to the simplest cells you had to study in biology. All that stuff about mitosis and meiosis and everything else that takes place inside your body on a cellular level-God thought it up and made it all work on His first try. No trial and error for God. Nor is there anything simple in even the simplest parts of creation. From a quantum level to the farthest ends of space, all of it works with a precision the human mind will never fully understand.
So why do we think we can give God advice? We do it all the time. We offer God advice every time we complain about the way our lives are going and every time we offer Him a helpful hint of how things could be done better.
I do it. You do it. We all do it. We try to make our words sound religious, but the bottom line is still this: We who cannot figure out how a brown cow can eat green grass and produce white milk try to boss around the God who designed hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms in such a way that two of one and one of the other make water.
Today, take a fast from telling God what He should do. Spend time in prayer, but do not tell God what He should do or how He should do it. No "and make my chemistry professor have a flat tire today so I won't have to take that test I didn't study for" prayers. Instead, ask for the wisdom to see His handiwork in your life and for the grace to accept those situations you would rather He obliterate. Then spend time praising Him and thanking Him. Replace complaints with praise. God knows what He's doing. As you fast today, let that truth fill your heart.
First this: God created the Heavens and Earth-all you see, all you don't see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.
God spoke: "Light!" And light appeared....
God spoke: "Sky! In the middle of the waters; separate water from water!" God made sky....
God spoke: "Separate! Water-beneath-Heaven, gather into one place; Land, appear!" And there it was....
God spoke: "Earth, green up! Grow all varieties of seed-bearing plants, Every sort of fruit-bearing tree." And there it was.
The story keeps going. God speaks and creation springs into being. Of course, we don't hear the background story, but we know it's there. Before God speaks, He plans His masterpiece down to the last detail. And it all fits together perfectly with incredible beauty and amazing precision.
Nor do we hear the inflection in God's voice as He creates. When producers of those church dramas (in which everyone dresses in his bathrobe) recruit someone to play God, they usually pick a person with a deep, stern voice. While the voice of God must have boomed with majesty on each of the six days of creation, stern doesn't seem like the right adjective to describe it. Reread the first chapter of Genesis and see if you don't detect joy in God's voice. Making everything is not a chore, like cleaning your room or dragging the trash can to the curb. No, all of this is great fun for God. You can almost hear Him laugh and sing as He spins the stars like a top in the Milky Way and paints the rings around Saturn.
Today your assignment is simple: Go have fun creating something. Draw a picture or write a story or plant a garden. Make something. Anything. Finger paint or sculpt your mashed potatoes into a castle or invent a new pasta sauce. Write some jokes or build a barn or knit a sweater for your dachshund. Whatever you do, express the creative image of God in you and have fun doing it! Be original. Be creative. Be like God.
PSALM 33:1-3 AND EXODUS 15:1-2
Good people, cheer God! Right-living people sound best when praising.
Use guitars to reinforce your Hallelujahs! Play his praise on a grand piano!
Invent your own new song to him; give him a trumpet fanfare.
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to God, giving voice together,
I'm singing my heart out to God-what a victory! He pitched horse and rider into the sea.
God is my strength, God is my song, and, yes! God is my salvation.
This is the kind of God I have and I'm telling the world! This is the God of my father- I'm spreading the news far and wide!
PRAISE & CELEBRATION
When God does something great, we want to hold on to the moment and never forget it. On top of our praise and celebration, we also want to tell the rest of the world what our God has done for us. We want everyone to know how wonderful and magnificent our God really is. Sure, we're bragging, but that's okay. God doesn't mind when we brag about Him.
In the Bible, people wrote songs to do this. These songs were passed on from one generation to the next so that the nation would never forget what God had done. The Exodus passage you just read is the first few lines of one of these songs. Moses and the Israelites sang it the day God parted the Red Sea for them.
You don't have to be a songwriter to sing a new song to God. All you have to do is think back on everything He has done for you, write it down, and then sing it back to Him. That's your assignment for today. Invent a new song for God. No one else has to hear it. After all, it's God's song. He's the only audience that matters. The style of the song can be whatever you want, from classical to country to rock to rap. It doesn't even have to have much of a tune; just a chant will do. A song filled with praise to God for all He's done always sounds sweet to His ears. Whatever style you choose, the point is to fill this song with praise for specific things God has done for you. Then sing it to this audience of One.
//MY FOCUS: ROMANS 1:19-23
But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
So many times I search for God and miss the evidence of His presence, which He has placed right in front of my nose. God's handiwork shines in everything from the precise alignment of the planets to the incredible work ethic of the ant. If we fallen humans would only stop and see what's there, we would find God's love all around us, drawing us near and showing us His power and might.
This is especially true for Christians. We experience His wonder yet become complacent and restless in our faith. I know I do. So often I'm like the people of Romans who exchanged God's glory for meaningless junk. Even though I claim that Jesus is the most important Person in my life, I get caught up in chasing the next best thing in fashion or electronics or you name it. Sometimes I'm so completely wrapped up in the stuff of this world that I completely miss what God has given me for free-the wonder of creation and the grace of His love.
I pray that I would stop being so wrapped up in myself that I miss the amazing wonder of God. I pray that I would stop settling for things that satisfy me for only a short time. I pray that I would never grow complacent in my time spent with God because God deserves my everything. Anything less is just a waste.
* How do I see God through His creation?
* What can I do to stay away from worshiping meaningless things?
* What can I do to see God more often and more easily?
Caylee Carpenter Age: 18 Major: psychology
//JOURNALING: PSALM 19:1
God's glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
As you gaze at the artistic wonder God puts on display in His creation, what do you learn about His character? What will you do in response? How will you change your life in light of who God is?
Excerpted from 7 Minutes with the Holy Spirit by Think Books Copyright © 2005 by Think Books. Excerpted by permission.
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