The Devotionals for Thursday, Friday, Saturday will give you specific passages of Scripture for putting into place the "Core" understanding with it's three related perspectives from the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Devotionals and for using SPECS. An overview of the "core" understanding, the three perspectives, & SPECS follows.
"Core" Understanding - A fruitful life comes forth from a close relationship with God
A significant part of God's revelation to us in Scripture is its teaching concerning our relationship with God and the life that should flow from it. Our passage from John shows us that fruitfulness coming forth from a close relationship with God is at the heart of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. This is the "core" understanding that forms the basis for all involvement with Scripture.
Perspective One - God's Word: means not end
The Scriptures were never intended to be an end in themselves. The Scriptures are the means by which you know and experience God as he unfolds his will in your life. May you always think of Scripture as God's very words to you flowing right from His heart to your heart as you interact with the sacred text of Scripture. God never steps back from His Word. May you never treat His precious Word as if He were not right there in it waiting to meet with you for occasions of sweet communion and spiritual nurture.
Perspective Two - God's Word: Change Above Content
It is vital that you pursue the transformation of your life and not merely the expansion of your mind's understandings. Certainly God's Word enlightens the understanding of our minds, but God's Word is also designed for Him to use in changing the condition of our hearts and the way we live our lives. Be sure to be involved with God's Word in ways that regularly move beyond content to experiencing the change that content invites. Interact with the text of Scripture in such a way that you look for God to speak to you about how He wants to change you.
Perspective Three - God's Word: Descriptions Not Obligations
The primary subject of Scripture is Jesus Christ. He is given the central place throughout all of Scripture. While the Bible is a book "about" Jesus Christ, it is also a book "for" Him as well. In other words, the Bible isn't written to "instruct you on how to live your life" but to "describe for you how Jesus Christ will live His life in you and through you." The instructions it gives for your life are not obligations for you to fulfill, but rather they are descriptions of the life Christ will produce in and through you as you yield yourself to Him.
The SPECS acronym from Sunday's message helps us see the Scriptural applications we are being called to respond to and live out in our daily lives.
S - Sins to Forsake
P - Promises to Claim
E - Examples to Follow
C - Commands to Obey
S - Stumbling Blocks to Avoid
Here is today's passage:
25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil. 28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:25-32
After you interact with the passage in terms of the "core" understanding, the three perspectives, & SPECS, be sure to wrap things up with a prayer response to God.
Posted on Sat, August 29, 2015
by Alan Porter