Month: January 2021

January 1, 2021

Cultivate DT | Day 1

 

INTRODUCTION

Part 1) Imitate: Be Imitators of Christ

Imitating Jesus is the beginning of Christian discipleship and a joyful, lifelong pursuit

Journal

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation, or event.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.

 Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:

Bible Text:

John 13:1-17

1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.     14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Ephesians 5:1-2

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Context & Commentary

It is the night before Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus is gathered with his disciples for a final meal together, celebrating the Jewish Passover. As they finish up the meal, Jesus shocks his disciples by washing their feet, one by one. “Foot washing was a common act in Bible times. People traveled mostly on foot in sandals across the dusty roads of Judea. When entering a home, it was customary to wash one’s feet. To not offer to wash a guest’s feet was considered a breach of hospitality (see Luke 7:44). Washing guests’ feet was a job for a household servant to carry out when guests arrived (1 Samuel 25:41). It was a subservient task. What was unusual about this act was that Jesus, the Master and Teacher, was doing it for his disciples, as the lowliest slave would do” (Life Application New Testament Commentary, 2001).

Question

01 How does Jesus’ example contrast with behavior that the world expects of people in power (cf. Mark 10:42)? How does this challenge me?

02 Jesus says, “If you know these things, …blessed are you if you do them.” And Paul encourages Christians to “be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us….” What are some concrete ways that I can follow Jesus’ example?  

Prayer

 

January 1, 2021

Cultivate DT: Introduction

INTRODUCTION

Taking time each day to read the Bible, reflect, and pray is a practice that has nourished countless generations of Christians. Just as having authentic conversations is key to developing any relationship with a person, reading God’s Word and responding in reflection and prayer is crucial to relating with Jesus. We hope that this booklet will help you deepen in your love for Christ and guide you as you seek to know him more!

We recommend that you set aside at least half an hour each day for reading and reflection.  Turn your devices off and find a space where you won’t be interrupted.  Begin by praying, opening your heart to God and inviting him to speak to you through his word.  As you approach each day with a sense of expectation, we hope that this devotional book will become your personal record of experiencing a God who is living, active, and intimate.  As it says in the Scriptures, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”  (Jeremiah 29:13)

– Editors

January 1, 2021

Cultivate DT: How to journal

HOW DO I JOURNAL?

01 List the Facts

Go through the facts of what happened, utilizing the 5W’s – Who, What, When, Where, Why.

This is where you want to review what happened with as much accuracy as possible. You can list out basic facts of the situation in chronological order.

Focusing on facts halts rationalizing and self-justifying emotions. For example, rather than saying, “I felt like he was attacking me with his words so I responded in this way,” just state the objective facts: “I yelled at my roommate.”

02 Explore

Based on the facts, you can begin to explore deeper questions, such as:

  • Why did I say that? Why did I do that?
  • What was I feeling when I did that?
  • What was going through my mind?
  • What were some events leading up to this incident?

03 Ask, “What Does This Reveal About Me?”

After reviewing the facts and exploring why you reacted or felt as you did, ask yourself the question, “What does this reveal about me?” Here are some questions that might be helpful:

  • What does this show about what drives me?
  • What does this show about what’s going on inside of me?
  • What does this show about my view towards… (others, God, myself)?
  • What does this reveal about what is important to me?

Don’t use a lot of jargon and try not to be overly dramatic in language (e.g., “I feel like I don’t deserve the cross of Jesus!”). Try to use plain speech as much as possible.

04 The Word of God

Often, people either go into a downward spiral of self-flagellation, or they might be satisfied with merely identifying what they did wrong and end there. If you don’t go through this step, you can leave God entirely out of your struggle. To apply the Word of God to your situation, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What about the gospel addresses me at this point?
  • What is true and real according to God’s Word?
  • How does the Word of God bring reproof and correction (2 Timothy 3:16) to you regarding this situation?

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