A Midweek Devotional - Approval
In our weekly devotions, we examine a variety of passages. At times they connect with where we are going in the upcoming sermon. At times, they simply represent passages the Lord has placed on my heart to share. Today, I want to ask you to join me in one of those “personal” passages. As we look to the word, I’d like to ask you to join me in making this text a framework for prayer and confession.
Wednesday, July 8th
Larger Portion of Scripture - Galatians 1
Focused Passage for Reflection - Galatians 1:10
Interacting with and praying the text:
When you read the Word of God, how do you interact with it? Do your eyes work their way across words on a page? Or, are you giving those words (and their Author) access to your heart? The Word of God does not leave us unaffected. It is meant to bless, to challenge, to encourage, and to change us. In John 17, Jesus prayed this would be true for us as we abide in the Word. Specifically, He prayed this in John 17:17: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”
To be sanctified is to be made holy. Are you being sanctified in the Word? Of course, there are times when we read and we don’t seem to connect. We all struggle from time to time engaging with what we read in the Bible. But do you have a vision for the kind of engagement Jesus calls us to?
Would you join me in reading Galatians 1:10 again? Read the verse slowly and ask the Holy Spirit to show you how it applies directly to you. Ask yourself the questions Paul is asking in the text. Be honest with your answers. The Spirit knows already. You don’t have to hide from Him. He brings you to challenging places in the Scriptures so that through conviction, He can bring the blessing of release. Now, having considered the verse and given it a time of honest reflection, would you join me in praying it back before the Lord?
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Dear Lord Jesus,
Take this from me! I confess my sometimes subtle, sometimes overt desire to please man. It drives what I say, how I say it, and far too often how I think. Redeem my thought life by taking this sinful tendency from me. Grant me wisdom. Grant me a redeemed ability to think with the glory of Christ as my framework and highest ambition.
Lord Jesus, far too often I consider your call to love my neighbor and then blend that call with this sinful desire to gain their approval. Forgive me. Take it from me, and show me how to love others more because I love you most. In your precious and holy name … AMEN.