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Summer Splash
2013
Fuel for the Journey:
How To Have A Devotional
Life
Pastor Al Soto
2013 Summer Splash Series
• July 11th
& 18th
:
Fuel for the Journey: How to Have a
Devotional Life – Pastor Al Soto
• July 21st
& August 1st
:
Foundation for the Journey: How to Read
the Bible – Rev. Herb Pedigo
• August 8th
& 15th
:
Friends for the Journey: Living in Community –
Pastor Scott Gnile
God Has A Goal
Ephesians 4:11 NIV
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the
prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and
teachers, to equip his people for works of
service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
until we all reach unity in the faith and in the
knowledge of the Son of God and become
mature, attaining to the whole measure of the
fullness of Christ.”
Evidence of Maturity
Ephesians 4:12-16, NIV
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back
and forth by the waves, and blown here and there
by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and
craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to
become in every respect the mature body of him
who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the
whole body, joined and held together by every
supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in
love, as each part does its work.”
A Fresh Perspective
Spiritual maturity and emotional health truly
are considered inseparable and where our
work for Jesus flows out of a life with Jesus.
Pete Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Church
Consider These Ten Road
Blocks
1. We lie
It has been said that 9 of 10 Americans lie regularly – to themselves, to
their friends, employers, parents, children, to themselves. We avoid
people rather than be honest. We make excuses that really aren’t truth.
Jesus affirms that the truth alone sets us free (Jn. 8:32).
As we Review these Ten Road Blocks
Score Yourself: 1 is Excellent 5 is Poor
Road Block #2
2. We look to other people to tell us we are
okay
This lying is often rooted in our need for others to affirm or validate us
so we feel good about ourselves. We are not sure who we are and
have not taken the needed time to grow up into adults! Jesus was able
to disappoint people out of a solid sense of who He was before His
Father.
Road Block #3
3. We think loving people means keeping
them happy.
We think hurt and love can’t be in same community instead of
embracing, like Jesus, that hurt is often part of helping others mature
Road Block #4
4. We encourage false peace
Unlike Jesus, we often appease, give in or avoid people because we
hate confrontation. We are afraid to speak the truth. We say “yes” and
mean “no”. In doing so, we cancel ourselves out and the integrity of our
community.
Road Block #5
5. We are confused about anger
We think all anger is sin rather than an oil light in our interiors that
something is wrong! Rather than see anger as a gift to assert ourselves
in a mature way like Jesus, we often blame, stuff, become resentful,
avoid or explode unto others.
Road Block #6
6. We love our neighbors and not ourselves
I meet many people in church who hate themselves. We know God
loves us intellectually but carry self-hate deep within us. And we
wonder why we have difficulty loving others well.
Road Block #7
7. We over-function.
We do for others what they can and should do for themselves. We
mistakenly call that love. Jesus gave his disciples appropriate
responsibilities at the right time and had them stand on their own two
feet.
Road Block #8
8. We are quick to speak and slow to listen.
We think we are supposed to have answers and become anxious when
there is silence. We feel we have to fix and save one another. Jesus
knew there was a time to speak and a time to be silent.
Road Block #9
9. We think “love believes all things” means
we should believe all things
There is a tendency to avoid the data and facts when they are
uncomfortable. We don’t want to be negative or critical. So we, at
times, don’t ask difficult questions or say anything when something is
clearly wrong.
Road Block #10
10. We think differences mean division.
We are often suspicious of people who do life and their walk with Christ
differently than us. Yet our differences in personality, backgrounds,
cultures, preferences, and gifts bring spice and beauty to our
togetherness. I believe God has called us as the church to be a sign
and a witness, to accomplish a particular mission as Jean Vanier
notes.
This means we will need to wrestle individually with what it means to
live a life “divided no more” within ourselves, challenging the way our
cultures, our family of origin and our formerly “nice” church
environments (if we had one) may have given us a “killer” virus to
emotionally healthy relationships. For as my lovely wife has rightly said,
“How can I be one with you when I am divided within myself?”
(Ten “Killers” of Genuine, Mature Community
©Pete Scazzero, 2007: January 19, 2012 at 10:48pm)
Introduction To A Daily Office
A Daily Office is to daily live at the same
Heartbeat and Rhythm as God.
A Daily Office is to Dance your dance with
the Trinity every minute of every day.
The Outcome of Devotion is to Live in
Grace – “Sacramental Living”
Sacramental living understands that all matter is meant to lead us into
God’s heavenly presence, to bring about communion with Him and a
participation in His life. In fact, the entire universe is meant to serve as
a “sacrament” — i.e., a material gift from God in and through which we
enter into the joy of His heavenly presence.
I have been helped by the great poet, Gerald Manley Hopkins, who
wrote: The world is “charged with the glory of God”(Ps. 19:1, Col.1:17).
C.S Lewis
C.S. Lewis’ writings also have served to pull
me deeper into sacramental living: “We do
not want merely to see beauty… We want
something else which can hardly be put into
words—to be united with the beauty we see,
to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to
bathe in it, to become part of it.”
Why Read The Bible?
“God has spoken in the Scriptures and it is
our desire to know what He has said and
what He is speaking.”
Two Ways to Read Scripture
Exegetically:
It involves using various methods of biblical study, such as: historical,
cultural, and social backgrounds; the original languages; the history of
interpretation; relating texts to the whole canon of Scripture; theological
implications, etc. There are a variety of emphases in these methods,
but most are aimed at understanding the theological message the text
communicates. While not all Bible students agree on all these methods,
or their results, there is a great deal of agreement about the basic
principles, and about the boundaries of interpretation that arise from
careful study (what the text can't mean).
To Kiss the Face of the King
Devotional reading of Scripture is a personal reading that is intimately
tied to prayer as devotion to God. It is an attempt, a search, to
encounter God through sacred Scripture. In this way of reading, the
person approaches the Biblical text from the context of his or her own
immediate world of experience, often in times and attitudes of grief or
indecision, or simply wanting to draw closer to God. The Bible is read
closely and thoroughly but always with the prayer that God will speak
through Scripture. There is always an immediacy to devotional reading
that addresses people where they are in a particular set of life
situations. As individuals contemplate a passage from Scripture, they
allow the Biblical text to master them as they saturate themselves in
the presence of God through focusing on Scripture.
S.O.A.P. Method
Scripture
Take today's Bible reading, pray over it and
then read through slowly. God will direct
your attention to certain verses or sections.
Write these down in your journal and focus
your study there.
Observation
Observe
What is God showing you in this passage? Jot
down in your journal any words or events that
stand out. Are there any truths God wants you to
learn? Warnings? Commands? Guiding principles?
Record those in your journal. Now what is the
overall message God has for you in this passage?
Application
Apply
Now it's time to get personal. How does this
affect your life? Does God have instruction
for you today? Encouragement? Correction?
Write down in your journal God's personal
message to you.
Prayer
Pray
Prayer is a two-way conversation with God.
You may find that as you pray over what
God has shown you, He will reveal even
more that He is wanting to show. Be
listening and journal your prayers!
An Example of a SOAP Journal
Entry
May 17, 2010
Scripture—2 Thessalonians 1:6-8 For it is indeed just of God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give
relief to the afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming
fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
Observation—This passage does not exactly give one a warm, fuzzy feeling! But it is natural to respond to different
Scripture passages in different ways. In this case, there’s actually considerable debate among Biblical scholars as to
whether Paul actually wrote this since it seems to conflict with some of his other writings. I concur. Still, it’s in our
Bible…so now what?
Application—Although I agree with the Lutheran principle of making Jesus the lens through which we interpret all of the
Scriptures, one still has to make sure one isn’t simply picking and choosing Scripture verses that one finds palatable
and ignoring all the rest. So how do we deal with verses like those above, regardless of who wrote them? Personally, I
think it would be ‘just’ of God to ‘repay.’ But I don’t think that’s how God operates. I think these verses reveal more
about the author’s frustrations than they reveal about the nature and/or intentions of God. By the same token, I think
these verses reveal more about our nature than they do about the nature and/or intentions of God. We can find
ourselves in the Bible too. And hopefully, in so doing, we can see that there must be a better way…
Prayer—Lord, I believe that you suffered on the cross on behalf of everyone, whether or not we believe. And I believe
that your ‘gospel’ is good news that is meant to be graciously shared rather than hoarded. And I believe that you call all
of us to a life that is much fuller (which is not necessarily to be equated with ‘happy’) than we can imagine. But of
course, I could be wrong! Either way, I can only entrust myself to your mercy at the foot of the cross. In Jesus’ name.
Amen.
Lets Do John 13:1-38, NIV
Solitude
Solitude well practiced will break the power of
busyness, haste, isolation and loneliness. You will
see that the world is not on you shoulders after all.
You will find yourself and God will find you in new
ways. Joy and peace will begin to bubble up within
you and arrive from things and events around you.
Praise and prayer will come to you and from within
you. The soul anchor established in solitude will
remain solid when you return to your ordinary life
with others. (Dallas Willard)
Dallas Willard The Gift of
Silence
When we stop talking we abandon
ourselves to reality and to God. We position
ourselves to attend rather than to adjust
things with our words. We stop our shaping
and negotiating, or "spinning." How much of
our energy goes into that! We let things
stand. We trust God with what others shall
think.
Getting Close to God by John
Fischer
Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. (James 4:8 NLT)
It’s been this way since time began. God set it up so we would seek Him, and He would respond to us when we did. Is
He playing hard to get? Well, He may be, only inasmuch as He wants a relationship with someone who wants one with
Him, and the way you show that you do is by seeking Him. God will not force Himself on anyone.
This is an incredible privilege He has given His creation, when you think of it. God joins in the give and take of a
relationship with us! That means that if you don’t get close to God, well… you don’t get close to God. In other words,
He gives us the integrity of making the first move.
I think this is what was meant in that strange passage in Matthew 6:7&8, when Jesus warns us not to give what is
sacred to dogs, and not to give pearls to pigs. God doesn’t reveal Himself to those who aren’t interested in a
relationship with Him. And it’s no indictment on them; they simply wouldn’t get it. Dogs don’t know what is sacred. Pigs
have no use for pearls. Their only value is what they can eat, so the real value of pearls would be wasted on a pig.
The truth about God is wasted on someone who is not interested in knowing Him, so He doesn’t draw near to that
person. He draws near to those who come to Him. But believe me, once you show any indication of interest, He’s right
there.
Actually we all need God and we all know it. Even those who deny God and run the other way are desperately seeking
Him from some empty place inside. We just don’t all want to admit it.
But for those who do, God is all over any attempt on our part to get close to Him. It makes no difference how you do
this. There is no right or wrong way to seek God. You just seek Him, and you keep on seeking Him. There’s no end to
this because there’s no end to God. There’s always more of Him to discover and experience. Worship is never static. It
keeps opening up more and more of God to us as we worship Him and live our lives out according to His purposes.
John Fischer is the Senior Writer for Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotionals. He resides in Southern California with his wife, Marti and son,
Chandler. They also have two adult children, Christopher and Anne. John is a published author and popular speaker.

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Summer Splash Developing a devotional life part 1 of 2

  • 1. Summer Splash 2013 Fuel for the Journey: How To Have A Devotional Life Pastor Al Soto
  • 2. 2013 Summer Splash Series • July 11th & 18th : Fuel for the Journey: How to Have a Devotional Life – Pastor Al Soto • July 21st & August 1st : Foundation for the Journey: How to Read the Bible – Rev. Herb Pedigo • August 8th & 15th : Friends for the Journey: Living in Community – Pastor Scott Gnile
  • 3. God Has A Goal Ephesians 4:11 NIV “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
  • 4. Evidence of Maturity Ephesians 4:12-16, NIV “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
  • 5. A Fresh Perspective Spiritual maturity and emotional health truly are considered inseparable and where our work for Jesus flows out of a life with Jesus. Pete Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Church
  • 6. Consider These Ten Road Blocks 1. We lie It has been said that 9 of 10 Americans lie regularly – to themselves, to their friends, employers, parents, children, to themselves. We avoid people rather than be honest. We make excuses that really aren’t truth. Jesus affirms that the truth alone sets us free (Jn. 8:32). As we Review these Ten Road Blocks Score Yourself: 1 is Excellent 5 is Poor
  • 7. Road Block #2 2. We look to other people to tell us we are okay This lying is often rooted in our need for others to affirm or validate us so we feel good about ourselves. We are not sure who we are and have not taken the needed time to grow up into adults! Jesus was able to disappoint people out of a solid sense of who He was before His Father.
  • 8. Road Block #3 3. We think loving people means keeping them happy. We think hurt and love can’t be in same community instead of embracing, like Jesus, that hurt is often part of helping others mature
  • 9. Road Block #4 4. We encourage false peace Unlike Jesus, we often appease, give in or avoid people because we hate confrontation. We are afraid to speak the truth. We say “yes” and mean “no”. In doing so, we cancel ourselves out and the integrity of our community.
  • 10. Road Block #5 5. We are confused about anger We think all anger is sin rather than an oil light in our interiors that something is wrong! Rather than see anger as a gift to assert ourselves in a mature way like Jesus, we often blame, stuff, become resentful, avoid or explode unto others.
  • 11. Road Block #6 6. We love our neighbors and not ourselves I meet many people in church who hate themselves. We know God loves us intellectually but carry self-hate deep within us. And we wonder why we have difficulty loving others well.
  • 12. Road Block #7 7. We over-function. We do for others what they can and should do for themselves. We mistakenly call that love. Jesus gave his disciples appropriate responsibilities at the right time and had them stand on their own two feet.
  • 13. Road Block #8 8. We are quick to speak and slow to listen. We think we are supposed to have answers and become anxious when there is silence. We feel we have to fix and save one another. Jesus knew there was a time to speak and a time to be silent.
  • 14. Road Block #9 9. We think “love believes all things” means we should believe all things There is a tendency to avoid the data and facts when they are uncomfortable. We don’t want to be negative or critical. So we, at times, don’t ask difficult questions or say anything when something is clearly wrong.
  • 15. Road Block #10 10. We think differences mean division. We are often suspicious of people who do life and their walk with Christ differently than us. Yet our differences in personality, backgrounds, cultures, preferences, and gifts bring spice and beauty to our togetherness. I believe God has called us as the church to be a sign and a witness, to accomplish a particular mission as Jean Vanier notes. This means we will need to wrestle individually with what it means to live a life “divided no more” within ourselves, challenging the way our cultures, our family of origin and our formerly “nice” church environments (if we had one) may have given us a “killer” virus to emotionally healthy relationships. For as my lovely wife has rightly said, “How can I be one with you when I am divided within myself?” (Ten “Killers” of Genuine, Mature Community ©Pete Scazzero, 2007: January 19, 2012 at 10:48pm)
  • 16. Introduction To A Daily Office A Daily Office is to daily live at the same Heartbeat and Rhythm as God. A Daily Office is to Dance your dance with the Trinity every minute of every day.
  • 17. The Outcome of Devotion is to Live in Grace – “Sacramental Living” Sacramental living understands that all matter is meant to lead us into God’s heavenly presence, to bring about communion with Him and a participation in His life. In fact, the entire universe is meant to serve as a “sacrament” — i.e., a material gift from God in and through which we enter into the joy of His heavenly presence. I have been helped by the great poet, Gerald Manley Hopkins, who wrote: The world is “charged with the glory of God”(Ps. 19:1, Col.1:17).
  • 18. C.S Lewis C.S. Lewis’ writings also have served to pull me deeper into sacramental living: “We do not want merely to see beauty… We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.”
  • 19. Why Read The Bible? “God has spoken in the Scriptures and it is our desire to know what He has said and what He is speaking.”
  • 20. Two Ways to Read Scripture Exegetically: It involves using various methods of biblical study, such as: historical, cultural, and social backgrounds; the original languages; the history of interpretation; relating texts to the whole canon of Scripture; theological implications, etc. There are a variety of emphases in these methods, but most are aimed at understanding the theological message the text communicates. While not all Bible students agree on all these methods, or their results, there is a great deal of agreement about the basic principles, and about the boundaries of interpretation that arise from careful study (what the text can't mean).
  • 21. To Kiss the Face of the King Devotional reading of Scripture is a personal reading that is intimately tied to prayer as devotion to God. It is an attempt, a search, to encounter God through sacred Scripture. In this way of reading, the person approaches the Biblical text from the context of his or her own immediate world of experience, often in times and attitudes of grief or indecision, or simply wanting to draw closer to God. The Bible is read closely and thoroughly but always with the prayer that God will speak through Scripture. There is always an immediacy to devotional reading that addresses people where they are in a particular set of life situations. As individuals contemplate a passage from Scripture, they allow the Biblical text to master them as they saturate themselves in the presence of God through focusing on Scripture.
  • 22. S.O.A.P. Method Scripture Take today's Bible reading, pray over it and then read through slowly. God will direct your attention to certain verses or sections. Write these down in your journal and focus your study there.
  • 23. Observation Observe What is God showing you in this passage? Jot down in your journal any words or events that stand out. Are there any truths God wants you to learn? Warnings? Commands? Guiding principles? Record those in your journal. Now what is the overall message God has for you in this passage?
  • 24. Application Apply Now it's time to get personal. How does this affect your life? Does God have instruction for you today? Encouragement? Correction? Write down in your journal God's personal message to you.
  • 25. Prayer Pray Prayer is a two-way conversation with God. You may find that as you pray over what God has shown you, He will reveal even more that He is wanting to show. Be listening and journal your prayers!
  • 26. An Example of a SOAP Journal Entry May 17, 2010 Scripture—2 Thessalonians 1:6-8 For it is indeed just of God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to the afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Observation—This passage does not exactly give one a warm, fuzzy feeling! But it is natural to respond to different Scripture passages in different ways. In this case, there’s actually considerable debate among Biblical scholars as to whether Paul actually wrote this since it seems to conflict with some of his other writings. I concur. Still, it’s in our Bible…so now what? Application—Although I agree with the Lutheran principle of making Jesus the lens through which we interpret all of the Scriptures, one still has to make sure one isn’t simply picking and choosing Scripture verses that one finds palatable and ignoring all the rest. So how do we deal with verses like those above, regardless of who wrote them? Personally, I think it would be ‘just’ of God to ‘repay.’ But I don’t think that’s how God operates. I think these verses reveal more about the author’s frustrations than they reveal about the nature and/or intentions of God. By the same token, I think these verses reveal more about our nature than they do about the nature and/or intentions of God. We can find ourselves in the Bible too. And hopefully, in so doing, we can see that there must be a better way… Prayer—Lord, I believe that you suffered on the cross on behalf of everyone, whether or not we believe. And I believe that your ‘gospel’ is good news that is meant to be graciously shared rather than hoarded. And I believe that you call all of us to a life that is much fuller (which is not necessarily to be equated with ‘happy’) than we can imagine. But of course, I could be wrong! Either way, I can only entrust myself to your mercy at the foot of the cross. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
  • 27. Lets Do John 13:1-38, NIV
  • 28. Solitude Solitude well practiced will break the power of busyness, haste, isolation and loneliness. You will see that the world is not on you shoulders after all. You will find yourself and God will find you in new ways. Joy and peace will begin to bubble up within you and arrive from things and events around you. Praise and prayer will come to you and from within you. The soul anchor established in solitude will remain solid when you return to your ordinary life with others. (Dallas Willard)
  • 29. Dallas Willard The Gift of Silence When we stop talking we abandon ourselves to reality and to God. We position ourselves to attend rather than to adjust things with our words. We stop our shaping and negotiating, or "spinning." How much of our energy goes into that! We let things stand. We trust God with what others shall think.
  • 30. Getting Close to God by John Fischer Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. (James 4:8 NLT) It’s been this way since time began. God set it up so we would seek Him, and He would respond to us when we did. Is He playing hard to get? Well, He may be, only inasmuch as He wants a relationship with someone who wants one with Him, and the way you show that you do is by seeking Him. God will not force Himself on anyone. This is an incredible privilege He has given His creation, when you think of it. God joins in the give and take of a relationship with us! That means that if you don’t get close to God, well… you don’t get close to God. In other words, He gives us the integrity of making the first move. I think this is what was meant in that strange passage in Matthew 6:7&8, when Jesus warns us not to give what is sacred to dogs, and not to give pearls to pigs. God doesn’t reveal Himself to those who aren’t interested in a relationship with Him. And it’s no indictment on them; they simply wouldn’t get it. Dogs don’t know what is sacred. Pigs have no use for pearls. Their only value is what they can eat, so the real value of pearls would be wasted on a pig. The truth about God is wasted on someone who is not interested in knowing Him, so He doesn’t draw near to that person. He draws near to those who come to Him. But believe me, once you show any indication of interest, He’s right there. Actually we all need God and we all know it. Even those who deny God and run the other way are desperately seeking Him from some empty place inside. We just don’t all want to admit it. But for those who do, God is all over any attempt on our part to get close to Him. It makes no difference how you do this. There is no right or wrong way to seek God. You just seek Him, and you keep on seeking Him. There’s no end to this because there’s no end to God. There’s always more of Him to discover and experience. Worship is never static. It keeps opening up more and more of God to us as we worship Him and live our lives out according to His purposes. John Fischer is the Senior Writer for Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotionals. He resides in Southern California with his wife, Marti and son, Chandler. They also have two adult children, Christopher and Anne. John is a published author and popular speaker.

Editor's Notes

  1. Jean Vanier, founder of the famous L’Arche community for disabled men and women, writes: “This people have been called together to be a sign and a witness, to accomplish a particular mission, which is their charism, their gift.” In the same way, each local church community has been called by God to be something lovely together and to do something in our world. This togetherness, however, requires integrity from each of us, an honesty rarely found in most church relationships today. This involves honestly confronting and freeing ourselves from myths that keep us divided from both ourselves and one another. Consider these top blockages. Geri and I have been pondering this list for quite some time.