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Reclaiming Our Christ-Centered Lutheran Devotional Heritage 49 th Biennial Convention of the Nebraska District Snow Mountain Ranch Granby, Colorado June.

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Presentation on theme: "Reclaiming Our Christ-Centered Lutheran Devotional Heritage 49 th Biennial Convention of the Nebraska District Snow Mountain Ranch Granby, Colorado June."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reclaiming Our Christ-Centered Lutheran Devotional Heritage 49 th Biennial Convention of the Nebraska District Snow Mountain Ranch Granby, Colorado June 2-4, 2014

2 Reclaiming Our Christ-Centered Lutheran Devotional Heritage Session 1: Drawing our devotional life from the gospel Session 2: Growing in the gift of meditation on the Word Session 3: Growing in the gift of Word-focused prayer Session 4: Growing in the gift of testing

3 Amos 8:11-12 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign L ORD, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the L ORD. 12 Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the L ORD, but they will not find it.”

4 Romans 10:5-10 Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: “The man who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

5 Kleinig’s Three Truths on Which Christian Meditation Is Based  The risen Lord Jesus is present with his disciples of all time just as he promised (Mt 28:20)  Christ’s Word has life-giving and life- sustaining power because it is inspired and filled with the Spirit (Jn 6:63)  We are already fully loved and justified children of God in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, through faith in him we stand in grace (Ro 5:1-2)

6 “How do I find the time?!?!?” Sisters & brothers acknowledge the challenge “Finding time that is quite and personal yet knowing I’m not going to fall asleep in the middle of my devotion at 11:00 at night.” “Finding enough quiet time for pondering without interruption and being consistent each day with a time of day.” “The greatest challenge for me is taking the time and not thinking about other tasks that need to be done.” “I work 14 hours a day and have a husband and kids. I want to have more time to spend in God’s Word by myself, but I don’t even get to use the restroom by myself!”

7 Impact of Having a Set Time Each Day on Frequency of Personal Devotional Time

8 “Here’s how I find time!” Sisters & brothers offering encouragement “Remembering that God is still in control. Reminding myself that receiving from God is what enables me to do what he calls me to do.” “I’ve learned more about myself the longer that I’m a pastor. The time for me to have my own personal reading is right away in the morning. If I don’t do it right away, I’ve got ‘a million reasons’ not to do it.” “Schedule the time, rule your calendar.” “Literally scheduling this time in my daily planner as if it is a real appointment.”

9 “How do I stay focused?” Sisters & brothers acknowledge the challenge “Thinking about the responsibilities of the day and not slowing down to reflect and enjoy the voice of God.” “Taking time to ponder. I seem to be in a hurry to get to other tasks that I fail to soak it all in.” “Finding that quiet time /place away from kids, wife, people, interruptions, phone, etc.” “Short attention spam (sic)”

10 “Here’s how I stay focused.” Sisters & brothers offering encouragement “Do it before I’ve even thought about my schedule or shuffled papers on my desk or opened my lap top.” “Two minutes of quiet, still time (‘meditation’ unfocused) before starting really allows me to fully focus when study begins.” “Stay away from email and phones.” “Get away from the office.” “I also like to go into the sanctuary because then I’m not tempted to get side tracked.” “Make sure it is quiet and I have coffee.”

11 “Here’s how I stay focused.” Sisters & brothers offering encouragement “Time crawls in a good way. I’ve found my time absorbed and flying by quickly when I’m worrying about completing admin stuff or phone call follow up or what might seem like mundane ministry items. Time in God’s Word never seems like lost time. Maybe that’s because I tend to do it in our sanctuary away from cell phone, internet, landline, but that’s the most peaceful time of my day. The opportunity to meditate and ponder a portion of Scripture has been a blessing. I wrestle as said above with thinking ministry as I read it, instead of sometimes what is needed personally for the fight to wage the battle as Paul describes. Yet, when the focus is there, the reward is incredible. Of course, a trophy of the Spirit’s grace.”

12 “What does it mean to meditate on Scripture? How can I understand and apply it?” Sisters & brothers acknowledge the challenge “Never really taught what it means to meditate.” “Going through it too quickly. Just reading the words and not really thinking about them after reading them.” “Sometimes it hits home directly, but I struggle with it sometimes not making sense or hitting home.” “At times I end up with more questions than answers as I study.” “My greatest challenge is wondering if I’m thinking ‘the right kind of thoughts’ about Scripture I wonder if I’m way off base, or if I am getting what the Bible is saying. In other words, is the meaning I’m getting the meaning the original author intended?”

13 God’s Timing Is Always Perfect! “Write My words in your heart, and meditate diligently on them; for in time of temptation they will be very needful. What you understand not when you read, you shall know in the day of visitation” (The Imitation of Christ, 99).

14 What Does It Mean to Meditate on God’s Word? Spend ten minutes reading through the excerpt from Eat This Book: a conversation in the art of spiritual reading by Eugene H. Peterson provided for you (pages 20-23). (This is not an endorsement of this whole book!) Begin jotting down answers to the three questions listed on your outline that we will discuss together.

15 In His Word Jesus Comes to Serve You! When you open the book containing the gospels and read or hear how Christ comes here or there, or how someone is brought to him, you should therein perceive the sermon or the gospel through which he is coming to you, or you are being brought to him. For the preaching of the gospel is nothing else than Christ coming to us, or we being brought to him. When you see how he works, however, and how he helps everyone to whom he comes or who is brought to him, then rest assured that faith is accomplishing this in you and that he is offering your soul exactly the same sort of help and favor through the gospel. If you pause here and let him do you good, that is, if you believe that he benefits and helps you, then you really have it. Then Christ is yours, presented to you as a gift” ( A Brief Instruction on What to Look for and Expect in the Gospels, Luther’s Works, Volume 35, 121).

16 Weaving a Wreath of Four Strands Luther’s pamphlet written for Peter the Barber.

17 Devotional Tools Others Are Using: The Minister’s Prayer Book (John Doberstein) Treasures Old and New (John Jeske) The lessons for the week from CW/CWS Prof. Brug’s reading plan OT or NT “book of the month” 3 year reading schedule (WELS web site) The Daily Bible (F. LaGard Smith) Treasury of Daily Prayer (Scot Kinnaman) Today’s Light Bible (Jane Fryar)

18 Other Devotional Tools: Christian Worship Catechism Lutheran Confessions Devotional orders of service in CWS Hymns and songs of the liturgy

19 Be Still My Soul! O God our Father, by your mercy and might, the world turns safely into darkness and returns again to light. We place into your hands our unfinished tasks, our unresolved problems, and our unfulfilled hopes, knowing that only what you bless will prosper. To your great love and protection, we commit each other and all those we love, knowing that you alone are our sure defender, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Christian Worship: New Service Settings, 54)

20 Session #2 Wrap Up Take a moment to capture any “aha’s” from this session. Ten copies of A Simple Way to Pray are available as a gift from your seminary to the first ten who ask!

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