WholeLife Church

DEVOTIONAL

a monthly path toward worship

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WholeLife Daily Reflections

April 2021

Preparation for Worship on Saturday, April 17

Following Jesus Beyond the Cross: the Follower

 

Friday, April 16

Devotional: Counterculture Values (Part 2)

 

Isaiah 55:8-9

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

 

Radical Savior, you pushed the boundaries of culture. You were unapologetic in your passion for justice, and you broke down the barriers that kept people out. You startled the world with your mercy and filled the earth with your glory. I will follow your lead in bringing your kingdom of hope to my world. Amen.

 

Music: Tenemos Esperanza (We Have Hope)

(translation can be found in the notes below the video)

 

Thursday, April 15

Devotional: To Love as Jesus Loves Us

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.

 

Spirit of Love, you wash the world in mercy. Your presence erases shame, redeems failure, and forgives offense. You change hearts and turn mourning into dancing. Empower me to embrace my identity as your follower, and live your love through me. Amen.

 

Music: Famous For

Wednesday, April 14

Devotional: How to follow Jesus…without being Shane Claiborne

Colossians 3:23-24

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

 

God of Grace, your expectations are not unreasonable. You expect those who follow you to love you and love others. You came to earth to give a real-life example of what that looks like, and though some weren’t comfortable with those expectations and tried to put an end to them, you defeated death – the thing they thought would stop you. Help me to live freely within your will for your followers – to love you and love others. Amen.

 

Music: Heartbeat

Tuesday, April 13

Devotional: Becoming a Follower

Psalm 8:1-2

O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.

 

Holy Parent, you have offered your wisdom to the young, your strength to the weak, and your honor to the marginalized. You protect those who seek your care, and you hold dear those who innocently trust your mercy. May I always be known as your child, thankfully dependent upon your guidance and grace. Amen.

 

Music: Ruins

 

Monday, April 12
Devotional: Counterculture Values (Part 1)

Colossians 3:12

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

Suffering Servant, you never sought fame or fortune. You were willing to put your reputation on the line if it meant bringing inclusion to the outcast and healing to the broken. Your unwavering compassion will always bring hope. When I strive to be known in the world’s eyes, let me only seek to be known as a follower of you. Amen.

Music: Looking for a Savior

 

Sunday, April 11

Devotional: After a Year of COVID, We Need Jesus’ Humanity

 

Psalm 119:49-50

Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope. Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.

 

Ever Present Savior, you are near. You inhabit the praises and the tears of your people. You brought your kingdom to life on earth so that all people would understand your love and mercy. Desperate times offer opportunities to embrace your promises, to find comfort in knowing you are greater than the most difficult challenge and the deepest grief. I will rest in knowing your presence today and seek to bring others into your peace. Amen.

 

Music: Fall on Us

Preparation for Worship on Saturday, April 10

Following Jesus Beyond the Cross: the Leader

Friday, April 9

Devotional: If the Spirit Took the Lead

 

John 14:26

But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

 

Spirit of the Living God, you lead on a path toward redemption and healing. You move in ways unexpected and undeserved. You whisper words of hope and restoration. Spirit of the Living God, breathe upon my heart today, and lead me in your way. Amen.

 

Music: Spirit of the Living God

 

Thursday, April 8

Devotional: Feel the Falseness

 

Galatians 5:13-14

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

God of Truth, you are the only way to life abundant and whole. You hold all true and honest power, and all glory is yours alone. In humanity, your life was given as a reflection of your kingdom of peace. Give me a heart to discern the true meaning of life: your love and grace for all. Amen.

 

Music: Yours

 

Wednesday, April 7

Devotional: Striving for Perfection

 

1 Peter 4:8

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 

 

Perfect Creator, your designs are without fault. Everything you make is for the purpose of reflecting your grace. You constantly find new ways to display your mercy. Above all, your desire is for your love to be known. Help me to be mindful of how you have called me to lead and how I can truly make a difference in my world. Amen.

 

Music: Dear God

 

Tuesday, April 6

Devotional: Jephthah Becomes Israel’s Leader

 

Isaiah 1:16-17

Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

 

Sovereign God, you are above all things. You guide with patience and move with intention. You are forgiving and kind, never keeping an account of mistakes and failures. All of life is dependent upon your grace. Give me strength to lead in the way of humility and reconciliation. Amen.

 

Music: Back to the Altar

Monday, April 5

Devotional: Following God and Unsolveable Problems

 

Isaiah 41:10

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

 

Jehovah-Shammah, Lord Who Is There, you never leave your beloved. You are strong, consistent, and determined to save. You remain when others flee; you come through when others fail. You are my strength and my shield, and I will trust you to lead me today. Amen.

 

Music: By the Spirit

Sunday, April 4

Devotional: What It Really Means to Be a Disciple

 

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

 

Holy Teacher, you speak the words of life. Your presence is where peace is found. Your will is always for the building up of your kingdom. You are the only true and worthy God. Open my heart to know you more and be changed by your grace. Amen.

 

Music: Goodness, Love and Mercy

Preparation for Worship on Saturday, April 3

Following Jesus Beyond the Cross: the Destination

Friday, April 2

Devotional: Resurrection Sunday

 

Luke 24:6-7

He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.

 

Risen Savior, your glory fills the world. Your name brings hope to the impossible, life to death. You offer forgiveness before it is requested, and you wait with open arms for those who have strayed. I know your love for me is endless, and your mercy offers refreshment to my soul. Open my eyes to the light of your salvation and my heart to the hope of full restoration in you. Amen.

 

Music: Every Victory

Thursday, April 1

Devotional: Beyond Chocolate and New Bedding

 

1 Peter 1:23

For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.

 

Forgiving Savior, you don’t mind the mess. As an infant in a manger and a rabbi with no place to lay your head, you intentionally surrounded yourself with the lost, the lonely, the rejected, and the despised. I believe you accept me as I am and that you are The Way to new life. Guide me in your peace. Amen.

 

Music: The Way

Wednesday, March 31

Devotional: The Risen Christ Says Yes

 

2 Corinthians 5:16-17

So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

 

Patient Savior, you have made your truth clear: you are love. You have made your promises sure: you forgive and restore. You have never hidden your passion for the broken or your desire for restored relationships. Help me to accept all that you offer. Help me to see the fullness of life in you and respond with “Yes!” and “Amen!”

 

Music: Yes & Amen

Tuesday, March 30

Devotional: The Deeper Message of Holy Week

 

Hebrews 11:1

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

 

Faithful Savior, you defeated death. You died, rested in a tomb, and then rose in unconstrained celebration. The sacrifice you made was real and necessary for us to understand the depth of your love. As you slept in the grave, creation waited in anticipation of its restoration. As the stone was rolled away and you took your first resurrection steps, no amount of restraint could stop the joyful exclamation of the heavens. I am complete in you—completely loved, completely forgiven, completely held in your grace. Thank you. Amen.

 

Music: He Is

Monday, March 29

Devotional: Sent Into

 

1 Peter 2:21

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

 

Loving Savior, you were sent to this world for its redemption, but you were never conformed to its mold. You spoke out for justice, you sought out the broken, you called your followers to love—above all things, love. In the same way you displayed a life of grace, live through me. Amen.

 

Music: Revival

Sunday, March 28

Devotional: The Cross as Crossing Over

 

Hebrews 1:3

The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

 

Merciful Savior, you gave your all. You left perfection, knowing the journey you would travel, all for your great love for humanity. You have brought peace to turmoil and healing to brokenness. Because of you, I am free to know and be known, to love and be loved, by my God. Thank you for this gift. Amen.

 

Music: Because of Your Love

 

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