Weekly Devotion | The Great Reversal

This devotional is based on Jeff Purswell's sermon, The Great Reversal, given on February 14th, 2016.

 

Day 1: An Earthly Deception — James 1:9-11

Quotes/References:

  • “We can rightly assess our earthly status only by focusing on our heavenly destiny” Jeff Purswell

Questions to Consider:

  • Have you ever been disillusioned by the world because you pursued something the world said was valuable? How did it end? What did it teach you about God?
  • What about the world’s view of status is most distracting for you in your pursuit of God?

Prayer Recommendations:

  • Read Jesus’ parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21. Ask that God would give a greater awareness of the impermanence of what the world trusts in.
  • Read Colossians 3:1-4. Ask that God would give you a deeper hunger for the enduring things of heaven where Jesus himself dwells.

 

Day 2: The Exalted Poor—James 1:9

Quotes/References:

  • “The Christian is one who really and truly belongs to another realm. The heavenly realm. That’s the believer’s real status!” Jeff Purswell
  • “One day that spiritual reality is going to be realized. One day we will be exalted! We will experience and participate in Christ’s glorious, eternal kingdom!” Jeff Purswell

 

Questions to Consider:

  • In one way or another, and at one time or another, we all experience lack; an unmet need. Has this ever caused you to feel small, unimportant, or even despised in God’s eyes?
  • How can being overly-concerned with our unmet needs or desires be dangerous to how we understand God’s character?
  • Read Ephesians 2:4-7. How does Paul describe a Christian’s present status in God’s eyes? Future status?

Prayer Recommendation:

  • Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-31. Ask God that he would help you remember that poverty and obscurity in themselves do not matter in God’s eyes. In fact, God loves to use the poor and lowly to demonstrated his own greatness! This is most clearly displayed in Christ who made Himself low and took on human flesh.

 

Day 3: The Humbled Rich — James 1:10-11

Quotes/References:

  • “Take joy in what the world despises. God may have blessed you with wealth and that’s ok, but take joy in whom you identify with. The one who was despised and rejected by men. The one who humbly lived dependent on God.” Jeff Purswell

Questions to Consider:

  • Even by the world’s standards most of us enjoy some measure of wealth. What part of that wealth in your life most readily competes with God in your heart?

Prayer Recommendation:

  • Read Isaiah 53:1-4. Ask that God would help you soberly remember the deceptiveness of prosperity. While riches in themselves are not evil, they can easily replace God in our hearts by becoming our source of security and our joy.

 

Day 4: The Crown of Life — James 1:12

Quotes/References:

  • “That word “blessed” that James uses is a rich word. It speaks of the one who enjoys the favor of God in every way. Richly contented in God in the favor of God and worthy to be admired! Contrary to the world’s standards this is the ultimate status. This is what we are to admire. To bask in the smile of God and all his blessings! That’s true blessedness! And who is that reserved for? The man who remains steadfast under trial.” Jeff Purswell

Questions to Consider:

  • Read Philippians 3:14-15. How does Paul describe those whose minds are focused on the future reward of being with Jesus forever?
  • How can this mindset protect you from the deceitfulness of both poverty and riches?

Prayer Recommendations:

  • Read Philippians 2:13. Ask God that he might work in you even more, for it is only through the work of the Spirit that we can even desire to obey him.
  • Read 2 Corinthians 4:17. Thank God that we will not have to endure the deception of the world’s standards forever! Ask that God would help you look past the things of this world and long for Jesus, who himself is our great reward.