April 12, 2015
Devotion: Use this resource at home to guide your household’s daily devotions. You can do this alone, as a couple, as a family; in the morning, during the day, or at night. Find a routine that works best for you.
Pray: Light a candle and open your devotion time with a prayer.
God of the Word, you commissioned the disciples to go, baptize, and teach. Teach us to speak and lead so that all may come to know you, for the glory of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Reflect: Reflect on the key verses from Sunday’s reading.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Study: Study the reading and consider the background.
Jesus spent much of the book of Matthew teaching the disciples to look at the world in a new way; to see the lowly as worthy, and to challenge the authority of those who had let power corrupt them. After his death and resurrection, it became time for the disciples to continue the work Jesus came here to do. Yet they did not work apart from his presence. They were not challenged to succeed in converting people. They were commissioned to go, baptize, and teach others to look at the world in a new way; the work of transformation still remains with Jesus.
Read: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding of Sunday’s text. After the reading, ask the follow-up questions.
Follow the stories of early believers and missionaries.
Sunday, Matthew 28:16-20, Great Commission
Monday, Psalm 40:9-10, Psalm
Tuesday, Acts 7:54-8:1, Stoning of Stephen
Wednesday, Acts 8:4-25, Philip Preaches in Samaria
Thursday, Acts 8:26-40, Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
Friday, Acts 9:1-19, The Conversion of Saul
Saturday, Acts 9:36-43, Peter in Lydda and Joppa
How did Jesus prepare the disciples for the work they were commissioned to do?
Connect: Connect in conversation with others in your household. Discuss the following questions, or simply check in with “Highs” and “Lows.”
- What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?
- Who are the people within your community that are viewed as less-than? How can you work to welcome them into God’s kingdom?
- If God changed your name as a sign that you have been set apart to serve God, what name would you want God to choose? Why?
Do: By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week.
Pin, Tweet, or Like something from Amnesty International on behalf of someone who suffers from a lack of human rights.
Bless: Close your devotion with a blessing.
God of grace, thank you for loving us even when we doubt. Expand our faith as your word is shared today. Amen.
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New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Blessing written by Pr. Chip Borgstadt.