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Dwell Richly, Day 4

Dwell Richly, Day 4

Today's reading: Mark 4

One Word that grabs my attention today is "by itself": "The earth produces by itself" (v. 28). I'm not much of a gardener (Anne's the one with the green thumb), but I always marvel at the transfiguration from seed to flower, vegetable, etc. There's power in that little seed! It's a different way of thinking about "Thy Strong Word"...

What's your Word?

What is Lectio Divina?

As those who share God’s heart, we’re at home in His Word. Scripture is our natural habitation, spiritually speaking. But we also pray that the Word be at home in us. And so St. Paul writes, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col. 3:16).

This is the focus of the Dwell Richly Initiative, in which we read through the Bible together, one or two chapters at a time.  

So how does the Word of Christ “dwell richly” within us? There’s more than one answer, but an ancient and time-tested way is the practice known as Lectio Divina. It has four steps:

1. Lectio (Reading)—read the Scripture passage deliberately, noting any Word of Christ (a verse, phrase, or even single word) that especially grabs your attention

2. Meditatio (Meditating)—dwell upon this Word, pondering how God addresses you personally through it

3. Oratio (Praying)—having been spoken to by God through His Word, respond to Him in prayer, praise, and thanksgiving

4. Tentatio (Testing)—put the Word of Christ to the test in your daily life, knowing that in turn you will be tested by Satan, the world, and the sinful nature

Each day as you read the designated chapter from the Bible, take a few moments to consider each of these steps and their corresponding questions. Make notes and journal if you like. Please know, however, that these are indeed steps in a journey, not mere boxes on a checklist.

And moreover, you’re not alone in this devotional journey. Seek out the fellowship of brothers and sisters to discuss and mull over what you have read. Share your observations and questions on our website. And most importantly, know that when you read the Scriptures the Spirit of the risen Christ goes with you, and “He will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13).

What if you miss a day? It’s going to happen. My encouragement is to do your best not to miss two days in a row. But even when you do, know that your Lord is ever interceding on your behalf (Romans 8:35), and that your fellow members in the Body of Christ continue to carry the fire with you and for you.

So God be with you in this journey! As you embark each day, I encourage you to pray the ancient Collect for the Word:

Blessed Lord, You have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning. Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that, by the patience and comfort of Your holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. 

Dwell Richly, Day 3

Dwell Richly, Day 3

Today's reading: Mark 3

A Word that strikes me today is Jesus' rhetorical question: "Who are my mother and my brothers?" (v. 33). I love my family, and rightly so; they're a gift of God and I'm commanded to care for them. But Jesus wants to expand my vision of the family to include "whoever does the will of God" (v. 35). How does that change my understanding of family?

What's your Word?

Dwell Richly, Day 2

Dwell Richly, Day 2

Today's reading: Mark 2

I can't get past this Word: "And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven' " (v. 5). Jesus honors the faith of the friends by healing the paralyzed man. To me, this makes me think of the ministry of intercessory prayer. I have the privilege to bring to Jesus my family, friends, and neighbors who are in need. But how often do I neglect this privilege? What if, in prayer, I pictured myself like one of these men carrying their hurting friend—or as the man himself (as others pray for me)?

What's your Word?

Welcome to the Dwell Richly Initiative!

Dwell Richly Initiative, Day 1

Today's reading: Mark 1

One Word that stands out to me from this chapter is "drove"—as in, "The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness" (v. 12). It's no accident that Jesus ends up in the wilderness. It was part of God's plan for Him. That prompts me to wonder: when has God driven me into such a place? And have I recognized His presence with me?

What's your Word?