On Experiencing God — 1 John 3 [a practical, biblical study of scripture]

Excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God (1 John 3, prompted from Devotional Sessions – Phil Rice).

To experience God, we must know the truths of his character. In this pursuit, the reality of our identity as a son or daughter of God is of key importance.

Take some time away from distraction and productivity. Don’t bring your iPhone or your todo list. Don’t bring your prayer list or your bible reading checklist. Just come before Jesus and ask…

Why do you love me? Do you desire me? Why did the father send you to me? You say to behold the manner [kind] of love… but what manner [kind] of love is it that would give me entrance into your family a child of your father?

I find it helpful to give these questions some time. If it seems helpful, set an alarm on your phone or watch at a certain time [or certain times] of the day remind yourself to approach God for deeper understanding of this manner of love.

 

My personal engagement with this session:

This reality of the father’s love makes all the difference. For me, coming to God because I desire to be near him vs simply following a ritual I’ve created [or worse, coming to him because I feel like I have to in order to be in good standing with him] is where our relationship is vibrant and filled with life.

Most recently, my retreated moments with the Lord are in the quietness of the morning. And, I’ve been trying something that feels good to my heart, so I thought I would share. Instead of picking up my daily bible reading or looking to a prayer list to jump start my time of connection with him, I simply wait in the quiet. This has brought a nuance to the dynamic nature of our relationship. I don’t simply fit God into my structure, I make space for him to speak. It’s been quite refreshing. Structure is not bad, but must not come before the dynamic of responding to his spirit in a given moment.

 

An added note from Phil Rice

I hope you’ve benefited from this excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality. Share this session with anyone you think would be impacted and don’t hesitate to leave questions or comments for our mutual benefit of continued conversation.

Thanks for journeying alongside,
Phil Rice

 

find me social —Instagram —Twitter —Facebook —Soundcloud

find me here too —philrice.blogPractical Spirituality —Ember

On Knowing God — Romans 1 [a practical, devotional study of scripture]

Excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever (Romans 1:24-25, prompted from Devotional Sessions – Phil Rice).

There is a reality that we humans, for all kinds of reasons, exchange the truth of God for lies. It is also reality that we hinder our knowledge of him when we refuse his truth.

The beautiful thing is that we who have given ourselves to Christ are seen by the father through Christ’s sacrifice and his righteousness. And because of his sacrifice alone, we can approach the father with confidence.

Take some undistracted space to ask: Father, are there truths that I have exchanged for lies? Will these truths help me know you more deeply? Father, if I release these lies to you, how did you create me to experience this truth? Thank you for your truth, Father.

My personal engagement with this session:

This passage gets right in there for me. It’s so easy to navigate life by what feels good or what is easiest or best through the filter of what works best for Phil Rice. But really, that is all secondary. It’s important that my heart is part of my navigational compass, and it is important to run things through the filter of how I do feel about something. But those things must still come under the submission of God’s words — both in scripture and by his spirit. So this passage brings me back to that place. God, help me see what you see. Help me love what you love and hate what you hate. For me, this is the place of continual, daily surrender.

 

An added note from Phil Rice

I hope you’ve benefited from this excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality. Share this session with anyone you think would be impacted and don’t hesitate to leave questions or comments for our mutual benefit of continued conversation.

Thanks for journeying alongside,
Phil Rice

 

find me social —Instagram —Twitter —Facebook —Soundcloud

find me here too —philrice.blogPractical Spirituality —Ember

Introducing the Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality

Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality

Hey everyone, Phil Rice here! If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed some devotional snippets mixed into my posts. I wanted to officially introduce them to you. Everyone, meet the Devotional Sessions… [They are pleased to meet your acquaintance].

Okay, but really. These devotional sessions will begin on philrice.blog and will make their way into short devotional eBooks for ease of use. So here’s the run down.

What can you expect from these devotional sessions?

  • regular engagement with the word of God – We are changed as we internalize the truth found in scripture.
  • short sessions – The goal with these sessions is not quantity, but rather, to take a single truth and mull it over for an extended period of time.
  • practical application – All devotional sessions include some actionable step to more fully engage with the things God specifically speaks to us through our time of meditation.
  • consistency – I promise to show up with new sessions and I’d love for you to join me!

What can you expect from regularly engaging with these sessions?

  • closeness to God – There is a promise in scripture that as we posture ourselves toward God, he will draw near to us.
  • practical understanding – Use these sessions as a launching point to work through how, in a regular way, you will engage and practically respond to God’s words.
  • extended opportunity for momentum – these sessions are spread apart for a reason. Change takes time. As you meditate on a given session several times in a given week, the words that God speaks take root in your heart and bring about Christ directed movement over time.

 

Thanks for following alongside. I look forward to the continued conversation!

Cheers,
Phil Rice

 

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find me here too — philrice.blog — Ember

On Knowing God — Colossians 2 [a practical, biblical study of scripture]

Excerpt: Practical Spirituality | Devotional Sessions

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ (passage from Colossians 2, prompted from Devotional Sessions – Phil Rice)

We are influenced by our culture, our childhood normals, our theological upbringing. These influences often go unchallenged, since they are simply the ways things have always been.

Take some time in prayer today and ask God to uncover beliefs that are rooted in the basic principles of the world. Write down any that come to mind. Invite Holy Spirit to come and to replace these beliefs with the ways of Christ. Write down anything that comes to mind as you ask Holy Spirit to show you the ways of Christ. Whether or not something comes immediately to mind, consider building a regular practice of bringing these questions regularly before God.

Lord, continue to lead me in your ways, according to Christ and not according to the practices and beliefs of the world.

 

My personal engagement with this session:

Man… It’s so easy to simply be swept up in a given culture, believing something because you’ve never thought to question it. This passage and coming back again and again to the Holy Spirit with this question is so helpful for me. My filter is human. I am ordinary. But Holy Spirit what truths I need. He knows how my vision is lacking. Yes Lord, so come lead me according to Christ.

 

An added note from Phil Rice

I hope you’ve benefited from this excerpt from Practical Spirituality | Devotional Sessions. Share this session with anyone you think would be impacted and don’t hesitate to leave questions or comments for our mutual benefit of continued conversation.

Thanks for journeying alongside,
Phil Rice

 

find me social — Instagram — Twitter — Facebook — Soundcloud

find me here too — philrice.blog — Ember

On Knowing God — Ephesians 3 [a practical, devotional study of scripture]

Excerpt: Practical Spirituality | Devotional Sessions

To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (passage from Ephesians 3, prompted from Devotional Sessions)

To know God fully is to fully experience and know the love of Christ. Take a moment and reflect on this passage of scripture: know love of Christ — filled — all fullness of God. What a beautiful reality. We have the opportunity to experience the love of Christ now, in our everyday, to know Emmanuel, God with us.

Now, take a deep breath and in the quietness of your heart [or out loud with words] communicate to God that you desire to know his fullness — to be filled with all the fullness. Ask God to show you personal practices or tendencies that hinder you from knowing the love of Christ, which would otherwise be available to you. Invite him to help you remove that which hinders the love of Christ in your everyday experience.

 

My personal engagement with this session:

This exercise is incredibly impactful to me; inviting Holy Spirit to reveal ways that I hinder the love of Christ in my own daily experience. Each time, I have the opportunity to walk into the empowering grace of the Father. Holy Spirit, thank you for this new understanding. Though I am ordinary, you are unfathomably deep. Thank you for revealing the path to greater depths of the love of Christ. 

 

An added note from Phil Rice

I hope you’ve benefited from this excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality. Share this session with anyone you think would be impacted and don’t hesitate to leave questions or comments for our mutual benefit of continued conversation.

Thanks for journeying alongside,
Phil Rice

 

find me social —Instagram —Twitter —Facebook —Soundcloud

find me here too —philrice.blogPractical Spirituality —Ember

excerpt: On Knowing God – Ephesians 1

may [God] give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened… (Ephesians 1).

Finding a quiet space in your day, read over this passage several times. See if you can commit it to memory. Create a personal prayer over the next season of time using this passage… [Example] God, would you give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so I will be able to know you in deeper and fuller ways.

If it would be helpful, set a regular alarm on your watch or phone to remind you to pray this prayer a few times every day.

 

Phil Rice — philrice.blog
Executive Director of Ember

excerpt from On Trusting God – Isaiah 26

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26).

Take several quiet moments to read over this passage. Let it impact you as you read. What does it mean for you, right now, in this time to keep your mind on God? He promises his perfect peace to us as we gaze upon him, as we trust him.

 

 

Phil Rice — philrice.blog
Executive Director of Ember