Day Five: Who I Am and Whose I Am

Romans 8:14-16 (NIV) – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Soak in the amazing truth that God loves you as demonstrated on the cross. No one and no thing can take away your identity in Christ because you belong to him. As children of God, we don’t have to be defined by past mistakes or wounds. Instead, let the Spirit lead you to cry out, “Abba, Father.” Take time to pray through the above passage. Declare who you are and whose you are as you worship with “Here I Bow” (Click here) by Brian and Jenn Johnson.

– JH

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Day Four: Unique Atoning Sacrifice

1 John 4:10 (NIV) – This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

“The uniqueness of Jesus Christ is foundational in Christian theology… God himself stepped into humanity in the person of Jesus, making Jesus a unique human being, uniquely qualified to pay the penalty for the fallen human race. God himself was willing to be sacrificed on the cross, to experience human life and death; such is his love for us.” [Karen Jobes, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament – 1, 2, and 3 John]

God loves us and cares a lot more than we realize about the damage we’ve experienced. That’s why Jesus died. An incredible price has been paid for all our wrongs – the one and only Son’s life. It’s not an easy or cheap forgiveness, but a costly one. We can forgive and be reconciled to God and to one another, because the unique person of Jesus (God himself) paid the ultimate price for all humanity. God alone could do this and has achieved victory over brokenness, separation and death. Instead of the effects of sin and its damage, we can live freely and fully in God’s love through his atoning sacrifice.

Take time to offer your heart to the Lord, especially any hurt, anxiety, loneliness, anger, etc. caused by your past that are affecting you. Let the impact of Christ’s atoning sacrifice and God’s love free you as you worship with the song “Holy Gound” (Click here) by Passion.

– JH

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Day Three: The Father’s Song – Past, Present, Future

1 John 4:9 (NIV) – This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

“God’s love is not contingent on the circumstances of our lives. Good things may happen; bad things may happen; but God’s constant, eternal love remains unchanged because of the cross, which stands unchangeable throughout all of human history.” [Karen Jobes, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament – 1, 2, and 3 John]

Our past shapes our present and future. People wonder about God’s love because of their experiences and difficulties, even to the point that it becomes debilitating. But we have an even greater past reality. God loves us so much that he sent his one and only Son. While we may have experienced incredible pain by a broken past, “God’s constant, eternal love remains unchanged because of the cross.” The cross serves as an anchor for us whenever we feel unloved. May we see that we have an overwhelming love in Christ, who came into the world to shape our present. It’s so “that we might live through him” in a relationship with God as the Father we’ve always needed.

Today, come to the Father to receive his love, restoration, healing, and transformation for your past, present, and future as you worship with “The Father’s Song” (Click here) by Matt Redman.

– JH

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Day Two: No Longer Damaged Goods

1 John 4:8 (NIV) – Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

“When verse 8 says “God is love” (cf. v. 16), it is important to note what John is not saying. He is not saying that “God is loving” (though this is true). Nor is he saying that one of God’s activities is “to love” us (though this is true as well). John is saying that God is love, that “all of his activity is loving.” Love is the essence of his being. But the reverse is not the case. We cannot say, in other words, that “love is God,” as if any display of affection suddenly qualifies as divine. John is carefully defining the character of who God is and what it means to live in relation to him.” [Gary Burge, The NIV Application Commentary – The Letters of John]

Because of a painful relationship or lack of relationship in our childhood, we often question God’s love for us and are damaged in the sense that we don’t know how to be loved. This can play itself out in our lives without us realizing.

Take time to honestly offer and open your heart to God. Receive that “all of his activity is loving”, and let the Father heal those areas in your life that need his unique and powerful love. As you place your trust in God for those areas, worship to “Not Afraid” (Click here) by Jesus Culture.

– JH

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Day One: All-Loving, All-Powerful Father God

Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV) – For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

“Prayer brings together love and power: the relation of love that grows up between God and the person who prays, and the flowing of power from God to, and especially through, that person. That is what Paul’s prayer here is all about. Essentially, it is a prayer that the young Christians may discover the heart of what it means to be a Christian. It means knowing God as the all-loving, all-powerful father; it means putting down roots into that love — or, changing the picture, having that love as the rock-solid foundation for every aspect of one’s life.” [N.T. Wright, Paul for Everyone – The Prison Letters, pp. 38-39]

When’s the last time you’ve been loved like in the passage above? Knowing the all-loving, all-powerful Father means we experience a love like no other – a love that surpasses knowledge and is all together powerful in making us alive. Pray through the above passage and worship with “Pray” (Click here) by Worship Central.

– JH

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Day Five: Mutual Submission

 

1Corinthians 11:11-12 (NIV) 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman.  But everything comes from God.

Ephesians 5:21 (NIV) Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

“Men and women are interdependent as they live and work “in the Lord” … Just as the woman came originally from man, now all men come through women (in the sense of being born of women).  There is mutual dependence here regarding their existence … Paul’s conclusion that “all things are from God” … reminds the Corinthians that in the end God is the source of all things and all glory must find its final focus in him.  The statement is broad, indicating that all creation, not just those “in the Lord,” have come from the creator God.” [Paul Gardner, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 494-495].

What Paul is saying in 1Corinthians 11 is that we’re not meant to be alone or to do our own thing, but rather we’re meant for relationship.  It starts with worship “in the Lord” since he is the source of all things.  Let proper worship of God impact all of your horizontal relationships in the church.  We are interdependent as we live and work “in the Lord”.  May mutual love and submission come out of our worship and reverence for Christ.

Today, take time to pray about your relationship(s) before the Lord.  Ask God to be glorified in the relationship(s) and pray for unity in the church with Galatians 3:26-28, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

-JH

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Day Four: Submission within the Church

1Corinthians 11:4-5a (NIV) 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head.

Whatever certain members of the church of Corinth were doing with respect to their heads being covered, it was inappropriate for their setting.  They were putting themselves above God and the church by making it about how they wanted to appear.  It was dishonoring to the Lord, to the congregation and to their own shame.

When we’re submitted to God’s order of worship within the church, we honor our Lord and church family.  Submitting to God as we worship together means more of his authority in our praying and prophesying (i.e., not just speaking about the future but speaking God’s message and truth to those around us).  While submitting is often thought of as an act of following, it can also mean stepping into how God wants to use you for the building up of his church.

Ask for more of his authority to pray and prophesy as we worship together, whether in our small groups, large groups, church worship celebrations.  As you worship to ‘History Maker’ by Delirious? (click here) , let us submit and receive God’s authority to minister to his church like never before.

-JH

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Day Three: Submission to God

1Corinthians 11:3 (NIV) But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Do you believe God has an established order, and how much of your life is in this order?

The order in 11:3 is not about a hierarchy with different rankings or positions.  It’s not about inferiority but relationship.  We relate to God by submitting to his authority over all things.  This was exemplified by Christ: “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” [John 6:38]

Submission to God is beautiful.  It is not what our culture thinks in that it makes you ‘less’ of a person.  Actually, it’s quite the opposite in that you become ‘more’.  We were once dead and at our lowest because of sin, but God lifted us up through Christ’s victory on the cross and resurrection.  When we submit to Christ, we become more – clothed in the new, lifted up in his victory, renewed in our identity to love God and to love others.

God’s authority is actually the answer for our lives – it brings us into his established order where our relationship with him and our relationship with others are restored.  Today, take time to submit to the Lord a particular area as you worship to ‘Believe’ (click here) by Hillsong.

-JH

 

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Day Two: Clothed in True and Proper Worship

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Our consumer-driven society wants to pick and choose what one thinks is good or looks good.  Often the appeal to external appearance gets in the way of what truly matters on the inside.  True and proper worship is about giving one’s whole life in response to how God in his mercy picks and chooses us.  We no longer clothe our lives with what we think it should be or look like, rather it’s in worship that God clothes us with the best and changes us into who we are meant to be in his eyes.

Here is a video testimony (click here) from Chris Tomlin.

Today, let’s choose to be clothed in worship of Christ.  Pray and sing to ‘At the Cross’ (click here) by Chris Tomlin.  Receive and be renewed in God’s choosing of you and how he desires to clothe your life with his purpose.

-JH

 

 

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Day One: The New Era

Isaiah 41:16-21 (NIV)

16 This is what the Lord says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21  the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.

“The fundamental principles of the divine activity are changeless, but the outward shape of that activity alters with the changing needs of God’s people. We are meant to reflect on the past with gratitude and stimulated faith but not to allow it to stereotype our expectations from God. Here God affirms—in detail and with emphasis on the deadly efficiency of his deeds—that he was the God of the Exodus (vv.16-17), but he also asserts the wonderful freshness of his new act in prospect (vv.18-19).” [Geoffrey Grogan, Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah]

Let’s pray for a new era in our individual lives and church to receive ‘the wonderful freshness’ of God’s gospel and his new acts among us.  Ask God to stoke a greater flame in your heart for his praise as you worship to the song ‘Ready for You’ (click here) by Worship Central.

-JH

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