Day Five: More Grace

James 4:6-8 (NIV) – But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. 

 Would you have much love to Christ? Do not allow sin to have any room in your hearts or, if it will abide and you cannot thrust it quite out, let it not have a quiet habitation within you. Disturb sin as much as you can. The more room sin has in your hearts – the less room Christ will have there. Particularly, take heed of inordinate love to the world, and the things of the world, the prevalence of which love will dampen your love to Christ. A subordinate love you may have to people and things in the world – but let no person or thing have your chief love, only Christ. You must have dying affections to perishing things – if you would have a living and strong love to the ever-living Jesus! [Thomas Vincent, The True Christian’s Love to the Unseen Christ]

The hope of loving Christ in incorruption comes from God’s grace. If just ‘grace’ hasn’t seemed enough for you, know that God gives us ‘more grace’ – a never-ending, never-limited, never-lacking supply of grace.

Let us humbly come before the Lord and worship with the song,Jesus Only You(click here). Pray for the ‘more grace’ in our lives to turn from love of the world to have a chief love for Christ.

-AK

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Day Four: Get Then a Persuasion of His Love

Galatians 2:20 (MSG) – Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

Would you attain to much love to Christ?

  1. Be much in holy contemplation of Christ
  2. Be much in reading and studying Scriptures
  3. Be much in prayer to God for this love
  4. Get much faith
  5. Labor for much of the Holy Spirit
  6. Get much hatred of sin
  7. Associate yourselves most with those who have most love unto Christ
  8. Be much in the exercise of this love.
  9. Labor for clear evidences of His love unto you

Doubts of Christ’s love cause fears–and fears contract the heart, and therefore, are opposite to love which is the expansion and enlargement of the heart. Perfect love casts out fear; the more love–the less fear; and the more doubts and fears–the less love. Such as doubt much of Christ’s love to them, may love Christ truly–but they cannot love Christ strongly. You will love a less lovely person who loves you–more than a more lovely person who hates you. The love of the person beloved is a most amiable qualification and strong attraction, yes, one of the greatest incentives and inducements unto love. Get, then, a persuasion of the infinite love to you of this infinitely lovely Person.” [Thomas Vincent, The True Christian’s Love to the Unseen Christ]

Prayer:  God, we ask for revelation in our hearts and minds of how you love us – clear evidences of your rescue, your calling, your healing, that leaves no doubt or fear. Come over us, meet us with your fierce love.

Let us worship today with this song,Fierce(click here).

-AK

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Day Three: Attainableness of this Love to Christ

Romans 5:6-8 (NIV) – You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Thomas Vincent, a Puritan from the1600’s, wrote a book with this subtitle – “A Discourse, Chiefly Tending to Excite and Promote the Decaying Love of Christ in the Hearts of Christians.” Four hundred years have passed, and we are still seeking to excite and promote the love of Christ in our hearts.

“And here consider: the duty of loving Christ; the privilege; the honor; the wisdom; the excellency; the necessity; the usefulness; the delightfulness; and, lastly, consider the ATTAINABLENESS of this love to Christ. Brutes are not capable of this love to Christ – but you are capable. As your minds are capable of knowing Him, so your hearts are capable of loving Him. Others have attained this love, who were as much without it, and as much averse unto it as any of you may be. Here you are capable; hereafter, if you live and die without it, you will be utterly incapable. You have now the means of grace and, as of other graces, so of this grace of love to Christ, in the diligent use of the means, you may attain thereunto. [Thomas Vincent, The True Christian’s Love to the Unseen Christ]

Let’s worship today with the song, The Cross Forever Speaks(click here), as we thank God for the attainableness of love to Christ through his salvific work on the cross. And let’s pray for those who are still powerless and ask that this would be just the right time for them to receive Christ’s saving work into their lives.

-AK

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Day Two: Perfect Love

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV) – However, as it is written:“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—

“It is hard for us even to imagine what it will be like to love with a divine and perfect love. In this life we always seem to be loving the wrong things too much and the right things too little. But a day of perfect love is coming (1 Cor. 2:9). Heaven’s perfection will transform our hearts. We will not just love Jesus more; we will love him the most – as much as we possibly can. We will have a superlative, joyful affection for our everlasting Savior.

Our love for Jesus will be sincere. We will not merely pretend to love Jesus, but we will actually love him. Our love for Jesus will be supreme. Our love for Jesus will be ardent. As we gaze upon our Savior’s face, giving him all our praise and worship, our hearts will burn within us in a blaze of pure spiritual affection. Our love for Jesus will be constant.

Sincerity, supremacy, ardency, constancy – such perfection will stay beyond our reach for the rest of our earthly lives. But if we love Jesus at all, we will keep striving for incorruptible affection, wanting to love him more and more.” [Philip Ryken, Loving Jesus More]

As we worship with the song “One Day”(click here) by Matt Redman, let’s pray for the increasing measure of incorruptible affection for the Lord because one day it will perfectly be ours.

-AK

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Day One: Incorruptible

Ephesians 6:24 (ESV) – Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

As Paul concludes Ephesians, he gives a simple benediction wishing grace on the people. In particular, grace on the people who love Jesus with love incorruptible or “with an undying love (NIV)”. If this is a conditional statement of grace, then we find ourselves in trouble as our own love falls short of this. But rather than being a statement of condition, it is a call, a charge, a blessing and encouragement that grace is ours to love Jesus now the way we will love him forever, in incorruption.

There was a praise song we used to sing in the 90’s based on this verse.

            Grace, grace to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
            Give me an undying love for You,
            Lord won’t You set my heart aflame,
            With passion for Your name?
            Give me an undying love for You, …

We see in the lyrics of this song an asking, a seeking to receive from the Lord this undying love for him. For those of us who remember worshipping on our campuses, on Sundays at UMBC with this song, has not the Lord answered us with such grace to love him with an undying love? Let us ask and seek in prayer today … “Lord, more grace, more love for You.”

-AK

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Day Five: Real Encounter

Acts 9:10-19 (NIV) – In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

“According to the Barna Research Group, a majority of people who attend Christian worship services leave without feeling that they experienced God’s presence. Less than one-third of the adults feel as though they truly interacted with God. Eventually people cease to expect a real encounter with God and simply settle for a pleasant experience. So what happens when the pleasant experience is replaced with the real encounter?

“With the Scripture and Church history as our guide, it becomes very evident that when a holy God encounters sinful people, at least one of the following three things usually occur: 1) Sinners are radically converted; 2) Christians are transformed and renewed; or, 3) The mind of the saint or sinner is offended and the state of his heart is revealed. Just as a storm is produced when high and low fronts converge, so too a storm of a different kind emerges when the glorious and radiant presence of the Lord comes near.” [Steve Beard, Power, Holiness, and Evangelism, p.136]

Let’s pray that God would encounter us, giving us his visions and his dreams. We’re not seeking after the visions and dreams, we’re seeking after the One who reveals Himself through them. May we experience conversion, transformation, renewal as they come. Also, as the college conference is this weekend, let’s pray for real encounters of the Holy Spirit for each person coming.

“This We Know” – Link:

– AK

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Day Four: Vision Lifted

Isaiah 6:1-8 – In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

“Isaiah was worshipping in the temple one day when, for the first time, his vision was lifted beyond the familiar surroundings into the presence of God. The temple in Jerusalem represented the rule of God coming down to us. But on this day, for Isaiah, the earthly symbol merged into the heavenly reality. As the earthly king lay dying, the true Sovereign was reigning, holding court, and Isaiah saw it.” [Raymond C. Ortlund Jr, Isaiah: God saves Sinners, p. 76]

Today, as you read and pray through Isaiah 6, may we also see through the eyes of Scripture, that regardless of the circumstances around us, it is God—the true Sovereign Lord who is the one reigning, holding court, and who empowers us to live.

“God and God Alone” – Link:

– AK

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Day Three: Passion for Obedience

Acts 10:9-10 (NIV) – About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.
While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”

“In verses 17 and 19 Peter was grappling intensely regarding the meaning of the vision when the Holy Spirit spoke to him. At first Peter vehemently refused to be open to change, as is expressed by his cry, “Surely not, Lord!” He had strong convictions. But when he sensed that God was indeed teaching him something new, he seriously considered the implications of the vision. Thus, both divine guidance and Peter’s willingness to grasp what God was showing him combined to produce a change in his thinking, even though it was something he was uncomfortable with. A passion for obedience makes God’s servants open to changes with which they may at first be uncomfortable. God found in Peter a person who was open to living with the uncomfortable. That helped him to be open to God’s surprises…and this made him open to more of God’s revelations.” [Ajith Fernando, NIV Application Commentary: Acts, p.324]

To dream or have a vision is one thing, but obedience to the Spirit’s truth and leading is the deeper/fuller measure of receiving; not only are we transformed but we are lead to love another. The lyrics to the song, Build My Life, expresses it this way, “Open up my eyes in wonder, show me who You are and fill me, with your heart and lead me, in your love to those around me.” Let’s pray for a passion for obedience to the Spirit’s leading.

“Build My Life” – Link:

– AK

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Day Two: God Speaking

Acts 2:26-33 (MSG) – Later God’s angel spoke to Philip: “At noon today I want you to walk over to that desolate road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza.” He got up and went. He met an Ethiopian eunuch coming down the road. The eunuch had been on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was returning to Ethiopia, where he was minister in charge of all the finances of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. He was riding in a chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit told Philip, “Climb into the chariot.” Running up alongside, Philip heard the eunuch reading Isaiah and asked, “Do you understand what you’re reading?” He answered, “How can I without some help?” and invited Philip into the chariot with him. 

If God does speak to us, what is the purpose of prompting?

1. A prompting is often an invitation to reach out.

The Spirit of Jesus is seeking out and saving the lost, telling good news to the poor and the spiritually impoverished, releasing prisoners from captivity. So many of the promptings of the Spirit are simply the commander-in-chief directing the rescue operation. His is not an abstract campaign waged in generalities. Person by person he is extending the influence of the kingdom. Philip knew this full well. So when the prompting came to go to a specific road, near a particular chariot, he was ready to reach out. If you sense the Spirit drawing your attention to a particular person through a dream or an inner voice, or a knowledge that goes beyond natural means, be alert to the possibility that you are being prompted to reach out to that person.

2. A prompting is often an invitation to intercede.

The Spirit is an intercessor. Is it any wonder, then, that the Spirit’s promptings would frequently be an invitation to intercession? Not just a general encouragement to pray, but a specific prompting to pray for someone, here and now, or in a certain way. [Rich Nathan and Ken Wilson, Empowered Evangelicals, pp. 197-198]

As we worship with the song, “Holy Spirit”, let’s intercede for the people God places on our hearts. Perhaps a face, a name, knowledge of a need will come to mind, pray over them with the heart of the lyrics to this song “come flood (their) place and fill the atmosphere, let (them) become more aware of your presence”.



– AK

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Day One: See Visions and Dream Dreams

Acts 2:17-18, 21 (NIV) – In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy…And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

“Up to this moment, God has acted by is spirit among his people, but it’s always been by inspiring one person here, one or two there – kings and prophets and priests and righteous men and women. Now, in a sudden burst of fresh divine energy released through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God’s spirit has been poured out upon a lot of people all at once. There is no discrimination between slaves and free, male and female, young and old. They are all market out, side by side, as the nucleus of God’s true people.

“This work of God is wonderfully inclusive, because there is no category of people which is left out: both genders, all ages, all social classes. But it is wonderfully focused, because it happens to all ‘who call on the name of the Lord’ (verse 21). All who call…will be saved.

“‘Being saved’ doesn’t just mean, as it does for many today, ‘going to heaven when they die’. It means ‘knowing God’s rescuing power, the power revealed in Jesus, which anticipates, in the present, God’s final great act of deliverance’. Peter will now go on to encourage his hearers to ‘call on the Lord’s name’, and so to know that ‘salvation’, that rescue, as a present reality as well as a future hope. If these really are ‘the last days’, then ‘salvation’ has already begun. Anyone who knows they need rescuing, whatever from, can ‘call on the Lord’ and discover how it can happen.” (N.T. Wright, Acts for Everyone, pp. 33-34)

As we worship with the song, “Same Power”, let’s pray in faith for God’s salvation in every area of our lives and for the circumstances of our brothers and sisters that they too would know God’s salvation. Let’s pray that God would give us His visions and dreams to direct our prayers and to increase our faith for these salvation moments.



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