Day Two: Restored

Revelation 21:3-5 NIV
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Rather than restoring how things were in Genesis, this redemption God brings is new. It is a whole new reality. It is a restoration of all things and is better than the innocence in Genesis. One day, God will wipe every tear from our eyes and eliminate all sorrow and its causes.

May we turn to him with hope regarding areas in our lives where we are in need of healing and experience layer upon layer of ongoing healing and wholeness as we look forward to the day he will wipe away every tear.

Prayer: Father, we put our hope in you. We confess that you are the one who redeems, restores, and heals us. Would you help us to hold onto your promises today? In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “Abide with Me” by Matt Redman (click here).

-MR

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Day One: Great mercy

Let’s read aloud together this passage, confession, and prayer.

1 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you…

Heidelberg Catechism
Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own,
but belong—
body and soul,
in life and in death—
to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven;
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.

Prayer: Father, we thank you, for in your great mercy, you have given us life through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We stand in awe of you and all that you have done. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “Thank You Jesus” by Charity Gayle (click here).

– MR

 

 

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Day Five: Eternal Purposes

Luke 12:33-34 NIV
33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Acts 4:44-45 NIV
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

God hasn’t provided for us simply to provide for us, but in providing for us, he has enabled us to be a means of his provision for others. God gives you money not so much to make sure that your kingdom works, but to connect you by grace to the work of a much bigger, much better kingdom. As you give yourself to the work of this kingdom, you get to watch your money do things that are literally of eternal consequence. In offering your resources to the bigger kingdom, your money is used to fuel the most important work in the universe—redemption.” [Paul Tripp, Sex & Money]

“We too can see money as a source of blessing not just for ourselves, but also for others, and we can use money for eternal purposes.” (P. George)

Prayer: Lord, we thank you for all the ways that you have blessed our churches. We pray for greater opportunities for us to participate in serving others and caring for others’ needs, and also to invest our resources into things that have eternal purpose. May your kingdom come and may your will be done. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s praise the Lord by singing “Your Love Is Strong” by Jon Foreman (click here).

-DW

 

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Day Four: Good Stewards

Malachi 3:10 NIV
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

“Do you see God’s heart in this? When we think of money like we tithe, it all comes from him and is his anyway. We are just stewards of what he has entrusted to us. In this sense, money can be a super important way we worship God, and in doing so, we can experience even more overflowing blessing of God!” (P. George)

A steward is a manager of someone else’s property or affairs. As people of God, that “someone else” is God himself! We are called to be good stewards and all that we have has been entrusted to us by God. Today, let’s remember that all our finances, money, resources, talents, jobs – all come from him. We are given the privilege and opportunity to use all that he has entrusted to us to glorify him and live a life that pleases him.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for every blessing that you have poured out into our lives. Help us to remember that all that we have is given from you and that we are called to be good and faithful stewards. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s worship to “More Like Jesus” by Passion (click here).

-DW

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Day Three: Who Do You Serve?

Matthew 6:24 NIV
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

“Jesus uses all the basic biblical metaphors for idolatry and applies them to greed and money. According to the Bible, idolaters do three things with their idols. They have them, trust them, and obey them… If you live for money you are a slave.  If, however, God becomes the center of your life, that dethrones and demotes money.  If your identity and security is in God, it can’t control you through worry and desire.  It is one or the other. ” [Tim Keller, Counterfeit Gods]

Jesus’ words are clear – we cannot serve two masters. Money can become an idol if it steals our worship and devotion which are meant for God alone. Today, let’s ask the Lord to search and examine our hearts, so that he is the master over our lives.

Prayer: Lord, we confess that at times we try to serve two masters but it only leaves us empty and weary. We were made to worship only you. We confess that you alone are our Lord and master and we serve you alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let’s declare the worthiness of our God as we sing How Great Thou Art (Until That Day) by Matt Redman (click here).

-DW

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Day Two: Heart Issue

Luke 12:34 NIV
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luke 12:34 NLT
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

“Your heart is under the control of your life’s focus, and if that ‘treasure’ is this-world-oriented, it will be controlled by the wrong things. The heart is the source of all nonmaterial aspects of life—the intellectual, the volitional, the emotional. So if the focus is wrong, everything in life is turned upside down. So don’t pretend you are seeking God if you are centering on the things of this world—your priorities prove who you really are, and you are in serious trouble. Have we invested our resources in the earthly or the heavenly bank? That determines our destiny and our reward when we stand before God and answer for our life.” [Grant Osbourne, Luke: Verse by Verse]

“Our relationship with money is determined by how our hearts value money. And because money is a heart issue, it is largely an invisible issue, and what is going on in our hearts will eventually manifest and emerge.” (P. George)

Where we put our hearts and invest our time is where our treasure is. Let’s pray that God will reshape the way that we view and approach money, declaring that he alone is our treasure, and what we value above all else.

Prayer: Lord, you are our greatest treasure. You alone are our hearts’ desire and what we seek.  Help us not to lose sight of what and who we are living for today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let’s continue to confess that he alone is our treasure as we sing to “My Heart Is Yours” by Passion (click here).

-DW

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Day One: Every Good Gift

Let’s read aloud the following passage and confession :

James 1:17a NIV
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.

Cape Town Commitment: We Love God’s Word
We confess that we easily claim to love the Bible without loving the life it teaches – the life of costly practical obedience to God through Christ. Yet ‘nothing commends the gospel more eloquently than a transformed life, and nothing brings it into disrepute so much as personal inconsistency. We are charged to behave in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ and even to ‘adorn’ it, enhancing its beauty by holy lives.’ For the sake of the gospel of Christ, therefore, we recommit ourselves to prove our love for God’s Word by believing and obeying it. There is no biblical mission without biblical living.

God is our loving Father who knows and cares for every detail of our lives, including finances and money. Truly, every good thing in our lives, including money, is the result of the loving kindness of our Father. Because he is our loving Father, we can turn to him and trust in him.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your word that brings light and life into every area of our lives, including this area of money and finances. Loving Father, teach us your ways and help us live according to your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

In thanksgiving, let’s sing “Your Name” (Psalm 40) by Kingdom Kids (click here).

-DW

 

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Day 5: Image Bearers

Genesis 1:27 NIV
So God created humans in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

“Being made in the image of God confers on us dignity, entrusts us with responsibility, and implants in us a certain potential, namely, the capacity to mirror our Creator. As Christians, our redemption has greatly enhanced this capacity, and in the process, has made us more sensitive to the responsibility we have and the dignity shared by all humankind.” (Walton, Genesis, NIVAC)

“May we be the community of men and women who fully and maturely bear the image of God, people who reflect his glory and grace with clarity and accuracy…with Jesus as our model who showed us how to be truly human. And as the world looks upon our lives, may they begin to see His detailed brushstrokes, may they begin to catch the heart of the Artist, may they begin to see that behind our lives there is intention, skill, and meaning.” (P. Lee)

Let’s pray for the Spirit’s help to live as the people of God who maturely and accurately reflect the goodness and glory of our Creator. In every conversation and interaction we have today, may we recognize and uphold the dignity of each person created in the image of God. May many in our cities and campuses come to know the love of their Creator for themselves.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, by your Spirit’s power, may we mature to more clearly reflect your goodness and glory. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Let’s sing “More Like Jesus” by Passion (click here)

-JL

 

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Day 4: Made For Community

Genesis 2:18, 21 NIV
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

“In striking contrast to the frequent use of ‘good’ in the creation account (1:1–2:4a), God here states that there is something that is not good in regard to the man…This surprising use of ‘good’ communicates how crucial companionship is for humans. The man needed a helper, one suitable for him. ‘Suitable’ (negdo) suggests a person who was significantly different from him so as to contribute distinctively to his life, yet one who was of the same essence and on the same level.” (Hartley, Genesis, UBC)

Today, let’s give thanks for and bless our brothers and sisters in Christ, our spouses and marriages, and our children. Let’s affirm in prayer how God intends for us to share life, to need and help one another, and to serve the Lord together.

Prayer: God, thank you that we were made for community. Continue to heal us, that we may experience even more the full dimension of human existence in our relationships. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship God with singing “Hands to the Heavens” by Kari Jobe (click here)

-JL

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Day 3: Men and Women of God

Let’s read the following verse and confession out loud:

Genesis 1:27 NIV
So God created humans in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Cape Town Commitment – Men and Women in Partnership
Scripture affirms that God created men and women in his image and gave them dominion over the earth together. Sin entered human life and history through man and woman acting together in rebellion against God. Through the cross of Christ, God brought salvation, acceptance and unity to men and women equally. At Pentecost God poured out his Spirit of prophecy on all flesh, sons and daughters alike. Women and men are thus equal in creation, in sin, in salvation, and in the Spirit.

All of us, women and men, married and single, are responsible to employ God’s gifts for the benefit of others, as stewards of God’s grace, and for the praise and glory of Christ.

Today, let’s pray for the men and women of our church communities, giving thanks that God created us both to uniquely bless the church and this world. Let’s pray that each would employ God’s gifts for the benefit of others. Let’s ask for the Spirit’s empowering to live as godly women and men, in the diversity of all that means.

Prayer: God, thank you that in your very good design, you created us in your image; male and female you created us. Thank you that through Christ, we now live as your redeemed and Spirit-filled women and men. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Holy Forever,” sung by Cece Winans (click here)

-JL

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