Day 1: In View Of His Mercy

Let’s read aloud the following passages together:

Romans 3:10-12,21a,22-24 (NIV)
10 “There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
   not even one.”
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known…
22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Romans 5:8-9 (NIV)
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Romans 12:1 (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.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the fullness and totality of your mercy, through Christ, in my life! In view of your total mercy, I offer my whole life to you today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Mercy” by Matt Redman (click here).

-KW

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Day Five: By faith

Galatians 2:19-20 NIV
19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

“The words here are intensely personal and individualistic. Christ loved ‘me’ and gave himself ‘for me.’ Paul sees this love as extending to all Christians, but the individualistic emphasis must not be neglected. Faith in Christ can be sustained only where one is confident in God’s love. Love, in this sense, is the fuel of faith. This love finds its roots in the cross, where Christ gave his life ‘for’ Paul.” (Thomas Schreiner, Galatians, ZECNT, 173).

Prayer: Lord, we are grateful that you gave your life for us and that you showed us the depth of your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “Let it be Jesus” by Christy Nockels (click here).

-MR

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Day Four: Thankful

Colossians 3:15-17 NIV
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

“Christ’s peace brings thanksgiving. Believers should be as thankful as refugees who have escaped the grim bondage of a repressive culture and have found refuge in a land of freedom and opportunity. The peace of Christ rules where the word of Christ dwells.“ (David Garland, Colossians, Philemon, NIVAC).

Colossians 3:15-17 is a beautiful picture of church, made possible by what Christ has done for us. Throughout our five churches, in the campus meetings, Bible studies, Missional groups, manuscript studies, what a privilege it is that we can gather and seek the Lord, encourage one another, and sing songs with gratitude in our hearts.

Prayer:  Father, thank you for saving us. We pray that the message about Christ would dwell among us richly. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

-MR

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Day Three: Hold to my teaching

John 8:31b-32 NIV
…Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Today, let’s hold to Jesus’ teaching and remain in his truth. Let’s declare the following “I Am” statements over our lives:

Who am I?
1) I am a child of God; I can call him my Father (Rom 8:14,15; Gal 3:26, 4:6).
2) I am a temple – a dwelling place – for God. His Spirit and his life live in me (1 Cor 3:16; 6:19).
3) I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (Col 3:12, 1 Thess 1:4).
4) I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God (1 Pet 2:9-10).

Since I am in Christ, by the grace of God…
1) The sinful person I used to be died with Christ, and sin no longer rules my life (Rom 6:1-6).
2) I have been given the mind of Christ. He gives me his wisdom to make right choices (1 Cor 2:16).
3) I have been given the Spirit of power, love and self-control (2 Tim 1:7).
4) I may approach God with boldness, freedom and confidence (Eph 3:12).

Prayer: Lord, we praise you for revealing your truth to us. Help us live as Christ’s followers in all that we have to do today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “Strong in us” by Brian Johnson (click here).

-MR

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Day Two: Life and peace

Romans 8.6-7 NIV
6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

“Such a mindset issues in life and peace. Life, of course, is not simply the opposite of death, but the primary character of the Spirit. He is ‘the Spirit of life,’ the life-giving Spirit of the living God, as noted above on v. 2. But why add ‘peace’? Almost certainly because Paul anticipates the enmity that further characterizes life in the flesh spelled out in v. 7. Thus he is echoing the metaphor of sin as hostility to God found in 5:1-11. Because of the reconciling work of Christ, the hostility is overcome and the former enemy has ‘peace with God.’ Here we learn what does not surprise us, that in Paul’s view the source of that peace is the Spirit himself.” (Gordon Fee, God’s Empowering Presence, 541-542).

Let’s declare today, “I have the mind of the Spirit” and experience Spirit-empowered thinking that leads to life and peace.

Prayer: Lord, I humbly come to you today about my concerns. I confess that you are greater. Would you help me quickly turn to you, be empowered by the Spirit, and experience your peace again. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “All praise” by Matt Redman (click here).

-MR

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Day One: Set free

Let’s read aloud together these passages and prayer:

Romans 8:1-2; 5-9a NIV
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death… 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to Gods law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit…

1 Corinthians 2:12 NIV
What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for setting us free, for the Holy Spirit who lives in us! Would you help us live throughout today according to what the Spirit desires in our thoughts and actions. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “Resurrection Power” by Chris Tomlin (click here).

-MR

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Day Five – Full Armor of God

As we read aloud this passage and prayer together, let’s depend on the Spirit to put on the full armor of God and to live fully in the Lord’s victory for his purpose and mission today.

Ephesians 6:10-20 NIV –
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.  Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that I can be strong in you and in your mighty power, putting on the full armor of God so that I can stand my ground and to stand firm in you no matter what challenges or struggles I may face today.  I pray for my brothers and sisters in the church that we will stand firm in the Lord together as you have called us to fearlessly proclaim the gospel through our lives.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

In continued prayer for one another in the church, let’s sing this song, “I Will See the Lord (Land of the Living)” by The Emerging Sound (click here).

– EK

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Day Four – Extinguishing Flaming Arrows

Ephesians 6:16 NIVIn addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 

“Paul is not saying that faith in itself has remarkable defensive power against Satan. Rather, he is saying that faith protects us from Satan’s attacks because faith takes hold of the power and protection of God himself… Throughout the Old Testament, it is God, not faith, that is repeatedly described as our shield. In Genesis 15:1 the Lord tells Abraham, ‘I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’ Proverbs 30:5 says, ‘[God] is a shield to those who take refuge in him.’ God is our shield and refuge; he is our hiding place in the day of difficulty; his faithfulness will keep us safe when we are being shot at by arrows, flaming or otherwise (Psalm 91:4-5). Faith becomes our shield in Paul’s imagery because it is the means by which we flee to God for refuge.” (Iain Duguid, “Sacred Weapons for Spiritual War”, Desiring God.org)

“Apparently, the shield was quite big, almost the size of a door. And it was covered in leather…It was very big, and it really protected against the arrows. The leather also put out the fire from the flaming arrows…Faith is a gift from the Lord. It is faith in the Lord’s goodness and in his deliverance. Our dependence on him protects from the fiery arrows…When you and I are faced with challenges, like needless and chronic doubts, lust, greed, hate, these come like fiery arrows and what will shield against is faith.” (From P. Mark’s message)

Prayer:  Father, when flaming arrows of chronic doubts, lust, greed or hate seem to come my way, help me to put on the shield of faith to depend on your full protection and deliverance.  You, God, are my strength, refuge and shield.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s declare how we will put our faith in Jesus and depend on the deliverance we have through the cross as we sing “Divine Exchange” by Charity Gayle (click here).

– EK

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Day Three – Not Giving A “Foothold” 102

Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV – “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. 

In his book Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis wrote a fictional account about Screwtape, a high-ranking officer in the army of the devil, who writes letters of instruction to his nephew, Wormwood, who is learning effective strategies at steering people away from God. Here are some instructions from Screwtape regarding the strategy of distraction:

“…distract his purpose and benumb his heart…We thus distract men’s minds from Who He is, and what He did…The use of Fashions in thought is to distract the attention of men from their real dangers…” (pp. 12, 23, 25)

Later, Screwtape addresses Wormwood’s failure at this:

“…but you reveal what poor use you are making of it when you say that the whole question of distraction and the wandering mind has now become one of the chief subjects of his prayers.  This means that you have largely failed.” (p. 27)

It is eye-opening to see the ways that we can allow “distraction” to have a foothold, but we can also say “I don’t think so” and instead, put on prayer, being alert in the Spirit so that we can guard against distractions and a wandering mind.

Ephesians 6:18 NIVAnd pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, would you fill me with your Spirit afresh today? Would you help me stay prayerful and watchful from any distractions or from allowing my mind to wander? Would you enable me to remain clear and to stand firm in your strength for your purposes today?  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s fix all our hearts and minds in worship to our Lord Jesus as we sing “Worthy” by Elevation Worship (click here).

– EK

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Day Two – Not Giving A “Foothold” 101

Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV – In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. 

Ephesians 4:14 NIVStand firm…with the breastplate of righteousness in place…

We are taught by scripture to not stay angry so that we “do not give the devil a foothold.”  Let’s read what Dr. Grant Osborne said about “foothold” in his commentary, Ephesians: Verse by Verse:

“The term topos (‘foothold’) means ‘place,’ and the picture is of letting the devil into our house and allowing him to inhabit a room. A similar term is used in Romans 7:8 for sin as an invading army that seizes the opportunity (aphormē) to gain a foothold in our lives. Aphormē is a military term for a bridgehead from which forays may be sent out to attack the enemy. This metaphor has much the same force. We do not want to permit Satan the opportunity to use our anger to gain control over us. Rather, we must gain control over our tempers.”

“Have no room and give no opportunity for the influence of the enemy…What does it mean in a practical way? If you dwell on the things like anger, depression and fear, all these can trip you and influence you, but to not give a foothold is to stop at the beginning, dead in its tracks… Don’t give a foothold, say ‘I don’t think so.’” (From P. Mark’s message)

Let’s consider all the ways that we can “dwell” on things like anger, depression and fear.  How do we allow these to trip us?  We have the full armor of God to be able to say, “I don’t think so.” Particularly, the breastplate of righteousness where our hearts are guarded in the truth of who we are as dearly loved and redeemed children of God.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that I can say “I don’t think so” to anger, to depression and fears because my heart has been made right and whole through your redeeming work on the cross.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s we receive the truths of this song, “Strong in Us” by Bethel (click here).

– EK

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