Day 5: As the Father has sent me, I am sending you

Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

There are so many amazing wonders that God has accomplished on our behalf – salvation, transformed lives, reconciliation, renewal, healing, equipping and sending, church plants. But once again, the Lord is calling – “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And, “ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Worship and Prayer:

Anointing (click here), Jesus Culture

Lord, we cannot go unless you go with us. Pour out your Spirit upon us again. Anoint us with Your grace and send us as Your workers. Lead us to Your harvest field. Use us again to sow and reap and establish oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, for the display of Your splendor. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-CH

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Day 4: I’ll sing of Your love!

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 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, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

When we are taken into the depths of God’s love, we are filled with the fullness of God, overflowing in worship. Today, kneel before the Father, and pray this prayer over and over for your own life and for one another in the church, until you begin to grasp the glory of God’s love overflowing in worship of the Lord.

Worship and Prayer:

No One But You (click here), Hillsong

Lord, open up our hearts like never before to grasp the glory of your love. Fill us with the fullness of You, Lord, and may a new heart of worship be formed within each of us overflowing to the church and to this generation for your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-CH

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Day 3: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved

Acts 2:17-21, 42-43, 47 (NIV)

17 “‘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.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles…And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Spiritual gifts were given at Pentecost and the community life of worship, word, prayer and fellowship was birthed. Church life and Spiritual gifts go hand in hand bound by love. May the Lord empower our church life afresh so that the gifts of the Spirit may abound and be fruitful, maturing the believers and adding those who are being saved.

Worship and Prayer:

Way Maker (click here), Leeland

Lord, we need your empowering. May the gifts of Your Spirit flourish and mature our church life of worship, prayer, word, and fellowship so that many more will call on the name of the Lord and be saved. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-CH

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Day 2: You desire truth

Psalm 51: 1-2, 6-7, 10, 12-13 (NRSV)

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.

6 You desire truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.

“Today’s psalm sings lavishly of the ways we long for water: Cleanse me from my iniquity, wash me of my sins; wash me and I will be whiter than snow; cleanse me with hyssop; create in me a pure heart. We sing of our longing to be unburdened, cleansed of the weight of our careless living and all that estranges us from our source of life.” (Upper Room Devotionals, 2/26/20)

When kings were going to battle with their armies, King David stayed at home. This led to careless living which bore the fruit of self-preservation, falsehood and sin before God. Look at the cries of David’s heart. How does he want to live?

Worship and Prayer :

Hosanna (click here), Hillsong United

Lord, wash me from careless living. Awaken fresh hunger for truth in my inward being. Open the eyes of my heart. Let my mouth and the deeds of my life be clothed with truth and bear witness to the joy of your salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-CH

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Day 1: Let us position ourselves

Joel 2:12-13, 23-24 (NIV)

12 “Even now,” declares the LORD,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
13 Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.

23 Be glad, people of Zion,
rejoice in the LORD your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

Let us remember there is nothing that God’s faithful love cannot cover. Depend on God as He calls us to humble ourselves through fasting and prayer, to have our hearts torn open and made broken again to be positioned to receive more of His everlasting mercy and promises.

“Position yourselves. There is a place beyond victory called triumph. Victory is being able to defeat your enemies. But triumph goes far beyond mere victory. When you triumph, you come out of the battle with more than you had before! God wants to give you more.” (M. Chavda, The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting)

Worship and Prayer :

Do It Again (click here) by Elevation Worship

Lord, turn our hearts back to you. Do not pass us by. Send your abundant rains like never before. Break open our hearts to receive more of your Spirit to do more of your work. Lead us into your triumph. We trust that you are gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. In Jesus name, Amen.

– CH

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Day Five: In View of God’s Mercy – Redemptive Love!

Romans 12:3
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. (NIV)

Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. (MSG)

What is meant by “sober judgment”?

How are we to understand ourselves?

Paul urges us to be sober minded because transformation, renewal of mind, and living restored to God’s design – it is God who brings it all to us. We are called to live fulfilling God’s purpose. This is only possible because the “all” that God has brought to us is all of Himself – and this is His redemptive love!

When we have God’s mind increasing in us, we can view the world through His perspective of redemptive love and learn how to love, making us more fully human as God designed. How great is His mercy!

Let’s respond by offering all of who we are to God, declaring that He alone is worthy!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your redemptive love. Help us to live in true freedom – loving you and leading others to your redemptive love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Listen and worship to the song, “Is He Worthy?” (click here)

-CH

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Day Four: In View of God’s Mercy – Be Transformed!

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (NIV)

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (MSG)

Titus 3:5 (NIV)
He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit…

Building our lives on God’s mercy is about real transformation toward thinking and living in God’s design. It is dependent on whether our minds are engaged in an ongoing process of renewal by the Holy Spirit. God gave us a whole new pattern of life and living, therefore our minds must be renewed and not simply readjusted. We don’t have to yield to or live stuck and defeated by negative thoughts. Our minds can be renewed to think what God wants, producing a transformed life marked by freedom and fruitfulness.

In today’s verses:

What is our part in the renewal process of our mind?

What is God’s part?

Prayer: Lord, thank you! I do not have to live stuck and defeated by negative thoughts. I welcome your Holy Spirit to renew my mind as I fix my thoughts on your Word that leads to life and peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

-CH

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Day Three: In View of God’s Mercy – Build on Mercy

Romans 12:1a (NIV)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy…

There is a whole biblical worldview in the chapters preceding Romans 12 to which  Apostle Paul refers that we must first have, embrace and remember – and that is God’s mercy. God’s mercy is every blessing in salvation – eternal divine love, grace, peace with God, kindness leading to repentance, forgiveness, resurrection, hope – just to name a few.

The first step to resetting our thought life begins with the call of Romans 12:1 to build our lives on God’s mercy. How do we build? Know the truth (thoughts) and practice it (obedience) – this produces wise living.

“Wisdom is the understanding of what God would have us do and then doing it, what God would have us think and then thinking it…A believer’s wisdom is found first in the acknowledgment of true wisdom and then in obedience. This is decisive, for there is a great breakdown between belief and behavior, knowing and doing. The heart of wisdom is their union, as is the heart of true knowledge.” (White, A Mind for God)

Does the Word of God determine what/how you think?

Are you building your life on God’s mercy?

Today, let’s turn to God and offer our minds to Him, committing to actively take in God’s Word.

Prayer: Lord, I want to think your truth and obey your ways. Please help me as I commit to actively take in your Word and build a wise life on your mercy. In Jesus’ name, Amen. Listen and worship with the song, “Build My Life” (click here) 

-CH

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Day Two: In View of God’s Mercy – (R+C+C+R)H

Romans 12:2a (NIV) – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Ephesians 4:23 (NLT) – …let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.

Philippians 4:8 (NLT) – And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

The Apostle Paul deeply understood how critically connected our thought life is to our faith life, and that transformation is dependent on the renewal of our minds by the Spirit.

“The purpose of spiritual disciplines is the total transformation of the person. They aim at replacing old destructive habits of thought with new life-giving habits…The discipline of study is the primary vehicle to bring us to “think about these things.” …Good feelings will not free us…Without a knowledge of the truth, we will not be free.” (Foster, Celebration of Discipline)

To begin the discipline of study, we can employ four steps (Foster):
– Repetition(R) keeps us in a specific direction
– Concentration(C) focuses our attention
– Comprehension(C) defines the truth
– Reflection(R) identifies the significance of the truth

And these steps must all be wrapped in humility(H).

Let’s apply this to Romans 12:2 – say it several times, focus on each phrase, ask God to help you understand it from His perspective.

Prayer:  Lord, please fill me with your Spirit of revelation to know your truth and to renew my mind. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

CH

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Day One: In View of God’s Mercy, Trust the Truth!

Psalm 25: 1, 4-10 (NIV)

1 In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
4 Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.
8 Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.

David’s conviction was “that a man must live by the help of God, not by his wits,” a view of life his enemies despised as naïve. (Kidner, Psalms 1-72)

David enters the help of God by placing his trust in Him. The help of God is His truth wrapped in His great mercy and love. David keeps on trusting God by asking for His help.

What words and thoughts are repeated throughout?

By God’s design, we can think and learn God’ truth. What does David ask for?

In what specific ways does God help us?

We can ask God to help us in the same ways that David asked.

Prayer: Lord, I want to learn your ways. Please help me to humbly desire and trust the truth of your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-CH

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