Day Four: Abiding Love

John 15:9,12(NIV)
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

Think of what Christ says: “As the Father has loved me”—what a divine, everlasting, wonderful love—“so have I loved you.” It was the same love with which He loved the Father and that He always bore in His heart that He now gave into the hearts of His disciples. He yearns that this everlasting love should rest upon us and work within us that we may abide in it day by day. What a blessed life! Christ desires every disciple to live in the power of the self-same love of God that He himself experienced…The Christ with whom you desire fellowship longs unspeakably to fill you with His love. [Andrew Murray, 365 Timeless Devotions from Classic Writers]

This is the nature of God’s love:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer 31)
“His love endures forever” (Ps. 118)
“How priceless your unfailing love” (Ps. 36)
How did Jesus demonstrate God’s love for us?
“God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5)

Meditate on these words. Believe these words. God holds us and keeps us in his love.

Prayer: Lord, fill me with your everlasting love. Help me believe and trust in your unfailing love. Keep me close to your heart. May my heart be captivated and shaped by your redeeming love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let’s worship to “Your Cross Changes Everything” by Passion, Matt Redman.

-CH

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Day Three: Abiding Prayer

John 15:7 (NIV)
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

This prayer is not asked in isolation but in the intimate, mutually indwelling relationship between Jesus and the disciples… the prayer, like the relationship, has Christ as the primary cause. This is because it is created in and guided from the entirety of Jesus’s message—his person and work. In light of our union with Christ, “whatever you wish” is not a blank-check prayer but participation in the life and mission of God. [E. Klink III, John, Zondervan ECNT]

Souls abiding in Jesus open the day with prayer; prayer surrounds them as an atmosphere all day long… Consistent asking comes out of abiding in Christ. Some believers pray by the yard, but true prayer is measured by weight, not by length. A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length. [Charles Spurgeon, 365 Timeless Devotions from Classic Writers]

Has it been a struggle to pray? Is your heart cold? Do you feel you don’t know how to pray? Prayer flows forth from a living relationship with Jesus, the very presence of him in us.

Prayer:  Lord, may your Spirit and words deepen my relationship with you. May your words become the prayers that I pray. May your will and glory be the answers I desire and wait for. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Waiting Here for You” by Jesse Reeves, Martin Smith, Chris Tomlin.

-CH

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Day Two: A Matter of Fact

John 15:1-2 (NIV)
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

“On a Sunday soon after, the church plant team received from John 15 that as branches that remain in the true vine, being pruned is a matter of fact – so we can’t and don’t need to avoid it. I felt relief as I received God’s perspective – he will always deal with the unfruitful areas in my life, not to crush me, but rather because he is determined to bring forth a greater fruitfulness than I think is possible. These were grace-filled, life-giving moments that began a new process of transformation in me. I began to notice the Spirit’s help and conviction in moments where I would have usually gotten stuck in my own opinions and understanding, and the Lord gave me desire and power to be taught and to agree with his ways.” [excerpt from Jennie Lin’s testimony]

Are you experiencing the Father’s sharp but loving pruning process to bring your life in line with his heart and ways? How are we to respond?

Prayer: Father, help me not to resist your grace-filled work in my life. Humble my heart to yield to the transforming power of your Spirit in me. Your ways truly lead to real life and greater blessing. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Gracefully Broken” by Matt Redman.

-CH

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Day One: Abide in Me

John 15:4 (NRSV)
Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.

He says, “Just as truly as the branch is in the vine, you are in me. And now, just as the Father abides in me, and works in me, and I work out what He works in me; and just as truly as the branch abides in the vine, and the vine gives its life and strength to the branch, and the branch receives it and puts it forth in fruit—even so do you remain in me and receive my strength. I will work with an almighty power in you and through you. Abide in me!” [Andrew Murray, 365 Timeless Devotions from Classic Writers]

Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are brought into union with Christ. We experience and live that union through the empowering presence of the Spirit of God who comes to indwell all believers.

To abide in Jesus is not about doing more for him. It is about being more with him, having more of Jesus in our lives and deeper intimacy with him.

Prayer: Lord, you are the true vine. Help me to abide in you. Fill me with the empowering presence of your Spirit. Renew my thoughts to be on you. Shape my will to depend on you. Fill me with greater desire for you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Abide with Me’ by Matt Redman

 

-CH

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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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