Day Five: To Whom Shall We Go?

John 6:66-69 (NIV) From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Jesus alone has the words of eternal life because He alone is the Source of all life (John 1:3-4). Eternal life begins now. It is a quality and length of life the begins the moment we first “believed” and were born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, and continues on forever in the new heavens and new earth. How could Peter, representing the Twelve, recognize this so clearly at that moment when many were deserting Jesus? It is only by God’s grace for no one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws them (John 6:44). Therefore, let’s not be presumptuous. Let’s be humble before the Word of God in all of its forms – read, preached, prayed, and sung. Throughout this series, may we come to Jesus as regularly as we eat physical food, thus expressing our trust in Him.

Let’s worship to the song, The Blessing by Elevation Worship.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for drawing us to Your Son. Jesus, we declare that you alone have the words of eternal life. Through the Spirit, may you draw to Yourself those we are ministering to. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– CR

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Day Four: Believing Is Eating

John 6:53-56 (NIV)Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.

 Augustine of Hippo, who wrote, “Believe, and you have eaten.” What is the work that we must do to receive this bread, and how do we eat it? They are one and the same. Believing in Jesus is the work that the Father wants from us, and believing is eating. The person who places their trust in Christ will direct their whole way of life according to that trust. Biblically, “believing” is more than just mere intellectual ascent. It is primarily the attitude by which the believer attaches him or herself to Jesus, their Savior, with all of their heart. He who “believes” in this way abides in Christ, and Christ abides in them.

 Let’s worship to the song, “Build My Life by Housefires.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for Your salvation in my life. I pray, help me to abide in You that my whole way of life may be directed by Your Spirit. I also pray for my friends and family that they would find life in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

– CR

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Day Three: Grumbling Under My Breath

John 6:40-42 (NIV)For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” 41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

“But just as the Israelites murmured and grumbled, even after God had delivered them, so in his long discourse Jesus’ claims to give God’s life to the world provoke increased murmuring and grumbling about him (6:41, 60). Their grumbling increases the more that Jesus focuses on his identity as the means of receiving God’s life, and on the necessity of his death in his life-giving work (6:41, 52).” [Marianne Meye Thompson, John: A Commentary, p. 146, 161]

The crowd’s dissatisfaction with Jesus’ answers as expressed through grumbling revealed their disobedience to God and their unbelief in the One God sent. What are the areas of discontent, grumbling, and complaining in our lives that show our disobedience and lack of trust in Christ?

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times when I grumble and complain against You. Help me to see it for what it is. I repent today for any areas of disobedience, lack of trust in You, and Your goodness and faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let’s worship to the song, Mercies (New Every Morning) by Matt Redman.

– CR

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Day Two: I AM the Bread of Life

John 6.35 (NIV) – Then Jesus declared,I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

“The motif of thirst recalls Jesus’s dialogue with the Samaritan woman (see 4:14). By combining hunger and thirst in the metaphor of the bread of life, Jesus embodies in his person all promises of satisfaction and satiation. Jesus is the recipe for the soul…The ‘bread of life’… serves to convey the absolute necessity of Christ by linking the most basic and foundational needs of human life to his person and work. In a manner not yet fully described, the phrase signifies that in Jesus, there is an eternal sufficiency in which there is no want. In Jesus, there is an ‘eating’ that provides deep rest for one’s whole being, ‘even if all about me should go to pieces.’” [Edward W. Klink, John (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary)]

Let’s worship to the song, Abide With Me” by Matt Maher.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for your promise and your continued provision in my life. Lead me into an encounter with You today, the only One who truly satisfies. Help me to trust in You alone for from my most basic needs to those of meaning and fulfillment in life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– CR

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Day One: What must we do?

John 6: 26-29 (NIV)Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” 28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

“Throughout the Gospel, many persons seek Jesus, often for the wrong reasons or unaware of what they are looking for or why. In such cases, Jesus guides them into a new understanding of the goal of their quest… Jesus has told the people to work for, or devote their energies to, the food that brings eternal life. They inquire what constitutes the ‘works of God,’ meaning the deeds that God desires and commands. Jesus compresses the plural ‘works’ (6:28) into a singular ‘work’ (v. 29): God desires faith in the one whom he has sent (cf. 4:23).” [Marianne Meye Thompson, John: A Commentary, p. 157]

Let’s worship to the song, This I Believe (The Creed) by Hillsong Worship.

Prayer: Jesus, I praise you as the only One upon whom the Father’s seal of approval rests. I love and trust You. Increase my faith and dependence upon You today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– CR

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Day 5: Revival of God’s salvation

Acts 16: 29-34 (NIV)

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

“Faith includes the conviction that certain things are true, that certain events have happened and have redemptive power, and specifically that God has brought eschatological salvation in the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. Therefore, faith is a positive response to the apostles’ demonstration from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ. Yet the apostles did not merely call upon people to revise their intellectual opinions. The summons to faith is also a call to personal commitment to a living person. ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household’ (16:31 NIV). Belief ‘in’ or ‘upon’ Jesus is a transfer of trust and dependence to him, rooted in the reality of his resurrection life. Because Jesus is risen from the dead, the apostles ‘committed [Christians] to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust’ (14:23 NIV)… Such a radical change of allegiance will be shown in submission to baptism in Jesus’ name and a lifestyle of joy, love, and holiness.”
– Dennis Johnson, The Message of Acts in the History of Redemption

While the worship song is playing, let’s pray for two things. First, may our hearts burn with a passion to see people saved. Second, pray for a revival of God’s salvation among our 5 churches, namely a radical change of allegiance, baptisms in Jesus’ name, and a lifestyle of joy, love, and holiness among those we are reaching out to.

Let’s worship and pray to “For the sake of the world” (click here) by Bethel.

-CR

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Day 4: I am with you

Isaiah 43:2-3, 5 (NIV)

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;

“Floods and fire are ‘terms of extreme hardship.’ And notice that, just as in the famous Psalm 23, there is no promise to believers of exemption from trouble. God does not say, ‘If you go through the fire’ and flood and dark valleys but when you go. The promise is not that he will remove us from the experience of suffering. No, the promise is that God will be with us, walking beside us in it. Isaiah takes the metaphor one step further and says that, while God’s people will experience the heat, it will not ‘set them ablaze.’ That seems to mean that while they will be in the heat, the heat will not be in them. That is, it won’t enter and poison their souls, harden their hearts, or bring them to despair.”
– Timothy Keller, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering

Let’s worship to “Another in the Fire” (click here) by Hillsong.

When the floods and fires come, may we experience the grace of knowing you are with us. When the storms come, may the storm not be in us. When we are in the heat, may the heat not be in us. Lord keep our hearts humble, soft, and full of hope and trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

-CR

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Day 3: You are close beside me

Psalm 23 (NLT)

The LORD is my shepherd;
I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the dark valley of death,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You welcome me as a guest,
anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the LORD
forever.

This is grace: we are deserving of God’s presence because Jesus has already done the deserving for us. Now, it doesn’t matter what we may face in life. We have the Good Shepherd who is with us leading us through. We are not alone… God is with us. Because of this reality, we lack nothing but have everything in Christ… green pastures, peaceful streams, comfort, protection, anointing, victory, blessing, love, and a place in God’s house. Spend some time praying the words of this psalm over your life and then pray it over someone who the Lord has put on your heart. As you do, hear the voice of your shepherd who is right there with you.

Let’s worship to “Psalm 23 (Surely Goodness, Surely Mercy)” (click here) by Shane & Shane.

Lord, change our thoughts and emotions to be aligned with the truth that we are deserving because Jesus has already done the deserving on our behalf. In the midst of difficulties may we experience that you are by our side restoring, leading, comforting, and protecting us. May those that we pray for experience the same grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-CR

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Day 2: My grace is enough

2 Corinthians 12:7b-10 (NIV)

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

“There has been endless speculation about what this was. A recurrent disease is the most likely guess, but we have no idea what sort… But the point is not just that it happened, and niggled away at him so that he couldn’t simply enjoy his wonderful spiritual experiences for their own sake. The point is that he prayed hard and long for God to take it away, and God said ‘No’… Instead, it is one of the most comforting, reassuring, healing and steadying ‘words of the Lord’ ever recorded: ‘My grace is enough for you; my power comes to perfection in weakness.’… God’s power and human power are not only not the same thing; often the second has to be knocked out of the way altogether for the first to shine through as God desires and intends.” Tom Wright, Paul for Everyone – 2 Corinthians

When faced with spiritual obstacles, hindrances, and annoyances that are not removed despite much prayer, may we experience that God is with us, for us, and His grace is enough. It is God’s grace when our human power is knocked out of the way for His power to shine through our lives.

Let’s worship to “Love won’t give up” (click here) by Elevation Worship

Lord, in those moments of need, may we hear the comforting, reassuring, healing, and steadying word, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” May we endure not by our strength, but by your power that is at work within us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

-CR

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Day 1: Do it again

Acts 16: 14,18, 29-30

14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message…

18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her…

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

“That is all we hear about the first members of the first church plant in Philippi: a business woman and her household; a former slave-girl; and a city employee, the jailer, with his household. That’s the church plant in Philippi. We found it inspiring because God did it, and he did it with such diverse people. Luke says the Lord opened Lydia’s heart (Acts 16:14); and the name of Jesus delivered the demonized slave girl (Acts 16:18); and the Lord shook the jail with an earthquake. The same power that created the church in Philippi is present by the Word and the Spirit of God today…” John Piper

We have experienced this very same power that changes lives today through the Word and the Spirit. Because God has touched and transformed our lives, He can do it again in the lives of others through us.

Prayer time: As the worship song plays, spend some time praying for one person, asking God to “do it again” in their lives as he delivered, saved, and healed us.

Let’s worship to “Do it again” (click here) by Elevation Worship

-CR

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