Day Five: Led by His Outlook

Psalm 25:12-13 (NIV)
12 Who, then, are those who fear the LORD?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
13 They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.

“By sharing God’s outlook I mean that you must adopt God’s priorities. In doing so you will become more concerned about making an upright decision rather than a right decision; you will be more concerned about righteousness than about geography and about sanctity more than salary.” [John White, The Fight, p159]

There is a direct correlation between the “fear of the LORD” and how well we navigate decision making in life. When we adopt God’s priorities, our agendas become less about prospering ourselves and more about glorifying God. This change in focus does not mean that we are shortchanged in any way. On the contrary, God’s blessing is released, for those who live this way “will spend their days in prosperity, and their descendants will inherit the land.” May we delight in God’s ways more than anything.

Let’s worship to “No One But You” (click here) by Hillsong.

Let’s pray: Father in heaven, let me adopt your priorities over my own. As I yield my agendas for yours, may I be led into decisions that give life to my family and those around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

-ES

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Day Four: Time for the Mountainside

Luke 6:12-13 (NIV)
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:

“Take courage, then, when you have a tough decision to make. Someone who cares deeply for you already knows what he wants you to do. He takes delight in having fellowship with you and wants the very circumstances you face to draw you closer to him.” [John White, The Fight, p162]

All of us face tough decisions to make in life. How do we handle those times? We read in the Scriptures that Jesus often separated himself at night to pray during those occasions. Our difficult decisions are not meant to be times of paralyzing fear and anxiety. Rather, they can be opportunities to draw near to God in a unique way. May we powerfully experience God’s love and care for us as we surrender every difficult decision in prayer before him.

Let’s worship to “One Thing” (click here) by Hillsong.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, you know the tough decisions for me ahead. Let me not fear such times. Instead, let me be drawn into your love and care like never before as I surrender to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

-ES

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Day Three: In Step

Galatians 5:25 (NLT)
25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

“As you mature, both the kind of relationship you have with God and the type of guidance you will require of him will change. You will grow more loving and trusting. You will more often know, without needing to ask, what he would have you do, because you will know him and the manner of his thoughts.” [John White, The Fight, p. 143]

Life is a constant stream of decision making. Of course, there are the big decisions we make that require weeks or months of prayerful consideration. But there are also many small decisions that demand an immediate response. We may not have the luxury of hours of prayer. Living by the Spirit is essential to guiding us at every decision point, big and small. As we grow in relationship with God, the more aligned we are in our immediate decision making. Let’s grow deeper in God that we may live well.

Let’s worship to “Holy Spirit” (click here) by Jesus Culture.

Let’s pray: Father, let me grow in relationship with you. May I know your thoughts and follow the leading of your Spirit in every area of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

-ES

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Day Two: I See You

Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)
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.

“The more you understand of him, the more real the companionship will be and the more likely you are to keep in step with him in the direction he is taking you.” [John White, The Fight, p. 147]

Have you ever driven as a group of cars to get somewhere together? There are times we get separated because the traffic lights turn on at the wrong time. Sometimes other cars get between us. However, we always find each other once again because we have a common destination. When we’ve adopted the will of God, we will find ourselves in his presence because we’re traveling to the same direction. Our personal decisions begin to naturally align with his will. Let’s be renewed in God’s ways once again.

Let’s worship to “In Over My Head” (click here) by Bethel Music.

Let’s pray: Father, show me your ways. Let me delight in your plans and your will once again, that I may find myself walking with you today in every decision. In Jesus’ name, amen.

-ES

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Day One: The Good Shepherd

John 10:10, 11, 14-15 (NIV)
My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
“I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,  just as my Father knows me and I know the Father.

While we may be fixated on asking what is the “right” decision for me, God is focused on who we are becoming and leading us to spiritual maturity. He cares about the whole of our lives being right, and us making an upright decision more than the outcome/result of the decision itself, which we tend to focus on so much more.

Our God is the good shepherd. He sacrificed his life for us. He cares for us, protects us and leads us to the places of blessing. He goes ahead of us. He knows his own sheep. He knows our fears, tendencies, our needs, our gifts, and purpose. He wants to give us a rich and satisfying life – a life full of eternal purpose and significance, a life blessed by God. Today, let’s decide to stay close to our good shepherd and follow him closely.

Let’s pray: Father, thank you that you are our good shepherd who goes before us. I want to stay close to you. Help me to hear your voice and be ready to obey and follow you today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

– ES

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Day Five: The Epic Story Continues

John 14:12 (NIV) Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

“Faith in Christ is not merely a passive act, it is also active; it is to become a participant in the power and mission of God and in some way to share in the ministry of God through Christ.” [E. Klink III, John (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)]

Following in the way-truth-life of Jesus is an adventure. It will lead us into a life that participates in the spectacular works of Jesus. In a sense, his amazing life becomes the starting template for all who follow him. How incredible is that! The miracles of Jesus continue through us as we follow him as the way, the truth, and the life.

Let’s pray: Father, we thank you for calling us into a life unlike any other. Give us the faith to step into the works of Jesus. Continue them through us in our day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let’s worship to “In Over My Head” by Bethel Music.

-ES

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Day Four: The Paraclete

John 14:25-26 (NIV) 25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’

“The entire Christian life can rightly be described as life in the Spirit. To live in the Spirit is neither to neglect the Father nor to eclipse Christ but to serve, respond to, and participate in them both by means of this divine appropriation.” [E. Klink III, John (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)]

Following in the way-truth-life of Jesus is not about following rules. It is about following the Holy Spirit who guides and empowers us in the way-truth-life of Jesus. When we learn to walk with and in the Holy Spirit, we will find ourselves exactly where Jesus wants us to be.

Let’s pray: Father, teach us how to walk in step with your Spirit today. Help us to regularly hear and respond to the leading of your Spirit in all matters until it becomes seamless in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Another In the Fire” by Hillsong UNITED.

-ES

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Day Three: Blessed Beyond Measure

Mark 2:14 (NIV) As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

“Jesus is everything! As the way-truth-life, Jesus is the mode-reality-source of all things for all people. Jesus is the totality of what God has done, is doing, and will do; there is nothing of value in existence that does not come from or move toward Jesus Christ. This is the blessing, the promise of hope for those who believe in Jesus.” [E. Klink III, John (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)]

As followers of Jesus, we are blessed beyond measure. To have Jesus is to have everything. A life without him would be a life in the constant search of meaning and value. But Jesus, the way-truth-life called to us, and we abandoned our tax collector’s booth and its false promises to follow him. Let’s thank and embrace our Lord Jesus once again!

Let’s pray: Father, we know Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. We have more than enough because we have Jesus. We thank you for the abundance of life found in him. We live in this hope. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Is He Worthy” by Andrew Peterson.

-ES

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Day Two: More Than House Cleaning

Luke 10:41-42 (NIV) 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Stephen Baldwin, major movie actor:
“I noticed you singing, and I was curious. Why is every song about Jesus? Perhaps there’s another tune in your repertoire?”
Augusta, cleaning lady:
“Understand the reason that I’m laughing is that you think the only reason why I’m here is to clean your house.”
[Stephen Baldwin, Testimony Video (I Am Second)]

Why are we in the current life situation we are in? No matter what the situation, God is working, and God has a plan. We just have to hear him in that season and circumstance. Augusta had only one theme in her repertoire, Jesus. When we have too many themes besides Jesus in our repertoire, we may think we’re just supposed to clean a house. But when Jesus is the one theme that dominates all others, we know how we are supposed to live.

Let’s pray: Father, we confess that our minds are conflicted with too many thoughts and that our hearts are conflicted with too many desires. But only one thing is needed: being with Jesus. Help us to be in his presence, moment to moment. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “The Same Jesus” by Matt Redman.

-ES

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Day One: Thanks for asking, Thomas!

John 14:5 (NIV) Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

“[Thomas] is filled with doubts and questions throughout John (11:16; 20:24–25), but in his doubts he always speaks for the others. He does the right thing in bringing his doubts to Jesus (a lesson for us all). They are as before thinking on the earthly plane and unaware of the heavenly realities.” [G. Osborne, John Verse by Verse (Kindle)]

What do we do when we have times of uncertainty and a troubled heart? We may want to buckle down and solve it ourselves. We may want to listen to popular wisdom. We may even want to ignore the situation all together. Thomas shows us a better way… going to Jesus. Jesus can help us navigate every matter of life, from parenting questions, to life decisions, to ministry questions. He is the way, the truth, and the life. If we know how to go to Jesus, then we will know how to go in life. Let’s turn to him in prayer.

Let’s pray: Jesus, we come to you with our questions and uncertainties right now. We know you do not leave us in confusion, but you are the way, the truth, and the life for us. Speak to us through your Holy Spirit, for we look to you alone. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to “Surrounded (Fight My Battles)” by Upper Room.

-ES

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