Day Five: Setting the stage

Acts 1:15  In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)…
Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

There were about 120 who lived immersed in prayer and in God’s word through the Spirit’s leading. They were living in the majestic in their daily lives, and this set the stage for the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost.
Like the 120, may we also commit to growing in our times of prayer, dependence upon God’s word, and living in the Spirit’s power. May we be also counted as the ‘120’ for this generation—whose lives of prayer and the word sets the stage for the Spirit’s move in our midst.

Prayer: Lord, may our lives be such that it sets the stage for an increased activity and work of you Spirit in our churches and cities. We pray for times of fresh empowering and refreshing in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song ‘anointing’ by Jesus Culture

-GK

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Day Four: All Scripture is God-Breathed

2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

We are shown that the disciples were engaged in God’s word with a new fervor and dependence in Acts 1. They drew their direction, formation, and decisions based upon God’s word. Scripture went from being something they had heard all their lives, to now being the very lifeline they depended upon. This is another clear way that the disciples were engaging the majestic in the mundane of their lives. Where God’s word was now directing and forming the community.

We’ve also experienced much transformation, direction, and leading through God’s word. For it is through God’s word that we are taught how to view one another—in love and through the gospel; how to view the world—in compassion; how to view our past mistakes, our future hopes, and how to make decisions of life. All within the biblical framework, and not based upon our old fears, prejudices, thoughts, but through the gospel. God’s word brings the majestic into the mundane.

Today pray through 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and ask for deep healing, correction, and transformation through the word over the mundane areas of your life.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you that your word teaches us, rebukes us, corrects us, and trains us in righteousness. As we engage your word, breathe afresh your truth in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship with the song ‘Everything‘ by Tim Hughes.

-GK

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Day Three: Witnesses

Acts 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

The word witness is not only about being someone who gives a verbal testimony. The word witness is also about someone who shares in the very life/being of the other—which is giving testimony by their very lives. So the disciples were to be more than just testimony bearers of what Jesus has done through speech, but also those who also reflect, live, share in Christ’s very life. To be the image-bearers is to flesh out the reality of being in Christ as Christ is in us. All this is made possible through the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

Today, consider the mundane areas where you need to bear witness—to be the image-bearers who share in the divine life of God. Today pray over your work, your family, your studies, your daily routines, and ask that you will become Christ’s witness through the empowering of the Spirit.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we ask for the Holy Spirit’s empowering so we can be your witnesses in the mundane areas of our lives. May we be Christ image bearers at home, at work, at school, and to the world. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Worship with the song “Hymn of surrender” by Matt Redman.

-GK

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Day Two: Locked-in

Acts 1:13-14 (NIV) When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
(LEB) 14 All these were busily engaged with one mind in prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brothers.

To live out the gospel is to have the majestic of who Christ is affecting the mundane of our lives. For the disciples, this occurred primarily in the way they lived as God’s people who were locked-in in prayer. As they now belonged to God, they also belonged to one another. What they did together, determined what they did at home. Their main activity was to be locked-in in prayer, where they were praying Jesus’ instructions into reality.

This week, may our lives be filled with both corporate and also personal times of prayer of being locked-in. During these times, let’s ask the Lord to affect the mundane of our lives—for the healing of wounds and sicknesses, transforming our minds and hearts, turning situations around, and for his blessing to be evident.

Prayer: Lord, we pray for your presence and power to affect and transform the mundane of our lives. We also pray for your empowering presence in all the small groups this week. May your gospel rescue our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship with the song “By the grace of God” by Bethel.

-GK

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Day one: The kingdom of God

Acts 1:3
After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 

The kingdom is first and foremost a statement about God. God is king, and he is coming as king to set right what our sins made wrong. The phrase “kingdom of God” could just as easily be translated “reign of God” or “kingship of God.” The message of the kingdom is about God’s royal power directed by his self-giving love. (Treat, Jeremy. Seek First)

The kingdom of God is about the gospel affecting and transforming and conquering lives all over the world, where lives are to be marked by the Holy Spirit’s presence and power—forming and transforming individuals who are now called to form communities whose identities and purposes are formed by the gospel.

For our devotional response, let’s declare this confession from the Capetown Commitment:
As disciples of Jesus, we are gospel people. The core of our identity is our passion for the biblical good news of the saving work of God through Jesus Christ. We are united by our experience of the grace of God in the gospel and by our motivation to make that gospel of grace known to the ends of the earth by every possible means.

Prayer: Lord, we thank you that we are the gospel people. May your gospel conquer every area of our lives, and also of those to whom we are currently ministering. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship with the song ‘Who you say I am’ by Hillsong.

-GK

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Day Five: Yahweh

Exodus 3:13-14 (NIV) – Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

When the LORD says “I AM who I AM”, the LORD is revealing himself in terms of his presence and his actions. Therefore, just as the LORD refers himself as “I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” he is revealing himself as the ‘I AM,’ whose presence will now also be known to the Israelites. Meaning, I AM the LORD who sees you, who hears you, who is concerned for you, who comes to rescue you, who covenants with you, who heals you, and who will be with you!

This is how we are to know the LORD forever, from generation to generation—Yahweh, the “I AM.” For God is forever our deliverer, our healer, our savior!

Today, spend time in worship as you call upon the name of the LORD—Yahweh, the I AM. As you worship, may you be filled with His presence. Worship with the song, There Is Name by Bethel Music.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you that you are forever to be known as Yahweh, the one who saves us with Your very presence. We pray today for a fresh awakening of love and passion for your kingdom. May your church be blessed today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

– GK

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Day Four: Salvation Breakthrough

Exodus 3:9-10 (NLT) – “Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”

In this passage, the LORD comes to rescue all of Israel, including Moses. Both the Israelites and Moses were stuck in living in a foreign land as either slaves or as a fugitive, and neither could set themselves free. However, when the LORD comes to rescue, His salvation comes with breakthrough from whatever circumstances His people are in. For the LORD saves by His power, shaking the very foundation where our old chains and shackles have been set upon. What are the areas that you currently feel stuck in? May the LORD’s salvation come with His breakthrough power.

Today, spend time praying for the LORD’s breakthrough in the areas where you need to see the LORD’s rescue and power at work.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we pray for the Spirit’s empowering in our lives. May your salvation breakthrough shake the very foundation of who we are. Breakdown any chains, habits, strongholds of fears and doubts in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

– GK

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Day Three: I will be with you!

Exodus 3:10-12 (NIV) – “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

When Moses hears the words “I am sending you to Pharaoh,” in his mind he probably thought he was going alone to Pharaoh, and do the saving work alone on behalf of God. How often do we also respond or have thought similarly? The LORD clearly responds to Moses by assuring that he is not being sent alone, for “I will be with you!”

Today, let’s receive the LORD’s assurance that He will be with us, alongside us, next to us, in front of us, behind us, on top of us, underneath us. “I will be with you!” says the LORD. Worship with the song, I Am Not Afraid by Jesus Culture.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, today we receive afresh your words “I will be with you!” Your nearness to us is our good. May we take steps of faith in obedience to your calling. In Jesus’ name, amen.

– GK

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Day Two: You Have Seen and Heard

Exodus 3:7-8a (NIV) – The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them.’

I have seen. I have heard. I am concerned. I have come down. The language in today’s passage shows that God’s rescue in our lives comes directly from the Lord. Our salvation comes with His very presence. How often must the Israelites have wondered during their misery in Egypt, does the Lord see, does the Lord hear, does the Lord care? How often have we also wondered and thought similar things? As we see in today’s passage, the Israelites are about to experience God’s rescue with His mighty power, thus assuring them that He has indeed seen and heard their cries.

Today, may we be assured that the Lord has indeed heard and seen us in our need, and has come to our rescue. Spend time today praying for specific areas of your life where you need God’s rescue afresh. Worship with the song, “Another in the Fire” by Hillsong.

Prayer: Father, we thank you that you have indeed seen and heard our cries. Your love and care for us is constant, and we pray for your blessing and rescue in all the areas that we are in need—jobs, relationships, health, and ministry. In Jesus’ name, amen.

– GK

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Day One: A People of His Presence

John 1:1, 14 (NIV) – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The theme of the presence of God is crucial to both the Old and New Testaments, serving in fact as bookends to the Christian Bible. It begins in Genesis 2–3 with the creator of heaven and earth being present in the garden with those he has created in his own image; it concludes with the marvelous pictures of the renewed heaven and earth and the renewal of Eden in Revelation 21:1–22:5, in which John says expressly, “I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb” (21:22 NRSV). Whatever else, the people of Israel understood themselves to be the people of the Presence, the people among whom the eternal God had chosen to dwell on earth. [Gordon Fee]

Today let’s be encouraged that it is God’s very presence that distinguishes us as God’s people!  Spend time today worshipping and inviting God’s presence as you worship with the song, “This We Know” by Kristian Stanfill.

Prayer: Lord we thank you that it is your very presence that distinguishes us as your people. We welcome your presence into every area of our lives today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

– GK

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