Our Father in heaven, help us to honor your name. May your kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us for doing wrong, as we forgive others. Keep us from being tempted and protect us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours. Now and forever. Amen.
“Practically: as I was preparing this message, it was brought to mind that whenever we are to approach doing God’s work, the emphasis is in the work of prayer! That ministry, outreach, evangelism, encouragement, and building of God’s kingdom occur in the place of prayer. That prayer is not the covering for the work that we do on the ground, nor it is an added benefit. Rather, prayer is ‘the’ work of evangelism, pastoral care, counseling, healing, preaching.” [Pastor Gus’ message]
Let’s together pray the Lord’s Prayer (above) over the ministries of Agapé Churches and for the specific ministry and outreach that you are involved with.
Let’s worship and proclaim the victory through our Lord Jesus with “The Anthem” by Planetshakers:
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV) 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
“Ever since, I have been always in awe of what God did. Through that experience, I became convinced that I am secured in the provision of God, and I can fully depend on him. More importantly, God changed how I view my life – I no longer live for myself, but for the Lord. He has a purpose for me, a purpose that is so much greater than my own dream and ambition.” [Larry’s testimony]
We heard on Sunday that the banner is about presence, God’s presence with us his people. For us today, this is distinctly through the Holy Spirit, the one who indwells and fills us.
What is the link between the Spirit and the experiential freedom talked about in v.17?
From v.18 (also reflected in Larry’s testimony), what happens in addition to or along with that unprecedented freedom?
Let’s pray: Lord, where your Spirit is there is true freedom as well as true change! Thank you for your presence with us and in us. Fill Agape Churches with your fire even more, fall on us again, that we would burn brighter and brighter for your glory in this generation! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Exodus 17:8-9 (NIV) The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” 10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered…
“The ‘tomorrow’ here is not like later, or tomorrow not today. The word ‘tomorrow,’ whenever in Scripture Moses says ‘tomorrow’ it’s always associated with ‘tomorrow you’ll see the glory of God!’” [Pastor Gus’ message]
We may have various emotions and thoughts when considering tomorrow/the future, whether fear or uncertainty or dread. But today as we hear the Scripture, may the word “tomorrow” speak to the reality that tomorrow we will see the glory and victory of the Lord! And may we, like Joshua, then go at once in obedience to the Lord to do the task He has set before us.
Let’s pray: Lord, we confess that at times we give in to the fears and uncertainties of what lies ahead, but now we turn to You in this confession and proclamation that tomorrow is when we will see Your deliverance, Your provision, Your victory! Thank you for the assurance that comes in Your presence and in Your promises. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Exodus 17:11-13 (NIV) 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
“But it is precisely here that we must remember the larger picture. The daily battles to be won must be seen within the context of the cosmic battle that Christ has already won. We see this in principle already in Exodus 17:8-16.” [NIVAC, Exodus, 362]
The Israelites at that time consisted of weakened, untrained former slaves and were attacked in cowardly fashion by the Amalekites. What the Amalekites did not realize is that this is God’s people, his treasured possession and to attack them is an attack on the LORD. Joshua is sent out to fight, but ultimately the battle belongs to the LORD.
What is the function of Moses’ raised hands and staff?
How does that function relate to what Christ has done for us?
Let’s pray: Jesus, your life, death and resurrection decisively won the battle once and for all, and may that victory also be experienced more in our daily life as your people. This is ultimately not our battle, but yours, we trust you Lord! In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Exodus 17:15 (NIV) 15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.
“A banner was usually a flag, streamer, or wrought emblem affixed to the end of a standard. It was common in the ancient world for banners to be used for military, national, or religious purposes in much the way they are today. The purpose of the banner was to indicate the rallying point or any group holding a common cause.” [ISBE, Banner, 409]
We are all familiar with the usage of banners to identify groups and causes. A lighter example would be home team sports colors, uniforms and logos. A more serious example (as in this passage) is war, as seen in movie depictions or iconic art pieces (e.g. Planting The Flag on Iwo Jima). As God’s people, however, our Banner is ultimately not a piece of cloth nor a symbol, but the LORD Himself.
What or who do you tend to look to in the midst of extended difficulty or struggle?
Are there areas where you feel mentally or physically exhausted and the temptation to give up, settle, or to keep fighting by yourself/for yourself?
Let’s turn to the LORD as we worship to the song “Way Maker”by Sinach (cover by Leeland):
Let’s pray: Lord, we look to You in the midst of various difficulties or struggles. You alone are our Banner. Our motivation, our reliance, our identity, our hope is found only in You today! In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.