John 14:25-26 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 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.”
“For your new life to grow, it must be fed and exercised. The food it requires is the Holy Scriptures. Exercise will consist of obedience by faith to the commands of God…”
“It is the Holy Spirit who will make truth come alive for you by enabling you to grasp it clearly, by reminding you of things he has previously taught you, by drilling you in difficult exercises that get at your personality weaknesses, by encouraging you when you are down, by echoing the good Shepherd’s voice in your hearing and in many other ways.” (John White, The Fight, p13 & 17)
How is the Holy Spirit leading you today? What truth from Scripture is he calling you to embrace? What new step of growth and maturity is he giving you the power to take? As we daily obey the Spirit regardless of how we may feel, we are exercising our faith, and just like with physical exercise, our life of faith grows, becomes stronger, and increases in endurance. In trust, let us say yes to the Spirit’s instruction and guidance today.
Let’s pray: “Lord, I say yes to you today. Help me to humbly listen and follow the Spirit’s leading. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
John 14:18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
“Basically orphans signify the effects of sin in our world. In that sense…the Holy Spirit’s presence is the reversal of that effect. No longer harassed or defenseless, no longer bound by sin, the Holy Spirit reverses that to the blessing of being in the community of God’s people. In this church that belongs to Jesus Christ, there are no orphans as we are God’s family together. We experience God’s blessing as we bless one another and we have a mission together to be a blessing to our generation of orphans of our world.” (Pastor Mark Kim)
As those who are deeply loved and so secure in the Spirit’s presence, let’s pray and respond to the call to be the ones who show motherly and fatherly care and love to the “orphans” in our cities, workplaces, and campuses. Let’s pray for our missional group and campus meetings this week – may many experience the great reversal and blessing of receiving the Holy Spirit and being brought into God’s family.
Let’s pray: “God, fill our churches with your Spirit’s power and compassion! With renewed passion, we offer ourselves to be a blessing to our generation of orphans in this world. Lord, fill our meeting times this week with your life-giving presence and power. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.”
“What both of us must realize is that you have been given a personal tutor. His coming to you is the most important event associated with your becoming a Christian. Whether you felt his coming or not, the Holy Spirit has taken up his dwelling place in you. Christ’s object in sending him was to insure that you get even better instruction than the apostles had by having Jesus in their midst. You may lament the fact that Jesus is no longer here physically. But as Jesus sees it, you have a greater privilege by having God’s Spirit inside you.” (John White, The Fight, p16-17)
As you read the excerpt above, how is your perspective of the role and importance of the Holy Spirit in your life challenged and encouraged?
The Spirit is our helper, the one who cares for us and carries us, the one whose deepest motive and agenda is for us. And through his instruction and conviction, we are affirmed and enabled to live in our new identity and to obey and fulfill our new desires for God.
Let’s pray: “Lord, thank you for giving me your Spirit to help me and to be with me forever. Holy Spirit, fill me and guide me in everything I do today. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Let’s worship with the song, “Fullness” by Elevation Worship:
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
“When you became a Christian, a number of extremely important events took place both in heaven and in your own body. You may or may not have felt anything…All you may know is that at this moment you acknowledge the Jesus of history to be your Savior and your God…The supernatural, and often unfelt, events are permanent. They mark you in the sight of demons and angels as a human who is different. They bring your body into touch with eternity and with the Eternal God.” (John White, The Fight, p11-12)
Take a moment today to declare who you are in Jesus Christ using these truths and Scripture:
I am righteous, through the righteousness of Christ – 1 Corinthians 1:30
I am born of God as his child and a member of his family, the church – John 1:12
I am made new and have new desires for God and his ways – Ezekiel 36:25-27
Let’s pray: “Thank you Lord for my new identity in Jesus Christ. God, thank you that all that is true of me is entirely your doing, your gracious and free act of love toward me. By the Spirit’s power, I embrace and live out who you say I am today. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
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. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.