Ephesians 5:28-30 (ESV) In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.
“Christians can no longer view themselves merely as individuals. They are bound to Christ and defined by him. With that comes a sense of value and privilege and of Christ’s presence and power for living. Oneness with Christ also brings a sense of mission and involvement in his purposes.” [Klyne Snodgrass, NIVAC Ephesians]
This passage speaks of love Christ has for us. Only Jesus can wash away our shame-filled, stain-filled lives, making us radiant before God and to the whole world. The Holy Spirit empowers us to be able to truly love one another.
Prayer: Lord, may we love one another in our words, in our truthfulness with one another, in our concern and care, in our time and intercession, in intervening and caring for one another, and our lives together – may it all honor you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Let’s close in worshiping the Lord with the song, “Singing Over Us” by Worship Central (click here).
Acts 2:36-37 (NIV) 36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
God loves his people by giving them his Holy Spirit, who sets us apart as God’s people. In and through the church, God would move in amazement and wonder for the world to see, as Luke writes in the book of Acts. Central to the early church was how they were to live in reverence unto the Lord as he shaped their community. There is no greater joy on earth than to be part of God’s church!
“The church does not build the kingdom of God but bears witness to it—to the gracious reign of the crucified Messiah. Christ is advancing his kingdom through the Spirit-empowered church… God’s love is meant to come to us and through us to those around us” [Jeremy Treat, Seek First, p. 106]
Prayer: Lord, may our small groups, homes, missional groups, and churches be outposts of your kingdom on earth, where your glory and greatness would shine through us to others. Fill us and empower us through your Spirit that all would be in amazement and wonder of you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Let us worship to “Lion and the Lamb” by Leeland (click here)
46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
“Joy comes as we stand among those Jesus has redeemed and get lost in a sea of worship, becoming fully a part of something sacred. Gathering with the Church should lead us to holy ground. You get to come and worship someone else, with someone else. You get to pour our love to him by serving those around you and considering them more important than yourself. It’s not about you. And you are glad it’s not about you. Because this is something far greater than you.” [Francis Chan, Letters to the Church]
Prayer: Lord, thank you so much for this new song we can sing together. Fill us with indescribable joy, as we praise you and enjoy the favor of all the people together. May this overflow in everything we do today, as we consider others more than ourselves. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “There’s Nothing That Our God Can’t Do” by Passion (click here)
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
“Treating people with dignity; accepting and celebrating our uniqueness; forgiving each other and being in community; and learning how to love like Jesus are all part of what God wants us to learn while we’re here on earth. The Bible says we have been given ‘the ministry of reconciliation’ (2 Cor. 5:18). This is our calling, and our broken, fractured world desperately need it!“ [John Perkins, One Blood, p. 13]
Prayer: Lord, thank you that we are reconciled in Christ and this is now our message. As God’s people, we are a new creation to bring your reconciliation and forgiveness to each other, learning how to love like Jesus. The old has gone, and the new has come! Have your way in me, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Let’s worship to the song, “Hands to the Heavens”, by Kari Jobes (click here)