Romans 8:1-2, 11 NIV 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Every new season of recommitment begins with a new commitment to worship and obedience that is required for this time and place in our lives. Literally translated, we could read Romans 12:11 something like, “in earnest commitment / eagerness / diligence / willingness / zeal” not in “holding back / hesitation / reluctance”; but in the Spirit “boiling / on fire,” serving/being enslaved for the Lord.”
Every moment of recommitment begins with worship, where we encounter the Lord and recognize what his will is in our lives. As we worship, the Lord reveals places of hesitation, fear or shirking back from serving and living for him, which are part of the “old self” we are to throw off. Instead, we are to be “boiling” in the Spirit, to be servants of the Lord!
Let’s close in praying today, “Lord, today, I throw off all hesitation and reluctance, and ask that you would fill me with the Holy Spirit to boil over for you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.“
Let’s close by singing, “More To Come” by Passion (click here).
Psalm 1:1-3 NIV 1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Today, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, we remember the abundance of the Lord in our lives this past year. We also turn our hearts forward in worship, anticipating the Advent of Jesus, and beyond. As we are reminded in Joshua 24, no matter the season, the Lord is the one who personally directs and blesses our lives. As Psalm 1 also attests, when we “plant” ourselves in the ways of the Lord, there is overflowing abundance, blessing, nourishment and growth. “Whatever they do prospers.” What a promise our Father invites us into!
Today, let’s pray for our families, our churches and our ministries accordingly: “Lord, you are the source of all life. Today, we take delight in you! We ask for the blessing of your abundance in our families, churches and ministries in this season. In Jesus’ name, Amen.“
Let’s close by singing, “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman (click here).
Let’s read aloud together from Ephesians 4:20-24 (NIV) and Colossians 3:12-14.
Ephesians 4:20-24 NIV 20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Colossians 3:12-14 NIV 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Pray this prayer aloud: “Father, thank you that my old self has been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Today, I put on the new self, created to be like Jesus in every facet of my life, to be changed and renewed by the Spirit who empowers me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.“
Let’s close by singing, “Jesus Is Alive” by Sinach (click here).
Joshua 24:13-14, 15b NIV 13 So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.’ 14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 …But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
“The question at hand: What does it mean to fear the Lord now, in this moment, after the many seasons in our lives, and in our context? We cannot rely on the ways we feared the Lord in seasons of the past. We need something ‘now’ in our hearts that expresses our worship and service to God.”
“Another way of translating ‘now’ is ‘this day,’ which leads us to a daily choice. What does it mean to fear and serve the Lord in this season? This was the same question for Israel – they couldn’t act like they were slaves any longer, they couldn’t act like they were still wandering in the desert. They couldn’t act like they were on the other side of the Red Sea still. They were called to fear and serve the Lord in this moment.” – [paraphrased from P. Nate’s message.]
Let’s pray together, “Father, I come before you again this day, bringing you my life as a living sacrifice. In Jesus’ name. Amen. “
Let’s close by singing, “The Lord Our God” by Passion (click here).
Joshua 24:2-3 NIV 2 Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods. 3 But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants…
“Indeed, to read verses 2-13 is to be overwhelmed by statements of God’s action on Israel’s behalf: ‘I took,’ ‘I gave,’ ‘I sent,’ ‘I brought out,’ ‘I handed over,’ ‘I rescued,’ ‘I gave.’ This emphasis on the Lord’s initiative in forming Israel provides the foundation for the larger argument that it would be foolish to worship other gods, since this God is completely responsible for Israel’s existence. Verses 2-13 provide a powerful prelude to the charge that follows, ‘[C]hoose this day whom you will serve’ (v. 15).” – Jerome F. D. Creach (Joshua: Interpretation Commentary)
God’s retelling of Israel’s (and our own!) history in Joshua 24:2 begins, “Long ago…” As Ephesians 1:4 puts it in wonderfully familiar terms to us, “before the creation of the world.” Today, we can respond in worship, obedience and praise to God who has rescued us out of darkness, into the kingdom of the Son he loves (Col. 1:12-14)!
Let’s give thanks in prayer today by praying, “Father, thank you for including me in your family from before the creation of the world! In Jesus’ name, Amen.“
Let’s close by singing, “Forevermore” by Jesus Culture (click here).