Jeremiah 31:33-34 NIV 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord.
Having the Holy Spirit in our lives is how God writes his laws upon our minds and hearts with his own finger—deeply engraving and carving the truth of his love, of his saving grace, forgiveness and favor. This means that we are never distant from the Lord or his covenant love.
The Lord erases what was previously written upon our hearts, which caused us to respond in fearful and joyless ways. For the Israelites, their experience of slavery had written upon their hearts: Oppression, Hardship, Hopelessness. However, in Christ, God has now written the words: Freedom, Blessing, and Hope. This is the truth that is now near us, in our mouths and our hearts. This is the truth that goes deeper and they cannot be removed or erased, for they have been written by God’s own finger.
Prayer: We proclaim today that Jesus is Lord over our lives, over our circumstances, over every detail, and over every concern. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Now to live the life” by Matt Redman (click here).
John 17.24-26 NIV 24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
“Jesus’ ministry to us was to reveal the Father. It’s because of Jesus we can finally know our heavenly Father. This was Jesus’ purpose and passion on earth… to make the Father known to us. If the goal of discipleship is to become like Jesus, then as his disciples, this will become our purpose and passion as well… to make the Father known to others—through prayer, how we live our lives, what we share, create, present, offer… let it be our passion to figure out all kinds of ways to make the Father known to others.” (P. Jason)
Prayer: Lord, we ask for fresh passion to know you and to make you known. We ask for new doors of evangelism and ministry to be opened. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Fire never sleeps” from AMC’s Sunday worship. (click here).
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
“Come to me” and “learn from me” is the invitation to discipleship. Jesus gives his disciples rest. Rest can be found nowhere else. True rest is a provision of God himself. The phrase can be literally translated, “I will refresh you” or even “I will rest you”! Jesus graciously speaks to us in Matthew 11:28-30, with an invitation. Rest begins with bearing the proper burden in our lives. We are not called to have no burden (boredom), nor are we called to carry the wrong burden (weariness), nor are we to make our own direction (restlessness). We are called to the ordained work of Jesus (devotion) which leads us to true rest. (P. Nate)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we ask for the refreshing of our lives that only you can give. Today we ask for your empowering as we are engaged in the ordained work, which gives us true rest. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Peace be still” from AMC’s Sunday worship (click here).
Matthew 18:21-22 NIV 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
“Forgiveness is more like the air in your lungs. There’s only room for you to inhale the next lungful when you’ve just breathed out the previous one. If you insist on withholding it, refusing to give someone else the kiss of life they may desperately need, you won’t be able to take any more in yourself, and you will suffocate very quickly. Whatever the spiritual, moral and emotional equivalent of the lungs may be, it’s either open or closed. If it’s open, able and willing to forgive others, it will also be open to receive God’s love and forgiveness. But if it’s locked up to the one, it will be locked up to the other.
It goes back, like everything else in Matthew 18, to the picture of the child. What is it that stops us either saying ‘sorry’ or saying ‘I forgive you’? Isn’t it just that unchildishness, that I’m-too-important-to-do-that-ness, which shows that we have forgotten or never perhaps learned, that the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is the one who has been turned inside out and has become like a little child?” (NT Wright, Matthew for Everyone)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for the breath of life and forgiveness that we breathe. Fill our lungs today with total forgiveness—that which we receive and give. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “This is the air I breathe” by Hillsong (click here).
Let’s read aloud together the following Scripture, confession, and prayer:
Psalm 119:97-104 NIV 97Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. 98 Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. 99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. 100 I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. 101 I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. 102 I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. 103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.
Q. What do you believe when you say: I believe in God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?
A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and all that is in them, and who still upholds and governs them by His eternal counsel and providence, is, for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father. In Him I trust so completely as to have no doubt that He will provide me with all things necessary for body and soul, and will also turn to my good whatever adversity He sends me in this life of sorrow. He is able to do so as almighty God, and willing also as a faithful Father.
Prayer: Lord, your words are sweeter than honey to our mouths. We pray for greater transformation of our minds and hearts as we pray and meditate upon your word this week. In Jesus’ name. Amen.