Day Five: Listen Like Mary

Luke 10:38-39, 42
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said… “but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

“To sit at someone’s feet meant, quite simply, to be their student. And to sit at the feet of a rabbi was what you did if you wanted to be a rabbi yourself. There is no thought here of learning for learning’s sake. Mary has quietly taken her place as a would-be teacher and preacher of the kingdom of God. Jesus affirms her right to do so.” [NT Wright, Luke for Everyone (New Testament for Everyone), 131]

According to Jesus, listening is a choice. And to listen to Jesus is to live as a student of Jesus. To listen to Jesus is to live as a disciple of Jesus. Jesus will never turn away the one who wants to listen. Even though Mary was committing so many cultural taboos, sitting among the men, Jesus received her. Likewise, Jesus will not turn us away if we desire to sit at his feet and listen. How essential the act of listening is to our calling to make disciples, for we can’t preach what we haven’t heard from Jesus himself. We must be so familiar with the voice of Jesus by drawing near and listening.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, help us to move away from the distractions of life and find a seat at the feet of Jesus. May we encounter you in the intimate moments of listening, and share what you say to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “Over My Head” by Bethel (click here).

– ES

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Day Four: The Listening Look

Acts 14:8-10
In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

In this event, there was a man who was listening to Paul as he was speaking. When Paul looked directly at him, there was something about the way this lame man was listening that exuded faith. It gave Paul the confidence to jumpstart the lame man’s healing process with a verbal instruction. How we listen matters. How we look as we listen matters. May we seize every opportunity for an encounter with God and healing by showing that we’re listening with faith.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, in every opportunity of hearing your word preached, help me listen with great faith. I believe that anything can change in a moment with your power. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “Won’t Stop Now” by Elevation (click here).

– ES

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Day Three: Beyond the Soundwaves

Luke 8:8 (NIV)
“Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

“Look out of the window at the people walking by. What sort of soil is the seed being sown in today? What can we do to plough up the rough ground, to remove the stones, to weed out the thorns? What can we do to sow the word more successfully? The answers will vary from place to place and time to time. But perhaps the first and most important answer is to ask ourselves how much mature growth, how much fruit, the word is producing in our own lives. If we have ears, we must learn to hear.” [NT Wright, Luke for Everyone (New Testament for Everyone), 95-96]

Not all listening is created equal. Just because we have ears, doesn’t mean we hear well. Every time Jesus speaks, his words carry the very power of life and light itself. The problem is not with the words that proceed from God’s mouth, but the manner in which the words are received by the listener. May we learn to encounter God by listening to Jesus well. In doing so, it will yield a crop to the glory of God.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, I thank you for your words of life that come to me every day through Scripture, through your Spirit, and through others. Help me to truly hear and receive all that you say to me that I may live and be fruitful. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “Fire Fall” by Planetshakers (click here).

– ES

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Day Two: Aftershocks of Pentecost

Acts 10:44
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.

“Cornelius and his household don’t even have a chance to say, ‘We believe.’ The spirit comes upon them and they speak with tongues, just as the apostles did on the day of Pentecost.” [NT Wright, Acts for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-12, 170]

In Acts 10, the pouring out of the Spirit upon Cornelius and his household caught Peter by surprise. This wasn’t even supposed to happen according to his theology at that time. What we learn is that God is not done pouring out his Spirit at Acts 2. It continued into Acts 10 and it continues all around the world today. We are living in an age where the Spirit can be powerfully poured out upon any gathering where God’s message is proclaimed. Let’s anticipate this as we speak to others, and let’s anticipate this as we listen.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, as an agent of your good news, let me see your Spirit poured out as I share it with others. And as I listen to your message preached to me, may I receive a fresh and powerful filling of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “Spirit of God” by New Life Worship (click here).

— ES

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Day One: Call Close

Let’s read aloud together the following passage, creed, and prayer:

Psalm 84:1-4
How lovely is your dwelling place,
    LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
    LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
    they are ever praising you.

The Manila Manifesto
We rejoice that the living God did not abandon us to our lostness and despair. In his love he came after us in Jesus Christ to rescue and remake us. So the good news focuses on the historic person of Jesus, who came proclaiming the kingdom of God and living a life of humble service, who died for us, becoming sin and a curse in our place, and whom God vindicated by raising him from the dead. To those who repent and believe in Christ, God grants a share in the new creation. He gives us new life, which includes the forgiveness of our sins and the indwelling, transforming power of his Spirit. He welcomes us into his new community, which consists of people of all races, nations, and cultures. And he promises that one day we will enter his new world, in which evil will be abolished, nature will be redeemed, and God will reign for ever.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for saving us and calling us near. We have found the utmost delight being in your presence. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “Wellspring” by Leeland (click here).

— ES

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Day Five: “You [all] will see…”

Genesis 28:12, 19 (NIV)
12 [Jacob] had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.

John 1:51 (NIV)
51 [Jesus] then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”

“It is fitting that after all the questions, testimonies, and confessions regarding Jesus’s messiahship from others, Jesus for the first time speaks about himself. Jesus’s statement breaks all messianic categories and expands the horizon regarding what Jesus’s disciples are invited to ‘come and see.’ Although contextually the statement is a final response to Nathanael, the statement itself is plural: ‘You (plural) will see.’ Thus, this authoritative statement is an address to all the disciples, both in the early ministry of Jesus and in the history of the church.

Jacob’s vision of God in Genesis 28 is realized by the disciples, by the church. Jacob saw a vision; the disciples saw the Word-become-flesh. The dwelling place of God is fully realized in ‘the Son of Man.’ A person, not a place, is Bethel, the ‘house of God.'” (Edward Klink III, John, ECNT)

Prayer: Father, how blessed we are. Jesus, you are the Word-become-flesh dwelling place of God, and we worship you. May we stay, follow, and remain with you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song, “House of the Lord” by Phil Wickham (click here).

– AK

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Day Four: God’s Overture

John 1:48, 50 (NIV)
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.”

“Finally, John is aware that the process of discipleship and conversion are not matters left in human hands. Nathanael must ‘come and see,’ but Jesus has ‘seen’ him already. ‘I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you’ (1:48). These are remarkable words that point to Jesus’ supernatural knowledge, but also to God’s sovereign awareness of those who will accept the light. God sees us before we see him. God will ‘come and see’ before we ever think about discipleship. God makes his overture before we consider making our own.” (Gary Burge, John, NIVAC)

God wants to show us greater things, but though Jesus was able to see Nathanael a long way off, Nathanael had to come near to Jesus to encounter him. Nathanael had to go home to Cana with Jesus, described in John 2, to the wedding feast and to see Jesus change water into wine. There is an immediate start to the fulfillment of the promise that Nathanael would see greater things.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we respond to your overture, your invitation for us to follow you. May we see the greater things you have promised. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “Living With a Fire” by Jesus Culture (click here).

– AK

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Day Three: “What do you want?”

John 1:38-39 (NIV)
38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

“Jesus turns and asks, ‘What do you want?’ (literally ‘What are you seeking?’). Again there is far more meaning than appears on the surface… and it always demands a thoughtful response regarding the deep desires that drive the individual. In a real sense he is demanding, ‘What do you really want out of life?’

Their response, ‘Rabbi, where are you staying?’ seems evasive at first glance. On the earthly level, they seem to say only ‘Where are you lodging?’ But the term menō (‘staying’) is a major concept in John and implies a desire to ‘dwell’ or ‘remain’… At the deeper level, they are expressing a desire to follow Jesus and ‘remain’ with him.

Jesus’ response in 1:39a, ‘Come and you will see,’ is then an invitation to salvation. Philip uses these exact words in 1:46 to invite Nathanael to become a follower of Jesus. Both terms are used in John to depict a faith-decision… The clear implication is that these two followers of John had been searching for what Jesus was now offering them.” (Grant Osborne, John: Verse by Verse)

Prayer: God, we want you. And in all the areas of our lives where that is less true, overcome us in those places with your great love and great power. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song, “Mighty to Save” by Hillsong (click here).

– AK

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Day Two: Jesus Passing By

John 1:35-37 (NIV)
35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.

The biblical understanding of the wording ‘passing by’ is not a casual walking in front of you, but it is the language of God’s holy presence coming to engage and encounter people for a very significant moment of salvation—not only for the individual, but also for the nations.

Exodus 33:19 (NIV)  
And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. 

Moses encounters God and receives God’s promise of salvation to the nations.

1 Kings 19:11 (NIV) 
The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”

Elijah, when he was deeply discouraged, encounters God and he is assured of God’s faithfulness and plans.

It is in that same understanding with which we are to view today’s passage, that these two disciples are about to have a very significant encounter with Jesus, that will not only bring them to salvation, but will also be used for God’s salvation to the nations. (P. Gus)

Prayer: Father, pass by us; we need encounter again. Lead us into the fuller expression and revelation of the salvation we have received. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song, “Let There Be Wonder” by Matt Redman (click here).

– AK

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Day One: Come, See

Let’s read aloud together the following confession, passage and prayer:

The Manila Manifesto
Our first responsibility is to witness to those who are already our friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues. Home evangelism is also natural, both for married and single people. Not only should a Christian home commend God’s standards of marriage, sex, and family, and provide a haven of love and peace to people who are hurting, but neighbours who would not enter a church usually feel comfortable in a home, even when the gospel is discussed.

Another context for lay witness is the workplace, for it is here most Christians spend half their waking hours, and work is a divine calling. Christians can commend Christ by word of mouth, by their consistent industry, honesty and thoughtfulness, by their concern for justice in the workplace, and especially if others can see from the quality of their daily work that it is done to the glory of God.

For true evangelism comes from the overflow of a heart in love with Christ. That is why it belongs to all his people without exception.

John 4:29, 42
29“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Prayer: Father, may our hearts and mouths overflow to share with others your invitation to “come and see.” In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship to the song, “Come and See” by Matt Redman (click here).

– AK

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail