John 15:16-17 NIV 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
John 14:12-13 NIV 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
We did not choose Jesus, he chose us to bear fruit. “Fruit of abiding in Jesus includes prayer that is answered by the Father because of obedient remaining… Love and prayer cultivate a life of being on the move in Missio Dei.” (Pastor Nate)
In 14:12-13, Jesus promises that those who remain in him by believing in him will do even “greater things.” These greater things are of greater scope, in that Jesus desires to replicate his supernatural fruit in the lives of his disciples. Just as his obedience, his love, and his joy are replicated in and through our lives, so his greater works and overcoming prayer will be done through us.
Prayer: Lord, we are humbled that you have chosen us and sent us out in your name. Today, bear the fruit of your work in our lives as we abide in you. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Let’s worship to the song, “More to Come” by Passion Music (click here).
John 15:12-15 NIV 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
“Jesus sanctifies our relationships with one another within the ‘centripetal’ remaining community. He sets these ‘one another’ relationships apart as special, part of our abiding in Jesus. This is uniquely Christian, uniquely replicating Jesus’ friendship with us, to one another through the command to love.” [Pastor Nate’s message]
The centripetal force, like the picture above, is the love of Jesus pulling us in. Because Jesus loved us first, we can love those he has placed in our campus ministries, missional groups and churches. Our communities are to be places of worship and where others can come and experience God’s love.
Prayer: Lord, fill me with your Holy Spirit, we want to do the things you do. Teach us how to love how you have loved us, so that many would come to know you Jesus. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Let’s worship to “Hosanna” by Hillsong (click here).
Let’s read aloud together the following scripture, confession and prayer:
John 15:7-8 NIV 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Confession – Manila Manifesto – 5. God the Evangelist The Scriptures declare that God himself is the chief evangelist. For the Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth, love, holiness, and power, and evangelism is impossible without him. It is he who anoints the messenger, confirms the Word, prepares the hearer, convicts the sinful, enlightens the blind, gives life to the dead, enables us to repent and believe, unites us to the body of Christ, assures us that we are God’s children, leads us into Christlike character and service, and sends us out in our turn to be Christ’s witnesses. In all this the Holy Spirit’s main preoccupation is to glorify Jesus Christ by showing him to us and forming him in us.
Let’s pray for our gatherings this week, as we proclaim Jesus’ victory over sin and death. As we abide in Jesus, may we do the work of Jesus on our campuses and in our cities.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, salvation belongs to you. In faith we believe that you can do all things for your glory. Empower us with your Spirit as we bring the good news to our friends, neighbors, and families. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Let’s Worship to “We Need a Miracle” by Charity Gayle (click here).
John 15:9-11 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Jesus invites us into a relationship with him that can be richer and fuller and deeper. It is not a one moment thing when we said yes to Jesus and just continue on with our lives. Instead, Jesus invites us to remain, participating in this life every day. Remaining in Jesus’ love requires obedience, as Dr. Michael Gorman puts it, “at the very least, ‘abide’ means maintaining an intimate, permanent, covenantal relationship with Jesus, as part of the community of disciples.”(Abide and Go, p. 98).
When we remain in Jesus, we experience the benefits and blessings of being near him. We recognize his voice, we are familiar with his ways, and we know how to come to Jesus quickly. Let’s take a moment today, to remain and abide in his love.
Prayer: Lord, we love to be near you. Fill us with your Holy Spirit; transform our lives from the inside out. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Anointing” by Jesus Culture (click here).
Let’s prayerfully read aloud the following passages:
Psalm 1:1-3 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.
John 15:1, 4 NIV 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener… 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“Blessing is a state of abiding.” When we are planted in the Lord, we will be nourished, we will grow, and we will be blessed. The tree is a familiar metaphor for the blessed life; as it flourishes, others benefit. It has good roots and bears much fruit. In the same way, as we remain and abide in Jesus and his words, we will grow to be more like him.
Prayer: Lord, we want to abide in you! Help us remain close to you as we hold on to your word, that we would become more and more like you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Let’s worship the Lord to “Abide with Me” by Matt Redman (click here).
3 John 4 NIV I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
“The minister who is sent of God has spiritual children, they are as much his children as if they had literally been born in his house, for to their immortal nature he stands under God in the relationship of sire… Why, when a preacher sees men thus walk in truth, may he make it his great joy? Because this is the end of our ministry, it is this we aim at… This is the grand thing, and when we see this achieved, we have no greater joy. This is the design of the gospel itself.” (Charles Spurgeon, “The Parent’s and Pastor’s Joy,” https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/the-parents-and-pastors-joy.)
There is so much joy for a parent to watch their child grow up and navigate through life – their first steps, learning to read, graduations, getting a job and so much more. As spiritual parents, there is incredible joy that God gives us as we commit ourselves to loving others – the joy of experiencing lives being saved, transformed, healed, and set free! Who gets to live like this?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for inviting us into this great joy of loving others and seeing lives being changed by your perfect Father’s love. There truly is no greater joy than this. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “I will see the Lord in the Land of the Living” by People and Songs (click here).
Psalm 68:5 NIV A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
Psalm 10:14b NLT The helpless put their trust in you.
You defend the orphans.
“Orphans are people who need a father to see that they are looked after, and widows are people who need a ‘champion’ or ‘defender’… The God who lives in a heavenly dwelling does not stay there all the time but acts in the world in this way.” (John Goldingay, Psalms Vol.2, 316-17.)
“As God is the father to the fatherless and defender of the widows, we too are called to be the same for our generation. There is a broken generation waiting to be mothered and fathered by you and me.” (Pastor George)
Today, let’s declare in faith, “I am a mother to this generation!” and “I am a father to this generation!” May we see others with God’s eyes and may our hearts break for the things that break his heart. Let us embrace our calling to be a mother to the motherless and a father to the fatherless.
Prayer: Father, we pray for those that you are placing on our hearts right now in our workplaces, campuses and cities – those that need to experience the motherly and fatherly love that only you can give. We pray for opportunities to love them the way you have loved us. In Jesus’ name, amen.
As we sing “Hosanna” by Hillsong, let’s make this our prayer (click here).
2 Corinthians 12:14-15a NLT 14 Now I am coming to you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you. I don’t want what you have—I want you. After all, children don’t provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children.15 I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you.
“Paul supports his affirmation that he is seeking the Corinthians’ welfare, not his own, but returning to the imagery of parenthood to describe his relationship with the church. Because he is their spiritual father, Paul is responsible to give his ‘children,’ not the other way around, even if this means pouring out his life on their behalf.” (Scott Hafemann, NIV Application Commentary: 2 Corinthians, 485.)
A parent puts the needs of their child above their own needs, no matter how inconvenient. A parent is concerned with the welfare of their child above their own well-being. Today, will you say “yes” to being the spiritual parent that pours out your life on behalf of others, just as Jesus has done for you?
Prayer: Lord, we humble our hearts before you and ask that you would mold us, shape us, transform us to become the spiritual mothers and fathers that will lay down our life for others. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship with “Spirit of God” by New Life Worship (click here).
1 Thessalonians 2:7b-8 NIV Just as a nursing mother cares for her children,8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.
“Parenthood is inconvenient, but most parents unhesitatingly take on the inconvenience because of their commitment to their children… One of the key countercultural features of Christianity today is commitment… We need a culture of commitment, and leaders must model that. The key then is leaders who will lay down their lives for the sheep. If the leaders die for the people, the people will die for the church!” (Ajith Fernando, Discipling in a Multicultural World, 30-31.)
“Spiritual parenthood involves commitment, but this commitment is the same commitment vowed to Jesus when he was accepted into our hearts. Being a spiritual mother or father is simply an outward expression of what we have already experienced through God in Christ. By virtue of being a Christian who has been and continues to experience the parental love of God, we can respond to the calling to love this generation as mothers and fathers.” (Pastor George)
Prayer: Lord, because we have been mothered and fathered by you, we can be committed to the people you have called us to love. May your Spirit enable and empower us to live as spiritual parents. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s respond to the Lord’s invitation by singing “More Like Jesus” by Passion (click here).
Let’s prayerfully read aloud the following passage and confession:
1 John 3:1 NIV See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
The Cape Town Commitment – “We Love Because God First Loved Us”
Love for God and love for neighbour constitute the first and greatest commandments on which hang all the law and the prophets… Love is the evidence that we are born again; the assurance that we know God; and the proof that God dwells within us. Love is the new commandment of Christ, who told his disciples that only as they obeyed this commandment would their mission be visible and believable. Christian love for one another is how the unseen God, who made himself visible through his incarnate Son, goes on making himself visible to the world.
Let’s spend time remembering God’s motherly and fatherly love towards us. This is where it all starts – by experiencing God’s parental love. It is in this place of love that we discover who God has created us to be. May we be filled with his lavish love afresh today!
Prayer: Father, thank you for your perfect parental love for us. May we deeply experience your love that heals us and makes us whole. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship the Lord to “Let There Be Wonder” by Matt Redman (click here).