Day 5: Living hope

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

Romans 8:10-11 NLT
And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
Amen.
(The Apostles’ Creed)

God, grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection… Stir up in your Church that Spirit of adoption… that we, being renewed both in body and mind, may worship you in sincerity and truth. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. [In Jesus’ name.] Amen.
(The Book of Common Prayer: The Liturgy of Easter Vigil)

Let’s sing along with “Living Hope” by Phil Wickham (click here).

̶ CHH

 

 

 

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Day 4: Spirit-breath

Genesis 1:2 NIV
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

John 20:22 NIV
And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 8:11 NIV
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Just as the triune God was fully involved in the original creation, so the triune God is fully involved in re-creation. The Father sent Christ and Christ sends us with the Holy Spirit over this world. This language of breathing and the Spirit is where we get the word inspiration (in + breath/Spirit = in the Spirit). Just as we need to breathe to live, so this Spirit-breath or Spirit-inspiration is how we live as Christians… There is a complete reversal and re-creation happening. In overcoming the final result of sin that is death, Christ thus overcame sin through his resurrection, and that’s why we are to overcome sin through the Spirit who gives life. We have the Spirit and the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead to produce in us what is of Christ. We live out of his victory in every way now through the Spirit in us. (from P. Jason Han’s message)

Let’s worship to the song “Divine Exchange” by Charity Gayle as we reflect, pray and rejoice in Christ for the new things he has spoken into us during the past weekend (click here).

̶ CHH

 

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Day 3: New creation

John 20:19-20 NIV
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

“It is no wonder that the earliest Christians were convinced that this day, Sunday, the first day of the week, was the most appropriate day for the gathering of the church. Not only was it the day of the resurrected Lord, the day creation itself was reclaimed by God, but according to this pericope it was also the day the ‘church’ met for the first time.” (E.W. Klink, John, ZECNT)

The language here is significant because the writer of John was making an important connection to what God has brought about. Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 both start with the words, “In the beginning…” And here, this highlighting of the “first day” marks a new beginning or a new genesis. It is the origin of the church – God’s people and his family. God has ushered in a new creation. Jesus’ resurrection is what all Christians testify to, and it’s the reason we gather together. The proof of Jesus’ resurrection is the empty tomb, but it’s also people being made alive to God within the church. We don’t have a dead faith but one that is alive because Jesus is with us! (from P. Jason Han’s message)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the evidence of your resurrection and re-creation in and through our churches. May there be great joy overflowing as we gather throughout this week to worship and pray as your people and family. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing with thanksgiving and hope over our churches, especially the new verse that talks about the “we/us” in “How Great Thou Art (Until That Day)” by Matt Redman (click here).

̶ CHH

 

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Day 2: Super-victors

Romans 8:31-32, 35, 37-39 NIV
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?… Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This “more than conquerors” could actually be translated as “we super-conquer” or how we are “victorious to the max.” In other translations, it reads, “we conquer overwhelmingly” or “we win a sweeping victory.” The Apostle Paul is not saying that God will keep us immune from life’s difficulties; rather, because Christ has so fully loved us, we know God is with us and for us even in the midst of real troubles as we follow Jesus.

Prayer: God, we confess your truth with resurrection faith that nothing can separate us from your love. We are no longer the same or defeated by sin because of your victory. Thank you that you have overcome and have called us to overcome in you. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Let’s worship to the song “The Anthem” by Planetshakers and pray for those God has put on our hearts in our churches through this hallelujah refrain (click here).

̶ CHH

 

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Day 1: He lives in me

Romans 8:9a NIV
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.

Galatians 2:19-20a NIV
For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.

“In each of these passages, Paul is talking of the remarkable phenomenon at the heart of Christian experience: a new life, a new energy, bubbling up inside us, leading us to praise, urging us to prayer, warning us against complacency or sin, nudging us to acts of love and gentleness, providing fresh glimpses of previously unimagined wisdom and illumination, leading us to places and tasks that might seem crazy but that might just be our true vocation… I used to pray that old chorus:

Cleanse me from my sin, Lord;
put your power within, Lord;
take me as I am, Lord,
and make me all your own.
Keep me day by day, Lord,
walking in your way, Lord;
make my heart your palace
and your royal throne.”
(N.T. Wright, Into the Heart of Romans)

Prayer: God, thank you for the new resurrection life you have brought us into by the Sprit. May we be energized and renewed by the Spirit who lives in us to pray for the places, tasks, and steps to take by your leading. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s sing and pray along to “He Lives In Me” by Sinach – asking the Lord to keep us today and to walk in his ways (click here).

̶ CHH

 

 

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