Day Four: Jesus Lives in Me is Life in the Spirit

Let’s read aloud the following passages and prayer together.

Romans 8:9-11 NIV
9 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. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 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.

Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Prayer: Lord, thank you! We are in the realm of the Spirit! Fill us with the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead! Fill us with life and love! We worship you! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship with “Strong in Us” by Brian Johnson, et al. (click here).

– CH

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Day Three: Jesus Lives in Me to Heal and Renew

John 14:18 NIV
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

John 4:25-26 NIV
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

Colossians 1:27
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Are you worn out trying to manage your outer life to compensate for the troubles and disorder in your inner life? Our hope is “Jesus lives in me” – Christ in you, the hope of glory! Our living hope, Jesus, seeks you today. Let’s turn to Jesus for his love to break through all that has tried to hinder and imprison us with guilt, shame and pride. We receive the healing and renewal we need as we surrender and confess in the Spirit and in truth all the “no’s” we have had in our hearts before God. The love of Jesus pours out the freedom of life in the Spirit of our Savior who dwells in us!

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are with me. I turn and confess all the “no’s” in my heart toward you. I surrender my heart and ask for the healing and renewal of your love to overwhelm me with your freedom through the power of your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship with “My Heart is Overwhelmed” by Dylan Thomas (click here).

– CH

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Day Two – Jesus Lives in Me to Dwell

John 14:23 NIV
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

This is Jesus’ promise to us. Once Jesus lives (indwells) in us, salvation life is now about Jesus dwelling in our hearts in increasing measure, taking over, making his home in us. It’s about experiencing the nearness of Jesus and all that he wants to do in us and through us to make us more like him.

“The verb that Paul uses refers to a permanent indwelling or residence of Christ in the heart. He means that we should welcome Christ into every aspect of our lives, so that there is no known area of our lives that we would be uncomfortable having Christ share it with us. Perhaps no one has put it better than Robert Munger, in his little booklet, ‘My Heart, Christ’s Home’ [IVP]. He tells of how after Christ entered his heart, in the joy of that newfound relationship, he said, ‘Lord, I want this heart of mine to be yours. I want to have you settle down here and be perfectly at home. Everything I have belongs to you.'” [Making Christ at Home in Your Heart, Bible.Org Series: Ephesians, Steven J. Cole, 2007]

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your promise. I want my heart to be yours. Please come and make your home in me, in our church, and make us more like you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship with the song “More Like Jesus” by Kristian Stanfill, et al. (click here).

– CH

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Day One: Jesus Lives in Me

John 3:5-6 NIV
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

John 14:16-17 NIV
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth…you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

Galatians 2:20a NIV
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.

At the heart of our salvation is promise. God wants us to truly know that he treasures us and wants to fill us with his presence to empower us to love and walk in his ways. We may fail again and again to love the Lord with all our being, but God fulfilled his promise. God keeps his word. When we trust Jesus for salvation and confess Jesus is Lord, we are born again by the Spirit of God! Because Jesus, our Savior lives in us through his Spirit, we can experience the blessings of this miraculous salvation life every day!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your great salvation! Help me to experience your blessings even more. May all my praise and devotion be yours forever. Let my life now become your throne. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship with the song “Unbroken Praise” by Matt Redman (click here).

– CH

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Day Five: Yes and Amen.

Let’s read aloud the following verses and prayer together.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 
-Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)

Exult in his holy name;
rejoice, you who worship the LORD.
Search for the LORD and for his strength;
continually seek him.
Remember the wonders he has performed,
his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
-Psalm 105:3-5 (NLT)

As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.
-2 Corinthians 1:18-22 (NLT)

Prayer: Lord, we respond to your faithful love in worship, by depending upon your strength, and by continually seeking you. We thank you that you have written our stories, and that all your promises are yes and amen. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s worship to the song “Because He Lives” by Matt Maher (click here).

-GK

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Day Four: Gospel Lenses

Psalm 105 (NIV)
16 He called down famine on the land
and destroyed all their supplies of food;
17 and he sent a man before them—
Joseph, sold as a slave.
18 They bruised his feet with shackles,
his neck was put in irons,
19 till what he foretold came to pass,
till the word of the Lord proved him true.

What Psalm 105 does is to correctly interpret everything that Joseph goes through, and that is not through the lens of his personal life struggles, but through the lens of God’s covenantal promise. That everything that occurred in Israel, Egypt, and in Joseph’s life was for the sake of God’s covenantal promise. Verse 17 clearly states that it is the Lord who sent Joseph, for his life was fully incorporated into God’s covenant promise and fulfillment.

For us today, how do you interpret your past and your present—especially the difficult experiences of life? To know that Jesus writes our story, is to see all of our life’s occurrences as part of God’s story being written. In other words, the painful experiences are no longer ours to own and live with. They now belong to Jesus, where in those very places of the dungeon, we will see God’s salvation, healing, and rescue.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we ask for new lenses through which to see our lives—the lenses that bring clarity of the gospel. May you have your way with us today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s worship to the song “I Belong To You” by Jesus Culture (click here).

– GK

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Day Three: Covenant Forever

Psalm 105 (NIV)
8 He remembers his covenant forever,

    the promise he made, for a thousand generations,

9 the covenant he made with Abraham,

    the oath he swore to Isaac.

10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,

    to Israel as an everlasting covenant:

11 “To you I will give the land of Canaan
 
   as the portion you will inherit.”

The passage above shows how once God makes a promise (a covenant), the Lord keeps it. He remembers his covenant forever! For the Israelites, everything that they went through is marked by God’s faithfulness in keeping his promise. This means that the Lord is committed to seeing each of us become the children of God in our experience, in our healing, in our character, as we grow as his children, disciples, and part of his church.

Some of the struggles of identity are due to wrongly striving to live our own scripts and stories. Perhaps the reason for the lingering of the old patterns and unresolved issues is that we have our own plans and our own stories apart from God. The encouragement today is to hold onto God’s truth that his covenant promise is forever. You will see the goodness of God working in your life, as you live out the story that Jesus has written for you. Today, let’s surrender our old stories of sin and death to Jesus, and may we live out Jesus’ story in greater joy and surrender.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, in repentance we turn away from our own stories. We ask that you set us free from our past and the sinful tendency of wanting stories apart from you. Fill us with your joy of salvation. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship with the song “Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher (click here).

-GK

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Day Two: Our stories begin with Christ.

Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT)
“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.”

As the people of God, we are given whole new stories to live—in how we are to see and understand our past, our present and our future. No longer based upon our own personal stories, but based upon the story of God’s salvation. According to God’s word today, our stories were written even before he made the world. Our stories begin with God’s own love for us—chosen by God to be adopted and belong to the family of God.

Therefore, in Christ we are taken up and incorporated into the story of God. Hence, our daily living is about witnessing the unfolding of God’s work of salvation in every area, with the goal of becoming holy and blameless in his sight. This occurs as our character is tested, proven and transformed to be his children, where our identities as the children of God become forged by God’s very presence and power.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you that our stories begin with you, and continue with you. We ask that our identities as the children of God become forged even more, as we receive your presence and power to live. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

-GK

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Day One: From Promise to Fulfillment

Psalm 105 (NLT)
1 Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.
2 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
    Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
3 Exult in his holy name;
    rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
4 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
    continually seek him.

This was the whole life trajectory of the Israelites; to witness the Lord fulfilling his promise to them. Apart from God’s promise to make them into the people of God, the Israelites didn’t have a separate purpose of their own. When they tried, they got into idolatry, were overtaken by other nations, and were not living in the fullness of God’s blessing and joy. Hence, Israel didn’t have a separate story apart from God, as they didn’t even have a heritage of their own, except that which God gave them. Their personal history was the canvas on which the Lord painted his covenant of love. The same goes for us, for we live in the greatest story—the story that Jesus has written for us. Our stories and lives are the canvases on which the Lord paints his covenant of love—from promise to fulfillment.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you that you have written your story of salvation in our lives. May our eyes witness your faithful promise being fulfilled each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s worship to the song “Blessed Assurance” by Vertical Worship (click here).

-GK

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Day Five – Looking only at Jesus

Hebrews 12:1b-2a
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 

“The point is to keep your eyes fixed on the finishing line and on the one who is at the center of the cloud of witnesses, waiting there to greet you himself. Jesus… pioneered the way, opened up the course and brought it to a successful completion. He made it across the finishing line, and [he is] the central motivation for us to continue in hope, faith and patience.”

(Wright, Nicholas Thomas. Hebrews for Everyone, p. 150)

2 Corinthians 3:16, 4:6
…Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
…God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

Our faith started when we turned to the Lord and saw Jesus! It didn’t come from looking at ourselves, or at the world, but from looking to Jesus. When we turned, he removed the veil, opened our eyes, opened our hearts, and gave us the gift of faith to see and believe in him, and to act upon that faith. By his Holy Spirit, we called upon him for salvation. And he answered us!

In God-given faith, we can ask for this to happen in others’ lives, while we go where he has called us.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for opening our eyes to see and place our trust in Jesus. Would you move in your love and power in the lives of those that you have given us, turning them to you. Please declare over their lives, “Let light shine out of darkness!” and cause them to see Jesus. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

– BR

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