Day Two: Only by His Grace

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

Psalm 51:3-9 (NIV)
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

1 John 1:9 (NIV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Prayer:
Lord, thank you that even seeing and realizing that we have sinned before you is only by your grace and the Spirit’s convicting work in our hearts. In confession, we acknowledge and bring before you all our wrongdoings, wrong thoughts, wrong desires, wrong motivations, and failures to live the way you have called us. May we be cleansed and transformed in Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Let’s worship the Lord in song with “Raised to Life” by Elevation Worship (click here).

– MR

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Day One: A Cry for Mercy

Psalm 51:1-2 (NIV)
 Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
 Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

“Here, a triad of terms that characterize the LORD are found: mercy, unfailing love, and great compassion. Here we get a glimpse at the Lord through the prayer window of Psalm 51. David’s prayer reveals that the Lord is merciful, compassionate, and his love never fails. This triad summarizes the LORD’s character as revealed in Exodus 34:6, and forms the hope for why forgiveness, renewal, and restoration can be sought. It is rooted in the very being of the God who loves, forgives, and has compassion for his people.” [Pastor Cory]

Let’s thank the Lord for his mercy, love, and compassion as we look at the painting “Psalm 51:1-2. A Cry For Mercy” by Mark Lawrence (click here).

Prayer: Lord, we praise you because out of your kindness and grace, you extend mercy to those who do not deserve it. Thank you that because you are merciful and compassionate, and because of your unfailing love, we have hope that we can seek you in prayer for forgiveness, renewal, and restoration. Would you have mercy on us, Lord, and cleanse us from our sin. We trust in you alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– MR

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Day Five: Intercessors

Exodus 32:11-13 (NIV)
But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. “LORD,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand…  Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel…

“Moses will stand or fall with his people. Not for him the new start of a new nation. He could probably give no explanation for his feelings. But the end of Israel would be the end of everything for Moses. His prayer is not melodramatic. On his way up the mountain he had time to reflect on God’s earlier suggestion, and his mind is made up. God may do as he wishes. But Moses’ destiny is bound up with the people he led out of Egypt. They may be fickle. They may be sinful. But they have become Moses’ people just as much as they are God’s people. He will live to lead them or die with them in the desert.” [J. White, Daring to Draw Near, 44]

“In many ways, this is what God was graciously gifting Moses… the heart of the intercessor… a truthful seeing and knowing of the ones God has called and cared for, identifying with them and for them, a life-offering love for them, and an utter dependence on God’s mercy for them.” [Pastor Tim]

Prayer: Lord, we seek your heart for your church so that we might become your intercessors for this generation. Grant us your love and truth for those you have called us to intercede for until there is breakthrough. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship with “Greatest Hallelujah” by Matt Redman (click here).

– CHH

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Day Four: Holy Love

Exodus 34:6-7 (NIV)
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

“Moses’ glimpse of God becomes an answer to the question of the ages: Who is God, and what is God like? This is a Mount Everest affirmation of who God is. It was left for Jesus to become the Incarnation of these words that persons might forever believe that what God said He was, He was.” [M. Dunnam, The Preacher’s Commentary Series – Exodus, 344]

This is the same invitation for us today in Christ. When the almighty God and Creator comes to us and begins to talk to us, through the words and truths of the bible, we find ourselves brought low as we listen to what God is saying about our sin and weakness, and it compels us to cry out for forgiveness. However, that is not all. We come to realize that God is actually opening his heart to us, sharing his concerns with us, teaching us to pray the prayers that he longs to hear and answer.

Prayer: Father, we fall down before you in worship as we come to understand your holy love in a deeper way. May we sit and listen to what you are saying to us today about our lives and your concerns. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship with “Holy” by Matt Redman (click here).

– CHH

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Day Three: Receiving Real Love

Let’s read and pray aloud the following scripture/prayer.

1John 4:9-10, 16 NIV/NLT
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins… And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.

Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV
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. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV/NLT
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 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, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. [In Jesus’ name, amen.]

Let’s sing to the Lord and pray over our churches, campuses and homes with “Be Near” by Shane Barnard (click here).

– CHH

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Day Two: Face of Christ

Exodus 33:19-20 (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. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

2Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)
For 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.

“Only the living God can shine the light of new creation; and when you look at Jesus, as Paul had, face to face, you realize that you are looking at God’s own glory. That gives you knowledge, knowledge of the innermost secrets of the universe, and God’s saving plan for it; and in that knowledge there is more than enough light to see the way through the dark world. All of that is contained in the remarkable statement in verse 6.” [N.T. Wright, Paul for Everyone: 2Corinthians]

Before Christ, not even Moses could face the holy God and live; yet, our Lord Jesus has made it possible for us to intimately know God and receive his heart (i.e., mercy and compassion) and ways (i.e., light and truth of the gospel) – both for our lives and for the lives of those around us.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the blessing/knowledge to live in this new light in Christ. May the moments we spend with you in prayer remake and shape our hearts and ways to glorify you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship with “God, You’re So Good” by Passion (click here).

– CHH

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Day One: God’s Glorious Goodness

Exodus 33:18-19b (NIV)
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
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.”

“But the glory that is his [God’s] goal is in fact a two-sided, two-stage relationship: it is, precisely, a conjunction of (a) revelatory acts on his part whereby he shows his glory to men and angels in free generosity, with (b) responsive adoration on their part whereby they give him glory out of gratitude for what they have seen and received. In this conjunction is realized the fellowship of love for which God’s rational creatures were and are made, and for which fallen human beings have now been redeemed.” [J.I. Packer, Concise Theology, 59]

“God graciously reveals his glorious goodness to the one who seeks him. Moses met with God ‘face-to-face,’ and he wanted more – to know God, to understand God, and to see God’s glory. ‘Show me your glory’ was a request rooted in the ongoing relationship with God and the longing for more of God – who are you and what are your ways? It is God who is gracious and merciful to show us his glory in a way that we can see and live.” [Pastor Tim]

Prayer: God, thank you for your glorious goodness that draws us in. Teach us your ways so we may see you more clearly and live more fully in your presence. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Let’s worship with “Open The Gates” by Vertical Worship (click here).

– CHH

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Day 5 – Building Altars

Genesis 35:7 NIV
7 There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.

“Jacob/Israel is a changed person. When he enters the Promised Land, for the first time in his life he builds an altar to God…The God of his fathers is now also Jacob’s God. Jacob then returns to Bethel, and there builds an altar to God (Gen 35:7), just as Abraham had done before him (Gen 12:8), claiming the land for the worship of the Lord. Because God intercepted him at Peniel, Jacob is a changed person.… Whereas before Peniel, ‘his entire life had been characterized by his determination to seize the promise and the blessing for himself,’ now he sees that ‘the fulfillment of the promise must be the work of God rather than the work of Jacob…God struggles with Jacob, and in the process Jacob prevails—not in the sense that he overcomes God but rather in the sense that by recognizing his dependence on God he is now able to receive the promise and the blessing of God to Abraham.’” (Greidanus, Sydney. Preaching Christ from Genesis. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Kindle.)

Prayer: Lord, because of your great love, we are changed people. May we live in the blessing you’ve called us to. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship by singing, “Yesterday, Today, And Forever” by Passion (click here).

-AW

 

 

 

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Day 4 – What’s Your Name?

Genesis 32:29-31 NIV
29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?”
Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.

“He does not wish to bring you to some extremity in which you have no choice but to cast yourself on his mercy. Yet he will if he has to. Already he may have done so… there is no limit to what he will do, no desperation he will withhold to teach you this basic lesson in prayer: You are helpless and you have no hope except in him. The ‘man’ had disappeared, and Jacob stood uncertainly, panting, gently testing his painful leg to see if he could walk. ‘I have seen God face to face.’ The words repeated themselves wonderingly through his brain, infusing new life in his exhausted body…After that things would never again be quite the same.” (White, John. Daring to Draw Near: People in Prayer. InterVarsity Press. Kindle location 309, 314.)

Prayer: Lord, instead of hiding or neglecting areas in our lives, may we know your loving care touching us as lightly or severely as needed. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing, “Songs In The Night” by Matt Redman.

 

-AW

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Day 3 – Forty Years

Genesis 32:26-28 NIV
26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

“They are words God has waited over forty years to hear. He would have preferred that Jacob recognize his helplessness and cast himself on the mercy of his God long before. He did not wish to reduce him to such an extremity, but Jacob left him little choice. And God’s response is swift in coming. Jacob had conquered by his helpless dependency. Is God wrestling with you? If so, what makes you resist? Greed? (He wants to give you of his bounty) Fear? (He alone can free you of it.) You must play it your way just this once? (You are a fool.)” (White, John. Daring to Draw Near: People in Prayer. InterVarsity Press. Kindle location 309.)

The conquering victory that occurs in Jacob’s life was no longer to dominate by deceitfulness. Instead, the victory of God’s people comes when we are conquered by our helpless dependency on God.

Prayer: God, we confess our helplessness and cast ourselves on your mercy. We surrender and utterly depend on you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing, “Battle Belongs” by Phil Wickham (click here).

-AW

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