Father God we thank you that your Spirit is in us. Thank you that when we become a new creation that you put your Spirit in us and begin to guide and use us. Lord open our eyes to the reality of who you say we are, and work in our hearts to change us into who you see us to be…
READ 2 Corinthians 3:1-3
“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our[a] hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:3
As Paul writes to the Corinthian church, what does he call them?
Who was the letter from?
Who was the letter to?
Who was used to write the letter?
On what was the letter written?
What story of transformation has the Spirit written on your heart?
How can you be a letter from Christ today?
Dear Father God, you have put your Spirit in our hearts for a purpose. Yes – to reconcile us to you and to seal us for eternity – but also so that we can be your letter to the world. A letter from Christ and written by you. Lord work in our lives today so that we can be a witness to your love for us and for the world. May you use us as you used Paul to encourage others and to show them a picture of who you are. May we be open to your guiding today and every day so that our lives will be a living sacrifice and evidence of your glory. In Jesus name…amen!
Father God, in this new year may the love of Christ control us. Lord, help us to see ourselves as you see us, and help us to live & love as the new creations that we are.
READ 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Why does Paul conclude that the love of Christ controls him?
The next statement we see is a “therefore” – because we know that the love of Christ controls us & because Christ is no longer regarded in the flesh – we now know what fact about ourselves as Christians (v. 17)?
What happened to the old?
What has come?
What did God complete through Christ?
God has reconciled us through Christ – what does that mean (v. 19)?
What does this make us – what has God entrusted to us?
For our sake… (finish this sentence using verse 21)
When God looks at you what does He see?
Write about what it means to become the righteousness of God…
This is the time of year that we often spend time making resolutions, setting goals and dedicating ourselves to living a better life. But the reality is – when we become Christians we already have a new life. Let’s set out this year to embrace who Christ has already made us to be. Let us live in His sufficiency seeking His will and His purpose for ourselves. Let’s start to look at who the Bible tells us that is!
Dear Father God, help us to realize who we are in Christ. Help us to see ourselves the way that you see us, and help us to make ourselves available so that you can continue transform us knowing that you who have begun a good work in us will see it though to completion.
Dear God, help us to open our eyes to the truth of your word and see only Christ!
READ 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
What does this passage tell us about the word of the cross (v.18)?
What does verse 21 tell us about how we know God and are saved (see also Ephesians 2:8-9)?
How does that present a problem to the world (v. 22)?
What does Paul preach (v.23).
And Christ is… (v.24)?
It is easy to think that we need to have the perfect words, or know the Bible front to back in order to share about Jesus. But here, Paul breaks it down. They are not going to be convinced by wisdom or signs – it is only about Christ and Christ crucified. He IS the power and wisdom. Pray about with whom God would like you to the share the folly of the cross.
Dear Father God, we praise your for the mighty day on Calvary when Jesus took on our sin. Where he was crucified for our sake. Where he willingly gave up is life to save the lost. That he rose again and sits with you in heaven as our advocate. Thank you that you have revealed yourself to us. That by grace we have been saved through faith. Lord, may we have hearts to see the lost. May we have eyes to see those with whom you would like us to share the story of Christ – knowing that it is he who is power and wisdom. May you open the eyes of many to the truth of Christ. In Jesus name… Amen
Dear God, you have given us a mission – to make disciples of all nations – help us to daily remember our brothers and sisters who have been sent afar. Help us to remember that no matter where we are that we, too, have been sent…
READ 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2
“Finally, brothers pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.”
What 2 things does Paul ask the Thessalonians to pray for?
Think about what it means for the word of God to speed ahead (see also Acts 2:42-47, Hebrews 4:12, Isaiah 55:11)
Think of specific missionaries or persecuted brothers and sisters that you know. Pray for them now…
Dear Father God, we thank you that you have sent each one of us on a mission for you. Lord may your word speed ahead as we seek ways to shine your light and love in this dark world. We pray especially for people who are currently spreading your word in hostile places. We ask Lord that your word would go out and as you have promised accomplish the purpose for which is was sent. Lord, soften hearts and open eyes to your love that when your word is shared many would be added to the number of your followers. Father, we also pray for their protection that they would be delivered from wicked and evil men – and that their eyes too would be opened to your love for them. In Jesus name. Amen
Dear God, Lord may we learn to love the way that you love, and by this may we grow to know you more.
READ Philippians 1:9-11
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11 NIV
What is Paul’s prayer for the Philippians?
As their (and our ) love abounds more and more in knowledge and insight what is the result?
As their (and our) discernment increases what is the result?
As they (and we) grow in Christ and the fruit of righteousness grows in us what is the result?
This is one of my favorite scriptures to pray for people and for myself. Take time now to pray this for yourself and for people that God has put on your heart.
Dear Father God, increase the love in our hearts that it may overflow from us. May that love grow in what we understand and see about others and about the world. May what we speak be wrapped in that knowledge and reveal your love to the world. Help our discernment to increase so that we may make right choices that reflect your love & character, and continue to conform us into the image of your Son. Help us to abide in Christ knowing that only when we abide in Him can we bear fruit, and Lord may the fruit that comes from that relationship with Christ be evident in us and bring you much glory and praise. In Jesus Name… Amen!
As we start this new year, God has put it on my heart to pray scripture in the coming days. There will be a slight change to my format, but I hope you will join me in raising our voices in prayer.
Dear God, may we tune our hearts to you each and every step of each and every day.
READ Proverbs 3:1-12“
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:1-3
Take time to go through this Proverb and write down each command that we are given.
Go back through and write the result of each command.
Try to focus this week on taking everything to the Lord – trusting not in your own ways but His!
Dear Father God, we come before you humbled that you see and hear us. Thank you Lord that you promise that when we come before you that we can trust that you will guide our way. It is not that our way will be easy, or perfect or what we would choose, but that you promise that your steadfast love and faithfulness will be with us. Lord help us to bind them around our neck and write them on our heart – trusting you to make our path straight. In Jesus name… Amen