abound in love

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.

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 (NIV1984)

PRAY

Dear God, please help us gain wisdom and insight in how to pray for others through the gift of your word. Help us to desire to love one another and “all” just as Paul prays in this passage.

WRITE

READ 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

“Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”

  • While there are several components to Paul’s prayer, what is his petition about love?
  • Paul asks that we would abound in love for who?
  • For one another & for all. I think we do not often ask for God to increase our love – for each other – or for all. Take time now to write down several groups, people, leaders (church, family, co-workers) for whom you can ask for an increase in love for both you and for them. Write a prayer

GROW

  • Take time this week to pray for these people.

Dear Father God and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to those whom you desire us to bless in your name. Please, may you increase our love for for one another so that we will abound in love for all. May we like Paul be an example of your love to the world as you establish our hearts in preparation for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ! In Jesus Name … AMEN!

Photo by Rosie Fraser on Unsplash

new year

Been thinking a lot about the new year, goals, resolutions. I could make a list of one hundred things I’d like to change, start or undo. But what God has really made clear to me is that there is one thing I have to do this year, and it doesn’t take a to-do list or set of goals. It is this…

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3

It can be a distraction to try to figure out what His plan is, or why we’re going through this or that. It is all-consuming to search for what the meaning of the events of our life mean or how to be sure this is the path we’re supposed to take. When you wear a lot of hats it is easy to be paralyzed by the sheer magnitude of attempting to figure out each role to perfection. But, what we need to realize is – none of that matters. We need to run whole-heartedly toward our Savior. Commit each day and the work within it to Him and trust Him to guide us and establish our work for His purpose.

We need to seek Him every step of the way! We need to listen for His voice, trust His purpose for us, and be confident that He is walking us toward it each day as we commit our steps to Him. We need to walk!

Praying that the Lord would direct our steps this year. That we would have hearts dedicated to Him and walk confidently knowing that His plan and purpose for our lives is being established as we commit our work to the Lord. In Jesus name… Amen

Photo by Tim Arterbury on Unsplash

alive


PRAY

Lord God, Jesus is victorious! Let us live in this truth and see His power in your word today.

WRITE

Revelation isn’t what we usually think about when we are anticipating the birth of our Savior. But, I think it is important to look at who Christ is as we prepare to see His coming as a helpless baby.

READ Revelation 1:9-18

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.'” Revelation 1:17-18

  • Can you imagine seeing a vision of the risen Savior? Here we see a description of John’s vision and Jesus’s directive. What does Jesus ask him to do?
  • In John’s awe, he falls to His knees and Jesus does what?
  • Jesus first comforts John and then declares who He is. Write down the phrases that He uses to describe Himself.
  • We see a picture of a victorious, risen, eternal Savior what is your reaction?

GROW

 Lord you are mighty. You are victorious. You are the first and the last and you are the Living One. We praise you for you have conquered death and hold the keys to our eternity. Lord as we prepare to celebrate your birth, help us to see your power and majesty wrapped in the tiny baby in a manger. Help us to see what you gave up to come to earth to be our Savior. Alleluia! In Jesus Name… Amen

with you


PRAY

Lord God, thank you that the story did not end at the cross. Help us to see a picture of our risen Savior in your word today.

WRITE

READ Matthew 28:16-20

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

  • What has God given to Jesus?
  • With that authority, Jesus gives what directive?
  • He gives a specific command about who are to be made disciples and how this is done. Write it down.
  • Then – he gives one of the most comforting passages in scripture. What does he tell us in Matthew 28:20?

GROW

  • Has this passage helped you see Jesus and your relationship with him in a new way?
  • How does that change the way you will approach life in the new year?

 Lord we are so thankful that you have equipped us with the gift of your Holy Spirit. You have given us a purpose and have not left us alone to fulfill it. Today, help us to see your plan more clearly and help us to trust you to guide us, knowing that you will indeed fulfill the purpose you have for each one of us (Psalm 138:8). In Jesus Name – Amen

Finished


PRAY

Lord God, thank you for Your finished work on the cross. Lord help us to see your purpose more clearly, and work in our hearts and minds to reveal yourself to us today.

WRITE

READ John 19:28-30

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’ 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said,’It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:28-30

  • Jesus came for a purpose – think back to our study of Jesus as the good Shepherd. (“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15). What is that purpose?
  • What does Jesus’s statement “It is finished” say to you (Read also Romans 5:6-11?

GROW

  • He died for you. Jesus died so that you may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Write a praise to God for the gift of His Son!

 Lord help us to live abundantly through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on Him the founder and perfecter of our faith. Help us to celebrate Jesus’s coming while we remember the purpose of it. Lord help us have hearts and lips full of your praises for we who were once dead have been made alive in Christ. In Jesus name….Amen

I will send


PRAY

Lord God, May we see your relationship to the world and your relationship to us. May we understand how you have equipped us, and help us to know you more completely through the gift of your Spirit, may we grow in your truth and love today.

WRITE

READ John 15:18-26

“‘And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.'” John 15:27

  • Again in this passage Jesus discussed the connection between Himself and the Father and the world. What is the distinction that he draws between those who know Christ and those who do not know Him (the world)?
  • What are the implications of this on His followers?
  • But…Jesus gives home. Who is He sending?
  • What will the Spirit do?
  • How will the Spirit enable believers?

GROW

  • It is pretty amazing to think that when we believe in Jesus, we have the Spirit of the living God dwelling in us! Knowing this, does this passage help you to see your relationship to the world any differently?
  • What does it mean to you that you have the opportunity to bear witness to Christ through the power of the Spirit within you?

 Lord equip us with your Spirit today. Help us to live according to your truth, enable us to bear witness about you. In a world that so readily rejects you, may we shine the light of Christ, especially during this Christmas Season. In Jesus name – amen….