Awaken, Day 21

Awaken, Day 21

Read: Ephesians 5:1-2 - “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

For the past twenty days, we have pursued God’s presence daily and together. We have seen God speak to us through Scripture and devotionals and challenge us through our Gather Times as a church family. As we conclude this intentional time devoted to pursuing God’s presence, the question becomes this:

What's next?

As Jesus followers, where do we go from here? In Ephesians 5, Paul gives some powerful instructions to help us understand how we can channel our passion into practical steps as we continue on in 2018. He says very simply:  pursue His presence daily. His instructions are not confusing or extensive. He simply directs us back to our love relationship with God. That relationship is to be our focus, our highest passion and ultimate pursuit. The goal of the Christian life is a relational pursuit of knowing Jesus Christ. 

As we pursue Him, He will lead us to a deeper level of abiding in Him, a greater love for connecting in community with other believers, and a white-hot passion to share in the mission!

We believe that you grow any relationship by investing time in that relationship. We’ve defined four strategic ways that you can spend your time to grow as a Jesus Follower. Today, as you process “What's Next?,” consider the following evaluation questions in light of these four strategic ways: 

GOD TIME | Are you spending time daily alone in fellowship with God?

GATHER TIME | Are you spending time weekly gathering in worship with your church?

GROUP TIME | Are you spending time consistently in community with a small group from your church? 

GO TIME | Are you spending time annually going on mission cross-culturally?

Take some time to evaluate. Take some time to pray. Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Awaken, Day 20

Awaken, Day 20

Read: Jeremiah 29:12-13 - “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Reflect:

All people are seeking something. Some seek money, some seek power and fame, and others seek peace and contentment. However, seeking in the context of these verses is not simply looking for something, but for Someone. Our strength as a church family is built upon the foundation of our desperate pursuit of His presence daily and a desperate pursuit of His presence together.

As we near the end of Awaken, let us continue to cry out to God to move in power on behalf of our church so that we can be a blessing to our neighbors and the nations. When God moves in power, it never stays within the four walls of a church. It has ripple effects in the community, city, country, and every continent on the planet. 

Prayer for the day:

Lord, give me a passion to know You and send me out into the world to share the Good News of Jesus.        

Awaken, Day 19

Awaken, Day 19

Read: Exodus 3:4 - “When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’"

Reflect:

How many times have we heard it said here at Hope, "Success is not measured by our seating capacity; it is measured by our sending capacity"? The Bible is clear in the fact that "many are called, but few come." The Lord has a great plan, and that plan involves you! There is something that God has for all of us to be involved in service in the Kingdom. When Moses heard God calling him, his response was innocent yet perfect: "Here I am!" A prerequisite to obeying the Lord is HEARING the Lord. You cannot obey if you do not hear. Few people go because few people hear. People who have known others for several years have no trouble recognizing a person's voice if they have talked to them daily. But if you do not talk to a person frequently, it is sometimes difficult to readily recognize even a voice that at one point was very familiar.

Do you know the voice of God as He speaks to you in His Word? The voice probably will not be audible, but it will be unmistakable. And when He speaks, our only response is obedience! As we have navigated through AWAKEN, how has God been speaking to you? Is your “yes” on the table?

Prayer for the day:

Lord, I surrender my life to You so that You can use me however You desire. Speak to me, and I will do my very best to listen and obey. 

Awaken, Day 18

Awaken, Day 18

Read: Philippians 2:9-11 - “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Reflect:

We understand from this passage that Jesus is LORD! He is preeminent about everything and everyone. There is no one like Jesus! He is the Savior, but He is also the LORD. Paul writes here that God highly exalted Him and gave Him a Name that outranks every other name. Because of that Name, every knee will (not "might") bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is LORD! And He is! Our prayer is not only that we recognize Him as LORD, but also that people in Las Vegas, the West, and the world would as well.

Unfortunately, there are people who have heard the Gospel who have not believed. Even more unfortunate is the fact that not everyone has been given the opportunity to reject the Gospel because they have never heard. 

However, great spiritual awakenings of the past have always resulted in many people realizing the Jesus is LORD! As we navigate together through this intentional season of pursuing His presence daily and together, may we be reminded that He wants to use us to show others who He is and what He’s done. Who in your life today needs to know the LORD Jesus?


Prayer for the day:

Lord, thank You for saving me! But I understand that You saved me because You love me and the people around me. Show me who I can have an intentional Gospel conversation with about You. 

Awaken, Day 17

Awaken, Day 17

Read: Acts 2:44-47 - “And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”  

Reflect:

Becoming a Jesus follower will cost a person something. When the believers in Jerusalem began following Jesus and His teachings, they were persecuted. Upon committing themselves to Christianity, their need for each other grew exponentially for encouragement, support, and even some physical needs of life. Luke wrote here in Acts 2 that "they had all things in common," and they "were sharing with anyone who might have need." In other words, they took care of each other as needs would arise. Ironically, the effect reached farther than was expected. Their love and care for each other resulted in having favor with all the people, and the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.  

You may be thinking, “That is crazy!” Apart from Christ, you’re right. But as Jesus followers pursue God’s presence together in community, God moves in the hearts of His people in incredible ways to meet needs within the body of Christ and to expand His Kingdom locally and globally. So the question becomes this: are you connected in biblical community with other Jesus followers? 

Prayer for the day:

Lord, use me to bless others as we pursue You together in community. Keep my eyes open to what You’re doing around me so that I can get involved in what You are doing. Thank you, Father, for this gracious invitation.