Week 1 Prepare My Heart for Spiritual Refreshing

Week 1  Day 1             

Prepare My Heart for Spiritual Refreshing

I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.”  David, Ps 17

One of our greatest aims as believers in Christ is to be found in His likeness.  That is what being His disciple is all about; the student becoming like the master.  That was Jesus’ intention when He said to Peter and others, “Follow Me.” 

In John 15:4 Jesus said to them, “Abide in Me, and I in you.”  That wasn’t a suggestion, but a command.  Later in verse 8 Jesus reveals His intention in the command – “so you will be My disciples.” 

We know from the study of John and the other Gospels, that Jesus clearly has a multi-faceted plan.  First, Jesus is the Savior and peacemaker.  He gave His life as the payment for sin, and thus makes it possible for humanity to gain salvation through faith, but also for humanity to have abundant life immediately – because He knew the Father would provide all believers the Holy Spirit.  Second, Jesus is the teacher and Rabbi, the master who would lead His followers to “seek first the kingdom of God.”  These followers would become His disciples, His disciples would become the Church, and His Church would assault and tear down the gates of Hell seeking to rescue all from eminent eternal death.  (Matthew 16:14-20; 2 Peter 3:9)

Is Jesus your Savior?  By faith do you now have peace with God?  Do you abide with Christ and walk with His Spirit?  Are you His disciple?  Are you working for His kingdom daily?   

Prayer:  Father, open my heart to Your word and Your will, and make me the person You want me to be.

 

W1D2 

 Prepare My Heart for Spiritual Refreshing

In this manner, therefore, pray:  Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.”  Jesus, Mt 6:9

Jesus’ disciples wanted to know how to pray and who better to ask than the Master and one whom they knew prayed all the time.  So, Jesus taught them about both individual and group prayer.  We find this teaching in Mt 6.

Jesus didn’t want his disciples to be focused on themselves.  He wanted them focused on God.  In this passage he teaches them not to do charitable deeds nor stand in the temple and pray before men – for in doing so you are looking to build up yourself.  No, Jesus said to “go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray…”.  Our goal in asking God to work is not our glory, but should always be His glory.

Hallowed be Your name” is the object of the prayer.  And it is the object of everything else we do in the Christian life.  It’s all for the glory, the exaltation of, and the reverence of Him and His holy name.  When our aim is for the world to know that God’s name is greatest, then we’re heading in the right direction.

When we pray alone, with our family, and especially with our church – our first priority in asking is for today and always – the hallowedness of His name.

Prayer: Father, I praise you for you alone are God.  I thank you for all You have done for me through Christ my Savior.  Help me to empty my selfishness and be completely focused on your glory.  Help me today and always bring glory and honor to your name.

What can I do today, tomorrow, or this week that will bring glory to God?

 

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Prepare My Heart for Spiritual Refreshing

Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour?  But for this purpose I came to this hour.  Father, glorify Your name.”  Jesus, Jn 12:27-28

Jesus had come to that time when he knew that “the Son of Man must be lifted up”.  He was trying to enlighten His disciples and others concerning what needed to happen and what must happen. 

When Jesus first mentioned His death, Peter couldn’t stomach it.  But Jesus quickly corrected Him.  Yes, several times Jesus spoke to His disciples concerning the coming days of great trial.  He knew about the betrayal, the hatred of the Rabbis, the pride of the religious leaders, the beating, the humiliation, the cross, and finally the excruciating pain of temporal death.

Yet, “He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil 2:8)  His attitude was, “Father, glorify Your name.”  That attitude led him to pray in Lk 22:42, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.”  His heart and mind had always been to obey the will of the Father and to bring the greatest glory to the Father.  He had never been self-centered or selfish. 

God has a great purpose for you and the church as well, and if you’ll be like Jesus – it will become clear in due time.

Prayer:  Father, as much as I can, I humble myself before you and ask that you begin to create in me that same attitude of obedience and humility which was characteristic of Jesus my Savior.

 

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Prepare My Heart for Spiritual Refreshing

Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  Jesus, Mt 6:10

James warned believers that they should stay focused on the sovereignty of God over all things, especially concerning their activities.  (James 4:13-17)   This warning comes perhaps because he could sense that many of the believers in his day had gotten their eyes off seeking God’s kingdom first. They had allowed the temptations of the world, the pride of life, and the will of man to drive them toward setting aside completely what Jesus had taught.

Jesus taught His disciples, and desires us to understand today, that life isn’t about building a great empire for ourselves – but abundant life is had when we give ourselves in building the kingdom of God and in seeing Him exalted above all else just as He is in heaven.  Unfortunately, empire builders are found in the church just as much as they are in the secular world.

It’s easy to see the emphasis in Jesus’ teaching.  “Your” kingdom and will, He says while referring to God the Father.  Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (ESV)  God’s purpose first before ours, it may not be simple but it is what is right.

Prayer:  Father, I can see that my plans need to align with your plans so that your will is done.  Help me examine my plans to make sure they glorify you.  Help me to make future plans which will build your kingdom and exalt your name on earth as it is in heaven. 

 

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Prepare My Heart for Spiritual Refreshing

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”  Jesus, Mt 22:37

A lawyer, who was also a Pharisee, wanted to test Jesus. So he asked Jesus a great question concerning the Law of God.  Seemingly it was straight forward, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”  It was understood that there was one thing which was more important than everything else – a rule to guide all other rules. 

Immediately, Jesus sent the words forth which held highest place in His own heart and mind.  His reference to that Deut. 6 passage was pure and decided.  “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.” 

God must be first in the believer’s life.  This is the highest goal for the Christian.  This is the goal for the church.  To love God so completely that it not only becomes evident in our life, but begins to have an effect on/in our family, our church, our community, and finally our world. 

Prayer:  Father, as I read these words which show me your will for my life and that of each believer, I know that I can only love you this completely if I am living by your Spirit.  Lord, thank you for the Holy Spirit.  By your Spirit please move and work in my life that my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength are all guided by your love and show evidence that You are first in my life.

Who has God put in my path to show love toward?

 

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Prepare My Heart for Spiritual Refreshing

For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  Paul, 2 Cor. 5:7

Sight is a great thing – a blessing from God.  We’re able to see His work all around us.  It speaks volumes about Him without even making a sound.  “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.  Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.  There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.  Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” Ps 19:1-4

Yet, the eyes which allow us to see His creation, also allow us to see the sin which so entangles the world.  So often that leads us to fear, anxiety, sadness, depression, uncertainty, and even disbelief. 

However, God intends us to walk by faith and not by sight alone.  He has given us His Spirit as a helper who helps us to walk by faith.  Mary, the mother of Jesus, needed faith.  The angel said, “For with God nothing will be impossible.”  Moses, Joshua, and the Israelites needed faith and the Lord said to them in Deut. 3:7-8, “Be strong and courageous….for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you…. Do not fear nor be dismayed.”

Prayer:  Father, I see clearly that your desire and plan is that I walk by faith.  Thank you for giving your Spirit, the Helper, to help me trust You and follow You in all things.  When I begin to feel anxious or fearful, please remind me to keep my eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. 

 

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Prepare My Heart for Spiritual Refreshing

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”  Hebrews 12:1

God uses ordinary people to bring about extraordinary results because they have a little faith in a great God.  Jesus talked about the faith of a mustard seed.  Well, for some of those recorded in Hebrews 11, I can imagine at the time they must have felt that their faith was as little as a mustard seed.  Yet, God used each of them in extraordinary ways.  As well, God has used many unnamed believers in miraculous ways over the centuries.

Take a look at Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance (the realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (and confidence) of things not seen.”  We can’t see the wind, but we can experience the effects of the wind.  We don’t see God himself, but we can certainly experience Him working and the effects of His work all around us.  And that experience comes because of faith.

Now God desires for you to have the faith to follow, obey, and serve Him in all He wants to do in your life, your church, and your community.  Will you respond positively to Him?  If so, then recorded in His record it will someday read:  By faith __________.

Prayer:  Father, this week you’ve taught me and shown me who You are, and how I need to respond to You in my life.  Help me to live and walk by faith, stay untangled from sin and distractions, and run the race You are setting before me.  

What sin or distraction must I ask God to help me get untangled from?

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