Hebrews 7:25 (NIV) – Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
The writer of Hebrews goes at length to make the case of Jesus being the ultimate priest that made a way for us. This absolute confidence of salvation is in Jesus alone. If that was not enough to change our lives forever, he inserts this continual work of “always living to intercede for” us. To fathom this truth is quite overwhelming. Salvation alone is so huge, now a continual intercession, continual outpouring, truly in the fashion of “from glory to glory”! Perhaps this overwhelming sense is to outdo what we feel like when hardships of life come. Perhaps his overwhelming love is to give us no chance at any other options in life.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the assurance of your love. We are completely secure in your salvation. And thank you for your overwhelming love. May we be so engulfed in it, so overwhelmed by it that all of who we are will give you worship and praise! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Romans 8:28 (NIV) – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Plainly reading this passage, it is clear that Paul wants to assure us of God’s constant care and provision for the good of those who love him. “Those who love him” is understood as those who belong to him. But from Romans 5:5, the Spirit is the one who pours out his love into our hearts, so we are now back to the full circle. God who works for the good of those whom God himself has called and given his own love! That means just the fact of belonging to him is already our good and God working all things for our good is like double of that blessing! “Take that any insecurity”, “take that any doubt that springs up”, “take that any discouragement” for our God is love for our good!
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for your constant care for our lives. Thank you, that we belong to you. Thank you for your love that made us belong to you and we are truly, doubly blessed. We will not give into insecurity, doubt or discouragement, instead we will trust in your care. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NIV) – “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthian church, addresses them about a wisdom from God that is far beyond the conception of the human mind that can only come from the revelation of the Spirit. Little did they know that the expression of that wisdom would be in the form of love, but human born, divinely revealed and given by the Spirit of God.
Prayer: Lord, would you open my eyes, my ears and my mind to understand and receive the love of Jesus that only can come through the pouring by your Holy Spirit? Today, I surrender to you my thought life, to be formed by the Spirit revealed truth and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 John 4:19 (NIV) – We love because he first loved us.
With anything in life, there is always a starting point. In our quest and longing to love Jesus more, that starting point is the love of God. The apostle affirms for us that we love because he first loved us. He goes at length to establish and explain that God is love and love comes from him and is given by him, essentially centered on, caused and fulfilled by Christ.
Prayer: Lord, we really want to grow in loving you, but let it be all about your love. We admit that there is nothing within ourselves that is called love that wasn’t given by you. So help us to be even more fervent in seeking to know you and love you. In Christ’s name, amen.
Song: “Let Me Love You” by Mark and Elisa Kim. This old song that we sang together in the church was a reflection of the times when we were really seeking to know and grow in love with Jesus more. Lyrics are below.
Let Me Love You
I can’t imagine what if
What my life would be like
What would I be doing now
If I had never met You
Your love is the one thing
That makes any sense
You are the one friend
I can always turn to
Let me love You with my life
Let me worship You in all I do
Let me serve You with all my heart
I owe it all to You
This is all for You, Jesus
Could there ever be a song?
Could words ever express?
How much I love You
How thankful I am for You
Deuteronomy 11:13-14 (NIV) – So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil.
The covenant that the Lord made with God’s people has stipulations. Unlike business contracts that are inundated with consequences to breach of terms, God’s terms are filled with blessings that are still active today. The promise of His blessing to those who follow and love the Lord is now played out in full measure as we grow in obedience and love to Christ. It is for our good that the Lord has given these timeless truths that are fully accomplished through Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your timeless truth of providing for us the true way of blessing that is in Christ. May I, even as today, this very moment, give my heart to you. Help me to love you, Lord. Help me grow in love for you, grow in the Spirit’s work for you glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Song: “Take All Of Me” by Hillsong United. As we surrender our lives to the Lord today, let’s sing that chorus “I love you” as a prayer, deeply desiring to grow in love for Jesus.
Psalm 77:19-20 (NIV) – Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock.
Even though God performed many miracles and led Israel out of slavery and into freedom, the Israelites often found themselves complaining. This is partly because they viewed their time in the wilderness as aimlessly “wandering.” But this was not the case. Despite the circuitous route they took, God had a purpose and was on a mission. What seemed like “wandering” was actually God’s desire to teach, test, and lead them, making sure their faith would hold up once they arrived. He wanted them to be fit for their new destination. In this way, the Psalmist gets it right when He acknowledges that even though God may have left no footprints, He is not far away. He was shepherding and directing His people always!
If you are feeling a bit aimless and without direction, perhaps God is purposely not taking a direct route. He may be taking the time to teach, test, and direct your steps to greater faith and trust in him.
Let us pray that God would set us free from “wandering” and into certainty that He is leading and shepherding us to greater faith and blessing.
Exodus 19:5 (NLT) – You will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth.
1 Peter 2:9 (NLT) – You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
This is who we are – God’s “segulla” (treasured possession)! But part of being God’s special and treasured people is that we have the privilege of sharing and showing others the goodness of God, the same goodness that has saved and delivered us!
Let us pray and ask God to help us fully live out our identity as God’s “segulla” by displaying the goodness of God to our friends, family members, coworkers, and students on our campuses.
Let us worship to the song “Louder” by Matt Redman.
Matthew 7:24-27 (NLT) – Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock…But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.
The Gospel of Matthew includes many allusions to Exodus. We see this in several of the “mountaintop” narratives, such as the Sermon on the Mount, the Transfiguration, and the Great Commission. Here, in the conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus emphasizes the importance of obedience in the life of a true disciple. Listening, hearing, and understanding is simply not enough. A true disciple must be wise and not foolish.
“The ‘fool’ (transliterated ‘moron’) is defined as the obverse, namely, the one who hears but fails to practice Jesus’ teachings. No one in Palestine would build a home on sand…In Psalms and Proverbs ‘fools’ are those who leave God out of their life.” [Obsborne, Exegetical Commentary on the NT, p. 276]
In Christ, we are equipped in every way to live wisely, actively choosing and inviting God into every aspect our lives.
Let us pray for the Spirit’s empowering to live a life of obedience, and worship to the song “Build My Life” by Housefires.
Exodus 19:4 (NIV) – I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
Whether eagles actually do this or not, God uniquely carries us and draws us to Him. It is easy to view Exodus as God simply taking us from a place of slavery to the land of promise. But it is so much more! One of God’s primary actions in Exodus is to bring us to Himself, and in the process, to form a people that will use their freedom to enjoy Him more and more.
Today, let us draw near to God and simply enjoy belonging to Him and Him alone. May God’s Presence bring the rest and comfort that you need.
As we express our love for God and His nearness, let us also worship to the song “I Belong to You” by Jesus Culture.
Luke 9:30-31 (NLT) – Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus.
“When we read the story of the exodus, we are not just reading about some events that occurred in the distant past, but acquainting ourselves with patterns of divine redemption that are still being worked out in the world today.” [Alastair J. Roberts, 10 Things You Should Know about the Exodus, Crossway]
As you take time to reflect and remember all that we received from God, pray and ask Him to open your eyes to see how He is working in your life at this very moment! Perhaps He is performing an Exodus miracle right now, orchestrating circumstances to bless you more, healing and forgiving you, or shepherding you into greater freedom so we can enjoy greater worship together!
Let us worship to the song “Jesus Saves“ by Elevation Music.