Day 5: Remember God

Psalm 63:1-8

1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.

1 – What similarities do you notice between Psalms 42-43 and Psalm 63?

2 – List the responses of the psalmists in the dark of night in Psalm 63:6-8 and Psalm 42:8.

3 – List the things that God does in these same verses.

Prayer – Lord, thank you for the command of your love, your song, your help, and that you uphold me and hide me in the shadow of your wings. As one who is loved and sheltered by You, I will sing! I will worship. I remember you, I cling to you, and I pray to you.

Let us do so in prayer and in song with – It is Well (click here) by Matt Redman.

-BR

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Day 4: Cry out to God

Hosea 7:14, 16
14 They do not cry out to me from their hearts
but wail on their beds…
16 They do not turn to the Most High…

“…there are choices… There is no such thing as not choosing because ‘not choosing’ is one of the paths. It, too, is a choice. Your decision is between calling out to the Lord or not. This is the choice that has confronted those in misery throughout history… You can sit in silence or cry to the Lord. You can cry on your bed or cry to the Lord.” (Depression – Looking up from the Stubborn Darkness by Edward T. Welch, p. 42-43)

Romans 8:15
15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

1 – What have been some of your wrong “therefore’s” when you are downcast?

2 – What steps can you take today that will help you better respond to the Spirit and cry out to God in your times of need?

Father, forgive us for the times we have wailed on our beds but not cried out to you. We call to you, asking for your forgiveness and help. Help us ever turn to you. Thank you for your Spirit, enabling us. Thank you that you hear us, welcome us, and sing your song of love over us.

We can cry out to God for help and worship with this song, Strength of My Life, (click here) by Vertical Worship.

-BR

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Day 3: Humanity’s Chief End

Psalm 42:8
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.

“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 1

God is always with His people. He is with us in the bright of day, when His love and plans seem clear and bright upon us. And He is with us in the dark of night, when it is harder to see.

How is He with us in the night? He is there with a song. God is our Father, and like a parent with a frightened child, He sings over us. God is our worship leader too, and He is giving us the very words to sing to Him.

1 – Today, do you feel like it is “day” or “night” in your life?

2a – If it feels like “day,” how can you respond to Psalm 42:8?

2b – If it feels like “night,” how can you respond to Psalm 42:8?

God, thank you that you command your steadfast love in the day. Help me to walk in obedience to You and Your way of love. Thank you, Lord, that you are with me in the night. Teach me to sing and pray in every season, bringing glory to and enjoying You.

Today, let’s worship God with a song that we sense that He is giving to us.

If you need them, below are a couple of suggestions from AMC’s Sunday worship –

God, you’re so good (click here) by Passion.

At the Cross (click here) by Chris Tomlin.

Love Knows No End (click here) by Hillsong.

– BR

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Day 2: The Light of the World

Psalm 43:3
3 Send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling!

The words of Jesus:
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

1 – How has God sent light to the whole world? What are the results of that light according to these passages?

2 – How has God sent truth to the world? What are the results of that truth according to these passages?

3 – How have you experienced and responded to the light and truth of God in Jesus Christ?

4 – How can you respond to Jesus today?

5 – Who can you pray for today, that the light and truth of Jesus would shine upon them?

Father, thank you that you have sent light and truth to the world in your Son. Let your light shine afresh on me and my church today. Let the truth of Jesus fill our hearts and minds today. Fill us with your Spirit to follow and to worship You. Send forth your light and your truth today through your church as we live in this world.

Today, we can worship with this song – Where Would We be (click here) by Matt Redman.

-BR

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Day 1: Why are you downcast?

Psalm 42:5
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick…

When we are downcast, it is important to ask ourselves why. Before we knew Christ, there was no true resolution for a downcast or sick heart. But in Christ, we can ask this question because there is real resolution, found in our true hope and purpose of worshipping God.

Think through the below questions, either for today (if you are currently feeling down), or for a time that you tend to struggle with feeling down or disturbed within your soul.

1 – Why am I downcast?

2 – What was I hoping for?

3 – Is this hope something that is fulfilled in kingdom of God?

4a – If not, what does God call me to hope for instead? Let us turn in prayer and place our hope in Him.

4b – If this hope is something of God’s kingdom, how am I to put my hope in God rightly, fresh and new? What things of His kingdom might He want to bring about in me while I wait in hope? Let us turn in prayer and cry out to Him for His kingdom to come, placing our hopeful desire in God – that we will yet praise Him, our savior and our God.

We can declare our hope in God with this song – Living Hope (click here) by Phil Wickham.

-BR

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Day Five: We seize the day…

2 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV) – His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

“We keep falling into the same sin when we fail to believe that holiness really will make us happier than giving in again. Many other factors may influence us, but at the root of habitual sin is a battle not for self-control, but for happiness. What we believe and want, deep in our hearts, really matters.” – John Bloom

We are the happiest when we are doing what we were created to do – to love, worship and glorify God. Seeking the Lord in these ways is far better than reaching back to old habits and tendencies. Our struggles come when we aren’t living as God intended – trusting in other things, means and ways to make us happy. In God’s goodness is our deepest happiness.

In God’s divine power we seize the day for his glory.

In what ways are you not living as God has called to live? How can you dive back in?

Father, thank you for your great and precious promises. May the church find its joy in you alone today! Free me from lesser happiness and immerse me in your divine joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– TR

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Day Four: Why we begin…

1 John 1:5-7 (NIV) – This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

When our desires conflict with Scripture, human beings do not always live according to what we say we believe. We can say we believe one thing, but our lives betray other allegiances…How can you detect these false beliefs? Start by looking at the things you do in private. Do you live very differently in private than you do in public? Do you permit your imagination to indulge itself in ungodly fantasies? If so, even though you know that God sees everything, you are experimenting with an alternative theology that says that there are some places where God can’t find you. [Welch, Edward T.. Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave]

God’s faithfulness is why we begin each day.

Spend time seeking the Lord in prayer and studying His Word concerning your struggle or unhealthy cravings. The Word of God is powerful and life giving.

Prayer: Father, thank you for your faithfulness. Align my belief with your Word, that I may live true to who I am in Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– TR

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Day Three: In the beginning…

Psalm 34:8-9 (NLT)
Taste and see that the LORD is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
9 Fear the LORD, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.

“If the root problem of addictions is false worship, the answer is knowing the Lord, the One who deserves our worship…Scripture is full of teaching on how we are to respond to Jesus…We are told to trust him, obey him, magnify his name, worship him, love him, imitate him, and follow him. One response that might not sound as familiar is that we are told to fear him.

“While the holiness of God will leave many knees knocking when Jesus comes again, a mature fear of the Lord is more akin to awe, devotion, and worship. It is a response that says, ‘In your presence, nothing else matters. You are all that I desire.’ It is a response that is active. It does something…it follows Christ in obedience. It searches out his will and can’t wait to do it. Stop for a moment: ‘It searches out his will and can’t wait to do it.’ Here is the ultimate protection against addictions.” [Welch, Edward T.. Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave]

Before the day begins, He is. God is who defines our day, our lives, and our desires.

Our Father in heaven, holy is your name. Your kingdom come and your will be done in my life today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– TR

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Day Two: Where we begin…

Ephesians 5:15-20 – Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As Christians, we experience true forgiveness and freedom, but sometimes we go back to memories and old ‘crutches’ or habits. Reaching back into an old life causes cyclical patterns of habitual sins that diminish the blessing of forgiveness, grace, and joy. As people of God, we are to put off and put on (Eph 4), and we are to be filled with Spirit, speak/sing words of Spirit in worship, fellowship, giving thanks/prayer (Eph 5:18b-20).

This Spirit-filled reality is how we begin each day.

When was the last time you experienced the Holy Spirit’s filling and empowering? Soak in the memory and recognize that in those moments you were most free.

In light of the Spirit’s filling, how can you increase His filling and lessen ‘being filled’ with the struggles and temptations?

Prayer: Father, thank you for the Spirit’s presence in my life. Come Holy Spirit and fill my heart today, help me make the most of every opportunity for your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Day One: How we begin…

Ephesian 4:17-24 – “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.” 
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Read through verses 20-24 again. This new reality in Christ is where we begin each day.

Recite/declare out loud all the new attitudes of the mind, and the new ways of Christ-likeness that God has created in your life!

Prayer: Father in Heaven, thank you that the old is gone and the new has come. May I honor your name today and put on the new self, living righteous and holy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– TR

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