Week 50 Day 3
I. Prayer to enter the Lord’s presence:
Be still for a moment. “Lord, I give the day that is now past to you. It is yours. I give the day that is to come to you; help me to see where you are working and to join you there. Speak to me during these moments. I commit them and myself to you.”
II. Prayer of Confession:
“Lord, you are faithful to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin when I confess it to you. I confess my sin(s) of ______________. Thank you for forgiveness.” (1 John 1:9)
III. Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Choose to be thankful, speak out loud of what God has done.
“Thank you, Father, for _________________. Fill my heart and my mouth with gratitude throughout this day.”
IV. Scripture Reflection
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Jesus came to announce the Kingdom of God on earth. He was, in fact, a King. But He was not the King many of the Jews were expecting. In fact, they were so confused and offended by Jesus’ claims that they sought to humiliate him and even kill him. What they didn’t know was that, though they purposed to humiliate him, they actually enthroned Him. They adorned His head with a twisted crown of thorns. They placed a majestic, purple robe across His blood-smeared shoulders. They lifted Him up for all to see on a cross. They announced His reign with a rugged sign that they fixed above His head: “King of the Jews”. Jesus was a King, but He was not the King many were expecting.
What a grim and horrific end Jesus faced. And, yet, the author of Hebrews writes with divine authority: “For the joy set before him he endured the cross…” For the joy? Yes, for the joy. Jesus saw the cross not simply as an obstacle, but as an opportunity – an opportunity to be obedient to the Father and to walk in the middle of His will. Jesus’ dying would bring life to the world, once again. What a joy.
Every Kingdom has an ethic. And at the core of the ethic of the Kingdom of God is a cross. It is not an easy cross to bear, but it is far more than an obstacle. On the other side of the obstacle, and maybe even within the obstacle, itself, lies an opportunity – an opportunity to be obedient to the Father and to walk in the middle of His will for your life. What a joy.
What obstacle are you facing in life today? Jesus knows what you are up against. He’s been there Himself. How can looking to Jesus’ life and example help you to “not grow weary and lose heart”?
Ask Jesus to help you see the opportunity within the obstacle. Ask the Holy Spirit for courage to walk in the middle of the Father’s will and to find joy in the process.
V. Prayer for others:
Pray specifically for the concerns of your life and the lives of others.
VI. Prayer of commitment:
“Lord God, I commit to love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind and to love my neighbor as myself. Empower me today to love you and others with everything that I am.” (Luke 10:27)
This Month’s Scripture Memory:
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid him the iniquity of us all.