Wednesday, January 20, 2021

ADVENT 2020

God's Call

Grab your Bible, pen, and journal. Hear Jesus’ call to follow him today.


Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12, ESV




Surrender

God is near you because He loves you. What hopes, fears, concerns, and longings are on your heart? Write them down in your journal, and then surrender them to the LORD.  

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who  lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of  God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20, ESV

Joshua said to all the people, “...choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Joshua 24:15, ESV
 


OPENING PRAYER

Ambrose of Milan, (300’s AD)

       O Lord, who has mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me the fire of Your Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore Thee,
a heart to delight in Thee,
to follow and to enjoy Thee,
for Christ’s sake. Amen.

 


Song of Reflection

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery - Matt Papa
Lyrics

Come behold the wondrous mystery

In the dawning of the King

He the theme of heaven’s praises

Robed in frail humanity

In our longing, in our darkness

Now the light of life has come

Look to Christ, who condescended

Took on flesh to ransom us

Come behold the wondrous mystery

He the perfect Son of Man

In His living, in His suffering

Never trace nor stain of sin

See the true and better Adam

Come to save the hell-bound man

Christ the great and sure fulfillment

Of the law; in Him we stand

Come behold the wondrous mystery

Christ the Lord upon the tree

In the stead of ruined sinners

Hangs the Lamb in victory

See the price of our redemption

See the Father’s plan unfold

Bringing many sons to glory

Grace unmeasured, love untold

Come behold the wondrous mystery

Slain by death the God of life

But no grave could e’er restrain Him

Praise the Lord; He is alive!

What a foretaste of deliverance

How unwavering our hope

Christ in power resurrected

As we will be when he comes

SCRIPTURE Passages

Read all of the passages or just focus on a few. Jot down anything that sticks out. Focus, though, on anything that speaks to your hopes, fears, concerns, and longings, which you surrendered earlier.

Old Testament

Genesis 11

Psalms

Psalm 119:129–136
PE Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments. Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name. Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me. Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I may keep your precepts. Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes. My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.

New Testament

2 Peter 2

2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

Guided Prayer

Use the A.C.T.S. guided prayer below to shape your prayer life. Jot any notes down.

Adoration

What did God say in His Word about His own character and power?

Confession

What did God say in His Word that convicted me of sin?

Thanksgiving

What did God say in His Word that reminded me to be thankful?

Supplication

What did God say in His Word that showed me what I need today?

Intercession

Join us as we pray for another Valley church and Hearts with a Mission, whichserves homeless and runaway youth in downtown Medford.

  • Local Church of the Week

    Grace Church - Central Point
  • Local Mission of the Week

  • Jonathan Wilson (Japan)

Benediction

Receive this blessing, which is for God’s sojourning people.


To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Jude 1-2, ESV

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

CALL & RESPONSE

Grab your Bible, your journal, and a pen. Just as God called out to Abraham, God calls us to commune with Him today. Let us respond like Abraham, “Here I am!”


“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

...Abraham said, “Here I am!”

Matthew 11:28, Genesis 22:1 ESV

Surrender

God is near because He loves you. Reflect and journal the state of your heart before God right now. What hopes, fears, concerns, and longings are you carrying today? Write them out in your journal, and then surrender them to the LORD.

Trust in the LORD
with all your heart, 
and do not lean on your own understanding. 
In all your ways acknowledge Him, 
and He will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5,6 ESV



OPENING PRAYER

John Chrysostom (300’s AD)

Remember, O Lord, this city wherein we dwell and every other city and country, and all the faithful who dwell in them. Remember, O Lord, all who travel by land or water, all that labour under sickness or slavery; remember them for health and safety. Remember, O Lord, those in Thy holy Church who bring forth good fruit, are rich in good works and forget not the poor. Grant unto us all Thy mercy and loving-kindness, and grant that we may with one mouth and one heart praise and glorify Thy great and glorious name, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, now, henceforth, and forever. Amen.

Song of Reflection

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery - Matt Papa
Lyrics
Read all of the passages or just focus on a few. Jot down anything that sticks out. Focus, though, on anything that speaks to your hopes, fears, concerns, and longings, which you surrendered earlier.

Old Testament

Genesis 11

Psalms

Psalm 119:129–136
PE Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments. Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name. Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me. Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I may keep your precepts. Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes. My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.

New Testament

2 Peter 2

2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

Guided Prayer

Use the A.C.T.S. guided prayer below to shape your prayer life. Jot any notes down.

Adoration

Adore God for all His wisdom, His Goodness, His Holiness!

Confession

Confess any sins that may be weighing you down and sapping your joy

Thanksgiving

Give thanks to God for all He has done and is doing!  

Supplication

Ask God to supply what you need to live today in thankfulness to Him

Intercession

“...I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high places..." 1 Timothy 2:2, ESV

Prayer Opportunities

Benediction

Colossians 3:15, ESV


And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were  called in one body. And be thankful.

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