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2013 DEVOTIONAL JOURNAL

1 july - 31 august

Redeemed

forglory

1


Redeemed

forglory

Meet an irresistible God Live an irresistible life Be an irresistible church

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3


Redeemed

forglory

Meet an irresistible God Live an irresistible life Be an irresistible church

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3


contents Foreword By Senior Pastors

8

42

Guide To Using This Devotional Journal

10

July 15, Monday: Win—Leading of God

44

Morning Prayer

12

July 16, Tuesday: Win—Heart for People

46

Calendar (May-June 2013)

14

July 17, Wednesday: Disciple—First, A Disciple

48

July 18, Thursday: Disciple—Disciples Make Disciples

50

July Devotion

4

July 14, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

July 1, Monday: What Unfathomable Grace!

16

July 19, Friday: Send—Answering the Call

52

July 2, Tuesday: Live by God’s Distinction

18

July 20, Saturday: Send—Heart for Missions

54

July 3, Wednesday: It’s All God and God Alone

20

July 21, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

56

July 4, Thursday: Theology for Doxology

22

July 22, Monday: The Greatest Immorality

58

July 5, Friday: Doxology From Theology

24

July 23, Tuesday: Two Dimensions of Redemption

60

July 6, Saturday: Adoration in Affliction

26

July 24, Wednesday: Breakdown of Relationships

62

July 7, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

28

July 25, Thursday: Maturity in Relationships

64

July 8, Monday: Perspective for Praise

30

July 26, Friday: We Are Not Just Saved from Hell

66

July 9, Tuesday: The Beginning of New Beginnings (1)

32

July 27, Saturday: The Lord’s Supper Devotion

68

July 10, Wednesday: The Beginning of New Beginnings (2)

34

July 28, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

70

July 11, Thursday: The Beginning of New Beginnings (3)

36

July 29, Monday: At Long Last, It’s Not Easy

72

July 12, Friday: The Firstborn Must Die

38

July 30, Tuesday: It Will End At Last

74

July 13, Saturday: God Must See Blood

40

July 31, Wednesday: Reality Check

76

5


contents Foreword By Senior Pastors

8

42

Guide To Using This Devotional Journal

10

July 15, Monday: Win—Leading of God

44

Morning Prayer

12

July 16, Tuesday: Win—Heart for People

46

Calendar (May-June 2013)

14

July 17, Wednesday: Disciple—First, A Disciple

48

July 18, Thursday: Disciple—Disciples Make Disciples

50

July Devotion

4

July 14, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

July 1, Monday: What Unfathomable Grace!

16

July 19, Friday: Send—Answering the Call

52

July 2, Tuesday: Live by God’s Distinction

18

July 20, Saturday: Send—Heart for Missions

54

July 3, Wednesday: It’s All God and God Alone

20

July 21, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

56

July 4, Thursday: Theology for Doxology

22

July 22, Monday: The Greatest Immorality

58

July 5, Friday: Doxology From Theology

24

July 23, Tuesday: Two Dimensions of Redemption

60

July 6, Saturday: Adoration in Affliction

26

July 24, Wednesday: Breakdown of Relationships

62

July 7, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

28

July 25, Thursday: Maturity in Relationships

64

July 8, Monday: Perspective for Praise

30

July 26, Friday: We Are Not Just Saved from Hell

66

July 9, Tuesday: The Beginning of New Beginnings (1)

32

July 27, Saturday: The Lord’s Supper Devotion

68

July 10, Wednesday: The Beginning of New Beginnings (2)

34

July 28, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

70

July 11, Thursday: The Beginning of New Beginnings (3)

36

July 29, Monday: At Long Last, It’s Not Easy

72

July 12, Friday: The Firstborn Must Die

38

July 30, Tuesday: It Will End At Last

74

July 13, Saturday: God Must See Blood

40

July 31, Wednesday: Reality Check

76

5


contents August Devotion

6

August 19, Monday: Do Not Fear!

114

August 1, Thursday: Doubly Special

78

August 20, Tuesday: Do Not Fear: What Is Man?

116

August 2, Friday: You Shall Tell Your Son

80

August 21, Wednesday: Do Not Fear: Who Are You?

118

August 3, Saturday: When Your Son Asks You

82

August 22, Thursday: Do Not Fear—Who God Is

120

August 4, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

84

August 23, Friday: It’s All About God

122

August 5, Monday: Trifocal Living

86

August 24, Saturday: God Stands in Between

124

August 6, Tuesday: Shortest Route Mentality

88

August 25, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

126

August 7, Wednesday: A Long Process…

90

August 26, Monday: Growth Journey of Worship (1)

128

August 8, Thursday: Understanding God’s Presence

92

August 27, Tuesday: Growth Journey of Worship (2)

130

August 9, Friday: Godly Citizens (1)

94

August 28, Wednesday: Test of True Worship

132

August 10, Saturday: Godly Citizens (2)

96

August 29, Thursday: Discipleship Desert

134

August 11, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

98

August 30, Friday: Rivers of Living Water

136

August 31, Saturday: Good-bye to Good Things

138

August 12, Monday: Advancing into a Trap

100

August 13, Tuesday: God is All in All

102

August 14, Wednesday: It’s Always His Glory!

104

August 15, Thursday: Roller Coaster Faith

106

August 16, Friday: An Irony

108

August 17, Saturday: Perspective Shapes Attitude

110

August 18, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

112

Worship Songs

140

7


contents August Devotion

6

August 19, Monday: Do Not Fear!

114

August 1, Thursday: Doubly Special

78

August 20, Tuesday: Do Not Fear: What Is Man?

116

August 2, Friday: You Shall Tell Your Son

80

August 21, Wednesday: Do Not Fear: Who Are You?

118

August 3, Saturday: When Your Son Asks You

82

August 22, Thursday: Do Not Fear—Who God Is

120

August 4, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

84

August 23, Friday: It’s All About God

122

August 5, Monday: Trifocal Living

86

August 24, Saturday: God Stands in Between

124

August 6, Tuesday: Shortest Route Mentality

88

August 25, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

126

August 7, Wednesday: A Long Process…

90

August 26, Monday: Growth Journey of Worship (1)

128

August 8, Thursday: Understanding God’s Presence

92

August 27, Tuesday: Growth Journey of Worship (2)

130

August 9, Friday: Godly Citizens (1)

94

August 28, Wednesday: Test of True Worship

132

August 10, Saturday: Godly Citizens (2)

96

August 29, Thursday: Discipleship Desert

134

August 11, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

98

August 30, Friday: Rivers of Living Water

136

August 31, Saturday: Good-bye to Good Things

138

August 12, Monday: Advancing into a Trap

100

August 13, Tuesday: God is All in All

102

August 14, Wednesday: It’s Always His Glory!

104

August 15, Thursday: Roller Coaster Faith

106

August 16, Friday: An Irony

108

August 17, Saturday: Perspective Shapes Attitude

110

August 18, Sunday: Review, Reflect and Response

112

Worship Songs

140

7


FOREWORD BY SENIOR PASTORS MEET THE IRRESISTIBLE GOD! At the annual listening retreat in September last year, we distinctively heard the passionate call of God for His people to walk in intimacy with Him. There is nothing radical about this invitation. Since the Garden of Eden, God has not stopped issuing this call for us to walk closely with Him. It’s the modern man who has often worked God out of the equation and subtracted Him from our daily lives. Hence in 2013, one of the primary expressions of our redeemed life is to meet the irresistible God through our in-house devotional. We will not only walk through the book of Exodus as our devotional but we will also include 35 days of the Lent season to prepare us for Good Friday and Easter. Other important topics will be included to enhance our spiritual intimacy with God. The Book of Exodus is the overarching frame for this daily devotional. Exodus is about meeting with God. Israel reached the foot of Mount Sinai after leaving Egypt. There, God renewed His covenant made with Abraham, with Israel as a nation (Ex 19). The covenant renewal took place when “Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God… at the foot of the mountain” (Ex 19:17). God stated very clearly His purpose for redeeming Israel — “They shall know that I am the LORD their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them” (Ex 29:46).

8

The God whom we shall meet in Exodus is an irresistible God. Throughout the whole Exodus narrative, the people of God faced various situations and obstacles en-route the Promised Land. But God proves Himself as the great Redeemer! He is the irresistible God — “There is no one like Me in all the earth”. (Ex 9:14) Exodus is all about meeting this irresistible God. What was true of Israel as a covenant people is also true of us today as the New Covenant people of God. May you meet and experience the irresistible God this year, and find Him too irresistible not to follow!

Ps Tony and Ps Kay Kiong

Exodus is all about meeting this irresistible God. What was true of Israel as a covenant people is also true of us today as the New Covenant people of God. 9


FOREWORD BY SENIOR PASTORS MEET THE IRRESISTIBLE GOD! At the annual listening retreat in September last year, we distinctively heard the passionate call of God for His people to walk in intimacy with Him. There is nothing radical about this invitation. Since the Garden of Eden, God has not stopped issuing this call for us to walk closely with Him. It’s the modern man who has often worked God out of the equation and subtracted Him from our daily lives. Hence in 2013, one of the primary expressions of our redeemed life is to meet the irresistible God through our in-house devotional. We will not only walk through the book of Exodus as our devotional but we will also include 35 days of the Lent season to prepare us for Good Friday and Easter. Other important topics will be included to enhance our spiritual intimacy with God. The Book of Exodus is the overarching frame for this daily devotional. Exodus is about meeting with God. Israel reached the foot of Mount Sinai after leaving Egypt. There, God renewed His covenant made with Abraham, with Israel as a nation (Ex 19). The covenant renewal took place when “Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God… at the foot of the mountain” (Ex 19:17). God stated very clearly His purpose for redeeming Israel — “They shall know that I am the LORD their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them” (Ex 29:46).

8

The God whom we shall meet in Exodus is an irresistible God. Throughout the whole Exodus narrative, the people of God faced various situations and obstacles en-route the Promised Land. But God proves Himself as the great Redeemer! He is the irresistible God — “There is no one like Me in all the earth”. (Ex 9:14) Exodus is all about meeting this irresistible God. What was true of Israel as a covenant people is also true of us today as the New Covenant people of God. May you meet and experience the irresistible God this year, and find Him too irresistible not to follow!

Ps Tony and Ps Kay Kiong

Exodus is all about meeting this irresistible God. What was true of Israel as a covenant people is also true of us today as the New Covenant people of God. 9


GUIDE TO USING this devotional journal Prepare your heart in God s presence Select a fixed time (preferably mornings before you begin the rest of your day) and a quiet place where you can be alone and undisturbed. Observe a moment of silence as you acknowledge God’s presence.

Worship God with a song or hymn. (Refer to the list of worship songs provided) Offer a prayer to God as you prepare to listen to His word. (A sample prayer you can use is the morning prayer by John Stott found on the next page)

2

Allow God to S.O.A.P. you with His Word and Spirit

Each daily devotional entry is divided into four parts: Scripture1 — take your time to meditate on the Scripture passage for the day. Pause and mull over words and phrases that stand out for you. Observation — jot down significant insights and reflections from the passage you have read. Use the guiding questions provided. Application — note down a specific and practical commitment to God’s Word for you. Is there a command to obey, a sin to avoid, an example to follow, or a principle to live out? Where appropriate, share your devotional entry with someone. Prayer — bring your response to God in prayer using the suggested prayer for the day.

1 All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New American Standard Version of the bible (NASB).

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GUIDE TO USING this devotional journal Prepare your heart in God s presence Select a fixed time (preferably mornings before you begin the rest of your day) and a quiet place where you can be alone and undisturbed. Observe a moment of silence as you acknowledge God’s presence.

Worship God with a song or hymn. (Refer to the list of worship songs provided) Offer a prayer to God as you prepare to listen to His word. (A sample prayer you can use is the morning prayer by John Stott found on the next page)

2

Allow God to S.O.A.P. you with His Word and Spirit

Each daily devotional entry is divided into four parts: Scripture1 — take your time to meditate on the Scripture passage for the day. Pause and mull over words and phrases that stand out for you. Observation — jot down significant insights and reflections from the passage you have read. Use the guiding questions provided. Application — note down a specific and practical commitment to God’s Word for you. Is there a command to obey, a sin to avoid, an example to follow, or a principle to live out? Where appropriate, share your devotional entry with someone. Prayer — bring your response to God in prayer using the suggested prayer for the day.

1 All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New American Standard Version of the bible (NASB).

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11


Morning Prayer by John Stott

good morning heavenly father, good morning lord jesus, good morning holy spirit Heavenly Father, I worship You as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Lord Jesus, I worship You, Saviour and Lord of the world. Holy Spirit, I worship You, Sanctifier of the people of God. Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Heavenly Father, I pray that I may live this day in Your presence and please You more and more. Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow You. Holy Spirit, I pray that this day, You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, three persons in one God, have mercy upon me. Amen. Prayer Before Opening The Bible Blessed Lord, who has caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning—Grant that we may in such wisdom hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of Your holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which You have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. Book of Common Prayer

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Morning Prayer by John Stott

good morning heavenly father, good morning lord jesus, good morning holy spirit Heavenly Father, I worship You as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Lord Jesus, I worship You, Saviour and Lord of the world. Holy Spirit, I worship You, Sanctifier of the people of God. Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Heavenly Father, I pray that I may live this day in Your presence and please You more and more. Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow You. Holy Spirit, I pray that this day, You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, three persons in one God, have mercy upon me. Amen. Prayer Before Opening The Bible Blessed Lord, who has caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning—Grant that we may in such wisdom hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of Your holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which You have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. Book of Common Prayer

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CALENDAR JULY 2013

AUGUST 2013

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T

W

T

F

S

S

M

T

W

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

T

F

S

S

1

2

3

4

10

11

17

18

24

25

CG Bible Guide Series 7

8

9

10

11

12

CG Bible Guide Series 10

13

CG Bible Guide Series 8

15

16

17

Missions Week

Missions Week

Missions Week

22

23

24

18

19

14

5

6

7

Missions Week

20

21

12

13

14

8

9

Hari Raya Puasa

National Day

15

25

26

27

28

19

20

21

22

CG Bible Guide Series 9

29

30

31

16 CG Bible Guide Series 11

Missions Week Missions Family Night Missions Week Missions Week Prayer & Praise Baptism 3 Pastors’ Ordination Service

23 CG Bible Guide Series 12

26

27

28

29

30

31

Prayer & Praise

Ownership Events (The Non-Negotiables)

14

Ownership Events (The Non-Negotiables)

15


CALENDAR JULY 2013

AUGUST 2013

M

T

W

T

F

S

S

M

T

W

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

T

F

S

S

1

2

3

4

10

11

17

18

24

25

CG Bible Guide Series 7

8

9

10

11

12

CG Bible Guide Series 10

13

CG Bible Guide Series 8

15

16

17

Missions Week

Missions Week

Missions Week

22

23

24

18

19

14

5

6

7

Missions Week

20

21

12

13

14

8

9

Hari Raya Puasa

National Day

15

25

26

27

28

19

20

21

22

CG Bible Guide Series 9

29

30

31

16 CG Bible Guide Series 11

Missions Week Missions Family Night Missions Week Missions Week Prayer & Praise Baptism 3 Pastors’ Ordination Service

23 CG Bible Guide Series 12

26

27

28

29

30

31

Prayer & Praise

Ownership Events (The Non-Negotiables)

14

Ownership Events (The Non-Negotiables)

15


1, July ay d Mon

2013

What Unfathomable Grace!

APPLICATION How has God demonstrated His unfathomable grace in my life that I can give thanks to Him for?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 11:2–3 (cf. 12:35–36); Hosea 2:13–15 The last personal encounter God had with Israel was “they did not listen” (Ex 6:9) to His magnificent redemptive promises (6:6–8). God had not spoken directly to Israel after that. But now, after afflicting Egypt with nine plagues, God said to Moses, “Speak now in the hearing of the people” (Ex 11:2). God spoke to Israel again. What did God say to them? Words of favour and blessing! God exalted His people in the land where they had received inhuman treatment. God “gave the people favour” before the Egyptians (v 3 ). God enriched His people with silver and gold through the Egyptians (v 2). God’s exaltation and enrichment of His people was extensive: every individual Israelite man and woman— “each man… each woman” (v 2). God did this to Israel, despite how Israel had done wrong to Him. What unfathomable grace!

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Lord Jesus, You were rich with infinite immensity. But for my sake, You became poor in order that in You I may become rich through Your poverty. O how You deemed it necessary for You to become poor, so that I can become rich! It is through Your poverty that I am now rich. I thank You that this is Your grace towards me.1 Amen.

How did God demonstrate His unfathomable grace to His people in Hosea 2:13–15?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 1 2 Corinthians 8:9

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1, July ay d Mon

2013

What Unfathomable Grace!

APPLICATION How has God demonstrated His unfathomable grace in my life that I can give thanks to Him for?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 11:2–3 (cf. 12:35–36); Hosea 2:13–15 The last personal encounter God had with Israel was “they did not listen” (Ex 6:9) to His magnificent redemptive promises (6:6–8). God had not spoken directly to Israel after that. But now, after afflicting Egypt with nine plagues, God said to Moses, “Speak now in the hearing of the people” (Ex 11:2). God spoke to Israel again. What did God say to them? Words of favour and blessing! God exalted His people in the land where they had received inhuman treatment. God “gave the people favour” before the Egyptians (v 3 ). God enriched His people with silver and gold through the Egyptians (v 2). God’s exaltation and enrichment of His people was extensive: every individual Israelite man and woman— “each man… each woman” (v 2). God did this to Israel, despite how Israel had done wrong to Him. What unfathomable grace!

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Lord Jesus, You were rich with infinite immensity. But for my sake, You became poor in order that in You I may become rich through Your poverty. O how You deemed it necessary for You to become poor, so that I can become rich! It is through Your poverty that I am now rich. I thank You that this is Your grace towards me.1 Amen.

How did God demonstrate His unfathomable grace to His people in Hosea 2:13–15?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 1 2 Corinthians 8:9

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2, July ay d Tues

2013

Live by God’s Distinction

APPLICATION How can I value myself as a distinct person God has created and redeemed in Christ?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 11:4–8; Isaiah 13:19–14:4 God’s purpose for killing all Egypt’s firstborn, but sparing Israel’s is that Pharaoh “may understand how the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel” (Ex 11:7). Egypt was the tyrannical master; Israel an oppressed slave. Egypt was strong and rich; Israel weak and poor. Egypt was the victor; Israel the victim. This is often true between the people of the world and God’s people. But when God comes into the picture and takes centre stage in life, He reverses the state of things. God makes a distinction between His people and the world—His people are special and superior in Him. The world may continue to be much more superior by its standard, until God brings it to an end. But meanwhile, we live by the distinction God has made of us; with conviction and appreciation, confidence and perseverance. And we can say, “God, You are my glory, and the One who lifts up my head” (Ps 3:3).

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

O God, who am I, sinful mortal, that You think of me and care for me; that even though You have made me a little lower than heavenly beings, You crown me with glory and majesty?2 But this is possible only when Jesus made Himself a little lower than angels, and suffered death for my sins;3 that You may crown me with glory and majesty in Christ. Thank You for Your grace. Amen.

How does God make a distinction between His people and Babylon (whom God used to judge Israel) in Isaiah 13:19–14:4?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 2 Psalm 8:4–5 3 Hebrews 2:9

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2, July ay d Tues

2013

Live by God’s Distinction

APPLICATION How can I value myself as a distinct person God has created and redeemed in Christ?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 11:4–8; Isaiah 13:19–14:4 God’s purpose for killing all Egypt’s firstborn, but sparing Israel’s is that Pharaoh “may understand how the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel” (Ex 11:7). Egypt was the tyrannical master; Israel an oppressed slave. Egypt was strong and rich; Israel weak and poor. Egypt was the victor; Israel the victim. This is often true between the people of the world and God’s people. But when God comes into the picture and takes centre stage in life, He reverses the state of things. God makes a distinction between His people and the world—His people are special and superior in Him. The world may continue to be much more superior by its standard, until God brings it to an end. But meanwhile, we live by the distinction God has made of us; with conviction and appreciation, confidence and perseverance. And we can say, “God, You are my glory, and the One who lifts up my head” (Ps 3:3).

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

O God, who am I, sinful mortal, that You think of me and care for me; that even though You have made me a little lower than heavenly beings, You crown me with glory and majesty?2 But this is possible only when Jesus made Himself a little lower than angels, and suffered death for my sins;3 that You may crown me with glory and majesty in Christ. Thank You for Your grace. Amen.

How does God make a distinction between His people and Babylon (whom God used to judge Israel) in Isaiah 13:19–14:4?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 2 Psalm 8:4–5 3 Hebrews 2:9

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3, July sday e Wedn

2013

It’s All God and God Alone

APPLICATION What is one thing God has done for me in Ephesians 1:3–14 that is most significant to me?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 11:2–8; Ephesians 1:3–14 In the narrative of the last plague on Egypt, there are three vital divine acts. God gives—“the LORD gave the people favour” (Ex 11:3). God keeps—the antithesis of God kills in the context. God is “going out into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in Egypt shall die” (v 4–5). But God keeps Israel’s firstborn from being killed. God makes—a distinction4 between Egypt and Israel (v 7). These are things Israel didn’t ask from God. These are Israel’s critical needs that they didn’t know or think of. These are things which God alone knows and can do. Israel is totally passive. It is true, on the one hand, that God gives when we ask (Jas 4:2); but it is also true, on the other hand, that there is much that God gives and does for us which we have not asked for. They are all initiatives of grace of God our Creator, our Redeemer, our Father. But, what God initiates to do or give, He does not or has to do every time. Let’s not fail to recognise the divine initiatives of grace in our lives, and become ungrateful.

PRAYER Most High God, from You and through You and to You are all things.5 Out of the riches of Your glorious grace, You have given me the greatest gift You can ever give: Your Beloved Son—together with such assurance (“Since God did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?” 6) Thank You for Your glorious grace. Amen.

OBSERVATION

Prayer Pointers

What are the things that God has done for you in Christ according to

Give thanks:

Ephesians 1:3–14?

Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 4 In Heb. it is one word, “makes–a–distinction” 5 Romans 11:36 6 Romans 8:32

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3, July sday e Wedn

2013

It’s All God and God Alone

APPLICATION What is one thing God has done for me in Ephesians 1:3–14 that is most significant to me?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 11:2–8; Ephesians 1:3–14 In the narrative of the last plague on Egypt, there are three vital divine acts. God gives—“the LORD gave the people favour” (Ex 11:3). God keeps—the antithesis of God kills in the context. God is “going out into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in Egypt shall die” (v 4–5). But God keeps Israel’s firstborn from being killed. God makes—a distinction4 between Egypt and Israel (v 7). These are things Israel didn’t ask from God. These are Israel’s critical needs that they didn’t know or think of. These are things which God alone knows and can do. Israel is totally passive. It is true, on the one hand, that God gives when we ask (Jas 4:2); but it is also true, on the other hand, that there is much that God gives and does for us which we have not asked for. They are all initiatives of grace of God our Creator, our Redeemer, our Father. But, what God initiates to do or give, He does not or has to do every time. Let’s not fail to recognise the divine initiatives of grace in our lives, and become ungrateful.

PRAYER Most High God, from You and through You and to You are all things.5 Out of the riches of Your glorious grace, You have given me the greatest gift You can ever give: Your Beloved Son—together with such assurance (“Since God did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?” 6) Thank You for Your glorious grace. Amen.

OBSERVATION

Prayer Pointers

What are the things that God has done for you in Christ according to

Give thanks:

Ephesians 1:3–14?

Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 4 In Heb. it is one word, “makes–a–distinction” 5 Romans 11:36 6 Romans 8:32

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4, July sday r Thu

2013

Theology for Doxology

APPLICATION How would I want to be a disciple of Jesus like Paul as reflected in Eph 1:3–14?

SCRIPTURE Ephesians 1:3–14 In the Greek Testament, Ephesians 1:3–14 is one long complex sentence. Paul intends for his readers to grasp all that is written in it as one sentence. Read this glorious text again and again until you grasp it as one sentence. The text is highly theological. Over the centuries, theologians have been debating over the interpretation of great and grand truths like election and predestination (v 4–5). In the heat of the theological debate, what is most important— Worship to God—may be missed out. Paul writes Eph 1:3–14 in worship and as worship to God. It is a berakah (“blessing” in Hebrew), a doxology. Paul begins with “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v 3), and intersperses it with three doxological expressions—“to the praise of the glory of His grace” (v 6), “to the praise of His glory” (v 12, 14). We can be so focused on theology that we forget about doxology.

OBSERVATION

PRAYER Glorious God, You have created and redeemed me that I may worship You in all that I am, all that I do, all that I say, all that I seek, all that I have. Grant me to seek to worship You as a true worshipper;7 for only such a worshipper’s worship is pleasing and acceptable to You through Jesus Christ.8 I worship You in Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen.

Paul was in prison when he wrote the letter to the Ephesians (Eph 3:1;

Prayer Pointers

4:1). What does the context (where Paul wrote) and the content

Give thanks:

(what Paul wrote) of Ephesians 1:3–14 reveal about Paul as a

Pray for leaders:

disciple of Jesus?

Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 7 John 4:23 8 1 Peter 2:5

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4, July sday r Thu

2013

Theology for Doxology

APPLICATION How would I want to be a disciple of Jesus like Paul as reflected in Eph 1:3–14?

SCRIPTURE Ephesians 1:3–14 In the Greek Testament, Ephesians 1:3–14 is one long complex sentence. Paul intends for his readers to grasp all that is written in it as one sentence. Read this glorious text again and again until you grasp it as one sentence. The text is highly theological. Over the centuries, theologians have been debating over the interpretation of great and grand truths like election and predestination (v 4–5). In the heat of the theological debate, what is most important— Worship to God—may be missed out. Paul writes Eph 1:3–14 in worship and as worship to God. It is a berakah (“blessing” in Hebrew), a doxology. Paul begins with “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v 3), and intersperses it with three doxological expressions—“to the praise of the glory of His grace” (v 6), “to the praise of His glory” (v 12, 14). We can be so focused on theology that we forget about doxology.

OBSERVATION

PRAYER Glorious God, You have created and redeemed me that I may worship You in all that I am, all that I do, all that I say, all that I seek, all that I have. Grant me to seek to worship You as a true worshipper;7 for only such a worshipper’s worship is pleasing and acceptable to You through Jesus Christ.8 I worship You in Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen.

Paul was in prison when he wrote the letter to the Ephesians (Eph 3:1;

Prayer Pointers

4:1). What does the context (where Paul wrote) and the content

Give thanks:

(what Paul wrote) of Ephesians 1:3–14 reveal about Paul as a

Pray for leaders:

disciple of Jesus?

Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 7 John 4:23 8 1 Peter 2:5

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5, July y a Frid

2013

Doxology From Theology

APPLICATION What is the relation between knowing God and worshipping God in my life like? What changes do I need to make?

SCRIPTURE Ephesians 1:3–14; Romans 11:33–36 It must be our “singular and passionate conviction: that the proper aim of all true theology is doxology. Theology that does not begin and end in worship is not biblical at all.”9 Ephesians 1:3–14 is solid doxology that flows out of substantial theology. Conversely, wrong or poor theology results in wrong or poor doxology. Therefore, theology is a critical necessity to doxology. True theology is all about God and knowing Him. How can we worship God whom we do not know? It must be in our dominant consciousness in learning theology, that God is not an idea to be studied, but a person to relate with. Doxology must be the focus of theology but theology is foundational to doxology. Ephesians 1:3–14 is the worship of a spiritually mature worshipper, who has grasped and is gripped by true biblical theology in depth. Both theology without doxology, and doxology without theology are equally precarious spiritually.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

I want to exalt You, my God and King, and praise Your name forever and ever. You are most worthy of praise! I will meditate deeply on Your majestic and glorious splendor, Your infinite greatness, Your awe-inspiring mighty acts, Your abundant goodness, Your gracious salvation, Your perfect righteousness, Your faithful love— so that my worship through Christ is worthy of You. Amen.

What is Paul’s theology all about in his doxology in Romans 11:33–36?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 9 Gordon D. Fee, Listening to the Spirit in the Text (Eerdmans, 2000), 5

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5, July y a Frid

2013

Doxology From Theology

APPLICATION What is the relation between knowing God and worshipping God in my life like? What changes do I need to make?

SCRIPTURE Ephesians 1:3–14; Romans 11:33–36 It must be our “singular and passionate conviction: that the proper aim of all true theology is doxology. Theology that does not begin and end in worship is not biblical at all.”9 Ephesians 1:3–14 is solid doxology that flows out of substantial theology. Conversely, wrong or poor theology results in wrong or poor doxology. Therefore, theology is a critical necessity to doxology. True theology is all about God and knowing Him. How can we worship God whom we do not know? It must be in our dominant consciousness in learning theology, that God is not an idea to be studied, but a person to relate with. Doxology must be the focus of theology but theology is foundational to doxology. Ephesians 1:3–14 is the worship of a spiritually mature worshipper, who has grasped and is gripped by true biblical theology in depth. Both theology without doxology, and doxology without theology are equally precarious spiritually.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

I want to exalt You, my God and King, and praise Your name forever and ever. You are most worthy of praise! I will meditate deeply on Your majestic and glorious splendor, Your infinite greatness, Your awe-inspiring mighty acts, Your abundant goodness, Your gracious salvation, Your perfect righteousness, Your faithful love— so that my worship through Christ is worthy of You. Amen.

What is Paul’s theology all about in his doxology in Romans 11:33–36?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 9 Gordon D. Fee, Listening to the Spirit in the Text (Eerdmans, 2000), 5

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6, July day r Satu

2013

Adoration in Affliction

APPLICATION How can I truly worship God in the rough and tough times of my life?

SCRIPTURE 2 Corinthians 1:3–11 Paul begins his letter 2 Corinthians, with doxology—“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:3). Paul worships God when suffering afflictions: “we were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it” (v 8, NLT). For Paul, God is at the centre of and in total sovereign control over his afflictions, however crushing and overwhelming. Adoration of God in affliction is made possible by anchoring in “the Father of compassions and God of all comfort” (v 3)—the fatherly God who feels for and feels with His children in their sufferings. Here is doxology flowing out of theology. God feels intimately the pains of His suffering children for their sufferings are “the sufferings of Christ” (v 5).

PRAYER

OBSERVATION 2 Corinthians 1:3–11 presents a picture of worship in discipleship.

Possessor of heaven and earth, even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty10, I will bless Your holy name. You give and take away11; because everything is Yours. Be the strength of my heart and the salvation of my life. Amen.

What are the marks of a certain kind of disciple manifested in this

Prayer Pointers

particular doxology?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 10 Habakkuk 3:17 11 Job 1:21

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6, July day r Satu

2013

Adoration in Affliction

APPLICATION How can I truly worship God in the rough and tough times of my life?

SCRIPTURE 2 Corinthians 1:3–11 Paul begins his letter 2 Corinthians, with doxology—“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:3). Paul worships God when suffering afflictions: “we were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it” (v 8, NLT). For Paul, God is at the centre of and in total sovereign control over his afflictions, however crushing and overwhelming. Adoration of God in affliction is made possible by anchoring in “the Father of compassions and God of all comfort” (v 3)—the fatherly God who feels for and feels with His children in their sufferings. Here is doxology flowing out of theology. God feels intimately the pains of His suffering children for their sufferings are “the sufferings of Christ” (v 5).

PRAYER

OBSERVATION 2 Corinthians 1:3–11 presents a picture of worship in discipleship.

Possessor of heaven and earth, even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty10, I will bless Your holy name. You give and take away11; because everything is Yours. Be the strength of my heart and the salvation of my life. Amen.

What are the marks of a certain kind of disciple manifested in this

Prayer Pointers

particular doxology?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 10 Habakkuk 3:17 11 Job 1:21

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2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

7, July y a d Sun

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

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2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

7, July y a d Sun

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

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8, July ay d Mon

2013

Perspective for Praise

APPLICATION What is one area I need to grow in how I view life (perspective) as Jesus’ disciple?

SCRIPTURE 1 Peter 1:3–9 Peter writes his letter to God’s people who “have been distressed by various trials” (1 Pe 1:6). The theme of suffering is found in every chapter of 1 Peter, with a particular emphasis on “the sufferings of Christ” (1:11; 2:21–23; 4:13; 5:1). Peter begins his letter with doxology—“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:3). The doxology is highly eschatological, containing expressions like “for a salvation to be revealed in the last time” (v 5), “the revelation of Jesus Christ” (v 7). Christ’s second coming is our “living hope” in life (v 3). We may feel helpless in our adversities but we are never hopeless. Our “living hope” assures us that our trials will not continue indefinitely. They will come to an end and is only “for a little while” (v 6). At the end, we will witness “praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (v 7). Such a perspective makes praise possible in times of trials, guiding us to wait in worship.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Keep me, Lord, from becoming an enemy of the cross; whose god is fleshly appetite, who thinks only about this life here on earth. You have redeemed me to become a citizen of heaven, where the Lord Jesus lives. Help me to eagerly wait for Him to return as my Savior; who will take my weak mortal body and change it into a glorious body like His own.12 Amen.

1 Peter 1:3–9 presents another picture of doxology in discipleship.

Prayer Pointers

What are the marks of this certain kind of disciple manifested in this

Give thanks:

particular doxology?

Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 12 Philippians 3:18–21

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8, July ay d Mon

2013

Perspective for Praise

APPLICATION What is one area I need to grow in how I view life (perspective) as Jesus’ disciple?

SCRIPTURE 1 Peter 1:3–9 Peter writes his letter to God’s people who “have been distressed by various trials” (1 Pe 1:6). The theme of suffering is found in every chapter of 1 Peter, with a particular emphasis on “the sufferings of Christ” (1:11; 2:21–23; 4:13; 5:1). Peter begins his letter with doxology—“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:3). The doxology is highly eschatological, containing expressions like “for a salvation to be revealed in the last time” (v 5), “the revelation of Jesus Christ” (v 7). Christ’s second coming is our “living hope” in life (v 3). We may feel helpless in our adversities but we are never hopeless. Our “living hope” assures us that our trials will not continue indefinitely. They will come to an end and is only “for a little while” (v 6). At the end, we will witness “praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (v 7). Such a perspective makes praise possible in times of trials, guiding us to wait in worship.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Keep me, Lord, from becoming an enemy of the cross; whose god is fleshly appetite, who thinks only about this life here on earth. You have redeemed me to become a citizen of heaven, where the Lord Jesus lives. Help me to eagerly wait for Him to return as my Savior; who will take my weak mortal body and change it into a glorious body like His own.12 Amen.

1 Peter 1:3–9 presents another picture of doxology in discipleship.

Prayer Pointers

What are the marks of this certain kind of disciple manifested in this

Give thanks:

particular doxology?

Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 12 Philippians 3:18–21

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9, July ay d Tues

2013

The Beginning of New Beginnings (1)

APPLICATION What are the areas in my life that need new beginnings?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:2; Joshua 5:9–12 “This month shall be the beginning of months for you”—these divine words marked the beginning of Israel’s life as a nation. This beginning of months is also the beginning of a new year. How did God want Israel to begin? He commanded that they “take a lamb for yourselves” to be slaughtered as a Passover lamb for His redemption of Israel (Ex 12:6). Like the Israelites, we all need new beginnings in our lives because we sin against God so often. Such much needed new beginnings are redemptive new beginnings where God forgives us of our sins and restores us to Himself through the blood of “the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29; Eph 1:7). While God commands the Passover to be observed annually, the appropriation of the Passover is a daily occurence. Marking the start of a new beginning is the Passover Lamb.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION In Joshua 5:9–12, Joshua and Israel observed the Passover just before they began to possess the land. What is the significance of this event?

Covenant Lord, each morning I get up from my bed, it’s a new day. You greet me with Your abundant steadfast love that never ceases, and Your compassions that never come to an end; and they are new every morning. This is so because You are a God of great faithfulness.13 I thank You that I can begin my new day with Your new steadfast love and new compassions. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 13 Lamentations 3:22–23

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9, July ay d Tues

2013

The Beginning of New Beginnings (1)

APPLICATION What are the areas in my life that need new beginnings?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:2; Joshua 5:9–12 “This month shall be the beginning of months for you”—these divine words marked the beginning of Israel’s life as a nation. This beginning of months is also the beginning of a new year. How did God want Israel to begin? He commanded that they “take a lamb for yourselves” to be slaughtered as a Passover lamb for His redemption of Israel (Ex 12:6). Like the Israelites, we all need new beginnings in our lives because we sin against God so often. Such much needed new beginnings are redemptive new beginnings where God forgives us of our sins and restores us to Himself through the blood of “the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29; Eph 1:7). While God commands the Passover to be observed annually, the appropriation of the Passover is a daily occurence. Marking the start of a new beginning is the Passover Lamb.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION In Joshua 5:9–12, Joshua and Israel observed the Passover just before they began to possess the land. What is the significance of this event?

Covenant Lord, each morning I get up from my bed, it’s a new day. You greet me with Your abundant steadfast love that never ceases, and Your compassions that never come to an end; and they are new every morning. This is so because You are a God of great faithfulness.13 I thank You that I can begin my new day with Your new steadfast love and new compassions. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 13 Lamentations 3:22–23

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10, July sday e Wedn

2013

The Beginning of New Beginnings (2)

APPLICATION How can I be sure that God will always give me new beginnings in my spiritual setbacks?

SCRIPTURE Genesis 8:15–22; 2 Kings 23:19–23 God “saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Ge 6:5), and destroyed the whole creation by a global flood. But through Noah, God started a second creation. It was a new beginning. The first thing Noah did after coming out of the ark was to build an altar to God, and offer sacrifices to Him (8:20). The sacrifices pleased God; and He promised He would “never again destroy every living thing” as He had done (v 21). God knew that the human heart remains evil, for judgment cannot change the evil heart (v 21). The evil heart can be changed only through sacrifices offered to God, which point to the ultimate sacrifice of “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). God started His new beginning with sacrifices to Himself. We begin our new beginnings with the cross of redemption. There is no other way.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION In 2 Kings 23:19–23, King Josiah led God’s people to a new spiritual beginning; with celebrating the Passover as a very important and significant event. What does 2 Kings 23:19–23 tell us about the Passover?

Lord Jesus, when I fail to follow You, I tend to run away from You, guilty and feeling unworthy of You. Yet, in Your love, grace, and mercy, You seek to restore me to Yourself. You are willing to forgive me of my sins seventy times seven;14 and Your blood cleanses me from all my sins.15 I thank You that through the cross I can have new beginnings again and again. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 14 Matthew 18:21–22 15 1 John 1:7

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10, July sday e Wedn

2013

The Beginning of New Beginnings (2)

APPLICATION How can I be sure that God will always give me new beginnings in my spiritual setbacks?

SCRIPTURE Genesis 8:15–22; 2 Kings 23:19–23 God “saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Ge 6:5), and destroyed the whole creation by a global flood. But through Noah, God started a second creation. It was a new beginning. The first thing Noah did after coming out of the ark was to build an altar to God, and offer sacrifices to Him (8:20). The sacrifices pleased God; and He promised He would “never again destroy every living thing” as He had done (v 21). God knew that the human heart remains evil, for judgment cannot change the evil heart (v 21). The evil heart can be changed only through sacrifices offered to God, which point to the ultimate sacrifice of “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). God started His new beginning with sacrifices to Himself. We begin our new beginnings with the cross of redemption. There is no other way.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION In 2 Kings 23:19–23, King Josiah led God’s people to a new spiritual beginning; with celebrating the Passover as a very important and significant event. What does 2 Kings 23:19–23 tell us about the Passover?

Lord Jesus, when I fail to follow You, I tend to run away from You, guilty and feeling unworthy of You. Yet, in Your love, grace, and mercy, You seek to restore me to Yourself. You are willing to forgive me of my sins seventy times seven;14 and Your blood cleanses me from all my sins.15 I thank You that through the cross I can have new beginnings again and again. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 14 Matthew 18:21–22 15 1 John 1:7

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11 , July sday r Thu

2013

The Beginning of New Beginnings (3)

APPLICATION How can I help the weak in discipleship to see that they can have new beginnings in God?

SCRIPTURE Ezra 6:14–21 God’s covenant people began to return to their homeland from an exile that was God’s judgment on them for breaking the covenant with Him (Ezr 1:1–3). Upon their return to Jerusalem, they rebuilt the temple destroyed by the Babylonians (6:15). After dedicating the temple, they observed the Passover (v 19). Here was another new beginning in Israel’s journey with God and it began with the Passover. For these people of God, their return from exile was Israel’s second exodus. But for them, the Passover took on a different meaning. The backdrop of the Passover was the exile, which reminded them of their great sins, their redemptive hope, God’s holy judgment, covenant mercy and steadfast love. Have you failed God like Israel who returned from exile? Just like them, you can have a new beginning and you begin with the Passover; that is, the cross, which is your redemptive hope.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION In Ezra 6:19–21, what did the exiles do when they observed the Passover in their new beginning?

You know, Lord, that I’m always three steps forward, two steps back in following You. As I receive Your grace for my two steps back, I want to point those who falter in following You, to come to You for new beginnings; to You who is the Saviour of the sinful, help of the helpless, hope of the hopeless, strength of the weak, healer of the sick and lover of the loveless.16 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 16 David Adams, Music of the Heart: New Psalms in the Celtic Tradition (SPCK, 2004), 92

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11 , July sday r Thu

2013

The Beginning of New Beginnings (3)

APPLICATION How can I help the weak in discipleship to see that they can have new beginnings in God?

SCRIPTURE Ezra 6:14–21 God’s covenant people began to return to their homeland from an exile that was God’s judgment on them for breaking the covenant with Him (Ezr 1:1–3). Upon their return to Jerusalem, they rebuilt the temple destroyed by the Babylonians (6:15). After dedicating the temple, they observed the Passover (v 19). Here was another new beginning in Israel’s journey with God and it began with the Passover. For these people of God, their return from exile was Israel’s second exodus. But for them, the Passover took on a different meaning. The backdrop of the Passover was the exile, which reminded them of their great sins, their redemptive hope, God’s holy judgment, covenant mercy and steadfast love. Have you failed God like Israel who returned from exile? Just like them, you can have a new beginning and you begin with the Passover; that is, the cross, which is your redemptive hope.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION In Ezra 6:19–21, what did the exiles do when they observed the Passover in their new beginning?

You know, Lord, that I’m always three steps forward, two steps back in following You. As I receive Your grace for my two steps back, I want to point those who falter in following You, to come to You for new beginnings; to You who is the Saviour of the sinful, help of the helpless, hope of the hopeless, strength of the weak, healer of the sick and lover of the loveless.16 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 16 David Adams, Music of the Heart: New Psalms in the Celtic Tradition (SPCK, 2004), 92

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12, July y a Frid

2013

The Firstborn Must Die

APPLICATION What does being redeemed with the precious blood of Christ mean to me in practical ways?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:12–13; Revelation 1:5; 1 Peter 1:17–21 The final judgment of God on Egypt, after nine plagues, was the death of “all the firstborn in the land of Egypt” (Ex 12:12). All the firstborn of Israel, not just the Egyptians, shall also die, unless God “see(s) the blood [of the Passover lamb] when I pass over you, and no plague will befall you” (v 13). Egypt symbolises sin; and “the wages of sin is death” (Ro 6:23). Therefore, all the firstborn, representing all the people of a family, and thus all humankind, must die; for “all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory” (Ro 3:23). Jesus is “the firstborn” (Heb 1:6), “the firstborn of all creation” (Col 1:16). But for God to save all the firstborn–under–sin from death, Jesus, the Firstborn, must die. Jesus, the Firstborn, is also the Passover Lamb, whose blood protects the firstborn–under–sin from death. But, Jesus is also “the firstborn from the dead” (Col 1:18; Rev 1:5), “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)! This is God’s design of redemption.

PRAYER Lord Jesus, what have You not suffered and what have You not given to me? I can never comprehend You, but I can love You and wonder at the depths of the darkness You endured on the cross, and the depth of Your love that held You there.17 Now, I live no longer for myself, but for You who died and rose on my behalf.18 Amen.

OBSERVATION What does Peter say about being “redeemed… with the precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” in 1 Peter 1:17–21?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 17 Source: Angela Ashwin, The Book of a Thousand Prayers (Zondervan, 2002), 338 18 2 Corinthians 5:15

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12, July y a Frid

2013

The Firstborn Must Die

APPLICATION What does being redeemed with the precious blood of Christ mean to me in practical ways?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:12–13; Revelation 1:5; 1 Peter 1:17–21 The final judgment of God on Egypt, after nine plagues, was the death of “all the firstborn in the land of Egypt” (Ex 12:12). All the firstborn of Israel, not just the Egyptians, shall also die, unless God “see(s) the blood [of the Passover lamb] when I pass over you, and no plague will befall you” (v 13). Egypt symbolises sin; and “the wages of sin is death” (Ro 6:23). Therefore, all the firstborn, representing all the people of a family, and thus all humankind, must die; for “all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory” (Ro 3:23). Jesus is “the firstborn” (Heb 1:6), “the firstborn of all creation” (Col 1:16). But for God to save all the firstborn–under–sin from death, Jesus, the Firstborn, must die. Jesus, the Firstborn, is also the Passover Lamb, whose blood protects the firstborn–under–sin from death. But, Jesus is also “the firstborn from the dead” (Col 1:18; Rev 1:5), “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)! This is God’s design of redemption.

PRAYER Lord Jesus, what have You not suffered and what have You not given to me? I can never comprehend You, but I can love You and wonder at the depths of the darkness You endured on the cross, and the depth of Your love that held You there.17 Now, I live no longer for myself, but for You who died and rose on my behalf.18 Amen.

OBSERVATION What does Peter say about being “redeemed… with the precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” in 1 Peter 1:17–21?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 17 Source: Angela Ashwin, The Book of a Thousand Prayers (Zondervan, 2002), 338 18 2 Corinthians 5:15

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13, July day r Satu

2013

God Must See Blood

APPLICATION How do I respond to what the blood of Jesus has accomplished for my salvation?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:12–13; Romans 5:8–11 God effortlessly spoke creation into existence—“God said, ‘Let there be…’ and it was so” (Ge 1:3–4, 9, 11, 14–15, 24). But the Almighty God, Creator of the universe, cannot speak redemption into existence—“Let all the sins of mankind be forgiven” and it is so. The wages of sin is death (Ge 2:17; Ro 6:23). Sinners must pay the wages of their sins; they must die for their sins. A sinner has only one most fundamental need—forgiveness of sins. That forgiveness must come from God alone because God is the one humankind has sinned against. But the divine demand is that “without shedding of blood [death] there is no forgiveness” (Heb 10:22). God, the Creator and Redeemer of life, says: “the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life” (Lev 17:11, NIV). When atonement for sins is made, sins can be forgiven (Lev 3:20, 26, 31, 35 etc.).

OBSERVATION

PRAYER Jesus, my Saviour, I thank You that You endured a criminal’s death for me. When I am carried away with pride, remind me that You were betrayed, whipped, and publicly humiliated. When I am full of resentment, may I remember that You prayed, “Father, forgive.” Show me Your way of overcoming hatred with love, and keep my eyes fixed on You, now and always.19 Amen.

What has the blood of Jesus accomplished according to Romans

Prayer Pointers

5:8–11?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 19 Adapted from Angela Ashwin, 341

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41


13, July day r Satu

2013

God Must See Blood

APPLICATION How do I respond to what the blood of Jesus has accomplished for my salvation?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:12–13; Romans 5:8–11 God effortlessly spoke creation into existence—“God said, ‘Let there be…’ and it was so” (Ge 1:3–4, 9, 11, 14–15, 24). But the Almighty God, Creator of the universe, cannot speak redemption into existence—“Let all the sins of mankind be forgiven” and it is so. The wages of sin is death (Ge 2:17; Ro 6:23). Sinners must pay the wages of their sins; they must die for their sins. A sinner has only one most fundamental need—forgiveness of sins. That forgiveness must come from God alone because God is the one humankind has sinned against. But the divine demand is that “without shedding of blood [death] there is no forgiveness” (Heb 10:22). God, the Creator and Redeemer of life, says: “the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life” (Lev 17:11, NIV). When atonement for sins is made, sins can be forgiven (Lev 3:20, 26, 31, 35 etc.).

OBSERVATION

PRAYER Jesus, my Saviour, I thank You that You endured a criminal’s death for me. When I am carried away with pride, remind me that You were betrayed, whipped, and publicly humiliated. When I am full of resentment, may I remember that You prayed, “Father, forgive.” Show me Your way of overcoming hatred with love, and keep my eyes fixed on You, now and always.19 Amen.

What has the blood of Jesus accomplished according to Romans

Prayer Pointers

5:8–11?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 19 Adapted from Angela Ashwin, 341

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41


2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

14, July y a d Sun

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

42

43


2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

14, July y a d Sun

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

42

43


15, July ay d Mon

2013

Win– Leading of God

APPLICATION What are some challenges I face in reaching out to the unsaved and how should I deal with them?

SCRIPTURE Luke 9:51–56; 2 Timothy 4:1–8 We go into missions to Win, Disciple, Send. “Win” is reaching out to pre–believers with the gospel. Win by divine appointment. The phrase, “When the days were approaching for His ascension” (Luke 9:51) indicates that the time has come for Jesus to go to Jerusalem to fulfill His redemption mission. Jesus lives by divine timing—“My hour” (John 2:4; 7:6; 13:1; 17:1) and we are to do the same even though God’s timing may not fit into our preferences. Win by active obedience. Jesus moved into action towards accomplishing His mission in Jerusalem. He made up His mind and set His face resolutely “to go to Jerusalem” (v 51). Undergirding Jesus’ active obedience is the principle of the cross (Luke 9:22– 23). On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus stopped by at a village of the Samaritans. Being Jesus, He preached the gospel to the villagers. But “they did not receive Him” (v 52–53). Divine appointment and active obedience does not necessarily mean the mission will bear fruit (cf. Isa 6:8–13, Isaiah’s mission). Cross references A. Luke 9:22 : Luke 9:22-27: Matt 16:21-28; Mark 8:31-9:1 B. Luke 9:22 : Matt 16:21; Luke 9:44

PRAYER God who is Love and Light, make me a still place of light, a still place of love of God; make me Your light, Your love, Your touch and Your healing, far and near, to those caught in darkness, in sickness and in fear. Give me eyes to see and a heart to feel with Your compassion for people. Amen.

OBSERVATION What does the imprisoned Paul say in 2 Timothy 4:1–8 about himself and the world around him, as he answers God’s call?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self:

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15, July ay d Mon

2013

Win– Leading of God

APPLICATION What are some challenges I face in reaching out to the unsaved and how should I deal with them?

SCRIPTURE Luke 9:51–56; 2 Timothy 4:1–8 We go into missions to Win, Disciple, Send. “Win” is reaching out to pre–believers with the gospel. Win by divine appointment. The phrase, “When the days were approaching for His ascension” (Luke 9:51) indicates that the time has come for Jesus to go to Jerusalem to fulfill His redemption mission. Jesus lives by divine timing—“My hour” (John 2:4; 7:6; 13:1; 17:1) and we are to do the same even though God’s timing may not fit into our preferences. Win by active obedience. Jesus moved into action towards accomplishing His mission in Jerusalem. He made up His mind and set His face resolutely “to go to Jerusalem” (v 51). Undergirding Jesus’ active obedience is the principle of the cross (Luke 9:22– 23). On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus stopped by at a village of the Samaritans. Being Jesus, He preached the gospel to the villagers. But “they did not receive Him” (v 52–53). Divine appointment and active obedience does not necessarily mean the mission will bear fruit (cf. Isa 6:8–13, Isaiah’s mission). Cross references A. Luke 9:22 : Luke 9:22-27: Matt 16:21-28; Mark 8:31-9:1 B. Luke 9:22 : Matt 16:21; Luke 9:44

PRAYER God who is Love and Light, make me a still place of light, a still place of love of God; make me Your light, Your love, Your touch and Your healing, far and near, to those caught in darkness, in sickness and in fear. Give me eyes to see and a heart to feel with Your compassion for people. Amen.

OBSERVATION What does the imprisoned Paul say in 2 Timothy 4:1–8 about himself and the world around him, as he answers God’s call?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self:

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16, July ay d Tues

2013

Win– Heart for People

APPLICATION Who are some people I have a prejudice against, and what do I want to do with that?

SCRIPTURE Luke 9:51–56; 1 Corinthians 9:19–23 Jesus sets His face to go to “Jerusalem” (v 51), by first passing through “a village of the Samaritans” (v 52). The significance lies not in the places Jesus goes to, but the people who live in these places. The text is silent about Jesus’ purpose of going to the Samaritan village. We may assume in the context of missions here that His purpose and activity are missions–related and redemptive in nature. John and James’ response to the Samaritans’ rejection of Jesus reflects their lack of grace and compassion (v 53–54); and their Jewish pride and prejudice towards the Samaritans (cf. John 4:9). To Jesus, it is an error serious enough to demand a rebuke from Him (v 55a). God may direct us to reach out to people we personally find it difficult to do so. Reflection: How do we look at (certain) people? How do we feel about (certain) people? What do we think of (certain) people?

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What does Paul say in 1 Corinthians 9:19–23 about his heart for people?

God, Creator and Lover of all humankind, enlarge my heart that it may be big enough to receive the greatness of Your love. Stretch my heart that it may take into it all those who do not know Jesus, but who are my responsibility because I know Him. Stretch my heart that it may take in those who are unlovely in my eyes, and whose hands I do not want to touch. Amen.20 Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 20 Adapted from Prayer of an African Christian

46

47


16, July ay d Tues

2013

Win– Heart for People

APPLICATION Who are some people I have a prejudice against, and what do I want to do with that?

SCRIPTURE Luke 9:51–56; 1 Corinthians 9:19–23 Jesus sets His face to go to “Jerusalem” (v 51), by first passing through “a village of the Samaritans” (v 52). The significance lies not in the places Jesus goes to, but the people who live in these places. The text is silent about Jesus’ purpose of going to the Samaritan village. We may assume in the context of missions here that His purpose and activity are missions–related and redemptive in nature. John and James’ response to the Samaritans’ rejection of Jesus reflects their lack of grace and compassion (v 53–54); and their Jewish pride and prejudice towards the Samaritans (cf. John 4:9). To Jesus, it is an error serious enough to demand a rebuke from Him (v 55a). God may direct us to reach out to people we personally find it difficult to do so. Reflection: How do we look at (certain) people? How do we feel about (certain) people? What do we think of (certain) people?

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What does Paul say in 1 Corinthians 9:19–23 about his heart for people?

God, Creator and Lover of all humankind, enlarge my heart that it may be big enough to receive the greatness of Your love. Stretch my heart that it may take into it all those who do not know Jesus, but who are my responsibility because I know Him. Stretch my heart that it may take in those who are unlovely in my eyes, and whose hands I do not want to touch. Amen.20 Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 20 Adapted from Prayer of an African Christian

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17, July sday e Wedn

2013

Disciple– First, A Disciple

APPLICATION How do I rate myself as a disciple of Jesus in light of Luke 9:18–26?

SCRIPTURE Luke 9:57–62; Luke 9:18–26 We must disciple those we have won to Christ. To disciple others, we must first be a disciple. We see in Luke 9:57–62 Jesus making disciples, as the chief disciple-maker. Jesus’ interaction with the three potential disciples reflects the basic character of discipleship and the basic curriculum for disciple-making. Certain discipleship key terms reveal certain discipleship fundamentals in disciple-making. The word “follow”, is repeated thrice in v 57, 59 and 61. Biblical Christianity is basically anchored on two words—Following Jesus. Disciple-making is educating, equipping, establishing, exhorting, and encouraging believers-in-Christ to keep following Jesus. “Wherever” in v 57 means to truly follow Jesus wherever He goes (cf. Rev 14:4). It is saying “Lord, wherever You send me, I will follow; whatever You give me, I will swallow.”

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Lord Jesus, where are You taking me? I am afraid; but to do anything other than go with You would be to die inwardly; and to look for wholeness apart from You would be to lose my true self. So I come to You, protesting and confused, but loving You all the same. Hold on to me as we walk together through this compelling and frightening landscape of the kingdom of God.21 Amen.

What is the mark of a true disciple of Jesus according to Luke 9:18–26? Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 21 Adapted from Angela Ashwin, 37

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17, July sday e Wedn

2013

Disciple– First, A Disciple

APPLICATION How do I rate myself as a disciple of Jesus in light of Luke 9:18–26?

SCRIPTURE Luke 9:57–62; Luke 9:18–26 We must disciple those we have won to Christ. To disciple others, we must first be a disciple. We see in Luke 9:57–62 Jesus making disciples, as the chief disciple-maker. Jesus’ interaction with the three potential disciples reflects the basic character of discipleship and the basic curriculum for disciple-making. Certain discipleship key terms reveal certain discipleship fundamentals in disciple-making. The word “follow”, is repeated thrice in v 57, 59 and 61. Biblical Christianity is basically anchored on two words—Following Jesus. Disciple-making is educating, equipping, establishing, exhorting, and encouraging believers-in-Christ to keep following Jesus. “Wherever” in v 57 means to truly follow Jesus wherever He goes (cf. Rev 14:4). It is saying “Lord, wherever You send me, I will follow; whatever You give me, I will swallow.”

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Lord Jesus, where are You taking me? I am afraid; but to do anything other than go with You would be to die inwardly; and to look for wholeness apart from You would be to lose my true self. So I come to You, protesting and confused, but loving You all the same. Hold on to me as we walk together through this compelling and frightening landscape of the kingdom of God.21 Amen.

What is the mark of a true disciple of Jesus according to Luke 9:18–26? Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 21 Adapted from Angela Ashwin, 37

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18, July sday Thur

2013

Disciple– Disciples Make Disciples

APPLICATION How do I rate myself as a disciple of Jesus in light of Luke 14:25–35?

SCRIPTURE Luke 9:57–62; Luke 14:25–35 Some of the key terms in these passages reveal certain discipleship fundamentals. The word “Lord”, is repeated twice in v 59 and 61. It is easy to call Jesus “Lord”, especially in our prayers. We need to consciously recognise the significance of calling Jesus “Lord”; so that we know what it really means when we do so. Otherwise, calling Him “Lord” becomes empty and meaningless. The word “First”, is also repeated twice—“Lord, permit me first” (v 59, 61). “Lord” and “me first” are a contradiction. Discipleship cannot be both “Lord first” and “Me first” at the same time. True disciples “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Mt 6:33). “Kingdom of God” which appears in v 60 and 62, presupposes a king with subjects under his kingship. The kingdom of God consists of a kingdom task—“proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God” (v 60), and kingdom life—“fit for the kingdom of God” (v 62). Single-mindedness (no looking back) is very fundamental in following Jesus. It is a forward ever, backward never spirit.

PRAYER Lord Jesus, take my mind and think through me, take my hands and bless through me, take my mouth and speak through me, take my heart and love through me. Above all, Lord Jesus, take my spirit and pray in me so that it is You who moves and have Your being in me.22 Amen.

OBSERVATION

Prayer Pointers

What is a true disciple of Jesus like according to Luke 14:25–35?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 22 Adapted from a prayer in a 16th century Book of the Hour

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51


18, July sday Thur

2013

Disciple– Disciples Make Disciples

APPLICATION How do I rate myself as a disciple of Jesus in light of Luke 14:25–35?

SCRIPTURE Luke 9:57–62; Luke 14:25–35 Some of the key terms in these passages reveal certain discipleship fundamentals. The word “Lord”, is repeated twice in v 59 and 61. It is easy to call Jesus “Lord”, especially in our prayers. We need to consciously recognise the significance of calling Jesus “Lord”; so that we know what it really means when we do so. Otherwise, calling Him “Lord” becomes empty and meaningless. The word “First”, is also repeated twice—“Lord, permit me first” (v 59, 61). “Lord” and “me first” are a contradiction. Discipleship cannot be both “Lord first” and “Me first” at the same time. True disciples “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Mt 6:33). “Kingdom of God” which appears in v 60 and 62, presupposes a king with subjects under his kingship. The kingdom of God consists of a kingdom task—“proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God” (v 60), and kingdom life—“fit for the kingdom of God” (v 62). Single-mindedness (no looking back) is very fundamental in following Jesus. It is a forward ever, backward never spirit.

PRAYER Lord Jesus, take my mind and think through me, take my hands and bless through me, take my mouth and speak through me, take my heart and love through me. Above all, Lord Jesus, take my spirit and pray in me so that it is You who moves and have Your being in me.22 Amen.

OBSERVATION

Prayer Pointers

What is a true disciple of Jesus like according to Luke 14:25–35?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 22 Adapted from a prayer in a 16th century Book of the Hour

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19, July y a Frid

2013

Send– Answering the Call

APPLICATION How am I challenged by the discipleship of the Thessalonians?

SCRIPTURE Luke 10:1–4; 1 Thessalonians 1:2–10 To send, we must multiply ourselves in discipling others. Jesus has a dual purpose in His mission: making disciples (Luke 9:51–62)—witnessing to and winning the unsaved to follow Him (v 57, 59, 61); and multiplying disciples (10:1–4)—sending His disciples to fulfill the kingdom mission with Him. The seventy Jesus sends out are disciples who embrace the discipleship fundamentals in Luke 9:57–62. Jesus is reproducing His own kind. All disciples of Jesus are like the seventy called to missions—“the Lord appointed… and sent” (10:1); “I send you out” (v 3). Every child of God is called to missions, to play a particular part He has called him/her to—“all are called to do something,”23 and make his/her vital contribution. “There is a task for everyone. There is a task for me.”24 Nothing is too small to be insignificant. We are to consciously live life with a sense of God’s calling. For a follower of Jesus (a biblical Christian), living is fulfilling God’s call for his/her life.

OBSERVATION How did the church of the Thessalonians answer their call to missions (1 Thessalonians 1:2–10)?

PRAYER Almighty God, You called us to labour in Your vineyard. Keep us faithful in Your service, whether the harvest be plentiful, or the soil seems barren and our labour unprofitable; knowing that the harvest is Yours, and You will reap in Your own appointed time to the glory of Your holy Name. Amen. (Eric Milner–White and G. W. Briggs) Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 23 Darrell L. Bock, Luke, The NIV Application Commentary (Zondervan, 1996), 297 24 William Hendriksen, Luke, New Testament Commentary (Banner of Truth, 1978), 572

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19, July y a Frid

2013

Send– Answering the Call

APPLICATION How am I challenged by the discipleship of the Thessalonians?

SCRIPTURE Luke 10:1–4; 1 Thessalonians 1:2–10 To send, we must multiply ourselves in discipling others. Jesus has a dual purpose in His mission: making disciples (Luke 9:51–62)—witnessing to and winning the unsaved to follow Him (v 57, 59, 61); and multiplying disciples (10:1–4)—sending His disciples to fulfill the kingdom mission with Him. The seventy Jesus sends out are disciples who embrace the discipleship fundamentals in Luke 9:57–62. Jesus is reproducing His own kind. All disciples of Jesus are like the seventy called to missions—“the Lord appointed… and sent” (10:1); “I send you out” (v 3). Every child of God is called to missions, to play a particular part He has called him/her to—“all are called to do something,”23 and make his/her vital contribution. “There is a task for everyone. There is a task for me.”24 Nothing is too small to be insignificant. We are to consciously live life with a sense of God’s calling. For a follower of Jesus (a biblical Christian), living is fulfilling God’s call for his/her life.

OBSERVATION How did the church of the Thessalonians answer their call to missions (1 Thessalonians 1:2–10)?

PRAYER Almighty God, You called us to labour in Your vineyard. Keep us faithful in Your service, whether the harvest be plentiful, or the soil seems barren and our labour unprofitable; knowing that the harvest is Yours, and You will reap in Your own appointed time to the glory of Your holy Name. Amen. (Eric Milner–White and G. W. Briggs) Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 23 Darrell L. Bock, Luke, The NIV Application Commentary (Zondervan, 1996), 297 24 William Hendriksen, Luke, New Testament Commentary (Banner of Truth, 1978), 572

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20, July day Satur

2013

Send– Heart for Missions

APPLICATION What is an area in my life I need to deal with regarding a heart for missions?

SCRIPTURE Luke 10:1–4; Romans 1:13–18 Luke 10:1–4 describes the heart for missions. Harvest (v 2)—The harvest indicates “the urgent missionary task of the present age.”25 The harvest field is large. It is the world (Mt 13:38)”; and the “need is there always—hence the word, now!”26 The Church needs “labourers… not loafers.”27 See the needs (cf. Mt 9:36—“seeing the people”; John 4:35—“lift up your eyes and look on the fields”); pray for workers and work in the harvest. Mobility, priority, simplicity (v 4)—Jesus calls us to travel light for missions, which enables mobility. It is “easy to get entangled in the things of this life”28—“the normal affairs of life.”29 Jesus’ instruction means “ministry is their priority.”30 Jesus’ disciples “must see that nothing hinders the faithful and immediate accomplishment of their task”31 They must have urgency—“greet no one on the way” (v 4) and single-mindedness “even to the extent of not becoming involved in time-consuming greetings.”32 Jesus’ disciples “must not turn aside or linger on the lesser things while the great things call him.”33

PRAYER Heavenly Father, I pray for those who have gone to other countries with the Good News of Jesus. Thank you for their heart for missions. When their work is difficult and tiring, make them strong. When they are lonely and homesick, let them sense that You are with them. When they are uncertain about what to do, guide them. Keep them at all times loving You.34 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders:

OBSERVATION

Pray for significant people:

How does Romans 1:13–18 show Paul’s heart for missions?

Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 25 Walter L. Liefeld, Luke, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Zondervan, 1984), Vol. 8, 937 26 William Hendriksen, 572 27 William Hendriksen, 572 28 William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, The Daily Study Bible (TPI, 1975), 134 29 Darrell L. Bock, 292 30 Darrell L. Bock, 292 31 Norval Geldenhuys, The Gospel of Luke, the New International Commentary on the New Testament (Eerdmans, 1951), 300 32 Walter L. Liefeld, Vol. 8, 937 33 William Barclay, 134 34 Adapted from Michael Botting’s prayer

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20, July day Satur

2013

Send– Heart for Missions

APPLICATION What is an area in my life I need to deal with regarding a heart for missions?

SCRIPTURE Luke 10:1–4; Romans 1:13–18 Luke 10:1–4 describes the heart for missions. Harvest (v 2)—The harvest indicates “the urgent missionary task of the present age.”25 The harvest field is large. It is the world (Mt 13:38)”; and the “need is there always—hence the word, now!”26 The Church needs “labourers… not loafers.”27 See the needs (cf. Mt 9:36—“seeing the people”; John 4:35—“lift up your eyes and look on the fields”); pray for workers and work in the harvest. Mobility, priority, simplicity (v 4)—Jesus calls us to travel light for missions, which enables mobility. It is “easy to get entangled in the things of this life”28—“the normal affairs of life.”29 Jesus’ instruction means “ministry is their priority.”30 Jesus’ disciples “must see that nothing hinders the faithful and immediate accomplishment of their task”31 They must have urgency—“greet no one on the way” (v 4) and single-mindedness “even to the extent of not becoming involved in time-consuming greetings.”32 Jesus’ disciples “must not turn aside or linger on the lesser things while the great things call him.”33

PRAYER Heavenly Father, I pray for those who have gone to other countries with the Good News of Jesus. Thank you for their heart for missions. When their work is difficult and tiring, make them strong. When they are lonely and homesick, let them sense that You are with them. When they are uncertain about what to do, guide them. Keep them at all times loving You.34 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders:

OBSERVATION

Pray for significant people:

How does Romans 1:13–18 show Paul’s heart for missions?

Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 25 Walter L. Liefeld, Luke, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Zondervan, 1984), Vol. 8, 937 26 William Hendriksen, 572 27 William Hendriksen, 572 28 William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, The Daily Study Bible (TPI, 1975), 134 29 Darrell L. Bock, 292 30 Darrell L. Bock, 292 31 Norval Geldenhuys, The Gospel of Luke, the New International Commentary on the New Testament (Eerdmans, 1951), 300 32 Walter L. Liefeld, Vol. 8, 937 33 William Barclay, 134 34 Adapted from Michael Botting’s prayer

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2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

21, July y a d Sun

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

56

57


2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

21, July y a d Sun

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

56

57


22, July ay Mond

2013

The Greatest Immorality

APPLICATION How can I live with suffering unjustly?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:5–7; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 2:18–24 The Passover lamb must be slaughtered so that its blood may protect humankind from God’s judgment of death. The Passover lamb must be “unblemished” (Ex 12:5). This redemptive act points to the ultimate redemptive act—the cross. The cross is the greatest immorality. On the cross, the righteous died for the unrighteous (1 Pe 3:18; Ac 2:23), that the unrighteous can become righteous (2 Co 5:21; cf. Gal 3:13–14). “There is a real moral conflict in the cross, so great that many liberal theologians have considered the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement to be essentially immoral.”35 Who killed the Passover lamb? It was the Israelites who needed the blood of the Passover lamb (Ex 12:6–7). In other words, it was sinners like you and I who killed the Passover Lamb on the cross.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Jesus, my Saviour, You are sinless. Yet You died on the cross as a criminal. O what mystery, that the righteous You died for the unrighteous me so that the unrighteous me can become the righteousness of God! How the contradiction of the cross proclaims the infinite love and wisdom of God! My heart is awed. I worship You with deep gratitude from my heart. Amen.

How does Peter link Jesus’ unjust suffering to discipleship? Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 35 Norman L. Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, (Baker, 1990, 1998), 119

58

59


22, July ay Mond

2013

The Greatest Immorality

APPLICATION How can I live with suffering unjustly?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:5–7; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 2:18–24 The Passover lamb must be slaughtered so that its blood may protect humankind from God’s judgment of death. The Passover lamb must be “unblemished” (Ex 12:5). This redemptive act points to the ultimate redemptive act—the cross. The cross is the greatest immorality. On the cross, the righteous died for the unrighteous (1 Pe 3:18; Ac 2:23), that the unrighteous can become righteous (2 Co 5:21; cf. Gal 3:13–14). “There is a real moral conflict in the cross, so great that many liberal theologians have considered the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement to be essentially immoral.”35 Who killed the Passover lamb? It was the Israelites who needed the blood of the Passover lamb (Ex 12:6–7). In other words, it was sinners like you and I who killed the Passover Lamb on the cross.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Jesus, my Saviour, You are sinless. Yet You died on the cross as a criminal. O what mystery, that the righteous You died for the unrighteous me so that the unrighteous me can become the righteousness of God! How the contradiction of the cross proclaims the infinite love and wisdom of God! My heart is awed. I worship You with deep gratitude from my heart. Amen.

How does Peter link Jesus’ unjust suffering to discipleship? Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 35 Norman L. Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, (Baker, 1990, 1998), 119

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23, July ay Tuesd

2013

Two Dimensions of Redemption

APPLICATION How does what the blood of Jesus has accomplished affect the way I live my Christian life according to Ephesians 2:11–22?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:3–8; Ephesians 2:13–22 The Passover lamb is slaughtered, that its blood may protect humans from divine judgment (Ex 12:7, 12–13). This part of the Passover points to our “redemption” in Christ “through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Eph 1:7) that results in our reconcilation to God (Ro 5:10). This is redemption of relationship between God and man. The Passover lamb is slaughtered and eaten as a family (Ex 12:3), or with neighbours (v 4), and as the whole assembly of congregation of Israel (v 6). Redemption also redeems individuals into a redeemed community. When we are redeemed, we are all baptised into one body (the Church) by the Holy Spirit, who brings into effect the salvation in Christ (1 Co 12:12–13). This is the redemption of relationship between humans. It is God’s design that both vertical and horizontal relationships go hand in hand. Ignoring or neglecting one affects the other.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Jesus, my Redeemer, help me to relate with my fellow–humans redemptively, as a sinner with fellow–sinners; just as You relate with me redemptively. Help me to be gracious and compassionate towards others, especially those who have hurt me; that I may humbly and freely forgive them, love them, serve them, by looking at the cross. Amen.

Ephesians 2—Vertical redemption (v 1–10), Horizontal redemption (v 11–22). What has the blood of Jesus accomplished according to Ephesians 2:11–22?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self:

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23, July ay Tuesd

2013

Two Dimensions of Redemption

APPLICATION How does what the blood of Jesus has accomplished affect the way I live my Christian life according to Ephesians 2:11–22?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:3–8; Ephesians 2:13–22 The Passover lamb is slaughtered, that its blood may protect humans from divine judgment (Ex 12:7, 12–13). This part of the Passover points to our “redemption” in Christ “through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Eph 1:7) that results in our reconcilation to God (Ro 5:10). This is redemption of relationship between God and man. The Passover lamb is slaughtered and eaten as a family (Ex 12:3), or with neighbours (v 4), and as the whole assembly of congregation of Israel (v 6). Redemption also redeems individuals into a redeemed community. When we are redeemed, we are all baptised into one body (the Church) by the Holy Spirit, who brings into effect the salvation in Christ (1 Co 12:12–13). This is the redemption of relationship between humans. It is God’s design that both vertical and horizontal relationships go hand in hand. Ignoring or neglecting one affects the other.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Jesus, my Redeemer, help me to relate with my fellow–humans redemptively, as a sinner with fellow–sinners; just as You relate with me redemptively. Help me to be gracious and compassionate towards others, especially those who have hurt me; that I may humbly and freely forgive them, love them, serve them, by looking at the cross. Amen.

Ephesians 2—Vertical redemption (v 1–10), Horizontal redemption (v 11–22). What has the blood of Jesus accomplished according to Ephesians 2:11–22?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self:

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24, July sday Wedne

2013

Breakdown of Relationships

APPLICATION What are some aspects of human relationship in my life that I need to pay attention to and what will I do about it?

SCRIPTURE Genesis 3:6–10; Romans 12:1–16 The fall of the first humans into sin resulted in breakdown of relationships in both vertical and horizontal dimensions. Vertically, they “hid from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden” (Ge 3:8). Horizontally, they hid from each other even in the most intimate human relationship. Adam and Eve were “both naked and were not ashamed” (Ge 2:25). But in sin, they realised that they could no longer be naked and not ashamed. They had to cover their nakedness in their relationship (Ge 3:7). Nakedness indicates intimacy and transparency in relationship. Sin mars their “one flesh” relationship (cf. Ge 2:24, “One flesh” indicates unity). Many of the problems in the world today—society, marriage, family, church (local and universal)—are a result of the breakdown of relationships. God relates with us redemptively, that we may relate with “all people” redemptively (cf. Ro 12:18).

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Lord, pick me up and put me together again. Sometimes things become unbearable, and being with ______ brings out the worst in me. Help me. Forgive me my resentment and sharp reactions. Free me from endless churning over arguments in my mind. Stay at the centre, Lord, and let nothing take from me that inner point of sanity where I am known by You and am not condemned.36 Amen.

Romans 12:1–16—Vertical discipleship (v 1–2), Horizontal discipleship

Prayer Pointers

(v 3–16): How are we to build our relationship with God and people

Give thanks:

according to Romans 12:1–16?

Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 36 Angela Ashwin, 156

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24, July sday Wedne

2013

Breakdown of Relationships

APPLICATION What are some aspects of human relationship in my life that I need to pay attention to and what will I do about it?

SCRIPTURE Genesis 3:6–10; Romans 12:1–16 The fall of the first humans into sin resulted in breakdown of relationships in both vertical and horizontal dimensions. Vertically, they “hid from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden” (Ge 3:8). Horizontally, they hid from each other even in the most intimate human relationship. Adam and Eve were “both naked and were not ashamed” (Ge 2:25). But in sin, they realised that they could no longer be naked and not ashamed. They had to cover their nakedness in their relationship (Ge 3:7). Nakedness indicates intimacy and transparency in relationship. Sin mars their “one flesh” relationship (cf. Ge 2:24, “One flesh” indicates unity). Many of the problems in the world today—society, marriage, family, church (local and universal)—are a result of the breakdown of relationships. God relates with us redemptively, that we may relate with “all people” redemptively (cf. Ro 12:18).

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Lord, pick me up and put me together again. Sometimes things become unbearable, and being with ______ brings out the worst in me. Help me. Forgive me my resentment and sharp reactions. Free me from endless churning over arguments in my mind. Stay at the centre, Lord, and let nothing take from me that inner point of sanity where I am known by You and am not condemned.36 Amen.

Romans 12:1–16—Vertical discipleship (v 1–2), Horizontal discipleship

Prayer Pointers

(v 3–16): How are we to build our relationship with God and people

Give thanks:

according to Romans 12:1–16?

Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 36 Angela Ashwin, 156

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25, July sday Thur

2013

Maturity in Relationships

APPLICATION What concrete role(s) should I play in contributing to the growth of the Church?

SCRIPTURE Ephesians 4:1–16 Paul implores the Church “to lead a life worthy of your calling” (Eph 4:1, NLT). We are redeemed in Christ as “one new man” and “one body to God” (Eph 2:14–16). It is a call to “be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3). What does it take to live out this call of God? It takes “all humility” (contrast: pride); “gentleness” (contrast: harshness), “patience” (contrast: impatience) and “tolerance” (contrast: intolerance). We are to live out of these “in love” (contrast: unloving). Paul understands and underscores a reality—Relationship is difficult for it takes so much to relate with one another in peaceful harmony. The key to unity is maturity—to grow “to a mature man” (Eph 4:13). Much of growing to maturity happens in relationships. Character is developed, demonstrated, and displayed in how we relate with all kinds of people.

OBSERVATION What does building the church involve according to Ephesians 4:1–16?

PRAYER Lord, help us, Your people, to be peacemakers; for You are our peace,37 and we are the children of God.38 Give us Your grace that we may be more ready to call people, inside and outside Your Church, friends than enemies; to trust than to mistrust, to love than to hate, to respect than to despise, to serve than to be served. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 37 Ephesians 2:14 38 Matthew 5:9

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25, July sday Thur

2013

Maturity in Relationships

APPLICATION What concrete role(s) should I play in contributing to the growth of the Church?

SCRIPTURE Ephesians 4:1–16 Paul implores the Church “to lead a life worthy of your calling” (Eph 4:1, NLT). We are redeemed in Christ as “one new man” and “one body to God” (Eph 2:14–16). It is a call to “be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3). What does it take to live out this call of God? It takes “all humility” (contrast: pride); “gentleness” (contrast: harshness), “patience” (contrast: impatience) and “tolerance” (contrast: intolerance). We are to live out of these “in love” (contrast: unloving). Paul understands and underscores a reality—Relationship is difficult for it takes so much to relate with one another in peaceful harmony. The key to unity is maturity—to grow “to a mature man” (Eph 4:13). Much of growing to maturity happens in relationships. Character is developed, demonstrated, and displayed in how we relate with all kinds of people.

OBSERVATION What does building the church involve according to Ephesians 4:1–16?

PRAYER Lord, help us, Your people, to be peacemakers; for You are our peace,37 and we are the children of God.38 Give us Your grace that we may be more ready to call people, inside and outside Your Church, friends than enemies; to trust than to mistrust, to love than to hate, to respect than to despise, to serve than to be served. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 37 Ephesians 2:14 38 Matthew 5:9

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26, July y Frida

2013

We Are Not Just Saved from Hell

APPLICATION What is the greatest challenge in my life to live in holiness?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:7–11; 1 Corinthians 5:3–8 In God’s design of salvation, the Passover alone is incomplete. The blood of the Passover Lamb is for forgiveness of sins (cf. Eph 1:7; 1 John 1:7), and salvation from God’s wrath (Ro 5:9; Ex 12:12–13). God commanded Israel to eat the flesh of the Passover lamb “with unleavened bread” (Ex 12:8). In Scripture, leaven symbolises evil; in contrast, unleavened bread symbolises holiness. The Passover is sacrificed on the first day of Unleavened Bread (Luke 22:7). Thus, there is a theological connection between the two. God’s redemption is both from and into. It is from Egypt and into the Promised Land (Ex 13:3–6). We are not just saved from hell but also to holiness. Forgiveness is only one side of redemption. Complete redemption consists of both forgiveness and holiness. Holiness is possible only when there is forgiveness; for as we seek to walk in holiness, we still fall into sin.

PRAYER

How does Paul understand and apply the Passover and the Feast of

My Lord and my God, thank you for drawing me to Yourself. Keep the burning of my desire for You as clear and steady as the flame of a candle—a single, undivided focus of attention; a steady offering of the will. Let my whole being be cleansed by the flame of Your love from all that is contrary to Your will for me. Amen. (Margaret Dewey [abbreviated])

Unleavened Bread in 1 Corinthians 5:3–8? (The context concerns the

Prayer Pointers

discipline of someone who has committed immorality.)

Give thanks:

OBSERVATION

Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self:

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26, July y Frida

2013

We Are Not Just Saved from Hell

APPLICATION What is the greatest challenge in my life to live in holiness?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:7–11; 1 Corinthians 5:3–8 In God’s design of salvation, the Passover alone is incomplete. The blood of the Passover Lamb is for forgiveness of sins (cf. Eph 1:7; 1 John 1:7), and salvation from God’s wrath (Ro 5:9; Ex 12:12–13). God commanded Israel to eat the flesh of the Passover lamb “with unleavened bread” (Ex 12:8). In Scripture, leaven symbolises evil; in contrast, unleavened bread symbolises holiness. The Passover is sacrificed on the first day of Unleavened Bread (Luke 22:7). Thus, there is a theological connection between the two. God’s redemption is both from and into. It is from Egypt and into the Promised Land (Ex 13:3–6). We are not just saved from hell but also to holiness. Forgiveness is only one side of redemption. Complete redemption consists of both forgiveness and holiness. Holiness is possible only when there is forgiveness; for as we seek to walk in holiness, we still fall into sin.

PRAYER

How does Paul understand and apply the Passover and the Feast of

My Lord and my God, thank you for drawing me to Yourself. Keep the burning of my desire for You as clear and steady as the flame of a candle—a single, undivided focus of attention; a steady offering of the will. Let my whole being be cleansed by the flame of Your love from all that is contrary to Your will for me. Amen. (Margaret Dewey [abbreviated])

Unleavened Bread in 1 Corinthians 5:3–8? (The context concerns the

Prayer Pointers

discipline of someone who has committed immorality.)

Give thanks:

OBSERVATION

Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self:

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27, July day Satur

2013

The Lord’s Supper Devotion

APPLICATION How does the Lord’s Supper stir my heart toward a deeper devotion to the Lord?

SCRIPTURE 1 Corinthians 11:23–34 It is at the Passover that Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is the Passover. Jesus sends His disciples to prepare the Passover, which is in the form of the cup and the bread (Luke 22:8, 19–20). Observing the Lord’s Supper is an act of devotion—“Do this in remembrance of Me” (1 Co 11:24, 25). It is not a remembrance of ‘what’ (things or events); but of ‘who’—a person. It is not a remembrance of a person who lived in the past, and is already dead; but of a living person who is present in the now. Why remembrance? It is because we are prone to forget and we need reminders. Remember the Lord concerning the past—what He has done for us on the cross. Respond with gratitude. Remember the Lord in the present—His presence with us. Respond with devotion. Remember the Lord concerning the future—“until He comes” (v 26). Respond with faithfulness and anticipation— love His coming, wait for His coming and live in view of His coming.

PRAYER Lord Jesus, I receive Your love poured out for me in bread and wine. Accept this gift of my life, brought to the altar without conditions. Do Your work in me, and let me be like You—taken, blessed, and given for others; for in spite of my sin, You know that I love You. Amen.39

OBSERVATION

Prayer Pointers

How does 1 Corinthians 11:23–34 show that the Lord’s Supper is more

Give thanks:

than just a physical symbol, but also a spiritual reality?

Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 39 Angela Ashwin, 397

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27, July day Satur

2013

The Lord’s Supper Devotion

APPLICATION How does the Lord’s Supper stir my heart toward a deeper devotion to the Lord?

SCRIPTURE 1 Corinthians 11:23–34 It is at the Passover that Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is the Passover. Jesus sends His disciples to prepare the Passover, which is in the form of the cup and the bread (Luke 22:8, 19–20). Observing the Lord’s Supper is an act of devotion—“Do this in remembrance of Me” (1 Co 11:24, 25). It is not a remembrance of ‘what’ (things or events); but of ‘who’—a person. It is not a remembrance of a person who lived in the past, and is already dead; but of a living person who is present in the now. Why remembrance? It is because we are prone to forget and we need reminders. Remember the Lord concerning the past—what He has done for us on the cross. Respond with gratitude. Remember the Lord in the present—His presence with us. Respond with devotion. Remember the Lord concerning the future—“until He comes” (v 26). Respond with faithfulness and anticipation— love His coming, wait for His coming and live in view of His coming.

PRAYER Lord Jesus, I receive Your love poured out for me in bread and wine. Accept this gift of my life, brought to the altar without conditions. Do Your work in me, and let me be like You—taken, blessed, and given for others; for in spite of my sin, You know that I love You. Amen.39

OBSERVATION

Prayer Pointers

How does 1 Corinthians 11:23–34 show that the Lord’s Supper is more

Give thanks:

than just a physical symbol, but also a spiritual reality?

Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 39 Angela Ashwin, 397

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2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

28, July y Sunda

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

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2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

28, July y Sunda

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

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29, July ay Mond

2013

At Long Last, It’s Not Easy

APPLICATION How does Psalm 88 speak to me?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:37–42; Psalm 88 430 years is a very long time (Ex 12:40–41). Even if it were 430 months, that would still come up to a lengthy 36 years, half of a man’s lifespan. For Israel, at long last, God fulfills His promise of deliverance from slavery in Egypt (cf. Ge 15:13–16). If we are asked a theocentric question, “What can we learn about God here?”, the answer is simple. God is faithful. However, these three simple words took a long time to pen as I kept staring at the phrase, “430 years.” To wait for God for 430 years, and believe that He is faithful, is easier said than done. We will never know what it means to literally wait for God for 430 years; but we may experience waiting for God for what seems like a long time in difficult phases of our life. Some of us struggle to believe that He is faithful. However, the issue is not God’s faithfulness, but our struggle in faith. Israel struggled and stumbled in their faith in their “despondency and brutal bondage” (Ex 6:9); God will fulfill His promise eventually and He remains faithful. We must endure in God’s faithfulness.

PRAYER O Lord, the God of my salvation, day and night I cry out to You. Turn Your ear to my cry. My soul is full of trouble, in the lowest pit, the darkest depths. I am afflicted and needy; do not forsake me or forget me. Hasten to my help, O God! You are my help and deliverer; O Lord, do not delay. Save me in Your steadfast love, faithfulness, and righteousness.40 Amen

OBSERVATION Psalm 88 is the saddest psalm in the psalter. What is the psalmist’s “dark night of the soul” like and how does he express his “hope against hope” (cf. Ro 4:18)?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 40 Psalms 88:1–6, 11–12; 70:5

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29, July ay Mond

2013

At Long Last, It’s Not Easy

APPLICATION How does Psalm 88 speak to me?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:37–42; Psalm 88 430 years is a very long time (Ex 12:40–41). Even if it were 430 months, that would still come up to a lengthy 36 years, half of a man’s lifespan. For Israel, at long last, God fulfills His promise of deliverance from slavery in Egypt (cf. Ge 15:13–16). If we are asked a theocentric question, “What can we learn about God here?”, the answer is simple. God is faithful. However, these three simple words took a long time to pen as I kept staring at the phrase, “430 years.” To wait for God for 430 years, and believe that He is faithful, is easier said than done. We will never know what it means to literally wait for God for 430 years; but we may experience waiting for God for what seems like a long time in difficult phases of our life. Some of us struggle to believe that He is faithful. However, the issue is not God’s faithfulness, but our struggle in faith. Israel struggled and stumbled in their faith in their “despondency and brutal bondage” (Ex 6:9); God will fulfill His promise eventually and He remains faithful. We must endure in God’s faithfulness.

PRAYER O Lord, the God of my salvation, day and night I cry out to You. Turn Your ear to my cry. My soul is full of trouble, in the lowest pit, the darkest depths. I am afflicted and needy; do not forsake me or forget me. Hasten to my help, O God! You are my help and deliverer; O Lord, do not delay. Save me in Your steadfast love, faithfulness, and righteousness.40 Amen

OBSERVATION Psalm 88 is the saddest psalm in the psalter. What is the psalmist’s “dark night of the soul” like and how does he express his “hope against hope” (cf. Ro 4:18)?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 40 Psalms 88:1–6, 11–12; 70:5

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30, July ay Tuesd

2013

It Will End At Last

APPLICATION What are some aspects of my life that I ought to at all times pray about and not lose heart?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:37–42; Luke 18:1–8 God’s deliverance was delayed for a long time; but now, it could no longer be stopped (Ex 12:39). Pharaoh did everything to keep Israel from leaving Egypt; but Israel was now being “driven out of Egypt” (v 39). Then, not a single Israelite could leave Egypt; but now, “all” of God’s people went out of Egypt (v 41). The “430 years” (v 41) will come to and end and when that happens, it can be sudden and surprising. It will be like walking through a dark tunnel that seems unending; and making an unexpected sharp turn only to see an exit but 10 meters away. The narrator mentions the 430 years twice, as “now the time” and “to the very day” the exodus begins (v 40–41). He is taking “a moment to reflect on the total Egyptian experience;”41 and begins to understand and appreciate its meaning, purpose, necessity, significance and benefits. Hear the Lord’s word—“You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will” (John 13:7, NLT).

PRAYER Strengthen my heart, O Lord, to pray at all times and not lose heart. You call me to ask because You want to give. You may grant me my request; or may lovingly say “no” to me. Your answer may be different and better than what I ask. You may want me to wait patiently; or in Your wisdom may answer me only “when the Son of Man comes.” Whatever, Lord, blessed be Your name. Amen.

OBSERVATION What is Jesus teaching in Luke 18:1–8 in relation to “when the Son of Man comes” (v 8)?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 41 Walter C. Kaiser, Exodus, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Zondervan , 1990), Vol. 2, 380

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30, July ay Tuesd

2013

It Will End At Last

APPLICATION What are some aspects of my life that I ought to at all times pray about and not lose heart?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:37–42; Luke 18:1–8 God’s deliverance was delayed for a long time; but now, it could no longer be stopped (Ex 12:39). Pharaoh did everything to keep Israel from leaving Egypt; but Israel was now being “driven out of Egypt” (v 39). Then, not a single Israelite could leave Egypt; but now, “all” of God’s people went out of Egypt (v 41). The “430 years” (v 41) will come to and end and when that happens, it can be sudden and surprising. It will be like walking through a dark tunnel that seems unending; and making an unexpected sharp turn only to see an exit but 10 meters away. The narrator mentions the 430 years twice, as “now the time” and “to the very day” the exodus begins (v 40–41). He is taking “a moment to reflect on the total Egyptian experience;”41 and begins to understand and appreciate its meaning, purpose, necessity, significance and benefits. Hear the Lord’s word—“You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will” (John 13:7, NLT).

PRAYER Strengthen my heart, O Lord, to pray at all times and not lose heart. You call me to ask because You want to give. You may grant me my request; or may lovingly say “no” to me. Your answer may be different and better than what I ask. You may want me to wait patiently; or in Your wisdom may answer me only “when the Son of Man comes.” Whatever, Lord, blessed be Your name. Amen.

OBSERVATION What is Jesus teaching in Luke 18:1–8 in relation to “when the Son of Man comes” (v 8)?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 41 Walter C. Kaiser, Exodus, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Zondervan , 1990), Vol. 2, 380

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31, July sday e Wedn

2013

Reality Check

APPLICATION What are areas in my life where I need a reality check?

SCRIPTURE John 2:23–25; Romans 2:25–29 Only the circumcised can eat the Passover (Ex 12:47–48). Failing to circumcise is breaking the covenant (Ge 17:14). Circumcision is that important before God. However, what God is really looking for is not circumcision of the flesh, but of the heart (Lev 26:41; Jer 4:4). At the Passover in Jerusalem, Jesus did signs and wonders, and preached the gospel to a big crowd. He made an invitation call, and “many believed in His name” (John 2:23). Jesus’ disciples became very busy; counseling the new converts, recording their particulars on the response cards. With great excitement, they reported to Jesus the fantastic harvest of souls. But, they realised that Jesus did not share their excitement. Why? Jesus, on His part, did not believe in these “many” who believed in Him; for He knew what was in human hearts (v 24–25). It’s dangerous and scary that when we are not, we think we are; when we do not have, we think we have. We need a humble and honest reality check.

PRAYER Lord, help me not to be wise in my own estimation42—especially of myself, of what I am, what I have, what I do, what I think and what I say. Keep me from thinking I am better than what I really am. Help me to be honest in evaluating myself, to measure myself according to the grace that You have given me.43 Grant me to know the grace that You have given me for Your glory. Amen.

OBSERVATION

Prayer Pointers

What does Romans 2:25–29 say about true spirituality?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 42 Romans 12:16 43 Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 15:10

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31, July sday e Wedn

2013

Reality Check

APPLICATION What are areas in my life where I need a reality check?

SCRIPTURE John 2:23–25; Romans 2:25–29 Only the circumcised can eat the Passover (Ex 12:47–48). Failing to circumcise is breaking the covenant (Ge 17:14). Circumcision is that important before God. However, what God is really looking for is not circumcision of the flesh, but of the heart (Lev 26:41; Jer 4:4). At the Passover in Jerusalem, Jesus did signs and wonders, and preached the gospel to a big crowd. He made an invitation call, and “many believed in His name” (John 2:23). Jesus’ disciples became very busy; counseling the new converts, recording their particulars on the response cards. With great excitement, they reported to Jesus the fantastic harvest of souls. But, they realised that Jesus did not share their excitement. Why? Jesus, on His part, did not believe in these “many” who believed in Him; for He knew what was in human hearts (v 24–25). It’s dangerous and scary that when we are not, we think we are; when we do not have, we think we have. We need a humble and honest reality check.

PRAYER Lord, help me not to be wise in my own estimation42—especially of myself, of what I am, what I have, what I do, what I think and what I say. Keep me from thinking I am better than what I really am. Help me to be honest in evaluating myself, to measure myself according to the grace that You have given me.43 Grant me to know the grace that You have given me for Your glory. Amen.

OBSERVATION

Prayer Pointers

What does Romans 2:25–29 say about true spirituality?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 42 Romans 12:16 43 Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 15:10

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st 1 , Augu sday Thur

2013

Doubly Special

APPLICATION What does it mean to me to have God as my Father and me as His child?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 4:22–23; 13:1–3; Romans 8:14–21 The first identity that God gave to Israel in Exodus is—“Israel is My son, My firstborn” (Ex 4:22). The firstborn sons that God commanded Israel to sanctify to Him (13:2) represent Israel as God’s firstborn son. As God’s people, we are doubly special to God. We are God’s sons and firstborn. Our sonship in Christ is derived from the sonship of the Son of God. And “because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Gal 4:6). Firstborn means “the choicest”;1 “first in rank, firstborn by way of preeminence;”2 with privileges and responsibilities such as succession to family headship, receiving preferential treatment (Ge 43:33), double portion of family inheritance (Dt 21:17) and family blessing (Ge 27:1–4).3 All believers in Christ are God’s firstborn (Heb 12:23) like the Son of God (Heb 1:6). Therefore, we are to recognise and live by who we are to God as He has redeemed us and we are doubly special to Him in Christ.

OBSERVATION What does Romans 8:14–21 teach about us “the sons of God”?

PRAYER Almighty God, You are the high and exalted One, who dwells on a high and holy place.4 But in Your wondrous love and abundant grace, You have drawn near to me to be my Father and made me Your child. But it’s not without a price—a price that only You alone can pay; and You are willing to pay, even the death of Your Son for my sins. Thank you for Your indescribable gift!5 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 1 2 3 4 5

78

Alan Cole, Exodus, Tyndale Old Testament Commentary (IVP, 1973), 78 Walter C. Kaiser, Exodus, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Zondervan, 1990) Vol.2, 331 Maxie D. Dunnam, Exodus, The Preacher’s Commentary (Nelson, 1987), 144 Isaiah 57:15 2 Corinthians 9:15

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Doubly Special

APPLICATION What does it mean to me to have God as my Father and me as His child?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 4:22–23; 13:1–3; Romans 8:14–21 The first identity that God gave to Israel in Exodus is—“Israel is My son, My firstborn” (Ex 4:22). The firstborn sons that God commanded Israel to sanctify to Him (13:2) represent Israel as God’s firstborn son. As God’s people, we are doubly special to God. We are God’s sons and firstborn. Our sonship in Christ is derived from the sonship of the Son of God. And “because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Gal 4:6). Firstborn means “the choicest”;1 “first in rank, firstborn by way of preeminence;”2 with privileges and responsibilities such as succession to family headship, receiving preferential treatment (Ge 43:33), double portion of family inheritance (Dt 21:17) and family blessing (Ge 27:1–4).3 All believers in Christ are God’s firstborn (Heb 12:23) like the Son of God (Heb 1:6). Therefore, we are to recognise and live by who we are to God as He has redeemed us and we are doubly special to Him in Christ.

OBSERVATION What does Romans 8:14–21 teach about us “the sons of God”?

PRAYER Almighty God, You are the high and exalted One, who dwells on a high and holy place.4 But in Your wondrous love and abundant grace, You have drawn near to me to be my Father and made me Your child. But it’s not without a price—a price that only You alone can pay; and You are willing to pay, even the death of Your Son for my sins. Thank you for Your indescribable gift!5 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 1 2 3 4 5

78

Alan Cole, Exodus, Tyndale Old Testament Commentary (IVP, 1973), 78 Walter C. Kaiser, Exodus, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Zondervan, 1990) Vol.2, 331 Maxie D. Dunnam, Exodus, The Preacher’s Commentary (Nelson, 1987), 144 Isaiah 57:15 2 Corinthians 9:15

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You Shall Tell Your Son

APPLICATION Do I seek to multiply myself spiritually (Ps 78:3–4)? How will I do that?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 13:1–10; Psalm 78:1–8 Passover, unleavened bread, the redemption and consecration of the Israelite firstborn are inextricably linked with the events of the Exodus6 (Exodus 13). This is the backdrop of God’s command to every Israelite parent—“You shall tell your son” (Ex 13:8). The command indicates that parents are to be intentional and initiate the telling. What are you to tell your children? Tell them “what the LORD did for me” (v 8). Tell them your conversion story, your faith journey, your spiritual pilgrimage, your experiences with God. Tell them how you face the challenges of life with God, your conviction and commitment to God. The focus is “the Lord.” Tell them who God is through what He has done for you. Flesh God out in the narrative of your life. Let them see in your stories and your life “the powerful hand of the LORD” (v 3, 10, 14, 16).

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What is the psalmist’s conviction and commitment expressed in Psalm 78:1–8?

Lord Jesus, grant me the passion and power to seek to influence lives, be it at home, workplace, or in church. Help me to influence lives in God’s truth, through my words, my deeds, and my life. Give me grace daily to follow You faithfully, weak as I may be; so that others can see You in a real and human way. Give me a vision and conviction for spiritual multiplication, to live beyond my life. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 6 Alan Cole, 78

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You Shall Tell Your Son

APPLICATION Do I seek to multiply myself spiritually (Ps 78:3–4)? How will I do that?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 13:1–10; Psalm 78:1–8 Passover, unleavened bread, the redemption and consecration of the Israelite firstborn are inextricably linked with the events of the Exodus6 (Exodus 13). This is the backdrop of God’s command to every Israelite parent—“You shall tell your son” (Ex 13:8). The command indicates that parents are to be intentional and initiate the telling. What are you to tell your children? Tell them “what the LORD did for me” (v 8). Tell them your conversion story, your faith journey, your spiritual pilgrimage, your experiences with God. Tell them how you face the challenges of life with God, your conviction and commitment to God. The focus is “the Lord.” Tell them who God is through what He has done for you. Flesh God out in the narrative of your life. Let them see in your stories and your life “the powerful hand of the LORD” (v 3, 10, 14, 16).

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What is the psalmist’s conviction and commitment expressed in Psalm 78:1–8?

Lord Jesus, grant me the passion and power to seek to influence lives, be it at home, workplace, or in church. Help me to influence lives in God’s truth, through my words, my deeds, and my life. Give me grace daily to follow You faithfully, weak as I may be; so that others can see You in a real and human way. Give me a vision and conviction for spiritual multiplication, to live beyond my life. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 6 Alan Cole, 78

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When Your Son Asks You

APPLICATION How can I in practical ways live out Psalm 44:1–8 in my family (for those without children, it will be children whom you can influence)?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 13:11–16; Psalm 44:1–8 While parents intentionally tell their children “what the LORD did for me,” there may be times when the children have questions of their own. As they relate with their parents, watch their lives, listen to their stories, they may ask, “What is this?” (Ex 13:14). In Exodus 13, the children’s “What is this?” question is about the redemption of every firstborn of man (v 13–14). The parents are to tell them the redemption story (v 14b–15). Redemption ought to have a vital place in a home. The relationship between husband and wife, parents and children, children as siblings, must be redemptive in nature. “I am sorry” is uttered to one another with freedom and assurance of forgiveness and responded to with a hug, and the words, “I am sorry, too.” In every conflict, it is never one party who is 100% right or wrong. When parents apologise to their children, they admit that they are not perfect and that we are all sinners in need of God’s forgiveness.

PRAYER Gentle God, grant that at home where we are most truly ourselves, where we are known at our best and worst, we may learn to forgive and be forgiven. We pray for our family life, that we all may grow together in awareness of Your love and grace, that our lives together may reflect Your brightness and Your goodness.7 Amen.

OBSERVATION What is the biblical spiritual tradition that God wants His people to practice according to Psalm 44:1–8?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 7 Adapted from Angela Ashwin, The Book of a Thousand Prayers (Zondervan, 1996, 2002), 149

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2013

When Your Son Asks You

APPLICATION How can I in practical ways live out Psalm 44:1–8 in my family (for those without children, it will be children whom you can influence)?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 13:11–16; Psalm 44:1–8 While parents intentionally tell their children “what the LORD did for me,” there may be times when the children have questions of their own. As they relate with their parents, watch their lives, listen to their stories, they may ask, “What is this?” (Ex 13:14). In Exodus 13, the children’s “What is this?” question is about the redemption of every firstborn of man (v 13–14). The parents are to tell them the redemption story (v 14b–15). Redemption ought to have a vital place in a home. The relationship between husband and wife, parents and children, children as siblings, must be redemptive in nature. “I am sorry” is uttered to one another with freedom and assurance of forgiveness and responded to with a hug, and the words, “I am sorry, too.” In every conflict, it is never one party who is 100% right or wrong. When parents apologise to their children, they admit that they are not perfect and that we are all sinners in need of God’s forgiveness.

PRAYER Gentle God, grant that at home where we are most truly ourselves, where we are known at our best and worst, we may learn to forgive and be forgiven. We pray for our family life, that we all may grow together in awareness of Your love and grace, that our lives together may reflect Your brightness and Your goodness.7 Amen.

OBSERVATION What is the biblical spiritual tradition that God wants His people to practice according to Psalm 44:1–8?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 7 Adapted from Angela Ashwin, The Book of a Thousand Prayers (Zondervan, 1996, 2002), 149

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st 4, Augu y Sunda

2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

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2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

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st 5, Augu ay Mond

2013

Trifocal Living

APPLICATION How will I live my life by trifocal living?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 13:3–5; Deuteronomy 31:3–8 God calls His redeemed covenant people to a trifocal living—living by the past, present, and future. Look at the past by remembering how God delivered His people from the Egyptian bondage (v 3). Live in the present by living a life with “nothing leavened” (v 3). Look at the future and live from the future—the land “flowing with milk and honey” which God “swore to your fathers to give you” (v 5). Don’t live just by past pains, failures, regrets, and be paralysed by them. Don’t live just in the present for pleasures—eat, drink, and be merry today. Look at God’s track record of faithfulness in the past, how His “powerful hand” has delivered you (v 3). Look at the future and live from it through God’s promises—God “swore to give” (v 5). God has been faithful, and He will be faithful, because He is faithful. Trifocal living is being faithful to the faithful God.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What does Deuteronomy 31:3–8 teach on trifocal living?

Almighty Sovereign God, You are God who is, who was, and who is to come.8 You are the beginning and the end.9 I commit my life into Your loving hand, with all its past, present and future. I ask of You to redeem all that were not right in my past.10 Help me to follow You faithfully today, and progress with perseverance towards the eternal future. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 8 Rev 1:8 9 Rev 21:6 10 Joel 2:25

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Trifocal Living

APPLICATION How will I live my life by trifocal living?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 13:3–5; Deuteronomy 31:3–8 God calls His redeemed covenant people to a trifocal living—living by the past, present, and future. Look at the past by remembering how God delivered His people from the Egyptian bondage (v 3). Live in the present by living a life with “nothing leavened” (v 3). Look at the future and live from the future—the land “flowing with milk and honey” which God “swore to your fathers to give you” (v 5). Don’t live just by past pains, failures, regrets, and be paralysed by them. Don’t live just in the present for pleasures—eat, drink, and be merry today. Look at God’s track record of faithfulness in the past, how His “powerful hand” has delivered you (v 3). Look at the future and live from it through God’s promises—God “swore to give” (v 5). God has been faithful, and He will be faithful, because He is faithful. Trifocal living is being faithful to the faithful God.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What does Deuteronomy 31:3–8 teach on trifocal living?

Almighty Sovereign God, You are God who is, who was, and who is to come.8 You are the beginning and the end.9 I commit my life into Your loving hand, with all its past, present and future. I ask of You to redeem all that were not right in my past.10 Help me to follow You faithfully today, and progress with perseverance towards the eternal future. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 8 Rev 1:8 9 Rev 21:6 10 Joel 2:25

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st 6, Augu ay Tuesd

2013

Shortest Route Mentality

APPLICATION What are areas in my life that I need to stretch out my hand to the Lord, and let Him lead me to where I do not wish to go?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 13:17–18; John 21:18–22 When God led Israel out of Egypt, He “did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land” (Ex 13:17, NLT). This is divine “inefficiency.” If we are given the choice, chances are we would have chosen “the shortest route.” Why doesn’t God answer my (earnest and fervent) prayer now? Why doesn’t God act or intervene in my situation now? Doesn’t He know my situation is getting from bad to worse by the day? These questions reflect “the shortest route” mentality that we tend to have. God knows that the shortest route is not good for Israel’s soul—they “might change their minds and return to Egypt.” God is most concerned about our inner soul than the outer situation. God knows best. We can’t see or know what God sees and knows and in His wisdom and love, He may not tell us or explain things to us.

PRAYER O Heavenly Father, I praise and thank You for all Your goodness and faithfulness throughout my life. You have granted me many blessings. Now let me accept tribulation from Your hand. You will not lay on me more than I can bear. You make all things work together for good for Your children. Amen. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

OBSERVATION

Prayer Pointers

What does John 21:18–22 tell us about the Lord leading His disciples?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self:

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Shortest Route Mentality

APPLICATION What are areas in my life that I need to stretch out my hand to the Lord, and let Him lead me to where I do not wish to go?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 13:17–18; John 21:18–22 When God led Israel out of Egypt, He “did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land” (Ex 13:17, NLT). This is divine “inefficiency.” If we are given the choice, chances are we would have chosen “the shortest route.” Why doesn’t God answer my (earnest and fervent) prayer now? Why doesn’t God act or intervene in my situation now? Doesn’t He know my situation is getting from bad to worse by the day? These questions reflect “the shortest route” mentality that we tend to have. God knows that the shortest route is not good for Israel’s soul—they “might change their minds and return to Egypt.” God is most concerned about our inner soul than the outer situation. God knows best. We can’t see or know what God sees and knows and in His wisdom and love, He may not tell us or explain things to us.

PRAYER O Heavenly Father, I praise and thank You for all Your goodness and faithfulness throughout my life. You have granted me many blessings. Now let me accept tribulation from Your hand. You will not lay on me more than I can bear. You make all things work together for good for Your children. Amen. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

OBSERVATION

Prayer Pointers

What does John 21:18–22 tell us about the Lord leading His disciples?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self:

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A Long Process...

APPLICATION If God leads me through a long process in certain areas in my life (present or future), how will I respond to it?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 13:19; Genesis 50:24–26; Joshua 24:32 Genesis ends with Joseph “in a coffin in Egypt” (Ge 50:26); but Joseph does not end “in a coffin in Egypt.” Joseph ends at the Promised Land—“they buried the bones of Joseph… at Shechem, in the piece of ground which Jacob had bought” (Jos 24:32). Joseph died in Egypt with a declaration of faith that God will fulfill His covenant promise to bring Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land; and Israel “shall carry my bones up from here [Egypt]” (Ge 50:25). When Israel went out of Egypt, Moses “took the bones of Joseph with him” (Ex 13:19). This happened some 360 years after Joseph’s death. But it would take another 80 years before Joseph’s bones were buried in the Promised Land. All in all, it took some 440 years for that to happen. God is faithful; He will certainly keep His promises. But, it may take a long process. Faith in God and His Word may mean to wait, and wait, and wait…

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What else can you learn about God in this “journey of Joseph’s bones”?

Gracious God, remember my affliction and my wandering. This gives me hope: Your steadfast covenant love and compassions never cease, and begin fresh every morning in Your great faithfulness. You are all I have, so I put my hope in You. You are good to those who wait for You, and seek You. It is good that I wait silently for Your salvation.11 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 11 Lamentations 3:19–26

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2013

A Long Process...

APPLICATION If God leads me through a long process in certain areas in my life (present or future), how will I respond to it?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 13:19; Genesis 50:24–26; Joshua 24:32 Genesis ends with Joseph “in a coffin in Egypt” (Ge 50:26); but Joseph does not end “in a coffin in Egypt.” Joseph ends at the Promised Land—“they buried the bones of Joseph… at Shechem, in the piece of ground which Jacob had bought” (Jos 24:32). Joseph died in Egypt with a declaration of faith that God will fulfill His covenant promise to bring Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land; and Israel “shall carry my bones up from here [Egypt]” (Ge 50:25). When Israel went out of Egypt, Moses “took the bones of Joseph with him” (Ex 13:19). This happened some 360 years after Joseph’s death. But it would take another 80 years before Joseph’s bones were buried in the Promised Land. All in all, it took some 440 years for that to happen. God is faithful; He will certainly keep His promises. But, it may take a long process. Faith in God and His Word may mean to wait, and wait, and wait…

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What else can you learn about God in this “journey of Joseph’s bones”?

Gracious God, remember my affliction and my wandering. This gives me hope: Your steadfast covenant love and compassions never cease, and begin fresh every morning in Your great faithfulness. You are all I have, so I put my hope in You. You are good to those who wait for You, and seek You. It is good that I wait silently for Your salvation.11 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 11 Lamentations 3:19–26

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st 8, Augu sday Thur

2013

Understanding God’s Presence

APPLICATION What is the presence of God like to me?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 13:20 – 14:4; Psalm 139:7–12 Exodus 13:21–22 is literally filled with the presence of God. God’s presence goes ahead of His people. His presence leads and shows them the way. His presence gives them light at night. God does not take away His presence from them. His presence is with them all the time—by day and by night. As Israel senses God leading them with His strong presence, suddenly, comes the divine order “to turn back” (14:1)—“a reversal of direction.”12 God’s presence with us does not necessarily mean that things in life will proceed and progress smoothly and “successfully,” as it is often assumed. First, God leads Israel by a longer way (13:17–18); now He asks them to turn back. Although God is present with us, things may not be as simple and straightforward as we wish them to be. God may reveal His reason and purpose (14:3–4); or He may not, and this may disorientate us. But one thing is for sure, God knows what He is doing; and we have to trust Him.

OBSERVATION What does the psalmist say about the presence of God in Psalm 139:7–12?

PRAYER Lord, help me today to realise that You will be speaking to me through the events of the day, through people, through things, and through creation. Give me ears, eyes and heart to perceive You, however, veiled Your presence may be. Grant me insight to see past the exterior of things to the interior truth. Give me Your Spirit of discernment. O Lord, you know how busy I must be today. If I forget You, do not forget me. Amen. (Jacob Astley) Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 12 Alone Cole, 119

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2013

Understanding God’s Presence

APPLICATION What is the presence of God like to me?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 13:20 – 14:4; Psalm 139:7–12 Exodus 13:21–22 is literally filled with the presence of God. God’s presence goes ahead of His people. His presence leads and shows them the way. His presence gives them light at night. God does not take away His presence from them. His presence is with them all the time—by day and by night. As Israel senses God leading them with His strong presence, suddenly, comes the divine order “to turn back” (14:1)—“a reversal of direction.”12 God’s presence with us does not necessarily mean that things in life will proceed and progress smoothly and “successfully,” as it is often assumed. First, God leads Israel by a longer way (13:17–18); now He asks them to turn back. Although God is present with us, things may not be as simple and straightforward as we wish them to be. God may reveal His reason and purpose (14:3–4); or He may not, and this may disorientate us. But one thing is for sure, God knows what He is doing; and we have to trust Him.

OBSERVATION What does the psalmist say about the presence of God in Psalm 139:7–12?

PRAYER Lord, help me today to realise that You will be speaking to me through the events of the day, through people, through things, and through creation. Give me ears, eyes and heart to perceive You, however, veiled Your presence may be. Grant me insight to see past the exterior of things to the interior truth. Give me Your Spirit of discernment. O Lord, you know how busy I must be today. If I forget You, do not forget me. Amen. (Jacob Astley) Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 12 Alone Cole, 119

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st 9, Augu y Frida

2013

Godly Citizens (1)

APPLICATION What are my perception, perspective, and posture towards governing authorities?

SCRIPTURE Proverbs 24:21–22; 1 Peter 2:13–17 “Good citizenship is part of godliness.”13 The Word of God calls us to “fear the Lord and the king” (Pr 24:21). It warns against rebelling against the government. The consequence of such rebellion is that “disaster will hit them [rebels] suddenly” (v 21, 22)—a punishment that comes “from the Lord and the king” (v 22). The proverb here juxtaposes God and the king. “None of this means that the monarch and deity are peers. The pairing of the two is a reminder, however, that human government is one means used by God to maintain justice and order in a fallen world.”14 Jesus is “the Son of the Most High;” even when “the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:32–33), He teaches us to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:21).

OBSERVATION

PRAYER King of kings, Lord of lords, keep me from harshly, contemptuously, or arrogantly criticising and judging those who govern this nation. Help me to praise rather than to criticise; to empathise rather than to condemn; to encourage rather than to discourage; to build up rather than to destroy; to think of people at their best rather than at their worst.15 Amen.

What does 1 Peter 2:13–17 say about submitting to governing

Prayer Pointers

authorities?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 13 Derek Kidner, Proverbs, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (IVP, 1964), 155 14 David A. Hubbard, Proverbs, The Preacher’s Commentary (Nelson, 1989), 387 15 Adapted from William Barclay, A Barclay Prayer Book (SCM Press, 1990, 2003), 188–89

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2013

Godly Citizens (1)

APPLICATION What are my perception, perspective, and posture towards governing authorities?

SCRIPTURE Proverbs 24:21–22; 1 Peter 2:13–17 “Good citizenship is part of godliness.”13 The Word of God calls us to “fear the Lord and the king” (Pr 24:21). It warns against rebelling against the government. The consequence of such rebellion is that “disaster will hit them [rebels] suddenly” (v 21, 22)—a punishment that comes “from the Lord and the king” (v 22). The proverb here juxtaposes God and the king. “None of this means that the monarch and deity are peers. The pairing of the two is a reminder, however, that human government is one means used by God to maintain justice and order in a fallen world.”14 Jesus is “the Son of the Most High;” even when “the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:32–33), He teaches us to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:21).

OBSERVATION

PRAYER King of kings, Lord of lords, keep me from harshly, contemptuously, or arrogantly criticising and judging those who govern this nation. Help me to praise rather than to criticise; to empathise rather than to condemn; to encourage rather than to discourage; to build up rather than to destroy; to think of people at their best rather than at their worst.15 Amen.

What does 1 Peter 2:13–17 say about submitting to governing

Prayer Pointers

authorities?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 13 Derek Kidner, Proverbs, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (IVP, 1964), 155 14 David A. Hubbard, Proverbs, The Preacher’s Commentary (Nelson, 1989), 387 15 Adapted from William Barclay, A Barclay Prayer Book (SCM Press, 1990, 2003), 188–89

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st 10, Augu day Satur

2013

Godly Citizens (2)

APPLICATION What does it mean for me personally to be a godly citizen?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 9:18-21; Ezekiel 33:10-11 Submission to government is expected of everyone—“Everyone must submit to governing authorities” (Ro 13:1a, NLT). God is the source of government— “there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (v 1b). The essence of resistance against government is resistance and rebellion against God; because it is God who establishes government and rebels will be punished (v 2). Governing authorities are God’s servants, sent for good; to prevent evil and punish evildoers. The government is God’s appointed “avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.” So, we are to be afraid; and be assured of punishment should we violate civil laws (v 3–4). We must submit “not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience” (v 5, NLT). We are to “render to all what is due” by paying taxes and revenue, and giving respect and honour to those who are in authority (v 6–7).

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What does Paul in 1 Timothy 2:1–4 teach about praying for the governing authorities?

God of the nations, hear us as we pray for those who bear the responsibility of leadership in our nation. Give them in all their deliberations wisdom to rule according to Your will and Your laws, and with respect for human rights; that they may lead the people of this nation in the paths of truth, freedom, and peace, for the glory of Your name.16 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 16 Adapted from Frank Colquhoun

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st 10, Augu day Satur

2013

Godly Citizens (2)

APPLICATION What does it mean for me personally to be a godly citizen?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 9:18-21; Ezekiel 33:10-11 Submission to government is expected of everyone—“Everyone must submit to governing authorities” (Ro 13:1a, NLT). God is the source of government— “there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (v 1b). The essence of resistance against government is resistance and rebellion against God; because it is God who establishes government and rebels will be punished (v 2). Governing authorities are God’s servants, sent for good; to prevent evil and punish evildoers. The government is God’s appointed “avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.” So, we are to be afraid; and be assured of punishment should we violate civil laws (v 3–4). We must submit “not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience” (v 5, NLT). We are to “render to all what is due” by paying taxes and revenue, and giving respect and honour to those who are in authority (v 6–7).

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What does Paul in 1 Timothy 2:1–4 teach about praying for the governing authorities?

God of the nations, hear us as we pray for those who bear the responsibility of leadership in our nation. Give them in all their deliberations wisdom to rule according to Your will and Your laws, and with respect for human rights; that they may lead the people of this nation in the paths of truth, freedom, and peace, for the glory of Your name.16 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 16 Adapted from Frank Colquhoun

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st 11, Augu y Sunda

2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

98

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st 11, Augu y Sunda

2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

98

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st 12, Augu ay Mond

2013

Advancing Into A Trap

APPLICATION What are my personal thoughts about God as revealed in Psalm 44:9–11, 17–26?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:1–3; Psalm 44:9–11, 17–26 Israel was “wandering aimlessly in the land; they are trapped in the wilderness” (Ex 14:3). That was how Pharaoh saw where Israel was camping. Israel was at “a dead–end road, since the sea or salt marshes now barred their way ahead and the desert was a barrier round them on all other sides.”17 Sometimes, your human eyes and mind tell you that your life situation is just like this. You feel lost, confused, “wandering aimlessly” in the wilderness, not knowing where your life is heading. You feel trapped, stuck, immobilised, and helpless. You find it hard to move on. But, it can be that God has put you there, just as He did with Israel. When God leads us, it is advancement towards His goal. But when God redirected Israel “to turn back,” they were led into a “trap.” This was a strange act by the sovereign God! Nevertheless, we can only stretch out our hand to Him, and let Him lead us in His mysterious ways.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What does Psalm 44:9–11, 17–26 tell us about God?

O God, early in the morning I cry unto You. Help me to pray and to think only of You. I cannot pray alone. In me there is darkness, but with You there is light. I am lonely, but You do not leave me. I am feeble in heart, but You do not leave me. I am restless, but with You there is peace. In me there is bitterness, but with You there is patience. Your ways are past understanding, but You know the way for me. Amen. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 17 Alan Cole, 119

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st 12, Augu ay Mond

2013

Advancing Into A Trap

APPLICATION What are my personal thoughts about God as revealed in Psalm 44:9–11, 17–26?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:1–3; Psalm 44:9–11, 17–26 Israel was “wandering aimlessly in the land; they are trapped in the wilderness” (Ex 14:3). That was how Pharaoh saw where Israel was camping. Israel was at “a dead–end road, since the sea or salt marshes now barred their way ahead and the desert was a barrier round them on all other sides.”17 Sometimes, your human eyes and mind tell you that your life situation is just like this. You feel lost, confused, “wandering aimlessly” in the wilderness, not knowing where your life is heading. You feel trapped, stuck, immobilised, and helpless. You find it hard to move on. But, it can be that God has put you there, just as He did with Israel. When God leads us, it is advancement towards His goal. But when God redirected Israel “to turn back,” they were led into a “trap.” This was a strange act by the sovereign God! Nevertheless, we can only stretch out our hand to Him, and let Him lead us in His mysterious ways.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What does Psalm 44:9–11, 17–26 tell us about God?

O God, early in the morning I cry unto You. Help me to pray and to think only of You. I cannot pray alone. In me there is darkness, but with You there is light. I am lonely, but You do not leave me. I am feeble in heart, but You do not leave me. I am restless, but with You there is peace. In me there is bitterness, but with You there is patience. Your ways are past understanding, but You know the way for me. Amen. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 17 Alan Cole, 119

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st 13, Augu ay Tuesd

2013

God is All in All

APPLICATION How do I relate to the God who “has made everything for its own purpose”?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:4–9; Proverbs 16:1–9 Exodus 14:5–9 is packed with human decisions and actions. When Israel left Egypt, Pharaoh “had a change of heart” towards his former slaves (v 5). He “harnessed his chariot and called up his troops” (v 6, NLT). He took 600 of “Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt” (v 7, NLT). Then, with all the forces in his army, Pharaoh “chased after” Israel and “overtook” them (v 9). It was a very fearsome thing! But notice the theological centre of all these happenings: “the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh” (v 4, 8). Every one of Pharaoh’s decision and action was the result of God hardening Pharaoh’s heart. The theological point is—God is in total sovereign control over everything. God is behind all that is happening. When Israel was “trapped in the wilderness,” where they were camping (v 3); they were at the centre of God’s will. It was God who led them there. God is all in all!

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What truths about God can you learn in Proverbs 16:1–9?

O God, my King, You give me a will of my own that I should make it Yours. And yet there is in me a pride, a self-will, a stubbornness, which makes me impatient of all control and determined about my own way. Help me to remember Your wisdom and Your love, that I may never doubt that You know best and You seek only my good. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 18 Adapted from William Barclay, 78

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st 13, Augu ay Tuesd

2013

God is All in All

APPLICATION How do I relate to the God who “has made everything for its own purpose”?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:4–9; Proverbs 16:1–9 Exodus 14:5–9 is packed with human decisions and actions. When Israel left Egypt, Pharaoh “had a change of heart” towards his former slaves (v 5). He “harnessed his chariot and called up his troops” (v 6, NLT). He took 600 of “Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt” (v 7, NLT). Then, with all the forces in his army, Pharaoh “chased after” Israel and “overtook” them (v 9). It was a very fearsome thing! But notice the theological centre of all these happenings: “the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh” (v 4, 8). Every one of Pharaoh’s decision and action was the result of God hardening Pharaoh’s heart. The theological point is—God is in total sovereign control over everything. God is behind all that is happening. When Israel was “trapped in the wilderness,” where they were camping (v 3); they were at the centre of God’s will. It was God who led them there. God is all in all!

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What truths about God can you learn in Proverbs 16:1–9?

O God, my King, You give me a will of my own that I should make it Yours. And yet there is in me a pride, a self-will, a stubbornness, which makes me impatient of all control and determined about my own way. Help me to remember Your wisdom and Your love, that I may never doubt that You know best and You seek only my good. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 18 Adapted from William Barclay, 78

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st 14, Augu sday Wedne

2013

It’s Always His Glory!

APPLICATION What is one thing I want to do, as I reflect on Paul’s focus on the glory of God in his life?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:4, 17–18; 2 Timothy 4:9–18 If “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart” is an act of God; His aim is “I will be honoured through Pharaoh and all his army” (Ex 14:4, 17–18). If hardening Pharaoh’s heart is the theological centre of Egypt’s hot pursuit of Israel; that God “will be honoured” through that is the theological climax. “I will be honoured” is repeated thrice in the narrative. We see this theological emphasis repeated throughout Scripture. Jesus completed His mission from His Father with “I glorified Your name” (John 17:4). Abraham’s growing faith brought glory to God (Rom 4:20). Christian ministry, of whatever kind, is to glorify God (1 Pe 4:10–11). Suffering for righteousness is “to glorify God” (1 Pe 4:16). We are to glorify God in living our life, even in mundane things like eating and drinking (1 Co 10:31). It’s always to the glory of God!

OBSERVATION

PRAYER Lord Jesus, You put aside the glory that You had with Your Father before the world came into existence,19 to be the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world.20 Your mission on earth is to glorify Your Father.21 When Your soul was troubled as Your hour of the cross drew near, You prayed, “Father, glorify Your name.”22 Even when You are exalted, it is to the glory of God the Father.23 Lord, help me to follow You. Amen.

What was happening to Paul, in spite of which, his focus is “to Him be

Prayer Pointers

the glory forever and ever” in 2 Timothy 4:9–18?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 19 John 17:5 20 John 1:29 21 John 17:4 22 John 12:27–28 23 Philippians 2:9–11

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st 14, Augu sday Wedne

2013

It’s Always His Glory!

APPLICATION What is one thing I want to do, as I reflect on Paul’s focus on the glory of God in his life?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:4, 17–18; 2 Timothy 4:9–18 If “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart” is an act of God; His aim is “I will be honoured through Pharaoh and all his army” (Ex 14:4, 17–18). If hardening Pharaoh’s heart is the theological centre of Egypt’s hot pursuit of Israel; that God “will be honoured” through that is the theological climax. “I will be honoured” is repeated thrice in the narrative. We see this theological emphasis repeated throughout Scripture. Jesus completed His mission from His Father with “I glorified Your name” (John 17:4). Abraham’s growing faith brought glory to God (Rom 4:20). Christian ministry, of whatever kind, is to glorify God (1 Pe 4:10–11). Suffering for righteousness is “to glorify God” (1 Pe 4:16). We are to glorify God in living our life, even in mundane things like eating and drinking (1 Co 10:31). It’s always to the glory of God!

OBSERVATION

PRAYER Lord Jesus, You put aside the glory that You had with Your Father before the world came into existence,19 to be the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world.20 Your mission on earth is to glorify Your Father.21 When Your soul was troubled as Your hour of the cross drew near, You prayed, “Father, glorify Your name.”22 Even when You are exalted, it is to the glory of God the Father.23 Lord, help me to follow You. Amen.

What was happening to Paul, in spite of which, his focus is “to Him be

Prayer Pointers

the glory forever and ever” in 2 Timothy 4:9–18?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 19 John 17:5 20 John 1:29 21 John 17:4 22 John 12:27–28 23 Philippians 2:9–11

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st 15, Augu sday Thur

2013

Roller Coaster Faith

APPLICATION How do I respond in general in times of adversity? Are there changes I need to make in my life?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:8–10; Job 2:7–10 When Israel was finally liberated from slavery, they marched out of Egypt boldly, “with fists raised in defiance” (Ex 14:8, NLT). Such was their confidence in God who delivered them. But when Israel saw the Egyptian army chasing after them, they “became very frightened” (v 10). Their confidence and defiance fell apart quickly and easily. When God first spoke to Israel about His concern for them and promised to deliver them, they “believed” and “bowed low and worshipped” (4:31). But when their suffering increased (Exodus 5), they refused to listen to God’s word (6:9). Such was Israel’s roller coaster faith. Is your faith in God like this? Do you walk with God only in good times, and fail to do so in bad times? One vital key to keep us from having a roller coaster faith is “always giving thanks” to God “for all things” (Eph 5:20).

PRAYER

OBSERVATION According to Job 2:7–10, what is Job’s perspective and posture toward adversities?

Lord Jesus, You have warned that if I deny You, You will deny me.24 Yet You have restored one who followed You at a distance in times of trouble,25 and denied You three times, even with curses and swearing.26 Lord, a bruised reed You will not break; and a dimly burning candle You will not extinguish.27 Heal and strengthen this bruised reed; and fan into flame this flickering candle. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 24 Matthew 10:33 25 Matthew 26:58 26 Matthew 26:74 27 Isaiah 42:3

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st 15, Augu sday Thur

2013

Roller Coaster Faith

APPLICATION How do I respond in general in times of adversity? Are there changes I need to make in my life?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:8–10; Job 2:7–10 When Israel was finally liberated from slavery, they marched out of Egypt boldly, “with fists raised in defiance” (Ex 14:8, NLT). Such was their confidence in God who delivered them. But when Israel saw the Egyptian army chasing after them, they “became very frightened” (v 10). Their confidence and defiance fell apart quickly and easily. When God first spoke to Israel about His concern for them and promised to deliver them, they “believed” and “bowed low and worshipped” (4:31). But when their suffering increased (Exodus 5), they refused to listen to God’s word (6:9). Such was Israel’s roller coaster faith. Is your faith in God like this? Do you walk with God only in good times, and fail to do so in bad times? One vital key to keep us from having a roller coaster faith is “always giving thanks” to God “for all things” (Eph 5:20).

PRAYER

OBSERVATION According to Job 2:7–10, what is Job’s perspective and posture toward adversities?

Lord Jesus, You have warned that if I deny You, You will deny me.24 Yet You have restored one who followed You at a distance in times of trouble,25 and denied You three times, even with curses and swearing.26 Lord, a bruised reed You will not break; and a dimly burning candle You will not extinguish.27 Heal and strengthen this bruised reed; and fan into flame this flickering candle. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 24 Matthew 10:33 25 Matthew 26:58 26 Matthew 26:74 27 Isaiah 42:3

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st 16, Augu y Frida

2013

An Irony

APPLICATION What would I do if I am in a situation like Israel’s in Exodus 14:8–12?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:8–12 God ordered Israel to “turn back and camp at Pihahiroth” (Ex 14:2), and told them beforehand what would happen—He would harden Pharaoh’s heart, Pharaoh would chase after them and God would subsequently be honoured through Egypt’s army (v 4). Israel’s obedient response to God’s word was impressive—“And they did so” (v 4). But when they saw the Egyptians pursuing them, they “became very frightened” and “cried out to the LORD” (v 10); and then protested against their leader (v 11–12). They did not wait for God’s answer to their cry. They prayed to God; but ironically, they didn’t seem to be interested in God’s answer. Instead, immediately after their prayer, they focused on the adverse circumstances. They looked at it and dealt with it at the human level. God was not part of the equation anymore, let alone be the centre. What an irony!

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What does Israel’s actions in Exodus 14:8–12 tell us about them?

Lord, I confess that oftentimes inside me is a mixture of the Spirit and the flesh.28 Forgive me for allowing myself to be led by the flesh, rather than by the Holy Spirit. I have let fear, anxiety, impulsiveness, impatience, emotions, and self-will overtake me in my heart. Deliver and empower me to walk in step with the Spirit in every part of my life.29 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 28 Galatians 5:17 29 Galatians 5:25

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st 16, Augu y Frida

2013

An Irony

APPLICATION What would I do if I am in a situation like Israel’s in Exodus 14:8–12?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:8–12 God ordered Israel to “turn back and camp at Pihahiroth” (Ex 14:2), and told them beforehand what would happen—He would harden Pharaoh’s heart, Pharaoh would chase after them and God would subsequently be honoured through Egypt’s army (v 4). Israel’s obedient response to God’s word was impressive—“And they did so” (v 4). But when they saw the Egyptians pursuing them, they “became very frightened” and “cried out to the LORD” (v 10); and then protested against their leader (v 11–12). They did not wait for God’s answer to their cry. They prayed to God; but ironically, they didn’t seem to be interested in God’s answer. Instead, immediately after their prayer, they focused on the adverse circumstances. They looked at it and dealt with it at the human level. God was not part of the equation anymore, let alone be the centre. What an irony!

PRAYER

OBSERVATION What does Israel’s actions in Exodus 14:8–12 tell us about them?

Lord, I confess that oftentimes inside me is a mixture of the Spirit and the flesh.28 Forgive me for allowing myself to be led by the flesh, rather than by the Holy Spirit. I have let fear, anxiety, impulsiveness, impatience, emotions, and self-will overtake me in my heart. Deliver and empower me to walk in step with the Spirit in every part of my life.29 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 28 Galatians 5:17 29 Galatians 5:25

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st 17, Augu day Satur

2013

Perspective Shapes Attitude

APPLICATION Am I like Israel in Exodus 14:1–4, 10–12? How can I prevent that from happening to me?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:1–4, 10–12 The words in Israel’s protest were addressed to man (Ex 14:11–12); but we can find ourselves at times saying these words towards God, spoken or unspoken. “God has taken me to this wilderness to make life difficult for me.” “God, why have You dealt with me in this painful way?” “Life would have been better for me, if I were just a Sunday Christian, and not have to be bothered with discipleship and serving God.” “God, leave me alone to do my own things.” If Israel recognised two God-things, they would not have reacted to the threatening danger as they did. God’s will—To be in the wilderness was God’s will (v 1–2) and God’s honour—When God told Israel what Pharaoh would do towards them, and why; He did not tell them how He would be honoured through the Egyptian army. One thing is for sure! God will not allow anything to happen to us that will dishonour Him.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION Why did Israel act in the way they did in Exodus 14:1–4, 10–12?

Lord, keep me from letting Your Word be shallow and short-lived in my heart; receiving it immediately with joy, but falling away in times of troubles. Keep my heart from letting Your Word be easily and quickly crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so that no fruit is produced.30 Give me a heart where Your Word will produce the fruit of the Spirit.31 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 30 Mark 4:16–19 31 Galatians 5:22–23

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st 17, Augu day Satur

2013

Perspective Shapes Attitude

APPLICATION Am I like Israel in Exodus 14:1–4, 10–12? How can I prevent that from happening to me?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:1–4, 10–12 The words in Israel’s protest were addressed to man (Ex 14:11–12); but we can find ourselves at times saying these words towards God, spoken or unspoken. “God has taken me to this wilderness to make life difficult for me.” “God, why have You dealt with me in this painful way?” “Life would have been better for me, if I were just a Sunday Christian, and not have to be bothered with discipleship and serving God.” “God, leave me alone to do my own things.” If Israel recognised two God-things, they would not have reacted to the threatening danger as they did. God’s will—To be in the wilderness was God’s will (v 1–2) and God’s honour—When God told Israel what Pharaoh would do towards them, and why; He did not tell them how He would be honoured through the Egyptian army. One thing is for sure! God will not allow anything to happen to us that will dishonour Him.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION Why did Israel act in the way they did in Exodus 14:1–4, 10–12?

Lord, keep me from letting Your Word be shallow and short-lived in my heart; receiving it immediately with joy, but falling away in times of troubles. Keep my heart from letting Your Word be easily and quickly crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so that no fruit is produced.30 Give me a heart where Your Word will produce the fruit of the Spirit.31 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 30 Mark 4:16–19 31 Galatians 5:22–23

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st 18, Augu y Sunda

2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

112

113


st 18, Augu y Sunda

2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

112

113


st 19, Augu ay Mond

2013

Do Not Fear!

APPLICATION What are my fears, and how will I face them in the Lord?

SCRIPTURE Deuteronomy 31:7–8; Joshua 1:5–9; Exodus 14:13–14 When God appoints Joshua to succeed Moses in leading Israel to possess the Promised Land, He says to him, “Be strong and courageous… Do not fear or be dismayed” (Dt 31:7–8). On Joshua’s first day reporting for duty, God says to him, with a threefold emphasis—all in one breath, “Be strong and courageous” (Jos 1:6, 7, 9). Joshua suffers his first defeat in the attack of Ai, due to Israel’s sin (Jos 7). When Joshua attacks Ai again, God says to him, “Do not fear, or be dismayed” (8:1). Before Joshua fights a very powerful Amorite alliance (10:5–7), God says to him, “Do not fear them” (10:8). When facing another more powerful Canaanite alliance, God says to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them”. (11:6) Fear seems to be a constant struggle in Joshua, the mighty warrior of faith. God knows and appreciates that. Thus, He encourages him at every critical point of his life and service because Joshua needs that encouragement again and again. Welcome to the Joshua club!

PRAYER Almighty God, Creator and Possessor of heaven and earth, You are my refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So I need not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam! Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!32 For, You hold all these catastrophes in Your hand, O God! Amen.

OBSERVATION

Prayer Pointers

How does God want Israel to handle their fear of the Egyptians coming

Give thanks:

after them from behind (Ex 14:13–14)?

Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 32 Psalm 46:1–3

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st 19, Augu ay Mond

2013

Do Not Fear!

APPLICATION What are my fears, and how will I face them in the Lord?

SCRIPTURE Deuteronomy 31:7–8; Joshua 1:5–9; Exodus 14:13–14 When God appoints Joshua to succeed Moses in leading Israel to possess the Promised Land, He says to him, “Be strong and courageous… Do not fear or be dismayed” (Dt 31:7–8). On Joshua’s first day reporting for duty, God says to him, with a threefold emphasis—all in one breath, “Be strong and courageous” (Jos 1:6, 7, 9). Joshua suffers his first defeat in the attack of Ai, due to Israel’s sin (Jos 7). When Joshua attacks Ai again, God says to him, “Do not fear, or be dismayed” (8:1). Before Joshua fights a very powerful Amorite alliance (10:5–7), God says to him, “Do not fear them” (10:8). When facing another more powerful Canaanite alliance, God says to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them”. (11:6) Fear seems to be a constant struggle in Joshua, the mighty warrior of faith. God knows and appreciates that. Thus, He encourages him at every critical point of his life and service because Joshua needs that encouragement again and again. Welcome to the Joshua club!

PRAYER Almighty God, Creator and Possessor of heaven and earth, You are my refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So I need not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam! Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!32 For, You hold all these catastrophes in Your hand, O God! Amen.

OBSERVATION

Prayer Pointers

How does God want Israel to handle their fear of the Egyptians coming

Give thanks:

after them from behind (Ex 14:13–14)?

Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 32 Psalm 46:1–3

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st 20, Augu ay Tuesd

2013

Do Not Fear: What Is Man?

APPLICATION How should I deal with the fear of man in my life?

SCRIPTURE Isaiah 51:12–15; Luke 12:1–5 God’s people were in exile in Babylon, where day in and day out, they faced “the fury of the oppressor;” so much so that they “fear continually all day long” (Isa 51:13). There may be difficult people or situations in our lives that are like the Babylonian superpower—“an ever-present, ever-intimidating, ever-visible threat.33 We feel troubled, anxious, overwhelmed, and helpless because of them. God calls us to view the people or situations that make life difficult for us, however powerful and controlling they may be, as just “man who dies… who is made like grass” (v 12). Man is “a vapour that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (Jas 4:14). Grass is “here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow” (Mt 6:30, NLT). We don’t know how long they will be around; but they will not stay forever. To God, they are frail, feeble, and fleeting. God invites us to stand beside Him to look at them like He does.

OBSERVATION

PRAYER Lord, open the eyes of my heart that I may see You and know You. To You, all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket, nothing more than dust on the scales. The nations of the world are worth nothing to You. In Your eyes they count for less than nothing.34 Give me such vision and conviction, that I may live my life with confidence and courage in You. Amen.

What does Jesus teach about God and man in relation to the fear

Prayer Pointers

of His disciples in Luke 12:1–5?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 33 Walter Brueggemann, Isaiah 40–66, (Westminster John Knox Press, 1998), 131 34 Isaiah 40:15, 17

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st 20, Augu ay Tuesd

2013

Do Not Fear: What Is Man?

APPLICATION How should I deal with the fear of man in my life?

SCRIPTURE Isaiah 51:12–15; Luke 12:1–5 God’s people were in exile in Babylon, where day in and day out, they faced “the fury of the oppressor;” so much so that they “fear continually all day long” (Isa 51:13). There may be difficult people or situations in our lives that are like the Babylonian superpower—“an ever-present, ever-intimidating, ever-visible threat.33 We feel troubled, anxious, overwhelmed, and helpless because of them. God calls us to view the people or situations that make life difficult for us, however powerful and controlling they may be, as just “man who dies… who is made like grass” (v 12). Man is “a vapour that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (Jas 4:14). Grass is “here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow” (Mt 6:30, NLT). We don’t know how long they will be around; but they will not stay forever. To God, they are frail, feeble, and fleeting. God invites us to stand beside Him to look at them like He does.

OBSERVATION

PRAYER Lord, open the eyes of my heart that I may see You and know You. To You, all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket, nothing more than dust on the scales. The nations of the world are worth nothing to You. In Your eyes they count for less than nothing.34 Give me such vision and conviction, that I may live my life with confidence and courage in You. Amen.

What does Jesus teach about God and man in relation to the fear

Prayer Pointers

of His disciples in Luke 12:1–5?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 33 Walter Brueggemann, Isaiah 40–66, (Westminster John Knox Press, 1998), 131 34 Isaiah 40:15, 17

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st 21, Augu sday Wedne

2013

Do Not Fear: Who Are You?

APPLICATION What do I know of God that can help me overcome my fears?

SCRIPTURE Isaiah 51:12–15; Luke 12:6–9 God asked Israel, who lived in fear of the “fury of the oppressor”—“Who are you that you are afraid of…?” (Isa 51:12). In fact, God asked Israel “Who are you?” first, before He told them who the oppressor really was. God seems to be saying that if God’s people know who they are, they need not fear anything or anyone at any time. Of course, that does not mean they will not feel the heat of the adversity or adversary. We belong to God, who says to us, “I am the LORD your God” (v 15). As the precious possession of God, we are assured of His faithful and powerful presence with us. God goes before us; He follows behind us; He walks beside us on our left and right; He watches over us. As God’s precious possession, “he who touches you, touches the pupil of His eye” (Zec 2:8). God’s children are as precious to Him as His Son is to Him.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Lord, You know everything about me; not just because You are an all–knowing God. You know me personally in love. You have made me so special to You, that You are interested in me and care for me enough to know when I sit down and when I rise up, and be intimately acquainted with all my ways. You enclose me behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me.35 I love You, Lord. Amen.

What does Jesus teach about God and His children in relation to fear in Luke 12:6–9?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 35 Psalm 139:2, 3, 5

118

119


st 21, Augu sday Wedne

2013

Do Not Fear: Who Are You?

APPLICATION What do I know of God that can help me overcome my fears?

SCRIPTURE Isaiah 51:12–15; Luke 12:6–9 God asked Israel, who lived in fear of the “fury of the oppressor”—“Who are you that you are afraid of…?” (Isa 51:12). In fact, God asked Israel “Who are you?” first, before He told them who the oppressor really was. God seems to be saying that if God’s people know who they are, they need not fear anything or anyone at any time. Of course, that does not mean they will not feel the heat of the adversity or adversary. We belong to God, who says to us, “I am the LORD your God” (v 15). As the precious possession of God, we are assured of His faithful and powerful presence with us. God goes before us; He follows behind us; He walks beside us on our left and right; He watches over us. As God’s precious possession, “he who touches you, touches the pupil of His eye” (Zec 2:8). God’s children are as precious to Him as His Son is to Him.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Lord, You know everything about me; not just because You are an all–knowing God. You know me personally in love. You have made me so special to You, that You are interested in me and care for me enough to know when I sit down and when I rise up, and be intimately acquainted with all my ways. You enclose me behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me.35 I love You, Lord. Amen.

What does Jesus teach about God and His children in relation to fear in Luke 12:6–9?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 35 Psalm 139:2, 3, 5

118

119


st 22, Augu sday Thur

2013

Do Not Fear– Who God Is

APPLICATION What do I know of God that can help me overcome my fears?

SCRIPTURE Isaiah 51:12–15; Isaiah 41:8–14 What defines what man is and who we are is who God is. God is the Creator God. He is powerful—“the LORD your Maker” (v 13). God is Creator not only of Israel but of earth and heaven. God “has all the power, contrasted with this ‘mere mortal’ [“the oppressor” of Israel] who has no real power, has created nothing, and therefore need not be feared or obeyed.”36 God is the Covenant God. He is faithful—“I am the LORD your God” (v 15). Israel’s Covenant God is faithful in keeping both His promise of judgment for covenant unfaithfulness and His promise of restoration after judgment—“The exile will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon, nor will his bread be lacking” (v 14). God is the comforting God. He is merciful—“I, even I, am He who comforts you” (v 12). God is very emphatic here about Himself as the Comforting God, by speaking in the first person with a double pronoun, “I, even I.”

PRAYER Lord, You reign forever, executing judgment from Your throne. You will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness. You are a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You; for You, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for You.37 Lord, I seek You and trust in You. Amen.

OBSERVATION What does God say to Israel regarding their fear in exile in Babylon in Isaiah 41:8–14?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 36 Walter Brueggemann, 131 37 Psalm 9:7–10

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st 22, Augu sday Thur

2013

Do Not Fear– Who God Is

APPLICATION What do I know of God that can help me overcome my fears?

SCRIPTURE Isaiah 51:12–15; Isaiah 41:8–14 What defines what man is and who we are is who God is. God is the Creator God. He is powerful—“the LORD your Maker” (v 13). God is Creator not only of Israel but of earth and heaven. God “has all the power, contrasted with this ‘mere mortal’ [“the oppressor” of Israel] who has no real power, has created nothing, and therefore need not be feared or obeyed.”36 God is the Covenant God. He is faithful—“I am the LORD your God” (v 15). Israel’s Covenant God is faithful in keeping both His promise of judgment for covenant unfaithfulness and His promise of restoration after judgment—“The exile will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon, nor will his bread be lacking” (v 14). God is the comforting God. He is merciful—“I, even I, am He who comforts you” (v 12). God is very emphatic here about Himself as the Comforting God, by speaking in the first person with a double pronoun, “I, even I.”

PRAYER Lord, You reign forever, executing judgment from Your throne. You will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness. You are a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You; for You, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for You.37 Lord, I seek You and trust in You. Amen.

OBSERVATION What does God say to Israel regarding their fear in exile in Babylon in Isaiah 41:8–14?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 36 Walter Brueggemann, 131 37 Psalm 9:7–10

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st 23, Augu y Frida

2013

It’s All About God

APPLICATION What does it mean to me that my life should reflect the reality and glory of God?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:18; 1 Peter 3:11–12 Exodus 14:18 are God’s very last words before He acted to lead Israel to cross the Red Sea. These words sum up what the whole exodus is about. It contains two things God says about Himself—“I am the LORD” and “I will be honoured”. Both are intertwined. When God is honoured (“when I will be honoured”), it means God has set a time to manifest His glory. God is honoured through Pharaoh and all his army. The “Pharaoh and all his army” in life are that which cause fear, anxiety, confusion, uncertainty and helplessness. God is honoured that “the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” This means the “Egypt” around us will be able to see the reality of God in our relationship with Him, as a result of us knowing our covenant God and living under His covenant lordship. God’s promises—“I am the LORD” and “I will be honoured” ought to fill our lives. True life is all about God, in our coming in and our going out.

PRAYER My Father, I have come to You now that You may make me able to have reverence for Christ and honour Him as Lord; to walk in Your light; to act in Your strength; to think in Your wisdom; to speak in Your truth; to live in Your love; so that I may be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks me to explain the hope that I have in You, with gentleness and respect.38 Amen

OBSERVATION According to 1 Peter 2:11–12, what does God being real in our life mean?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 38 1 Peter 3:15

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st 23, Augu y Frida

2013

It’s All About God

APPLICATION What does it mean to me that my life should reflect the reality and glory of God?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:18; 1 Peter 3:11–12 Exodus 14:18 are God’s very last words before He acted to lead Israel to cross the Red Sea. These words sum up what the whole exodus is about. It contains two things God says about Himself—“I am the LORD” and “I will be honoured”. Both are intertwined. When God is honoured (“when I will be honoured”), it means God has set a time to manifest His glory. God is honoured through Pharaoh and all his army. The “Pharaoh and all his army” in life are that which cause fear, anxiety, confusion, uncertainty and helplessness. God is honoured that “the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” This means the “Egypt” around us will be able to see the reality of God in our relationship with Him, as a result of us knowing our covenant God and living under His covenant lordship. God’s promises—“I am the LORD” and “I will be honoured” ought to fill our lives. True life is all about God, in our coming in and our going out.

PRAYER My Father, I have come to You now that You may make me able to have reverence for Christ and honour Him as Lord; to walk in Your light; to act in Your strength; to think in Your wisdom; to speak in Your truth; to live in Your love; so that I may be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks me to explain the hope that I have in You, with gentleness and respect.38 Amen

OBSERVATION According to 1 Peter 2:11–12, what does God being real in our life mean?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 38 1 Peter 3:15

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st 24, Augu day Satur

2013

God Stands in Between

APPLICATION How will I handle situations when I feel utterly helpless?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:19–22; 2 Chronicles 20:1–13 That danger that is very near Israel is very real. Imagine Israel seeing the Egyptian army in horses and chariots, in super high speed getting nearer and nearer to them; while Israel is stuck in a corner and cannot move any further. But the Egyptian attack has yet to actually happen—even if it is just ten metres away. We are anxious or fearful about what may happen next, in view of what is happening around us now. We are uncertain of what is going to happen. We do not and cannot know ahead. But one thing is for sure, God will act—His presence “moved from before them and stood behind them” and “came in between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel” (Ex 14:19–20). God alone knows when and where to move. Standing in between the two camps, “the one did not come near the other all night”—paradoxically, near, but far (v 20). At the right moment, God opens the door of His salvation (v 21–22).

OBSERVATION

PRAYER O faithful God, You alone are the God who is in heaven. You are the ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty. Nothing can stand against You! I am utterly powerless in this situation that is too overwhelming for me. I do not know what to do, but I am looking to You for help. In Your presence, I cry out to You to save me, and You will hear me and rescue me. Amen.

What does 2 Chronicles 20:1–13 tell us about King Jehoshaphat in

Prayer Pointers

his utter helplessness?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self:

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st 24, Augu day Satur

2013

God Stands in Between

APPLICATION How will I handle situations when I feel utterly helpless?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 14:19–22; 2 Chronicles 20:1–13 That danger that is very near Israel is very real. Imagine Israel seeing the Egyptian army in horses and chariots, in super high speed getting nearer and nearer to them; while Israel is stuck in a corner and cannot move any further. But the Egyptian attack has yet to actually happen—even if it is just ten metres away. We are anxious or fearful about what may happen next, in view of what is happening around us now. We are uncertain of what is going to happen. We do not and cannot know ahead. But one thing is for sure, God will act—His presence “moved from before them and stood behind them” and “came in between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel” (Ex 14:19–20). God alone knows when and where to move. Standing in between the two camps, “the one did not come near the other all night”—paradoxically, near, but far (v 20). At the right moment, God opens the door of His salvation (v 21–22).

OBSERVATION

PRAYER O faithful God, You alone are the God who is in heaven. You are the ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty. Nothing can stand against You! I am utterly powerless in this situation that is too overwhelming for me. I do not know what to do, but I am looking to You for help. In Your presence, I cry out to You to save me, and You will hear me and rescue me. Amen.

What does 2 Chronicles 20:1–13 tell us about King Jehoshaphat in

Prayer Pointers

his utter helplessness?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self:

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st 25, Augu y Sunda

2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

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st 25, Augu y Sunda

2. REFLECT — What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light

of what has happened?

2013

1. Review — look back at your past week using the Examen (modified) a. What was my high point?

b. What was my low point?

3. RESPONSE a. What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?

c. What gave me life?

b. Journal your prayer d. What drained me?

e. How was the Spirit of God at work?

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st 26, Augu ay Mond

2013

SCRIPTURE

Growth Journey of Worship (1)

APPLICATION What are the acts of God in Exodus 15:1–21 that speak to my present life situation?

Exodus 15:1–21 Worship to God is a growth journey and worship begins with reality. Reality is about experience. Exodus 14 is an experience of deliverance and Exodus 15 an expression of doxology. “I will sing to the LORD” (15:1)—that is worship; and what leads to that worship is Israel’s experience of seeing “the horse and its rider He [God] hurled into the sea” (v 1). Experiencing the reality of God is an outflow of a growing relationship and fellowship with God. Worship is a response to this reality. We exalt God out of our experience of Him—not just with naming His attributes in abstract terms. “Where a worshipper in the Psalms says, ‘I will praise the Lord…,’ he means ‘I will respond to Him for what He has done for me.’”39 We also worship God as response to others sharing their experiences of God with us, and our experiences of God as a church as a whole.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Blessed be Your name, O Lord, now and forever. Everywhere—from east to west—praise Your glorious name! You are high above the nations; Your glory is higher than the heavens. Who can be compared with You, O Lord my God, who is enthroned on high? You humble Yourself to look down on earth, and lift the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump.40 Amen.

What can you learn in Exodus 15:1–21 about God in what He does

Prayer Pointers

(divine actions)?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 39 Maxie D. Dunnam, Exodus, The Preacher’s Commentary” (Nelson, 1987), 168 – citing from Claus Westermann’s

The Praise of God in the Psalms

40 Psalm 113:2–7 (NLT)

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st 26, Augu ay Mond

2013

SCRIPTURE

Growth Journey of Worship (1)

APPLICATION What are the acts of God in Exodus 15:1–21 that speak to my present life situation?

Exodus 15:1–21 Worship to God is a growth journey and worship begins with reality. Reality is about experience. Exodus 14 is an experience of deliverance and Exodus 15 an expression of doxology. “I will sing to the LORD” (15:1)—that is worship; and what leads to that worship is Israel’s experience of seeing “the horse and its rider He [God] hurled into the sea” (v 1). Experiencing the reality of God is an outflow of a growing relationship and fellowship with God. Worship is a response to this reality. We exalt God out of our experience of Him—not just with naming His attributes in abstract terms. “Where a worshipper in the Psalms says, ‘I will praise the Lord…,’ he means ‘I will respond to Him for what He has done for me.’”39 We also worship God as response to others sharing their experiences of God with us, and our experiences of God as a church as a whole.

PRAYER

OBSERVATION

Blessed be Your name, O Lord, now and forever. Everywhere—from east to west—praise Your glorious name! You are high above the nations; Your glory is higher than the heavens. Who can be compared with You, O Lord my God, who is enthroned on high? You humble Yourself to look down on earth, and lift the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump.40 Amen.

What can you learn in Exodus 15:1–21 about God in what He does

Prayer Pointers

(divine actions)?

Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 39 Maxie D. Dunnam, Exodus, The Preacher’s Commentary” (Nelson, 1987), 168 – citing from Claus Westermann’s

The Praise of God in the Psalms

40 Psalm 113:2–7 (NLT)

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st 27, Augu ay Tuesd

2013

Growth Journey of Worship (2)

APPLICATION What are the attributes of God in Exodus 15:1–21 that speak to my present life situation?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 15:1–21 In our worship to God, reflections on reality shape our response. The content of worship in Exodus 15 is formed out of reflection. It is evident in the theological wealth and depth of the worship. Let our worship be a reflective response to God. Reflection keeps us from being “hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God” (Ecc 5:2). When we reflect on our present and past experiences of God, we receive God’s revelation of Himself. Exodus 14 shows only the action undertaken by God. In Exodus 15, God reveals His underlying attributes behind His acts—“Your right hand… is majestic in power” (15:6), “the greatness of Your excellence” (v 7), His “majestic holiness” (v 11), “Your steadfast love” (v 13), and so forth. God’s revelation of Himself enables us to know Him better, deepening our relationship with and our rootedness in God—“The LORD is my strength and song… my salvation” (v 2); and of our worship.

PRAYER I will exalt You, my God the King! You are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in unfailing love. You uphold all those who fall and lift up all who are bowed down. You are close to all who call on You in truth. You fulfill the desires of those who fear You; You hear their cry and save them.41 You are wise, and righteous, and abound in goodness, in everything You do. Amen.

OBSERVATION What can you learn in Exodus 15:1–21 about who God is (divine attributes)?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 41 Psalm 145:1, 8, 14, 17–19

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st 27, Augu ay Tuesd

2013

Growth Journey of Worship (2)

APPLICATION What are the attributes of God in Exodus 15:1–21 that speak to my present life situation?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 15:1–21 In our worship to God, reflections on reality shape our response. The content of worship in Exodus 15 is formed out of reflection. It is evident in the theological wealth and depth of the worship. Let our worship be a reflective response to God. Reflection keeps us from being “hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God” (Ecc 5:2). When we reflect on our present and past experiences of God, we receive God’s revelation of Himself. Exodus 14 shows only the action undertaken by God. In Exodus 15, God reveals His underlying attributes behind His acts—“Your right hand… is majestic in power” (15:6), “the greatness of Your excellence” (v 7), His “majestic holiness” (v 11), “Your steadfast love” (v 13), and so forth. God’s revelation of Himself enables us to know Him better, deepening our relationship with and our rootedness in God—“The LORD is my strength and song… my salvation” (v 2); and of our worship.

PRAYER I will exalt You, my God the King! You are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in unfailing love. You uphold all those who fall and lift up all who are bowed down. You are close to all who call on You in truth. You fulfill the desires of those who fear You; You hear their cry and save them.41 You are wise, and righteous, and abound in goodness, in everything You do. Amen.

OBSERVATION What can you learn in Exodus 15:1–21 about who God is (divine attributes)?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 41 Psalm 145:1, 8, 14, 17–19

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st 28, Augu sday Wedne

2013

Test of True Worship

APPLICATION How have I grown in depth in my worship to God?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 15:22–24; Daniel 6:4–11 When Israel saw God’s “great power” in destroying the Egyptian army, they “feared” Him and “believed” in Him (Ex 14:31). What followed was a great celebration of God’s deliverance and victory (15:1–21). “Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea… into the wilderness,” where they passed through without water for three days (v 22). Then, there was water at Marah; but only too bitter for drinking (v 23) and Israel “grumbled against Moses” (v 24). The Red Sea marked salvation, and Israel celebrated. The wilderness was a time of suffering, and Israel complained. Where was Israel’s faith and worship at the Red Sea? While the content of what Israel said about and to God in worship was good, the posture behind their worship was shallow. Is this also true of you? The wilderness journey is a discipleship necessity. The wilderness trains and tests us in true worship.

PRAYER Lord Jesus, faithful and merciful High Priest,42 my will is weak; by myself I cannot resist temptation and complete the discipleship race. My heart is fickle; by myself I cannot be loyal to You as I should. My steps are faltering; by myself I cannot walk in Your straight way. Give me Your grace and strength to know You, love You, and follow You all the days of my life.43 Amen.

OBSERVATION What is the test of Daniel’s worship to God like in Daniel 6:4–11?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 42 Hebrews 2:17 43 Adapted from William Barclay, 118

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st 28, Augu sday Wedne

2013

Test of True Worship

APPLICATION How have I grown in depth in my worship to God?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 15:22–24; Daniel 6:4–11 When Israel saw God’s “great power” in destroying the Egyptian army, they “feared” Him and “believed” in Him (Ex 14:31). What followed was a great celebration of God’s deliverance and victory (15:1–21). “Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea… into the wilderness,” where they passed through without water for three days (v 22). Then, there was water at Marah; but only too bitter for drinking (v 23) and Israel “grumbled against Moses” (v 24). The Red Sea marked salvation, and Israel celebrated. The wilderness was a time of suffering, and Israel complained. Where was Israel’s faith and worship at the Red Sea? While the content of what Israel said about and to God in worship was good, the posture behind their worship was shallow. Is this also true of you? The wilderness journey is a discipleship necessity. The wilderness trains and tests us in true worship.

PRAYER Lord Jesus, faithful and merciful High Priest,42 my will is weak; by myself I cannot resist temptation and complete the discipleship race. My heart is fickle; by myself I cannot be loyal to You as I should. My steps are faltering; by myself I cannot walk in Your straight way. Give me Your grace and strength to know You, love You, and follow You all the days of my life.43 Amen.

OBSERVATION What is the test of Daniel’s worship to God like in Daniel 6:4–11?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 42 Hebrews 2:17 43 Adapted from William Barclay, 118

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st 29, Augu sday Thur

2013

Discipleship Desert

APPLICATION How will I walk through a wilderness journey (present or future)?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 15:22–26; Psalm 107:1–9 Desert periods, in all shapes and sizes, are part and parcel of a discipleship journey. They are not nice conditions to be in (“no water,” bitter waters—Ex 15:22–23), but they are necessary. God’s presence is with us there, as in Israel’s experience; even though we may feel more of His absence, distance, and silence. God has His purpose for us—“and there He tested them” (v 25). Posture is most important as how we respond to God is what God is looking for, and seeking to develop or deepen in us. Sadly, Israel grumbled (v 24). Right posture requires patience and perseverance and is acquired through patience and perseverance. However dry, dark, or difficult the desert journey may be, divine preservation is assured. Israel survived! (cf. Dt 8:4). There will be divine provision of what we need, according to the God-designed moment, manner, and measure. God turned bitter waters into sweet waters to quench Israel’s three–day long thirst (v 22, 25).

OBSERVATION What does Psalm 107:1–9 portray about a wilderness journey?

PRAYER Lord, I long for You, I look for You, I watch for You, I wait for You. I thirst for You, O my Lord, like someone in the desert seeking an oasis, like a wilderness beast seeking a stream. I long for Your presence, I look for Your love, I watch for Your coming, I wait for Your call. Come, Lord, and satisfy me. Come, quench my thirst. Come refresh and renew me.44 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 44 Adapted from David Adam, Music of the Heart: New Psalms in the Celtic Tradition (SPCK, 2004), 42

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st 29, Augu sday Thur

2013

Discipleship Desert

APPLICATION How will I walk through a wilderness journey (present or future)?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 15:22–26; Psalm 107:1–9 Desert periods, in all shapes and sizes, are part and parcel of a discipleship journey. They are not nice conditions to be in (“no water,” bitter waters—Ex 15:22–23), but they are necessary. God’s presence is with us there, as in Israel’s experience; even though we may feel more of His absence, distance, and silence. God has His purpose for us—“and there He tested them” (v 25). Posture is most important as how we respond to God is what God is looking for, and seeking to develop or deepen in us. Sadly, Israel grumbled (v 24). Right posture requires patience and perseverance and is acquired through patience and perseverance. However dry, dark, or difficult the desert journey may be, divine preservation is assured. Israel survived! (cf. Dt 8:4). There will be divine provision of what we need, according to the God-designed moment, manner, and measure. God turned bitter waters into sweet waters to quench Israel’s three–day long thirst (v 22, 25).

OBSERVATION What does Psalm 107:1–9 portray about a wilderness journey?

PRAYER Lord, I long for You, I look for You, I watch for You, I wait for You. I thirst for You, O my Lord, like someone in the desert seeking an oasis, like a wilderness beast seeking a stream. I long for Your presence, I look for Your love, I watch for Your coming, I wait for Your call. Come, Lord, and satisfy me. Come, quench my thirst. Come refresh and renew me.44 Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 44 Adapted from David Adam, Music of the Heart: New Psalms in the Celtic Tradition (SPCK, 2004), 42

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st 30, Augu y Frida

2013

Rivers of Living Water

APPLICATION How is my thirst for the Lord and the living water He offers?

SCRIPTURE John 4:5–15; 7:37–39 Israel went through the wilderness with “no water” for three days; until they stopped at Marah, where God sweetened the bitter waters (Ex 15:22–25). This divine provision of water points to the “living water” that Jesus offers (John 7:38), which is far better. One is earthly; the other is eternal. First, we must thirst—“If anyone is thirsty” (v 37). Then, we must “come” to Jesus and “drink” from Him (v 37) through our daily devotions. The result will be, as He has promised, “from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water”— which is the Holy Spirit (v 38–39). It is “be filled with the Spirit” in Pauline language (Eph 5:18). It is “rivers” and not just “river” (The noun in the plural form suggests abundance)! The rivers of living water “will flow”, flowing being an outward movement. The work, life, and fruit of the Spirit will flow from the inside-out in service to others.

PRAYER When I am dried up and all hope is gone, fill me, Holy Spirit. When my resources are gone and I cannot cope, fill me, Holy Spirit. Flame of the Spirit, burn within me, set my heart on fire. Wind of the Spirit, blow through me, move me by Your power. Breath of God, fill my life, inspire my actions. Restore me. Revive me. Renew me. Refresh me.45 Transform me, Spirit of the living God. Amen.

OBSERVATION What does Jesus teach about living water in John 4:5–15?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 45 Adapted from David Adam, 130, 151

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Rivers of Living Water

APPLICATION How is my thirst for the Lord and the living water He offers?

SCRIPTURE John 4:5–15; 7:37–39 Israel went through the wilderness with “no water” for three days; until they stopped at Marah, where God sweetened the bitter waters (Ex 15:22–25). This divine provision of water points to the “living water” that Jesus offers (John 7:38), which is far better. One is earthly; the other is eternal. First, we must thirst—“If anyone is thirsty” (v 37). Then, we must “come” to Jesus and “drink” from Him (v 37) through our daily devotions. The result will be, as He has promised, “from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water”— which is the Holy Spirit (v 38–39). It is “be filled with the Spirit” in Pauline language (Eph 5:18). It is “rivers” and not just “river” (The noun in the plural form suggests abundance)! The rivers of living water “will flow”, flowing being an outward movement. The work, life, and fruit of the Spirit will flow from the inside-out in service to others.

PRAYER When I am dried up and all hope is gone, fill me, Holy Spirit. When my resources are gone and I cannot cope, fill me, Holy Spirit. Flame of the Spirit, burn within me, set my heart on fire. Wind of the Spirit, blow through me, move me by Your power. Breath of God, fill my life, inspire my actions. Restore me. Revive me. Renew me. Refresh me.45 Transform me, Spirit of the living God. Amen.

OBSERVATION What does Jesus teach about living water in John 4:5–15?

Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 45 Adapted from David Adam, 130, 151

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Good-bye to Good Things

APPLICATION What will I do should God lead me from Elim to the wilderness of Sin?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 15:27–16:3 Israel moved from Marah to Elim, where there were “twelve springs of water and seventy date palms” (Ex 15:23, 27). Both numbers, “twelve” and “seventy,” “to the Hebrew mind, give the idea of perfection.”46 Elim is a “perfect” earthly place. “Elim is as different from Marah as day is from night. Talk about going from the bitter to the better! There was no need for God to test His people at Elim. Bitter waters were no more, for now there are twelve springs of fresh water at this oasis, to say nothing of the seventy date palms.”47 But, all good things must come to an end on this side of eternity. It must have been hard for Israel to say good–bye to Elim. How Israel must have wished to stay at Elim for the rest of their lives. But that was not God’s will. So, Israel “set out from Elim… came to the wilderness of Sin” (Ex 16:1). It was a very unpleasant place. We know that because “Israel grumbled” (v 2). But, being in the wilderness of Sin was God’s will for them.

OBSERVATION What do the words of Israel in Exodus 16:3 reveal about their hearts?

PRAYER Lord, You disturb me, unsettle me, moving me out of the shallow and drawing me into the great deep. You beckon me to the mighty sea, though my boat is frail and small. You lead me away from comfort, from safety that is like a grave. You ask me to travel in faith, with no apparent light. In the darkness and danger, You show me the stars and Your love.48 Hold my hand, Lord. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 46 Alan Cole, Exodus, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (IVP, 1973), 130 47 Victor P. Hamilton, Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary (Baker, 2011), 244 48 David Adam, 69

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Good-bye to Good Things

APPLICATION What will I do should God lead me from Elim to the wilderness of Sin?

SCRIPTURE Exodus 15:27–16:3 Israel moved from Marah to Elim, where there were “twelve springs of water and seventy date palms” (Ex 15:23, 27). Both numbers, “twelve” and “seventy,” “to the Hebrew mind, give the idea of perfection.”46 Elim is a “perfect” earthly place. “Elim is as different from Marah as day is from night. Talk about going from the bitter to the better! There was no need for God to test His people at Elim. Bitter waters were no more, for now there are twelve springs of fresh water at this oasis, to say nothing of the seventy date palms.”47 But, all good things must come to an end on this side of eternity. It must have been hard for Israel to say good–bye to Elim. How Israel must have wished to stay at Elim for the rest of their lives. But that was not God’s will. So, Israel “set out from Elim… came to the wilderness of Sin” (Ex 16:1). It was a very unpleasant place. We know that because “Israel grumbled” (v 2). But, being in the wilderness of Sin was God’s will for them.

OBSERVATION What do the words of Israel in Exodus 16:3 reveal about their hearts?

PRAYER Lord, You disturb me, unsettle me, moving me out of the shallow and drawing me into the great deep. You beckon me to the mighty sea, though my boat is frail and small. You lead me away from comfort, from safety that is like a grave. You ask me to travel in faith, with no apparent light. In the darkness and danger, You show me the stars and Your love.48 Hold my hand, Lord. Amen. Prayer Pointers Give thanks: Pray for leaders: Pray for significant people: Pray for those in need: Pray for self: 46 Alan Cole, Exodus, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (IVP, 1973), 130 47 Victor P. Hamilton, Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary (Baker, 2011), 244 48 David Adam, 69

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WORSHIP SONGS A BROKEN SPIRIT

ARMS OPEN WIDE

A broken spirit and a contrite heart You will not despise You will not despise You desire truth In the inward parts A broken spirit and a contrite heart

Take my life I lay it down At the cross where I am found All I have I give to You oh God

Lord, my heart is prone to wander Prone to leave the Lord I love Here’s my heart Lord, take it and seal it Seal it for Your courts above A broken spirit and a contrite heart You will not despise You will not despise You desire truth in the inward parts A broken spirit and a contrite heart Lord, my heart is prone to wander Prone to leave the God I love Here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it Seal it for Your courts above

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Take my hands and make them clean Keep my heart in purity That I may walk in all You have for me Chorus Oh here I stand Arms open wide Oh I am Yours And You are mine Jesus Take my moments and my days Let each breath that I take Be ever only for You oh God Bridge My whole life is Yours I give it all Surrendered to Your Name And forever I will pray Have Your way Have Your way

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WORSHIP SONGS A BROKEN SPIRIT

ARMS OPEN WIDE

A broken spirit and a contrite heart You will not despise You will not despise You desire truth In the inward parts A broken spirit and a contrite heart

Take my life I lay it down At the cross where I am found All I have I give to You oh God

Lord, my heart is prone to wander Prone to leave the Lord I love Here’s my heart Lord, take it and seal it Seal it for Your courts above A broken spirit and a contrite heart You will not despise You will not despise You desire truth in the inward parts A broken spirit and a contrite heart Lord, my heart is prone to wander Prone to leave the God I love Here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it Seal it for Your courts above

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Take my hands and make them clean Keep my heart in purity That I may walk in all You have for me Chorus Oh here I stand Arms open wide Oh I am Yours And You are mine Jesus Take my moments and my days Let each breath that I take Be ever only for You oh God Bridge My whole life is Yours I give it all Surrendered to Your Name And forever I will pray Have Your way Have Your way

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Be Thou my vision

CORNERSTONE

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art Thou my best thought, by day or by night Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness I dare not trust the sweetest frame But wholly trust in Jesus’ name

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one

Chorus Christ alone, Cornerstone Weak made strong, in the Savior’s love Through the storm He is Lord, Lord of All

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise Thou mine inheritance. now and always Thou and Thou only, first in my heart High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art High King of heaven, my victory won May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun Heart of my own heart, whatever befall Still be my vision, O Ruler of all

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When darkness seems to hide His face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil My anchor holds within the veil Then He shall come with trumpets sound Oh, may I then in Him be found Dressed in His righteousness alone Faultless, stand before the throne

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Be Thou my vision

CORNERSTONE

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art Thou my best thought, by day or by night Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness I dare not trust the sweetest frame But wholly trust in Jesus’ name

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one

Chorus Christ alone, Cornerstone Weak made strong, in the Savior’s love Through the storm He is Lord, Lord of All

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise Thou mine inheritance. now and always Thou and Thou only, first in my heart High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art High King of heaven, my victory won May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun Heart of my own heart, whatever befall Still be my vision, O Ruler of all

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When darkness seems to hide His face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil My anchor holds within the veil Then He shall come with trumpets sound Oh, may I then in Him be found Dressed in His righteousness alone Faultless, stand before the throne

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GIVE ME JESUS

God Is Able

In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise Give me Jesus

God is able He will never fail He is Almighty God Greater than all we seek Greater than all we ask He has done great things

Chorus Give me Jesus Give me Jesus You can have all this world Just give me Jesus When I am alone When I am alone When I am alone Give me Jesus When the end is near When the end is near When the end is near Give me Jesus Last Chorus Give me Jesus Give me Jesus You can have all this world You can have all this world You can have all this world Just give me Jesus

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Chorus Lifted up, He defeated the grave Raised to life, our God is able In His name, He overcome For the Lord our God is able God is with us God is on our side He will make a way Far above all we know Far above all we hope He has done great things Bridge God is with us He will go before us He will never leave us He will never leave us God is for us He has open arms He will never fail us He will never fail us

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GIVE ME JESUS

God Is Able

In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise Give me Jesus

God is able He will never fail He is Almighty God Greater than all we seek Greater than all we ask He has done great things

Chorus Give me Jesus Give me Jesus You can have all this world Just give me Jesus When I am alone When I am alone When I am alone Give me Jesus When the end is near When the end is near When the end is near Give me Jesus Last Chorus Give me Jesus Give me Jesus You can have all this world You can have all this world You can have all this world Just give me Jesus

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Chorus Lifted up, He defeated the grave Raised to life, our God is able In His name, He overcome For the Lord our God is able God is with us God is on our side He will make a way Far above all we know Far above all we hope He has done great things Bridge God is with us He will go before us He will never leave us He will never leave us God is for us He has open arms He will never fail us He will never fail us

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God Of Ages

Hope of All Hearts

God of ages bringing glory here You are good, You are good Son of righteousness, You are all I seek With all my heart

The world may fade, You will remain In the midst of the trial, You will always be I’ll sing Our God never fails, our God never fails

Pre-Chorus Giver of life, hope for the lost, is in You All of the earth, shines with Your light Your glory Chorus You are the God who lives You are the God who heals You are my hope, my everything You brought salvation to us, Offered Your peace to the world You are my Lord, my everything In Your promise, and Your faithfullness I will trust, all my days King forever, reign in majesty Be glorified Tag I’ll trust in You I’ll trust in You I’ll trust in You, with all my heart

With hope and light, You reign over all Though my heart may fail, You will always be I’ll sing Our God never fails, our God never fails Pre Chorus Praise in the morning Praise in the evening Praise when I’m laughing Praise when I’m grieving There will be dancing There will be singing Upon injustice we will tell of our God Chorus The hope of all hearts The hope of all hearts is You Your love never fails Your love never fails With hope and light, You reign over all Though my heart may fail, You will always be I’ll sing Our God never fails, our God never fails Bridge In the darkness, in triumph, my soul shall sing Of His mercy, and kindness, our offering of praise Our God never fails, our God never fails

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God Of Ages

Hope of All Hearts

God of ages bringing glory here You are good, You are good Son of righteousness, You are all I seek With all my heart

The world may fade, You will remain In the midst of the trial, You will always be I’ll sing Our God never fails, our God never fails

Pre-Chorus Giver of life, hope for the lost, is in You All of the earth, shines with Your light Your glory Chorus You are the God who lives You are the God who heals You are my hope, my everything You brought salvation to us, Offered Your peace to the world You are my Lord, my everything In Your promise, and Your faithfullness I will trust, all my days King forever, reign in majesty Be glorified Tag I’ll trust in You I’ll trust in You I’ll trust in You, with all my heart

With hope and light, You reign over all Though my heart may fail, You will always be I’ll sing Our God never fails, our God never fails Pre Chorus Praise in the morning Praise in the evening Praise when I’m laughing Praise when I’m grieving There will be dancing There will be singing Upon injustice we will tell of our God Chorus The hope of all hearts The hope of all hearts is You Your love never fails Your love never fails With hope and light, You reign over all Though my heart may fail, You will always be I’ll sing Our God never fails, our God never fails Bridge In the darkness, in triumph, my soul shall sing Of His mercy, and kindness, our offering of praise Our God never fails, our God never fails

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HOW TO WORSHIP A KING

Man Of Sorrows

You give me joy You give me life You give me strength To stand in the fire Now I can live Live what I sing Showing the world How to worship a King

Man of sorrows Lamb of God By His own betrayed The sin of man and wrath of God Has been on Jesus laid

Chorus Lord, I give You thanks God, I give You praise I give You a life that shows I’m living like a child who bears Your name Now with every day Let my life proclaim what I sing I worship my King Bridge With all my heart all my strength All that God has given me This is how I worship my King

Silent as He stood accused Beaten mocked and scorned Bowing to the Father’s will He took a crown of thorns Chorus Oh that rugged cross my salvation Where Your love poured out over me Now my soul cries out hallelujah Praise and honour unto Thee Sent of heaven God’s own Son To purchase and redeem And reconcile the very ones Who nailed Him to that tree Bridge Now my debt is paid It is paid in full By the precious blood That my Jesus spilled Now the curse of sin Has no hold on me Whom the Son sets free Oh is free indeed See the stone is rolled away Behold the empty tomb Hallelujah God be praised He’s risen from the grave

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HOW TO WORSHIP A KING

Man Of Sorrows

You give me joy You give me life You give me strength To stand in the fire Now I can live Live what I sing Showing the world How to worship a King

Man of sorrows Lamb of God By His own betrayed The sin of man and wrath of God Has been on Jesus laid

Chorus Lord, I give You thanks God, I give You praise I give You a life that shows I’m living like a child who bears Your name Now with every day Let my life proclaim what I sing I worship my King Bridge With all my heart all my strength All that God has given me This is how I worship my King

Silent as He stood accused Beaten mocked and scorned Bowing to the Father’s will He took a crown of thorns Chorus Oh that rugged cross my salvation Where Your love poured out over me Now my soul cries out hallelujah Praise and honour unto Thee Sent of heaven God’s own Son To purchase and redeem And reconcile the very ones Who nailed Him to that tree Bridge Now my debt is paid It is paid in full By the precious blood That my Jesus spilled Now the curse of sin Has no hold on me Whom the Son sets free Oh is free indeed See the stone is rolled away Behold the empty tomb Hallelujah God be praised He’s risen from the grave

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Praise Is The Offering

Scandal Of Grace

Come and let us sing for joy Let us praise and shout aloud To the lifter of our heads To the Rock we’re standing on Your salvation is our song Now we can’t stay silent We will sing how

Grace what have You done Murdered for me on that cross Accused in absence of wrong My sin washed away in Your blood

Chorus Great is Your love for us And great are the things You’ve done And praise is the offering we bring to You Lord we come to worship You Lord we bow our hearts in awe By Your love we are redeemed We are Yours and You’re our God Your salvation is our song We we can’t stay silent We will sing how Chorus Great is Your love for me And great are the things You’ve done for me And praise is the offering we bring to You All of our heart and soul And all that You are and more And praise is the offering we bring to You Bridge Lord we come to worship You Lord we bow our hearts in awe By Your love we are redeemed We are Yours and You’re our God We are Yours and You’re our God We are Yours and You’re our God 150

Pre-Chorus 1 Too much to make sense of it all I know that Your love breaks my fall The scandal of grace You died in my place So my soul will live Chorus 1 Oh to be like You Give all I have just to know You Jesus there’s no-one beside You Forever the hope in my heart Verse 2 Death where is your sting Your power is as dead as my sin The cross has taught me to live And mercy my heart now to sing Pre-Chorus 2 The day and its troubles shall come I know that Your strength is enough The scandal of grace You died in my place So my soul will live Bridge And it’s all because of You Jesus It’s all because of You Jesus It’s all because of Your love That my soul will live 151


Praise Is The Offering

Scandal Of Grace

Come and let us sing for joy Let us praise and shout aloud To the lifter of our heads To the Rock we’re standing on Your salvation is our song Now we can’t stay silent We will sing how

Grace what have You done Murdered for me on that cross Accused in absence of wrong My sin washed away in Your blood

Chorus Great is Your love for us And great are the things You’ve done And praise is the offering we bring to You Lord we come to worship You Lord we bow our hearts in awe By Your love we are redeemed We are Yours and You’re our God Your salvation is our song We we can’t stay silent We will sing how Chorus Great is Your love for me And great are the things You’ve done for me And praise is the offering we bring to You All of our heart and soul And all that You are and more And praise is the offering we bring to You Bridge Lord we come to worship You Lord we bow our hearts in awe By Your love we are redeemed We are Yours and You’re our God We are Yours and You’re our God We are Yours and You’re our God 150

Pre-Chorus 1 Too much to make sense of it all I know that Your love breaks my fall The scandal of grace You died in my place So my soul will live Chorus 1 Oh to be like You Give all I have just to know You Jesus there’s no-one beside You Forever the hope in my heart Verse 2 Death where is your sting Your power is as dead as my sin The cross has taught me to live And mercy my heart now to sing Pre-Chorus 2 The day and its troubles shall come I know that Your strength is enough The scandal of grace You died in my place So my soul will live Bridge And it’s all because of You Jesus It’s all because of You Jesus It’s all because of Your love That my soul will live 151


SHOW US THE ANCIENT PATHS

Your Presence Is Heaven

Lord we confess that we have wandered Far from Your purpose and plan And willingly walked in the wrong direction We’ve disobeyed Your commands Father forgive us, Spirit come lead us Back to the way, back to the truth Back to the foot of the Cross

Who is like You Lord in all the earth Matchless love and beauty, endless worth Nothing in this world will satisfy Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry

Chorus Show us the ancient paths Lead us along eternal high - ways We want to walk in the ways of Jesus We want to enter Your rest Show us the ancient paths Lead us along eternal high ways We want to follow the footsteps of Jesus We want to enter Your rest Lord, it’s Your mercy and good intention that constantly call us to You Your infinite patience and kind correction Your covenant love coming through You are our hope and our salvation You promise joy, You give us grace And courage to carry the cross We want to leave a clear set of footprints For those who will follow behind Signposts in our lives that point to Jesus A pathway they’ll easily find We want to fill up the sufferings of Jesus As we obey our lives display The glorious way of the cross

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Pre Chorus Your presence is heaven to me Your presence is heaven to me Treasure of my heart and of my soul In my weakness you are merciful Redeemer of my past and present wrongs Holder of my future days to come Pre Chorus Your presence is heaven to me Your presence is heaven to me Your presence is heaven to me Your presence is heaven to me Chorus Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus Your presence is heaven to me Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus Your presence is heaven to me All my days on earth I will await The moment that I see You face to face Nothing in this world will satisfy ‘Cause Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry Nothing in this world will satisfy Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry

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SHOW US THE ANCIENT PATHS

Your Presence Is Heaven

Lord we confess that we have wandered Far from Your purpose and plan And willingly walked in the wrong direction We’ve disobeyed Your commands Father forgive us, Spirit come lead us Back to the way, back to the truth Back to the foot of the Cross

Who is like You Lord in all the earth Matchless love and beauty, endless worth Nothing in this world will satisfy Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry

Chorus Show us the ancient paths Lead us along eternal high - ways We want to walk in the ways of Jesus We want to enter Your rest Show us the ancient paths Lead us along eternal high ways We want to follow the footsteps of Jesus We want to enter Your rest Lord, it’s Your mercy and good intention that constantly call us to You Your infinite patience and kind correction Your covenant love coming through You are our hope and our salvation You promise joy, You give us grace And courage to carry the cross We want to leave a clear set of footprints For those who will follow behind Signposts in our lives that point to Jesus A pathway they’ll easily find We want to fill up the sufferings of Jesus As we obey our lives display The glorious way of the cross

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Pre Chorus Your presence is heaven to me Your presence is heaven to me Treasure of my heart and of my soul In my weakness you are merciful Redeemer of my past and present wrongs Holder of my future days to come Pre Chorus Your presence is heaven to me Your presence is heaven to me Your presence is heaven to me Your presence is heaven to me Chorus Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus Your presence is heaven to me Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus Your presence is heaven to me All my days on earth I will await The moment that I see You face to face Nothing in this world will satisfy ‘Cause Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry Nothing in this world will satisfy Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry

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10,000 Reasons Bless the Lord O my soul, O my soul Worship His holy name Sing like never before, O my soul I’ll worship Your holy name The sun comes up it’s a new day dawning It’s time to sing Your song again Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me Let me be singing when the evening comes You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger Your name is great and Your heart is kind For all Your goodness I will keep on singing Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find And on that day when my strength is failing The end draws near and my time has come Still my soul will sing Your praise unending Ten thousand years and then forever

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10,000 Reasons Bless the Lord O my soul, O my soul Worship His holy name Sing like never before, O my soul I’ll worship Your holy name The sun comes up it’s a new day dawning It’s time to sing Your song again Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me Let me be singing when the evening comes You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger Your name is great and Your heart is kind For all Your goodness I will keep on singing Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find And on that day when my strength is failing The end draws near and my time has come Still my soul will sing Your praise unending Ten thousand years and then forever

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© 2013 COVENANT EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH Tel: (65) 6892 6811 • Email: mail@cefc.org.sg • Website: www.cefc.org.sg 156


July-August Devotional Journal 2013