Awaken

Day 21

Day 21 of our series ends with a focus on prayer…

Devotional Point 4 today: Expectant, honest, and bold prayers draw us nearer to the Lord

Scripture 4 today: “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭4:31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: the quality of expectant prayer comes from praying for what we know God wants in our situations, not for some random or capricious desire we have to make life better, it is all about praying through the journey of what He wants in me today…

Question for the day:

Other Notes: Hopefully you have enjoyed these notes from the guys at Calvary Chapel. Tomorrow we will kick off our look at “The Leadership Style of Jesus”. It is 10 days and will give us all a lot to consider for 2022…

Day 20

 

Day 20 gives us a bit of insight into how God sees us and how ahead works, things happen in His strength, not ours…

Devotional Point 4 today: God’s calling on your life is also God’s enabling…

Scripture 4 today: “The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” ‭‭Judges‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: Gideon represents an up close and personal view of God actually works with us. Whilst Gideon is pleading with God about his weaknesses, it was a fairly stupid thing to do because God certainly knows our weaknesses. Once he realises that he’s actually speaking with God himself, he then get on with it. But we need to understand the power we have been given in the Holy Spirit  inside us we need to “get on with it“.

Question for the day: What is one way you can choose to depend more on God’s strength in your life? Ask, ask,ask…

Day 19

Day 19 shows us why we have no reason to fear: we have a spirit of power, and love and self-control…

Devotional Point 4 today: Fear is a feeling; fearfulness is a mindset. 

Scripture 4 today: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: The church as we know it now is being “woken up“ to the incredible need in the world we live in for power, love, and self discipline. We are living in a world that is very depressed and very depressing because it deeply lacks these three things. The more of the world around you see is the manifestation of power and love and self control, the more it is going to want “some of that“.

Question for the day: Where do you need to be more bold today? I could always use loving more…

Day 18

Day 18 gives us the thing we need most in facing opposition: boldness…

Devotional Point 4 today: our fear is not from God…

Scripture 4 today: “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭4:29-30‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: in the first century of the church, they faced real threats of opposition and being killed. We are not facing any sort of opposition of that magnitude, although Christians in other countries like China and India face this every day. The only opposition we actually face is the opposition in our own heads of our fear of embarrassment or of not being accepted.  if he brings me into the situation, I have to tell it for what it is…

Question for the day: How do you handle opposition? Just jump on top of it…

Day 17

Day 17 returns us to one of the most important verses in the New Testament about the solution to worry and anxiety: prayer…

Devotional Point 4 today: a great level of anxiety implies a lack of faith…

Scripture 4 today: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: We have looked at these 2 verses many times in the last 2 years, and they are just as important today as they were then, because the things to worry about are getting bigger not smaller. But what it does mean is that we need to get a lot better at praying with our whole hearts…

Question for the day: What was Paul’s prescription for worry? Prayer Prayer and more prayer…

Day 16

Day 16 gives us the assurance of His steadying hand over everything we face, He is the cornerstone…

Devotional Point 4 today: there is rest and freedom in the arms of our sovereign Lord…

Scripture 4 today: “So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭28:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: The cornerstone to the temple in Jerusalem was inscribed with: “the one who trusts will never be dismayed”. Dismay pretty much sums up our present world. We have an enormous witness and testimony in this world just by virtue of the fact that we are not dismayed by anything. Not our personal circumstances, not by those trying to destroy us, and not by anything weer run into in the day…

Question for the day: Have you ever struggled with anxiety and/or panic attacks? Not for 15 years…

Day 15

Day 15 gives is the story of how it was that this group of ragtag followers of Jesus get molded into what we now know as the church…

Devotional Point 4 today: we must pray for all things according to His will and good pleasure…

Scripture 4 today: “On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: so Peter and John are out in Jerusalem and running into this guy  who is over 40 years old and they called down the Holy Spirit for some healing, which happens. The movement of “The Way” is well underway in Jerusalem and there are now 5,000 new converts, and the Jewish leadership (plural) hauls them in to threaten them. That however, does no good, and they return to “their people”. A few verses later the group goes from “their people” to the first mention of the church (Ecclesia), and that is where it all started…

Question for the day: What does it mean to ask according to His will? It means that you are walking in it and want more of it…

Day 14

Day 14 gives us a glimpse into the world of the Holy Spirit and what he does when He wants something done as in right now…

Devotional Point 4 today: it’s not our ability, but our availability…

Scripture 4 today: “When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭8:39‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: So, as they come out of the water, the Holy Spirit snatches Phillip and zooms him off about 50 miles from where they were to the sea port of Ashdod, but the Eunuch does not have any problem with this. Which could only mean that the Holy Spirit was on him and working in him. The guy does go on to found the church in Ethiopia. When the Holy Spirit has a job for you, get ready…

Day 13

Day 13 shows us what the Eunuch did like all new Christians who want to make a public declaration of turning their backs on the sin of their old lives, get baptised…

Devotional Point 4 today: Break through that silence…

Scripture 4 today: “As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭8:36‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: We know that the “born again” conversion process consists of believing with your heart, confessing with your mouth, and turning your back on sin. Baptism is the outward representation of that. Whilst he had done that in his heart, he wanted/needed to make a public statement about that. And it happened at his initiative…

Day 12

Day 12 gives us pretty clear instructions on how to discuss the concept of salvation with someone, Isaiah chapter 53…

Devotional Point 4 today: …his willingness to be “on duty” for the Lord

Scripture 4 today: “Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭8:35‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: Whenever there is an explanation of the scriptures for the purpose of the salvation decision it is all taken from the New Testament. You never see anyone explaining the message of salvation from this passage in Isaiah. However it covers all the points and is very clear, the entire church should take notice of what Phillip did.

Question for the day: have you ever tried that? I’d never thought of it until reading this…

Day 11

Day 11 gives us the secrets to reaching out to the world around us. First the message has to be in their language and second it has to be in the language of their lives…

Devotional Point 4 today: How can we expect people who aren’t told about the gospel to live out the gospel?

Scripture 4 today: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: The failure of the church to reach the rest of the world during this last 65 years of the broadcast cycle is simple and clear evidence of our misunderstanding of the concept “hearing“. To hear is not just to have some noise cross your auditory nerves; first it has to be noise that you understand (your language) and then it has to be clear and obvious within the context of your environment. 2 bedrock things underlie the ability to reach people: speaking their language and speaking it within the context of the language of their lives.

Question for the day: How can they be saved if we don’t tell them the good news of salvation? It has to be in their language and into the language of their lives…

Day 10

Day 10 gives us something that most all the churches in the “Broadcast Cycle”  have not shown us, that the end times will come after our “testimony” of the Good News reaches the whole earth, not just the broadcast message of all of it penetrating the airwaves…

Devotional Point 4 today: God is seeking ordinary people with missional mindsets

Scripture 4 today: And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24.14

Reflection 4 today: The really interesting thing about this passage is this word “testimony“. All of us have heard the endless messages about the end times and how suddenly it will come. However this word testimony is almost universally either overlooked or not included. We somehow have this strange view that if the gospel is broadcast a sufficient number of times and the broadcast crosses the airwaves penetrate people in other countries, that will be sufficient. However the nations hearing of the testimony of the work of the gospel is something totally different. The testimony will only come from the incredible engagement of people with Jesus. The word “testimony” is used 67 times in the Bible, and it universally refers to concrete behavioural and cultural evidence of the truth…

Question for the day: What does the call to preach the gospel to all nations mean for you personally? It means building the discipleship platform for as many people as possible

Day 9

Day 9 gives us the unique message of God to His people: He wants people to get His message of grace to the people of the earth…

Devotional Point 4 today: He invites His people to partner with Him in that work…

Scripture 4 today: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭6:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: Isaiah was a man who spoke with and knew God very well… The theologian Matthew Henry put if very clearly about this passage: how can we expect that God should speak by us if we never heard him speaking to us? Having Isaiah be His prophet was a pretty simple choice, he had a proven track record of hearing and obeying. God has a pretty sting trac k record of using people to do His work who listen and obey. Essentially that is your only qualification: listening and obeying…

Question for the day: What do you think God’s voice sounds like? How have you heard Him speak to you? For me it is mostly through specific parts of His word when I understand the context.

Day 8

Day 8 gives us a key to the process of “Awaken”, obedience to what God calls us to…

Devotional Point 4 today: Sometimes God uses unconventional means to take us to the place He wants us to be

Scripture 4 today: Acts 8:29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

Reflection 4 today: Phillip has this great ministry going in Samaria, which a few decades previous was forbidden territory for the Jews. And then suddenly, with no explanation, God yanks him out of it and just tells him to go to the dessert, which he then faithfully does. He moves from a great success environment to a “no-hope” environment. Why, because God told him to, no other reason. We have an in-built need to have reasons for what happens, God doesn’t, so bet used to it…

Question for the day: Do you ever feel the Lord calling you out of your comfort zone to a place where faith must supersede fear? Most of what He has called me  to is way outside my Comfort Zone…

Day 7

Day 7 shows us the value of telling others what we have actually seen with our own eyes about God’s power in our lives…

Devotional Point 4 today: the most effective form of marketing is word of mouth

Scripture 4 today:  John 4:42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Reflection 4 today: not only does Jesus not start his ministry to the Jews to Jewish population in Jerusalem, but these first believers understand who he is and that he is not just the saviour of the Samaritans or the Jews or the Greeks or the Romans, but the saviour of the world, the whole world. So he stays with him for three full days which must’ve driven everyone crazy, he was probably the first due to spend that much time is Samaria in a very long time. our mission is to bring this “saviour of the world“ message to a world that thinks we are insane. However, who cares?

Question for the day: Think about the last person you told about Jesus, how did it make you feel? Awesome…

Day 6

Day 6 gives us the secret to the purpose of our presence on this planet…

Devotional Point 4 today: His food, and our food, is to consume the Word of God and then to do the work of God.

Scripture 4 today: 34

 “My food,”said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. John 4:34

Reflection 4 today: this saying in verse 34 appears to be an oxymoron too the first time reader. You need food too replenish yourself so that you can do work. So how can the concept of the work be the thing that  nourishes that work? It really is a great mystery, however the more you do of God’s work the more you want to do His work. It is not just empowering, it continuously breeds incredible desire to do what he wants us to do…

Question for the day: Do we, as the Psalmist said, “Delight to do Your will, O my God,” and is His Word within our hearts? I am experiencing this more every day…

Day 5

Day 5 shows us the result of a true encounter with Jesus, we want to tell every one we know…

Devotional Point 4 today: …our most profound hurt can become our most powerful story!

Scripture 4 today: “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him.” ‭‭John‬ ‭4:29-30‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: we don’t know how long this dialogue went on between Jesus and this woman, but it was probably a couple of hours because the disciples had to come back there from the town they went to buy food and it was easily a couple hours journey. So, the woman takes it all on board and then fully believes in Jesus. And the first thing she does is goes to tell everyone in the village that they need to come see this guy Jesus, she is so overcome with love, it is her only possible response.

Question for the day: What does the woman’s story teach us about how Jesus works in our lives and how He uses our past? it it is all about the transformation

Day 4

Day 4 digs into this issue of “worship” which must be in spirit and in truth, not more complicated than that…

Devotional Point 4 today: …to look beyond worldly differences because Jesus shatters them all…

Scripture 4 today: “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” ‭‭John‬ ‭4:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: The church today seems to have deeply confused this concept of worship. We have become sidelined with the “how” rather than the “what”… Jesus nails it on the head for us, it is in spirit and in truth. So much worship today is based on someone else’s spirit and someone else’s truth. It has to be based on the relationship between my spirit and His spirit and my truth and His truth, and how those are brought together…

Question for the day: how you confront sin in your own life and in the lives of others. Does it line up with Jesus’ way? It has to, something to work on every day…

Day 3

Day 3 delivers the picture of the role of the Christian in the world we live in “a spring of living water”…

Devotional Point 4 today: The thirst Jesus is talking about isn’t physical…

Scripture 4 today: “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”‭‭John‬ ‭4:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: all of the things that we know from the research of the Barna group is that the Christian population is essentially no different from all the rest of the population in the western world. This condition has come from one simple thing, it has no power whatsoever. It has no “springs of living water” that are abounding in the people or their group called “the church“. There are the odd one or two, but not as a group. We need to be a spring of living water to all those around us today…

Question for the day: What is the significance of water in your life? it is the thing I need to focus on constantly…

Day 2

Day 2 delivers the quid-pro-quo to the spring of living water He has given us: you have to drink from it…

Devotional Point 4 today: We can see a pattern that God gives us gifts…

Scripture 4 today: “Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”‭‭John‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: while this is a fairly straightforward and well-known story, the quid pro quo of the story is quite another thing. Jesus came to give a spring of living water, if found that will water will spring up for us 24/7. The one requirement however is that you need to drink from the water of that spring. Having the spring is one thing, drinking from it and letting it do its work in our bodies is quite another. an amazing amount of spring water is being delivered to Christians today who just aren’t bothering to drink it.

Question for the day: Are you “driving the car” God gave you, or do you have it parked safely in your “garage”? How might you get in the car and start using the gift He gave you? I am drinking from the tall glass every morning…

Day 1

Day 1 of this new series opens with Jesus violating every cultural norm, and reaching out across every cultural barrier to a very hurting person…

Devotional Point 4 today: Being a disciple maker means leaving room in our schedules for the Spirit to work…

Scripture 4 today: “When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”John‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today: we have a culture that stresses doing the right things with the right people in the right places at the right time. All of which is quite the opposite to what Jesus is doing here. In fact, most of Christianity is diametrically opposed to the world that we find ourselves in. As a result, we need to look at almost every situation from the perspective of what does God really want to accomplish here? he was not just countercultural, he was counter almost everything of the world at the time. First step to awaken!

Question for the day: Do you care what the world thinks about anything you are doing today?

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