photo by phOenixinFlight
"Jesus gave them this answer: 'I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can only do what he sees his father doing. By myself I can do nothing.'" (John 5:19, 30)
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:28-31)
Our walk in the Christian life is filled with times of exhaustion and times of discouragement and disappointment. This week it is time to revitalize some of those practices and habits that are key to sustaining gospel life. Know that despite the past or hardship in the present, the Lord is in the midst of all situations and wants real and lasting fruit to emerge from his people. To produce fine vintage wine, grapes must be crushed.
Practice Oratio / Speaking " Speak to God. Pour out your heart in non-religious language. Be honest and real. Jesus had deep feelings and exhibited emotion. Jesus wept for his city and when a close friend died. (Luke 19:41; John 11:35) He cried out in agony as he battled to accomplish his assigned redemptive work. Allow for change, for the transformation of being and feelings. Empty out. Make room for strength.
Jesus knelt down and prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane: "'Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours done.' An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him" (Luke 42-43).
11 March: Ask the most immediate members of your family how you can pray for them today.
12 March: Give a random tithe out of gladness and thanksgiving to your church or groups like World Vision, Plant with Purpose, and/or the Salvation Army. The amount does not matter, but give with joy in your heart.
13 March: Actively commit to pursuing forgiveness in a long-standing relationship. You do not need to do everything today, but commit to addressing lingering resentment, anger, hurt, frustration, and grievance. Remember the words of Jesus that whoever says raca [fool] to his brother is answerable to God for "killing" their brother or sister in their heart. Pray a blessing on this person.
14 March: Ask the Lord how he might want to engage you in kingdom mission. If you have time ask another trusted friend how they think your skills, experiences and passions might be used within your current or in new spheres of influence.
15 March: Check youself on how faithful you have been on spending time with the Lord in the scriptures, worship, and/or in fellowship on a daily basis. Re-commit. Come up with your own creative plan. Whether it's a daily devotional book, an hour of worship and prayer in the car, or a more formal plan like the Daily Office be sure that you commit to sticking to it. Aim for quality time with the Lord.
16 March: Think about how the Lord might use you at work, at home, online, or in other forms to spread the good news and hope found in Jesus Christ. Remember relationship always trumps formula and tracts.
17 March: Give thanks to the Lord for what he is doing, forming and working out in your life.