Why start on 19 January rather than on 1 January?
- For many people, 1 January is still holiday time and so to begin something new is not on their agenda.
- The 19th of January is the date when many people who made New Years Resolution, stop keeping their resolution.
- So we are going to start on 19 January.
What is this about?
- It’s about prayer. Bring ourselves, OCC, our friends and family, our City, our Nation and our world before God who cares about all these things – more than we do.
- It’s guided in that each day there is a suggestion of what to pray for. You can pray for more than that. But it’s a starting point for prayer.
How do I pray?
- It’s simple – you talk to God. You tell him what’s on your heart.
- It’s hard – you listen to God. You are still long enough to listen to his heart.
What do I need?
Pick up a 21 Days of Prayer sheet
- Printed copies are available at OCC
- Or you can download one here: 21 Days of Prayer
Our closing song on Sunday was “I Will Look Up”
As you are praying this week… physically move your body (or at least your head) into these positions:
up – down – back – ahead.
Because of Jesus. Lord of all.
I will look up for there is none above You
I will bow down to tell You that I need You
Jesus Lord of all
I will look back and see that You are faithful
I look ahead believing You are able
Jesus Lord of all
Some of you did not have great father figures.
Some of you had fathers who passed away before they could give you a blessing.
Others of you for one reason or another were or are unable to receive a blessing from your father.
I want to offer the blessings of the Heavenly Father through myself an earthly father.
This type of blessing is seen in Numbers 6 as God blessed the children of Israel under the pronouncement of Moses. It goes on to say that upon blessing the people God would place his name and bless those who heard it. That means you, therefore…
May the Lord bless you and keep you,
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you,
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
So from me and from my heart as a father and a grandfather, I’d like to bless you in this way now…
- May you reach the purpose for which you were created.
- May you have courage above your peers.
- May you have more passion for the things of God than others think is necessary.
- May you dream more than others think is practical.
- May you expect more than others think is possible.
- May you choose wisely without earthly bias.
- May you have people to influence that you’ve not yet met.
- May you have lives to change that are waiting for your arrival.
- May you be strategically placed wherever God takes you by his grand design just so you can become everything he made you to be. That place is the place you can grow best. That place is the place where you can be most fruitful.
- May the future be changed because of your presence.
- May you see vistas that others don’t even know exist.
- May you see God and every petal of every flower and every blade of grass for each of them are designed by his hand.
- May you bless your children & your spiritual children and may they become giants in the faith under the mighty hand of God.
- You won’t fail.
- You are made by God to be here for such a time as this.
As followers | disciples | apprentices | learners of Jesus we are to know somethings and to live out somethings. We often call what we are to know doctrine | beliefs. What we are to live out we often call spiritual formation | disciplines | practices. It is not one or the other, but both-and. We are to know the good news and we are to live out the good news.
To help us do that, we are going to begin 2020 with a focus on what we can call the Jesus Creed. We will use this, the prayer that Jesus taught his followers and, the letter that Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus to help us be rooted and grounded in both the content of the good news and living it the good news.
Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
Love your neighbour as yourself
There is no commandment greater than these.
Our Father in heaven,
holy is your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
spiritual formation | disciplines | practices
- Spiritual formation (being shaped by the Spirit) is about being loved by God, loving God and loving others (neighbour) like God loves them.
- The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) is a prayer that shapes our love for God and for others.
- God loves us – this is the premise and the promise of spiritual formation.
- What God thinks of us (our identity) is far more important than what others like of us (our reputation).
- Conversion, no matter how sudden or gradual it begins, is the life-long process of the soul’s surrender to God.
- The Jesus Creed calls us to love. But love takes time and effort and choice and is often messy.
- The kingdom of God is where the Jesus Creed transforms life. The kingdom has arrived in Jesus.
- Jesus’ illustration of the kingdom is the mustard seed: a seed that grows among the unlikely, from person to person, and among the peaceful and the patient.
- The kingdom of God is a society that pursues justice because it loves God and others.
- The Jesus Creed calls us to and empowers us to restore people to community.
- Living the Jesus Creed means having a perspective on life in light of the fullness of the kingdom – a kingdom marked by fellowship with God and his people.
- The “one thing” needed for spiritual formation is constantly attending to Jesus – heart, soul, mind, and strength.
- We love God by following Jesus. We love others (neighbour) when we give ourselves to God and serve and bless others.
- Failure to live out the Jesus Creed is real. Restoration can also be real.
- Those who live out the Jesus Creed forgive others.
- Living the Jesus Creed means reaching out with the mission of Jesus to others.
This post is available as a pdf download