Midweek Connection – April 10, 2019

Silence and Centering     

Listen, O Lord, to my plea for justice; pay attention to my cry for help! Listen to my honest prayer.

Psalms 17:1

Confession:

Almighty God, from the very beginning, You have designed us for glorious work. You have given us Your Spirit and spread before us limitless resources. Because You have made us a royal priesthood, we now find ourselves perfectly matched to meet the needs of the world. Sadly, we confess that we fall into bad habits. We are often lazy and self-centered. We grumble and complain. We lie and cheat. We tear one another down. We deceive and seek our own glory rather than the glory that comes from You alone. Forgive us, we pray, dear God. Help us to work in the world in a way that glorifies You in all that we do. Restore us to our true identity as Your ambassadors. All of this we ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

PAUSE FOR  2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

Reading & Devotional:

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1

Oftentimes we see transformation as a one-time act. We find a problem and work on it until it gets better, then we go back to living life as normal. But the heart of God is for continual transformation. God longs that we would be so open and aware of the desire of the Spirit that we allow him to transform us every moment of every day.

Too often we just accept that we are who we are as if the God we serve didn’t have the power to continually set us free. We live as if the Holy Spirit is a God who only shows up every now and then to shake things up then retreats back into the heavens. But God is both loving and present. He is always there for us. He is always filled with desire for us. And the Holy Spirit is constantly ready to lead us, in love, out of the darkness and into the marvelous light of abundant life.

So what does continual transformation look like? How do we live in sync with the Spirit who can constantly change us from the inside out? Romans 12:1 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Continual transformation will come when we decide to stop living for ourselves and instead become a living sacrifice to God as our “holy, acceptable” act of “spiritual worship.”

You see, when we live for ourselves we naturally take control of our own lives and therefore subjugate God and his desire to transform us. When our limited perspective on what’s good in life guides us rather than the perfect, transcendent perspective of God, we will only receive transformation from God when we desperately need it. But, when we seek to be a living sacrifice to God at all times our hearts become open to all the Spirit is doing, saying, and feeling in every moment. If you want to be continually transformed by the powerful, life-changing love of God, you have to choose every day to center your life around the will and desires of God.

Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” May David’s prayer be our prayer today as we enter into a time of guided prayer.

PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

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