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14 Days of Prayer - Week 1 - April 2nd-8th, 2017

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Sunday, April 2nd

 Scripture Reading: John 2:1-10 – The Wine Maker

   There are 34 distinct miracles recorded in the Gospels (countless more unrecorded – John 21:25). John’s gospel spotlights 7 miracles (1. wine maker, 2. heals official’s son, 3. heals lame man, 4. feeds 5,000, 5. walks on water, 6. heals man born blind, 7. raising of Lazarus). Each miracle is a sign that points to Jesus. In this first miracle that Jesus did we see the plot, the problem, the performance, and the pay-off. Just like our life, we have a plot with problems. But when Jesus steps in he performs a miracle that brings a big pay-off.

The plot (vs. 1-2) we see a wedding taking place with guests such as Jesus, his mother and his disciples. We all have a plot to our life – a storyline that we are involved in that is playing out – act by act, scene by scene – what’s your storyline right now? The problem (vs. 3-4) is that the wedding celebration ran out of wine. In first century Palestine, running out of wedding wine was a public shame. The wine running dry was no accident. It was a divine appointment. It came disguised as a problem, but it was Jesus’ date with destiny. We all have problems from time to time – some small, some big, some insurmountable, some disappointing, some hard, some easy – problems none the less – what’s your problem(s) right now? It just may be disguised as your date with destiny. The performance (vs. 6-8) is Jesus’ solution to the problem. He turned water into wine. What’s so special with this miracle? Water – H2O, is the most basic chemical compound and the most vital. It’s overlooked and underappreciated most of the time because it seems so basic. With God, anything is possible, nothing is impossible. Mary turned to Jesus with this wine problem. She didn’t tell him what to do or how to do it; she just turned to him and got him involved. He wants to be involved in our situation. Who are you turning to in your problem? This wedding day was on the brink of being a really bad day. Jesus turns worst days into the best days! He takes simple things and makes them even more beautiful and more flavorful. This leads to The Big payoff (vs. 9-10). Bottom line is Jesus wants to fill your life – are you running dry? Turn to Jesus, open up and let Him in. Your life matters to God and you matter to people – you have been set up for a date with divine destiny.

 

To you, some of your problems seem so basic yet so BIG. One of the things I love about this miracle, is that it shows God cares for us, even if our problems seem so basic. One of the attributes of our God is that He cares for us. What has you troubled right now? Ask God to get involved and He will because He cares.

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Monday, April 3rd

 Scripture Reading: John 4:43-54 - The Healing of the Royal Officials Son

     There are 34 distinct miracles recorded in the Gospels (countless more unrecorded – John 21:25). John’s gospel spotlights 7 miracles (1. wine maker, 2. heals officials son, 3. heals lame man, 4. feeds 5,000, 5. walks on water, 6. heals man born blind, 7. raising of Lazarus). Each miracle is a sign that points to Jesus. In the second miracle that Jesus did we see He was in Cana (first miracle), then Capernaum, then Jerusalem for the Passover celebration, then Samaria (woman at the well), and then back again to Cana. This miracle shows what to do from the “now”, our problem, until the “then”, when the miracle happens. This must be one of the toughest places to be in --- waiting.

 

Jesus came again Vs. 46a. The word testimony comes from a Hebrew derivative word meaning to do again. This time it wasn’t a wedding, but funeral preparations that were about to be underway unless something miraculous happened. This shows us that if you missed him the first time, he's back to do it again. In the waiting, one thing is for sure and that is Jesus cares for you and your loved onesVs. 46b. If you or your loved ones need a healing miracle, Jesus is near you today. By faith, Jesus is here. Trust the validity of this story and claim it for your own life. Go to Jesus – Vs. 47a. Are you willing to walk the 20 miles to Cana? As Mark Batterson says, “Some miracles take sweat equity - your effort doesn't make them happen, but your lack of effort can keep them from happening.”  Pray until something happens because God won't answer 100% of the prayers we don't pray. Will you persevere, be persistent, and pursue Jesus until you get his attention. When you go to Jesus, He gets involved Vs. 47b-49. The royal official was well known, but took a big risk in making his problem well known to Jesus.  He risked his reputation and public authority with the people.  Are you willing to look foolish in order to have your problem healed? Once you go to Jesus and get him involved, Go back homeVs. 50-53. This is obedience - trusting and believing that Jesus knows what he's talking about in whatever he tells us to do. This gets us out of feeling sorry for our self and from only focusing on our issues and problems. When we go, we take note of the world around us and others who are hurting who need helping. Seeing others who are sick and need healing, others who are poor and need provision, etc. Because the Royal Official believed Jesus and obeyed him, his entire household believed – God got their heart.

 

I can’t imagine how this Royal Official felt inside when Jesus told him to go back home. This waiting part of life is difficult for most of us. I’m sure he might have thought about taking matters into his own hands thinking that Jesus really doesn’t know what he’s doing. This story doesn’t say that he did. He obeyed Jesus. If we take matters into our own hands, we remove Jesus from getting involved and doing a miracle. If we’ll walk in obedience to what Jesus tells us, we’ll be better off because of it.

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 Tuesday, April 4th

 Scripture Reading: John 5:1-15 - The Healing of a Lame Man

    There are 34 distinct miracles recorded in the Gospels (countless more unrecorded – John 21:25). John’s gospel spotlights 7 miracles (1. wine maker, 2. heals officials son, 3. heals lame man, 4. feeds 5,000, 5. walks on water, 6. heals man born blind, 7. raising of Lazarus). Each miracle is a sign that points to Jesus. This third miracle is probably one of my favorites outside of the last one (resurrection). This miracle starts with a question from Jesus to the lame man, “Do you want to get well?” Sounds like a legitimate question. It is. However, it was the man’s response that determined his outcome. Thankfully, Jesus’ command on our life is more powerful than our assumptions.

 

The man assumed he needed to be first into the pool (Excuses) – vs. 7a. The man assumed others didn't care about him (Blame Game) – vs. 7b. The man assumed religion was his answer (Masquerade)–vs. 9b-10. This man assumed he could never change, assumed no one else cared, and assumed religion was his answer.  The Answer from Jesus in verse 8 to this man’s issue applies to us today. Stand up - You can't keep doing the same thing and expect to change.  Change your position to change the outcome.  The first action to be being healed is doing what you couldn’t do. What are some places we need to stand up in our life? Perhaps today is the day you stand up. Pick up - You have to pick up your mat (whatever you find greater security in other than Jesus...self, addiction, codependency’s, etc). Hold it by its nappy neck and declare over it that it no longer holds you down. You hold it.  The second action to being healed is to pick up your problem. What are some things that hold us down in our life? Perhaps today is the day you pick up your mat. Walk up – You have to put movement to your life and go forward in change.  Small changes in routine can make a radical difference. The third action to being healed starts with the first step of faith. The first step is always the longest and hardest. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, and you'll eventually get to where God wants you to go. Where are we hesitating to walk in our life? Perhaps today is the day you walk up.

 

Who really wants to get well? May we respond to the command of Jesus in our life to stand up, pick up, and walk up. Whatever that entails specifically to you today, I pray we all respond and do what Jesus says to do. He cares and wants us free.

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Wednesday, April 5th

 Scripture Reading: John 6:1-15 - The Feeding of the 5,000

           There are 34 distinct miracles recorded in the Gospels (countless more unrecorded – John 21:25). John’s gospel spotlights 7 miracles (1. wine maker, 2. heals officials son, 3. heals lame man, 4. feeds 5,000, 5. walks on water, 6. heals man born blind, 7. raising of Lazarus). Each miracle is a sign that points to Jesus. In this fourth miracle Jesus uses bread to show us that He is enough for us. Jesus is our portion. We don't need another. He is sufficient and filling.

This miracle is about God taking our natural and doing something supernatural. Galilee’s population at that time was about 40,000 and about half of them followed Jesus. Jesus already knew what he what he was going to do in this tough time and we need to know that he knows what do to in our tough times. He needs something from us to work with. Whatever we have and bring to him he will use.  They had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. They asked what good are these among so many?  We might find our self saying “what I have is not enough to even matter.”  If we don't offer our natural, God very seldom does the supernatural. If we put what we have into the hands of God, he can make a lot out of a little. Jesus was looking for his disciples to give him something to work with. It's so easy to let what we cannot do keep us from doing what we can. We have our part, and God has his part.

God’s part is seen when Jesus took what they gave him (the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish), multiplied them and fed 5,000 men not counting women and children. All ate as much as they wanted.  Jesus does a lot with a little. He wants us to see that and know that!!! The big lessons to be learned in this miracle are that Jesus is filling and will fill our lives full not needing other things to satisfy us. Are you letting Him fill your life? This miracle teaches us to be good stewards - gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted – don’t be reckless and wasteful - learn to monitor and measure your resources in a way that will enable you to continue to be able to always give. When you give, bless others, and pour into other people as these disciples did, God will assuredly make provision for you.

 

For the miracle to happen, we need to give God something to work with and let Jesus be more than enough in our life. This is to be our daily lifestyle and practice before God. This miracle amplifies that Jesus is more than enough --- 5+2=5,000+ meals with 12 take home bags.  Trust him and give him what he asks of you. You won’t be disappointed but fulfilled and running over with blessings.

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Thursday, April 6th

 Scripture Reading: John 6:16-21 – Jesus Walks on Water

    There are 34 distinct miracles recorded in the Gospels (countless more unrecorded – John 21:25). John’s gospel spotlights 7 miracles (1. wine maker, 2. heals officials son, 3. heals lame man, 4. feeds 5,000, 5. walks on water, 6. heals man born blind, 7. raising of Lazarus). Each miracle is a sign that points to Jesus. This fifth miracle we see that Jesus uses water (a lake) to show there is nothing that can hold him back from saving our life and directing our life to our destiny. 

 If you feel like you aren't in-sync with God – God is on His way and He’s walking on water to get you. If you feel like you’ve gotten ahead of God, He knows just what to do to get you back in-sync with Him. If you feel like the rough times are too much for you – rough times will come in life, but Jesus is more than enough when life is rough. He is on His way walking on water to get to you. If you feel like you've gone as far as you can – nothing holds Jesus back from his beloved. He got involved in their problem. Jesus walked on water 3 miles to get to them. To walk on water, you would have to run 67mph. The fastest recorded foot speed is 27.79mph by Jamaican Olympian Usain Bolt.  Needless to say, only Jesus could do this.

 

If you’re out of sync with God, or if life is too rough right now, or if you feel like you’ve gone as far as you can go, Jesus is near. Be eager to let Jesus in your boat. One moment with him can ensure that you’re immediately on track with your destiny.

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Friday, April 7th

 Scripture Reading: John 9:1-25 – Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

        There are 34 distinct miracles recorded in the Gospels (countless more unrecorded – John 21:25). John’s gospel spotlights 7 miracles (1. wine maker, 2. heals officials son, 3. heals lame man, 4. feeds 5,000, 5. walks on water, 6. heals man born blind, 7. raising of Lazarus). Each miracle is a sign that points to Jesus. This man born blind had as many words as anybody in his speech, but no mental images to associate with the words. He did not know what the color green was even if someone described it to him. He lacked the ability to create a picture in his mind. His whole world up to this point was dark. This sixth miracle shows the wonder and power of a loving God who so wants us to see him and believe him for everything.  

 

God is at work in your life. He has a divine purpose for your life and He for one wants to see that you are living in it. As long as Jesus has anything to do with it, he's going to do something. He doesn't like darkness taking over anyone's life. He is the light of the world. Jesus eliminated darkness from this man’s life and he can eliminate darkness from our life today. What are some dark places in your life?  What are some of your blind spots? Underlying sins. Unforgiveness. Uncontrolled temper. Bitterness and offenses. Disappointments. Discouragement. Old hurts and wounds.  Whatever those dark places and blind spots are in your life, Jesus wants to eliminate and free you to walk in light.

 

Jesus Spit & spread mud (Humble to His touch – let Jesus touch your darkness) - Sometimes God’s methods don't seem practical, but the outcome is powerful.  He is not afraid of your darkness and He isn’t ashamed of it either. He has the power to eliminate it if we’ll let him touch us. Jesus Spoke (Hear His voice – listen to what Jesus says to you) - Sometimes what God has to say to us may not be what we want to hear, but if we'll listen it will change our life. What is he saying to you today? Jesus Sent (Honor His direction – live life following Jesus’ directions) - Go and wash. This seems so unnecessary. “You want to heal me but you first want me to walk a few hundred feet and wash in the pool? You know I have a problem right, God? I can’t see.” We don’t belong in the darkness and darkness certainly doesn’t belong in us. We have to be willing to walk towards God’s light.  His direction leads to freedom.

 

The man came back seeing…when God moves in our life we cannot stay the same. God always does his part, but we have to do our part. Be humble, be respectful, and be mobile before God. He knows the end from the beginning. We can trust him and we should trust him. If we’ll do that, we’ll see what God has been trying to get us to see all along --- His love and purpose for our life.

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Saturday, April 8th

Scripture Reading: John 11:1-7, 17; 20-27; 32-35; 36-38; 39-44 – Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead

     There are 34 distinct miracles recorded in the Gospels (countless more unrecorded – John 21:25). John’s gospel spotlights 7 miracles (1. wine maker, 2. heals officials son, 3. heals lame man, 4. feeds 5,000, 5. walks on water, 6. heals man born blind, 7. raising of Lazarus). Each miracle is a sign that points to Jesus. This miracle not only foreshadows Jesus’ resurrection. It also foreshadows ours. It’s not just something Jesus did for Lazarus. It’s also a snapshot of something Jesus will do and can do for our life right here, right now. No matter what has died in us at the hands of sin, suffering, or satan, Jesus has come to give us our life back; A brand new life.

 

Martha was sad, Mary was grieved, the people were doubtful, and Lazarus was dead in a tomb. Sin leaves us sad because it separates us from our heavenly Father, God our creator. Suffering leaves us grieved because without hope we drown in our despair. Satan leaves us doubtful because he is a master deceiver. All of this was temporary because Jesus was prepared to turn their mess into a miracle at their tomb of sin, suffering, & doubt. This happened for them and gives us hope that it can happen for us too.

 

Jesus is prepared to command the stone of sin to be rolled away from our tomb. Jesus rolls the stones of darkness away from our life. Even when it looks like it’s over, it’s not over until Jesus says so. Even if our life is buried, covered, and smelly, Jesus still moves stones to give us another chance. Jesus is prepared to call us out of our tomb of suffering. C.S. Lewis wrote, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Jesus shouts directly to that which is dead, lifeless, and hurting. He calls out in a shout to awaken that which is asleep within us. Christ gives us hope to come out of the pain caused by suffering in order to bring us closer to Himself. It doesn’t mean suffering ceases. It just personifies that Jesus is greater than our suffering and He is still worth pursuing. Jesus is prepared to unwrap us and set us free from the grave clothes of doubts. Jesus doesn't just bring us back to life, he gives us new life. He has the power to really loose us and liberate us from sin, suffering, and satan’s control in our life.  Our hearts won’t hurt anymore. Our souls won’t stink anymore. Our lives won’t be lifeless anymore.

 

            Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, {insert your name here}?”

Comments

Karen Wise April 3, 2017 9:49am

Great way to start a Monday morning! Thanks Pastor Jereme!

Karen Wise April 3, 2017 9:50am

Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this? Yes, I do Karen Wise