Week of August 11th
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worthy of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8
David Platt refers to it as the “blank check.” It’s an absolute surrender that we are called to. Consider the words of the great missionary, Paul. His passion was to know Jesus and to point others to him, the gospel at the center of everything he did and said.
Over the course of the next several weeks, we will be praying strategically for multiple places, for multiple people groups, for multiple strategies and the vision that we feel God has given us at LifePoint. We invite you to join us as we pray and fast together, seeking wisdom, clarity and direction from the Lord. But, let us first lay down our blank checks before our God. Let us put off our fears, our personal ambitions, our prejudice, and our self-worship. Let us join together in boldness and sacrifice for the sake of the gospel. Let us encourage one another to run after the Lord with everything that we are. Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, signing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in our hearts to God. And whatever we do, in word or deed, let us do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:16-17)
PRAYER FOCUS #1 – ABIDE
- Author Ben Harrell says it this way, “Abiding has to do with our identity and everything about us remaining connected and committed to Jesus.” Read John 15: 1-17. Ask the Lord to show you what your abiding in Him looks like. Ask the Lord to show you when/how you are not abiding in Him. Take the time to repent of those practices, asking Him to prune those things out of your life so that you, abiding in Him, may “bear more fruit.”
- Take your time as you pray through this. Don’t rush. Allow the Lord time to speak through His Word to your heart.
- Also, this is not always a painless process. Often we, in our sinfulness, have grown accustomed to…even fond of things that we need to put off. If you find yourself at a sticking point, recognizing something in your life that needs to be cut out but you find it difficult to humbly surrender it to the Lord, allow others that you trust and respect in the faith to come alongside of you in prayer.
PRAYER FOCUS #2 – OBEY
- Pray that God would compel us by His love, not by duty, to live a life of obedience as we live less for ourselves each day and more for Him. Living a life of obedience is not easy – if it were easy, we would not need to abide in Him to accomplish the things that He calls us to do. Pray that we would learn to hear the voice of God and yield to the Holy Spirit who was sent to help, comfort, encourage, empower and equip us as we take steps of obedience that may feel and seem terrifying at times. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Read through John 14:15-31, pray that the Holy Spirit would draw us to a place of such deep, life altering love for Jesus that our steps are ordered and our lives transformed to a place where we count all things besides knowing and following Jesus as rubbish. Pray that the Lord leads us to a place where we are unable to separate our personal relationship with Him and our calling to make disciples of all nations.
PRAYER FOCUS #3 – LOVE
- The first two prayer focuses cannot be separated from the third. In fact both our abiding and obeying can only be sustained when they are driven by love. Pray that God teaches us the truth about what His love, in and through us, should look like.
- Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. Pray that we become a church that loves like this.
- Pray that above all, we learn to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, all our soul and with all of minds and that we love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40), even our enemies (Matthew 5:43-38). Pray that God reveals to us in new ways how the Great Commandment and the Great Commission cannot be separated.
Pray that we as a church, as families, as individuals would truly be the kind of Christ followers that respond to the gospel with our blank check, offering everything back to one that has saved us.