"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"
1 John 3:1
BY DANE MADSGAARD
What comes to mind when you think about family? Afternoons of joy or evenings of sadness. Outstretched arms or loneliness. As a collection of people, families are not immune to the dark effects of sin. The Bible does not try to hide this either. Consider the conflict within King David’s own family or the pain of loss for Naomi in the book of Ruth. Although we read about the effects of sin and its impact on families, this is not how God designed it. Family is meant to be good.
When God created the world, he blessed the first humans, telling them to “multiply, fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28). He told them to start a family. In Psalm 127, Solomon compares one’s children to one’s strength in battle. Husbands and wives are instructed to love and respect each other (Eph. 5:33), and children are taught to honour their parents (Eph. 6:1-3). Even those outside our immediate family may feel like family, for “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24).
Unfortunately, these descriptions may not ring true for all of us in our experiences. But whatever we know of family here, there is a love that is “lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 Jn. 3:1). We share in the blessing of family, not only here on earth, but as God’s children. Paul writes, “The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship” (Rom. 8:15). Through the Holy Spirit, let us live together as family in God’s household, enjoying and extending this blessedness to those in need of family — to those in need of “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
1. Take time to thank God for the blessing of family and friendship.
2. Pray to the Spirit for unity with those siblings in Christ you find “hard to love
3. Pray to the Spirit for revival among families in our city.
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. "
BY TOM BAIRD
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “the local church is the hope of the world.” As a pastor of over 35 years, I believe in this saying with all my heart; and yet, we must admit that sometimes the church does not look like it holds out much hope for the world.
In his high priestly prayer of John 17, Jesus prayed that His followers “may be truly sanctified” (v. 19); yet today we frequently hear reports of Christian leaders caught in hidden sin. Jesus prayed that we might “be brought to complete unity” (v. 23); yet, too often congregations emphasize their denominational differences rather than our shared faith in Christ. Jesus prayed that “the love You have for me may be in them” (v. 26); yet many testify that they have experienced hurt in the church, not love.
I’m happy to say that this is not the whole story. I have also experienced the church at its best—I trust you have too. When the Spirit is moving in a church, the truth of God transforms hearts. Members experience a deep unity that overflows their church walls to reach other believers in their area. Their sincere love for one another speaks to the aching need of the world and makes the Gospel attractive. When all these things are happening in a church, Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:10-11 seem compellingly true, and it easy to believe that the church is, indeed, the hope of the world.
This is what we want in Belleville and area. This is why we are praying earnestly to God together. For too long we have been content to wear pauper’s rags when God longs to adorn us with beauty as the Bride of Christ.
1. Pray for repentance among believers that will lead to authentic holiness.
2. Pray for a spirit of love and unity in our local congregations.
3. Pray for a loving, bold, Spirit-empowered witness for Jesus will bring hope and change lives.
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
1 TIM 2:1,2
BY KEVIN DOWLING
Perhaps no command in scripture is more difficult to keep, than the injunction found in Paul’s instructions to young Timothy, in 1Tim. 2:1,2
In a time when it seems government corruption, overreach, and dishonesty, are far more prevalent than benevolence, wisdom and order; it is challenging to muster up the energy to pray for our governmental leaders and those in authority. Yet Paul’s exhortation is simple and direct – we are exhorted to make supplications (the action of earnestly asking or begging for something), prayers (the solemn request for divine help), intercessions (the action of intervening on behalf of another) and giving of
thanks for all men, for kings and all who are in authority…
It is that simple. Yet, if we needed more prodding, Paul also reminds us in Romans 13:1 “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
The bottom line is that regardless of our opinion and their performance, God has instituted their authority, and we are called to be subject to them. This does not preclude our speaking up, disagreeing with, or even protesting governments policies; the scripture is clear, that at the end of the day, we are bound to obey God, not man. But it does mean that whatever our disagreement, or opposition may be, we have a mandate to live under their authority and to earnestly ask, and intervene before God on behalf of our leaders.
Paul concludes his exhortation to Timothy with the reminder, that such prayer and intercession will enable us to live quiet and peaceable lives, in godliness and reverence. Perhaps, the government we experience, is merely a reflection of the investment of prayer we have made… or not made.
As we engage in prayer this week let us keep this exhortation in mind, and pray for the following:
1. Pray for our federal, provincial and municipal government leaders by
2. Intercede for them, and ask God to give them wisdom.
3. Thank God for them. I mean really thank God for those in authority
over you… (especially if you disagree with them.)
"The music of harpists and musicians, pipers and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again."
BY JOHN ROEPER
Many years ago, I attended a worship conference led by David Ruis, a pioneer of the Vineyard Worship movement that exploded in the 1990’s. At that conference, David taught from this dark passage in Revelations 18 about Babylon being cast down into the sea in judgement, as a representative of all that is unholy. When God removes his Spirit and ultimately His presence from that place, all creativity ceases. The passage not only identifies music, but also craftsmanship, work, love and light that are removed. What a thought! All creativity, productivity, light and love are initiated through God and His Spirit. It follows, then, that Satan has no ability to create. He is only able to misuse and distort.
When we think of today’s media culture, and the direction it is headed, it would be easy to become discouraged. Satan has done a good job of twisting creative gifts in our world to speak his lies to many people. However, the admonition that David Ruis gave us many years ago, still applies today. We are created in God’s image to create, and when His followers do so with music, writing, art, theatre, film and more, as the recent Jesus Revolution movie demonstrates, the Light, Love and Truth of God’s Word permeates our world.
Media, in all it’s forms, is a gift and talent that God has granted to His people, and it is our job to invest that talent. God’s word does not return void, whether delivered in a song, a book, a blog or a movie. Or even a Tik Tok! We are in an unprecedented time in history, where communication tools reach into every corner of the world, almost instantaneously. May we, as Christ followers, seize the day we are in to spread God’s love and truth, through every media gift God has blessed us with.
1. Pray for God’s favour and protection for the Christian media industry.
2. Pray for a releasing of even more creative gifts within and outside the church
3. Pray for boldness for each one of us to share God’s love through media.
"Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well."
1 Thess 2:8
BY MARK HYMUS
It has been amazing for me to see what God has been doing in our city over the last little while. As churches have stepped up to love and take the gospel to our schools, not only are we seeing more doors open and relationships built in these schools, but we have had schools approaching us asking if and when we can offer the programs we are running in their school.
I was just at a Christian university yesterday and a professor asked me, “How do you make this happen?” My simple answer was this, “To start we have to go with the attitude of how can I help, instead of the idea that we have the program and answer for them.” When I said to the first principal I approached “I will give you an hour of my week every week, how can I be a blessing” I could see the shock on her face. People will often say yes, but are you sharing the gospel in these programs? There is no simple answer to this question as in one way, no, there isn’t a Bible lesson as part of what we are doing, but something I’ve learned in the years of serving in the school system and others is you have to earn the right to be heard. This has given us so many opportunities to share real life experiences with both teachers and students. The key to this is to continue and follow up your sharing of the gospel with them, with actions again that enforce what you have not got to share.
This past month I had a man in a church say, I’ve had the great opportunity to talk to people I work with as your ministry has impacted them with how you treat and love their son. We never know when we share our lives AND the gospel what God will do.
1. Please pray for the school faculty many in our churches are in contact with on a weekly basis. That God would give opportunities and then the courage to share the gospel.
2. Pray for churches and volunteers to see the opportunity and have the desire to step into this area of the harvest.
3. Pray for the leadership in our school board and schools, that God would continue to give favour to the churches of Belleville.
BY JOHN TEDFORD
Business is usually far from our minds when we think about moving the Kingdom of God forward, but business is what our Lord points us to when teaching us how His Kingdom advances. The parable of the talents, the parable of the shrewd manager and the teaching of Christ regarding forgiveness from our hearts are all teachings out of business.
Some of us fail to make the connection, for we believe that making money (the primary aim of business) is greedy and bad, and somehow beneath the Christian. However, there is a discipline in business (some call it ruthlessness) that comes from an understanding that everything we do should be about increasing wealth. The parable of the shrewd manager instructs us to have a similar understanding and discipline when it comes to advancing Christ’s kingdom. “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” Luke 16:9. It is fitting that our Lord would use business to teach us about the Kingdom, for Deuteronomy 8:18 tells us “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth”. God knows more about business than we will ever know and He willingly shares this knowledge with us through His Word, prospers us and calls us to put our money to work in His kingdom.
We are not to see business as our enemy, rather as a means of grace to us, and just as Jeremiah 29:7 instructs the Israelites going into captivity to pray for the financial capital of that world- the dreaded Babylon- we also are to pray for the peace and prosperity of the Quinte region, for when it prospers, we too will prosper, and the Kingdom should advance.
1. Pray for the prosperity of the businesses in the Quinte area
2. Pray for Christian business owners, for protection from the
deceitfulness of wealth
3. Pray for a determination in our hearts - business owners,
retirees, employees, unemployed, homemakers- to be found putting our money to work in the Kingdom
a renewed attention to or interest in. new presentation of something old. to return to consciousness or life: become active or flourishing again.
"Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirt. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are after off, as many as the Lord our God will call."
BY WENDY ANDERSON
Some of us have studied or heard stories of Revivals as old such as Jonathon
Edwards, the Moravians, Azusa Street, Jesus Revolution or the recent Outpouring at Asbury University. But what exactly is Revival?
Steven Seanard (professor from Asbury) puts it this way… “God the Father has this desire to exalt and glorify His only begotten and beloved Son and certain times and occasions where He finds it necessary and desires to do that in an extraordinary, powerful kind of way. And the Spirit is poured out as God seeks to lift up Jesus and exalt His Son to give us a fresh encounter with Jesus."
When I asked the Lord before writing this devotion how He would define Revival, I sensed He said, to keep falling in love with Him over and over. We are called to be captured by the divine excellency of Christ, to become what we behold, by falling in love with him afresh, in such a way as to follow Him and become filled with His Spirit, so we can be His Witnesses in the World that He loves.
Scripture and Past Revivals teach us some common denominators…
1. IF - Revival starts with hunger, desperation, prayer, faith in Who God says He is. It often begins with humility and people coming under a deep conviction and crying out in confession and repentance for their sins and need of the Lord. Revival does not occur outside the atmosphere of prayer.
2. THEN - The Lord responds. We see this response factor from when the Israelites cried out in Egypt, right through to Acts 2 ,when the Spirit came. If they tasted Revival before Christ, and the Spirit poured out at Pentecost, how much more is possible today?
There is no question that God longs to respond to genuine cries and obedience for more of Him. Revival is real, personal, corporate, for all ages, all people groups, and anyone who calls on the name of the Lord. It brings salvation and healing and Kingdom transformation, to all spheres of society.
Pray with me… Father, we come to you, united in Your Holy Spirit, declaring that You, Jesus, are Our Revival. We ask you to search us and know us and be our Everything. Cause us to turn to you with our whole heart and fill us with your Love. We desire to see you glorified, to be your pure and spotless Bride and to bring others to your glorious Kingdom. Abba, send Your Spirit.
Declaration: I believe the promises of Your Word and receive You, Holy Spirit to baptize me and Your people afresh so we can walk in obedience as love and fulfill the Great Commission out of the overflow of the Great Commandment. We thank You that you are pouring Your Spirit out on all flesh and we SHALL receive it together.
Activation: Read - 2 Chron 7:14, 2 Chron 34, Jer 6:16, Joel 2, Acts 2
Listen to Songs - “i keep falling in love with him” “Revival”
Maranatha Church | 100 College St W Belleville
DATE: May 28
TIME: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Hope Ignited is a city-wide collective worship gathering to celebrate the HOPE we share together. This service will be the confluence of churches all over the area coming together after a week of 24/7 Prayer ending with a time of celebrating Pentecost Sunday. All are welcome, children's programming is available - Infant to Grade 5.