Series: Thy Kingdom Come
Sermon – Life as God Intends
Scripture Readings: Acts 2:1-4, Ephesians 2:1-10
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. (Ephesians 2:4-10)
Monday June 10 — Acts 1:1-11
After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Biblical story of God’s presence in the world continued in a fresh and powerful way. The New Testament book of Acts (which was written by Luke, the Gospel writer) describes how the Holy Spirit worked in the lives of Jesus’ disciples to continue his ministry in the world. When we accept the Holy Spirit in our lives, it not only gives us comfort, it empowers us to continue Jesus’ ministry, share the Good News, and change the world. How are you experiencing the Holy Spirit today? Can you sense the Spirit empowering you to serve God?
- Prayer: God of Resurrection Power, continue to prepare my heart and mind to receive your Spirit, and give me the courage I need to let your Spirit guide my life today. Amen.
Tuesday June 11 — Acts 2:1-6
In Acts 2, Luke describes the birth of God’s Church. On the day of Pentecost (which was a Jewish festival), the Holy Spirit descended and the waiting disciples (see Acts 1:4-5) were filled the God’s power and began their ministry of proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom to the world (represented by the “Jews from every nation …” in Acts 2:5).God’s promise of filling waiting disciples with the Holy Spirit is still being fulfilled every day. What is the Spirit doing in you today?
- Prayer: Promise-Keeping God, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit into my life and empowering me to share the Good News. Thank you for changing my life. Amen.
Wednesday June 12 — Acts 2:37-47
Starting with verse 5, the second chapter of Acts describes the beginning of the Church’s ministry—ministry that was empowered by the Holy Spirit. It includes a message preached by Peter and the response of the listening crowd. Luke also describes the character of the early Church. We know this is an idealized summary of what the Holy Spirit can do and what God desires for us, so we can read it as a description of Kingdom life – life that God intends for us and for everyone. What do you think of this description of Kingdom life? Is it good news for you?
Prayer: God of Grace, forgive me for not always allong your Spirit to guide my life. Forgive me for the ways I fail to live the Spirit-filled life you desire. Amen.
Thursday June 13 — Matthew 5:13-16
The Bible is clear that our salvation is a gift that we have not earned and do not deserve. We are saved by grace, which we accept in faith. The Bible is also clear that when we accept God’s grace, our lives are transformed, and God uses us to continue Jesus’ ministry and change the world. By God’s grace, we perform good works and serve as salt and light for the world. One Bible commentator says that Kingdom people are to be “a good, not useless, presence in the world.” What good works will the world see in you today?
- Prayer: God of Light, let the light of your Son shine in my life so brightly that my life produces the kind of good works that will reveal your love and mercy to the world. Amen.
Friday June 14 — Colossians 1:9-14
Today’s reading connects three important themes: the power of God (through the Holy Spirit); God’s Kingdom (into which we are “transferred”); and the good works that are pleasing to God (the life that God intends.) It also adds the image of growth and bearing fruit. In other words, we never stop maturing as citizens of God’s Kingdom and our lives reflect (in tangible ways) the power of God. This invites some personal reflection: what difference is God’s Spirit making in your life? what difference are you making in the world?
- Prayer: Loving God, I confess that I do not always allow your Spirit to have complete access to my life. Forgive me and help me trust you more fully every day. Amen.
Saturday June 15 — Ephesians 2:1-10
Many Christians are familiar with this summary of the Gospel found in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast.” But too often we use these words to excuse ourselves from seeking to do good works. We fail to read and consider verse 10, which says, “For we are … created in Christ Jesus for good works.” The point is that we are saved to do good works, not to avoid them. What does it mean for you to be created for good works?
- Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for the gift of salvation. Thank you for creating me for good works. Thank you for helping me become the person you want me to be. Amen.