Week Two: Jesus-Action and Love

What’s the first word that comes to your mind when you think of Jesus?  I imagine there are so many descriptive words that we could fill an entire page.  There must have been something really amazing about Jesus for people to drop everything and follow him.  He must have been extremely charismatic for people to try to get a glimpse of him.  He must have been an inspirational teacher for crowds to gather to listen to his words.  He must have been greatly compassionate to heal the sick, deaf, and blind.  He must have been mysteriously powerful for leaders to fear him and hate him as they did. 

We now have the Bible to tell us exactly who Jesus was…the son of God; what Jesus did…sacrifice himself for our sins;  why Jesus did what he did…to fulfill the prophecy so we could be redeemed; how Jesus did it…by dying on the cross.  All of this can be summed up as the greatest love story ever told.  Because of Christ’s great love for us, we can be with our Father eternally.  We have been saved!  All of the above was done out of the purest love there is. 

This love story has the greatest ending, as well.  Christ now sits at the right hand of God.  He is back where he belongs as the Great Ruler full of glory.  What a debt we owe.  Yet, instead of expecting something from us, he actually left us an additional gift…the Holy Spirit to help us understand and make sense of it all.  Boy, do we need that help.  This kind of love is hard to grasp.  All I know is that I can be filled with joy and thankfulness.  Jesus lives again; so shall I!

Marjean Beckman

Lord, I pray for a deep inner joy because You, who embodied love to the end, are now filled with glory and joy!! AND I pray that I will notice and treasure more deeply how You are present to me in my daily life/living. Amen.


Day One:

DAILY — PRAYING SCRIPTURE:

 A dear friend passed away unexpectedly this summer.  Now, when our group of friends gets together we talk about how it just isn’t the same without her.  She should be here, giving us her great big bear hugs and making us laugh.  We’re a little lost without her.  She was our Queen Bee; the leader of the pack.  No one feels adept to step up to fill her place, and actually no one could.  And, of course, we’ve talked about how wonderful it would be to see her just one more time.

Jesus appeared to the disciples after His death.  Isn’t that amazing?!  What a crazy, frightening, yet joyful scene that must have been.  Of course, they couldn’t understand it.  But what did Jesus do?  He consoled them by proving that it was He and opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.  Oh, to have that knowledge directly from Jesus!!  Use these verses to be in awe of the resurrection of Christ and all that He offers us.

Luke 24: 36-45 - Lord, when You appeared to the disciples, You offered them peace.  Doubts filled their minds, and You offered them proof in your hands, feet, flesh, and bones. Lord, I have doubts. 

Yet, they still did not believe it was you because of joy and amazement.  You offered proof again by eating.  Lord, let me be filled with that joy. 

You are truly the fulfillment of the written prophecies.   Lord, just as You opened the minds of the disciples to understand the Scriptures, please open my mind.  Take away any doubts and fears.  Help me to understand your Word, and give me peace that passes understanding.  In Your name I pray.  Amen.

Ask yourself – Where do you need Jesus’ peace? 

Prayer:  Lord, I pray for a deep inner joy because You, who embodied love to the end, are now filled with glory and joy!! AND I pray that I will notice and treasure more deeply how You are present to me in my daily life/living. Amen.


Day Two:

We Christians have an awesome responsibility.  Not in the way of being “really cool,” but in the formal meaning of awesome: extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.  Jesus left the responsibility of leading His people to His disciples.  Guess what? That’s you and me now.  I don’t know about you, but the thought of leading others to know God is EXTREMELY daunting and gives me great apprehension and fear!  What if I don’t say the right thing? Or if I don’t know enough?  What if I don’t do it “right”?  The disciples had to have those same feelings and apprehensions.  But God, being almighty God, gave them peace through Jesus and left with them the Holy Spirit.  And that is “really cool.”  Use these verses to be thankful that He offers us the same.     

John 20:19-23 – Dear Heavenly Father, the disciples were scared for their lives when Jesus appeared to them.  You gave them peace, joy, and your command to go out.  How unequipped they must have felt.  I, too, feel unequipped and unprepared to lead your people.  Lord, please give me the assurance of the Holy Spirit.  Breathe on me and fill my heart and mind with your Word.  Help me to be responsible with this duty.  Help me to be an example of how to forgive and be forgiven.  Let your Spirit guide me in making disciples of your people.  Thank you, God.  In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Ask yourself – Do you fill yourself with the words of the Bible?  Do you lean on the Spirit?  Where is Christ leading you to serve? 

Prayer: Lord, I pray for a deep inner joy because You, who embodied love to the end, are now filled with glory and joy!! AND I pray that I will notice and treasure more deeply how You are present to me in my daily life/living. Amen.


Day Three:

Doubt.  What an obstacle it can be.  It stops us from doing so many things.  We doubt our ability, so we don’t try.  We doubt we can make a difference, so we don’t get involved.  We doubt something is the truth, so we need proof.  Doubting Thomas was the ultimate pessimist.  He was the original crier of “Fake News!”  Thomas’s doubts are understandable.  Death is usually final.  Are our doubts understandable?  Absolutely!  We’ve all been burned a time or two.  But what joy and freedom can be felt when a child fights his doubts and rides his bicycle without training wheels for the first time.  What joy fills our hearts in helping others, trying to make a difference in their lives even when all we receive in return is that joy.  When it comes to Jesus, we don’t have the physical proof that Thomas received, but we do have the Bible, God’s Word in which we are to have faith.  The Bible is God’s love story to us.  Jesus was the fulfillment of that love.  We are truly blessed!  Let these verses encourage you when you have doubts. 

John 20:24-29 – Dear Jesus, what an amazing Lord you are.  You appeared to the disciples after your death.  A stone rolled in front of your grave could not contain you, nor could simple locked doors.  Yet Thomas had doubts.  He needed proof, to see you with his own eyes and feel your wounds with his own touch.  Jesus, many times I have doubts.  I doubt my ability, and I doubt your power to get me through it.  Once Thomas saw for himself, he claimed you as his Lord and God!  I don’t have the proof that Thomas did, so I need faith, Lord.  Please give me that faith to cling to your Word, to cling to your hope, your love, and your promise of eternal life.  Thank You, Lord! Amen. 

Ask yourself – Are you a doubter or are you full of faith?  Do you need to pray or talk to someone to strengthen your faith? 

Prayer: Lord, I pray for a deep inner joy because You, who embodied love to the end, are now filled with glory and joy!! AND I pray that I will notice and treasure more deeply how You are present to me in my daily life/living. Amen.


Day Four: 

What does Christianity have to offer compared to all the other religions in the world?  Hope and grace. We don’t have to keep trying life after life through reincarnation to be “enough.”  We don’t have to follow religious laws.  We don’t have to act “just right” to get it right.  We have JESUS!  He is our redeemer!  Our Savior was raised from the dead and sits at the right hand of God the Father!  Let’s use these verses to praise God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:15-23 – Dear God, I praise You and give thanks for our Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I may know you better.  Enlighten my heart, Lord, to the hope You give that I may know your incomparably great power for we who believe.  That power raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at your right hand, above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given for all time.  What a mighty God You are to place all things under Jesus’s feet and appoint him over your church.  Jesus, thank You for fulfilling everything in every way.  In your name I pray, Amen.

Ask yourself – Do you show gratefulness for Jesus’ sacrifice?  Do you live your life in a way that shows Christ’s hope within you?

Prayer: Lord, I pray for a deep inner joy because You, who embodied love to the end, are now filled with glory and joy!! AND I pray that I will notice and treasure more deeply how You are present to me in my daily life/living. Amen.


Day Five: 

When I was kid, I loved to climb trees and read my books in them.  I have two older brothers, so I was pretty much a tomboy.  My favorite tree had a huge trunk.  It was too big to put my arms around, but there was a hole just about chest high where I could put my foot to hoist myself up onto the lowest branch.  Thankfully, big trees have big roots that grow down deep, so the tree can grow up strong and tall.  Christ’s love is like a great reading tree.  The roots of His love are deep; His mighty trunk of love is solid; and His branches of love surround us and reach high and wide toward Him.  Use these verses to remind yourself of the mightiness of Christ’s love.

Ephesians 3:14-21 – Dear Heavenly Father, I kneel before you.  Please strengthen me with power through your Holy Spirit so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith.  Let me be rooted in your mighty love to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.  Your love is too great to be fully known.  Please fill me with your love.  For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever!  Amen.

Ask yourself – Do you truly believe in the power of God’s love?  Do you too often take His great love for granted?

Prayer: Lord, I pray for a deep inner joy because You, who embodied love to the end, are now filled with glory and joy!! AND I pray that I will notice and treasure more deeply how You are present to me in my daily life/living. Amen.


Day Six:

“This is my command: Love each other.”  Three little words.  Jesus left us with the simplest of instructions.  “Love each other.”  I absolutely can do that.  I can love my children, my husband most of the time (just kidding), my parents, for sure, and of course, my friends.  But, He also said, “Love each other…as I have loved you.”  That adds a whole other dimension to it.  Because, actually, Jesus left his family to wander around teaching for three years.  He and his friends (aka the 12 disciples) often went hungry, went days without sleep, were dependent upon others because they had no jobs, and probably needed baths.  I don’t know if I really love my friends that much.  Jesus’ goal was to share love even with those who were not as close to him…the poor, the hungry, the widows, the sick, the outliers of society.  He loved the unlovable.  Can we?  Use these verses to help you live out Christ’s command.

John 15:9-17 --  Dear Jesus, as You reminded the disciples how much You loved them, help me to remain in your love.  Please help me to love others as You love me.  Thank You for laying down your life for me.  There is no greater love.  Please continue to give me knowledge of the Father.  Thank You, thank You, dear Jesus for choosing me…ME for your great purpose.  Lord, as the Father loved You, and You loved me, help me to fulfill your purpose and to truly love others. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Ask yourself – For what purpose has God chosen you?  In what big ways can you show Christ’s love? In what small ways can you show His love?

Prayer: Lord, I pray for a deep inner joy because You, who embodied love to the end, are now filled with glory and joy!! AND I pray that I will notice and treasure more deeply how You are present to me in my daily life/living. Amen.


Day Seven: 

Prayer: Lord, I pray for a deep inner joy because You, who embodied love to the end, are now filled with glory and joy!! AND I pray that I will notice and treasure more deeply how You are present to me in my daily life/living. Amen.

Look over your notes/prayers from the past week. What seems meaningful to you? Did you receive any insight, inspiration, or challenge? Does something require more prayer of discernment? We don’t decide when God will “show up;” instead, we want to be ready and aware when He does. Whatever your experience this week, stay committed. God is!