Devotionals + Inspiration
More than enough
In Matthew 14:13-21, upon hearing the news of John the Baptist’s death, Jesus withdrew to a solitary place. However, the crowd followed, along with their needs.This narrative is all too familiar to many of us. As we seek out solitude for ourselves, the needs of the crowd often follow closely behind. Jesus, however, did not become frustrated, but instead had compassion and turned a moment of mourning into healing for others. He then transformed this remote location into a place of abundance as He fed the thousands. Jesus did not require the resources of the nearby village to feed the hungry. He was enough. He transformed loss to life, lack to leftovers and a remote location to one of resources. So today, as we face our own lack, may we be reminded, as Christ reminded the disciples, that even in the most remote places, He creates leftovers. He is more than enough! This Week’s Prayer Focus [5 in 5] Personal Prayer 1.Holy Spirit, help us to lean in to Your resources today as we seek to minister to the needs among us. 2. Lord, we know that You are more than enough and that Your resources are not limited. Expand our faith, that where we may see lack we would begin to see opportunity. 3. Lord, may Your kingdom come and Your will be done in our communities. May we utilize and depend on Your kingdom resources and not our own. Foursquare Focus 4. Lift up our Foursquare leadership—ask the Lord to grant them wisdom and rest as they serve our family. 5. Pray for Foursquare chaplains serving worldwide. Download a list of specific prayer needs here. Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.
Transformed by Jesus
Acts 1:2-11 tells us that when the time of Jesus’s departure was near, He took the time to finish well and complete His work, making sure His leaders were ready for the task at hand.Perhaps His disciples were just trying to keep up, to understand that He was really alive again. Then, all of a sudden, Jesus was taken to heaven. The disciples must have had so many questions at this time. As they stood and stared up into the heavens, two men in white appeared and said, “Don’t stand there and stare at heaven—Go!” (v.11, paraphrased NKJV). Then, in Acts 2:1-41, Peter stood and spoke boldly to a huge crowd of people on the day of Pentecost. This was the same Peter who failed and denied Christ, now filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Three thousand people were added to the kingdom that day. Talk about being transformed by Jesus! We may not know exactly how, when or what to do, but Jesus fills, transforms and empowers us with the Holy Spirit to do the task at hand and to disciple others. This Week’s Prayer Focus [5 in 5] Personal Prayer 1. Pray for our eyes to be opened to the kingdom of God at work today. 2. Pray for our hearts to be renewed, and that we would remain servant-minded. 3. Pray for the harvest that is ready to be added to the church today. Foursquare Focus 4. Please pray for all NextGen counselors and leaders at Foursquare summer camps as they share the love of Jesus with campers this week. 5. Please pray for all Foursquare missionaries serving around the world. For specific prayer needs, download the monthly prayer guide here. Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own. Transformado por JesusHechos 1:2-11 nos dice que cuando se acercaba la hora de la partida de Jesús, Él tomó el tiempo para terminar bien y completar su obra, asegurándose que sus líderes estuviesen listos para la tarea a la mano. Alex Montealegre Quizás sus discípulos estaban intentando entender lo que estaba sucediendo, entender que Él estaba vivo de nuevo. Entonces, de repente, Jesús fue llevado al cielo. Los discípulos deben haber tenido muchas preguntas. Mientras se quedaron mirando a los cielos, dos hombres en vestiduras blancas se les aparecieron y dijeron, “No se queden allí mirando al cielo - ¡Vayan!” (v. 11, paráfrasis RVR). Luego, en Hechos 2:1-41, Pedro se pone en pie y habla con audacia a una gran multitud el día de Pentecostés. Este fue el mismo Pedro que falló y negó a Cristo, ahora lleno y empoderado por el Espíritu Santo. Tres mil personas fueron añadidas al reino ese día. ¡Eso es ser transformado por Jesús! Quizás no sepamos exactamente cómo, cuándo o qué hacer, pero Jesús nos llena, transforma y empodera con el Espíritu Santo para llevar a cabo la tarea a la mano y discipular a otros. El Enfoque de Oración esta Semana [5 en 5] Oración Personal 1. Ore que nuestros ojos sean abiertos al reino de Dios obrando hoy. 2. Ore que nuestros corazones sean renovados y que nos mantengamos con actitudes de servicio. 3. Ore por la cosecha que está lista para ser añadida a la iglesia hoy. Enfoque Cuadrangular 4. Por favor ore por todos loslíderes de NextGen en los campamentos Cuadrangulares de verano mientras comparten el amor de Jesús con los campistas esta semana. 5. Por favor ore por todos los misioneros Cuadrangulares sirviendo por todo el mundo; para conocer necesidades específicas de oración descargue la guía mensual de oración aquí. Comparta sus pensamientos. Vea los comentarios abajo y agregue el suyo.
Planning the unplanned
Following a busy season, I planned a three-month sabbatical from normal church ministry.Because I love to plan even my “spontaneous” time, I worked on this schedule for a year, creating a spreadsheet with my activities and directions for each day. I am positive Jesus laughed at me struggling with my plans. As the time got closer, my pain of not being able to schedule every moment grew, and I gave up. The whole point of this break, I realized, was to retune my ear to the voice of Jesus and go where the Spirit led. This reminded me of the journeys of Paul in Acts. He planned to visit one city and ended up in another. He planned to stay a couple days and hung around for a couple months. His travels never seemed to go as planned. Isn’t that like our pastoral plans? They never seem to work as we expect. So, I made a compromise with Jesus for my sabbatical. I set the general direction and activity I would engage in each day. But my most successful plan was to wake up and let Him plan the rest of my day. This Week’s Prayer Focus [5 in 5] Personal Prayer 1. God, forgive me for being so prideful by thinking my plans are the right and only way. 2. Jesus, tune my ear to Your leading today so that I can be a conduit of Your love, acceptance and forgiveness to those around me. 3. Lord, I pray Proverbs 16:9 daily this week: Please direct my steps and give me a willing heart to comply. Foursquare Focus 4. As the Lord imparted to us fresh perspective and faith for evangelism, Spirit-filled renewal and vision for the next generation at Connection last week, we pray for a great harvest in our churches and families in the coming years. 5. Please lift up our presidential selection committee and possible candidates, asking God to prepare our future president's heart and mind for the tasks ahead. Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.
Our first priority
In this cultural moment, sharing the gospel has become an afterthought for too many Christians. In fact, I hear people making fun of how other people do evangelism.Truth be told, without each of us doing our part, God is not glorified. Aimee Semple McPherson talked about Jesus being the Savior, Healer, Baptizer with the Holy Spirit and Soon-Coming King. The Foursquare Church was founded on the cornerstone of interdenominational worldwide evangelism. We, too, must carry on this legacy. Jesus’s last words should be our first priority. This isn’t to say that God isn’t still speaking today. However, the Great Commission is what should guide us daily. Unfortunately, it seems like many people are embarrassed by the clear, plain teaching of the Gospels—that Jesus wants us to announce the good news of the gospel, the coming of the kingdom and the need for all to repent and follow Jesus. Yet, God has given us this mission. John 20:21 says, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (NKJV). Let's keep our mission, the Great Commission, as our first priority. This Week’s Prayer Focus [5 in 5] Personal Prayer 1. Pray we would be reminded that Jesus has sent us on a mission into a broken and hurting world. 2. Pray that our focus would be on showing and sharing the love of Jesus to those around us. 3. Pray what Jesus told us to pray in Matthew 9:35-38—that He would send workers into the harvest. And then let’s respond with, "Here I am, Lord; send me." Foursquare Focus 4. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will meet us powerfully this week as we seek Him, and that the church would be forever impacted by what God begins in us at Foursquare Connection 2018. 5. Ask the Lord for a summer of vision, rest and joy. Pray that the old adage of a “summer slump” would not impede our hearts from the joy and fresh direction the Lord would infuse into us. Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.
Praying in the Spirit
When it feels like the weight of the world sits on our shoulders, and people’s lives are affected by the decisions we make, the burden is often too great to bear.We feel trapped in the endless cycle of assessing impacts and predicting outcomes as we navigate the issues of life in ministry. It causes stress, discouragement, anxiety and illness. The truth is that God doesn’t ask us to have all the answers. God wants to lead us, and we waste valuable time when we don’t filter everything through His perspective. Let us not be caught leading ourselves with acquired knowledge, polished skill or natural ability. Once they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, the disciples began to speak in other tongues (Acts 2:4), and they were led by the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:19-20, 13:2-4, 16:6-7). We also have received this glorious gift, which should not to be set aside for special occasions. When we incorporate our heavenly language into everyday prayer, asking the Holy Spirit for interpretation, we will be led in all things by His love, His compassion, His humility and His wisdom, not our own. Only then will the weight be lifted. This Week’s Prayer Focus [5 in 5] Personal Prayer: 1. Commit to seeking God first in every situation. 2. Pray in the Spirit every day, asking the Holy Spirit to lead you. 3. Praise God for the results, and ask Him to teach you more about walking in the Spirit. Foursquare Focus: 4. Please pray that our Foursquare Connection 2018 speakers would be led by the Spirit of God as they prepare to share the Word with us. 5. Pray for our NextGen district representatives and leaders around the nation as they prepare for a mighty move of God in NextGen camps this summer. Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own. Orando en el EspírituCuando sentimos que todo el peso del mundo se reposa sobre nuestras espaldas y vidas están siendo afectadas por las decisiones que tomamos, la carga suele ser demasiado para soportar. Gabriela Bogea Quedamos atrapados en el ciclo interminable de evaluar impactos y predecir resultados mientras navegamos los asuntos de la vida en el ministerio. Esto causa estrés, desánimo, ansiedad, y hasta enfermedad. La verdad es que Dios no nos pide que tengamos todas las respuestas. Dios quiere guiarnos y perdemos tiempo precioso cuando no filtramos todo a través de Su perspectiva. No sea que nos estemos dirigiendo a nosotros mismos con conocimiento adquirido, destrezas refinadas o habilidades naturales. Mientras guiamos a otros, seamos nosotros guiados también. Una vez que habían recibido el don del Espíritu Santo (Hechos 2:4), los discípulos comenzaron a hablar en otras lenguas y ellos eran guiados por el Espíritu Santo (Hechos 10:19-20, 13:2-4, 16:6-7). Nosotros también hemos recibido este glorioso don, el cual no debe ser apartado solamente para ocasiones especiales. Cuando incorporamos nuestro idioma celestial a la oración diaria y le pedimos interpretación al Espíritu Santo, somos guiados en todo de acuerdo a Su amor, Su compasión, Su humildad, y Su sabiduría, no la nuestra. Sólo entonces nos podrá ser quitado el peso. El Enfoque de Oración de Esta Semana [5 en 5] Oración Personal: 1. Comprométase a buscar a Dios primero en toda situación. 2. Ore en el Espíritu todos los días pidiendo la guianza del Espíritu Santo. 3. Glorifique a Dios por los resultados y pídale al Espíritu Santo que le enseñe más acerca de caminar en el Espíritu. Foursquare Focus: 4. Por favor ore para que nuestros oradores de la Conexión Cuadrangular 2018 sean guiados por el Espíritu de Dios mientras se preparan para compartir la Palabra con nosotros. 5. Ore por nuestros representantes y líderes distritales de NextGen en todo el país mientras se preparan para un poderoso mover de Dios en los campamentos de jóvenes este verano. Comparta sus pensamientos. Vea los comentarios a continuación, y añada el suyo.