Categories
Prayer Sermons

An Unconditional Covenant

Sermon Summary:

This week we delve into the concept of biblical covenants, exploring their enduring influence on the history and destiny of believers. The focus is on the seven major covenants within Scripture, with a particular emphasis on the covenant between God and Abraham. Through this examination, the sermon sheds light on the ancient practice of covenant-making, its rituals, and the importance of faith and commitment in these divine promises. The sermon underscores the contrast between ancient and modern views of spiritual commitments and calls for a renewed dedication to the covenant relationship with the divine.

 

Key Points:

  • The significance of understanding biblical covenants to grasp the narrative of the Bible.
  • A comparison of the ubiquity of covenants in biblical times to the modern understanding of smartphones.
  • The concept of covenant as a foundational element in biblical narratives, including kinship covenants and the necessity of a sacrifice or shedding of blood to establish these agreements.
  • The story of God’s promise to Abram, who worried about his lack of an heir, and God’s assurance that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars.
  • A discussion of the cultural context of Abraham’s time, specifically regarding slavery and sacrificial rituals.
  • The transformation of Abraham’s covenant ritual, which reflects commitment and vigilance in upholding one’s end of a covenant.
  • An examination of the unconditional nature of God’s covenant with Abraham, which promises land to his descendants without prerequisites, prefiguring the New Covenant through Jesus Christ.
  • A call to move beyond a transactional view of faith to embrace the grace offered by the unconditional covenant.

 

Scripture Reference:

Genesis chapter 15: The story of God’s promise to Abram and the establishment of the Abrahamic Covenant.

 

—– 

 

Five Day Devotional
Throughout this five-day devotional, allow the sermon’s themes to lead you into a contemplative space where you can reflect on the significance of biblical covenants. As you engage with the readings and reflections, may your understanding what a covenant is and means deepen and transform your walk with God.

 

Day 1: Understanding Covenant Relationships

Reading: Genesis 15:1-6

 

Reflection: Consider the promise God made to Abram about his descendants being as numerous as the stars. Reflect on the faith Abram had in God’s words despite his circumstances. How does this display of trust inform your understanding of spiritual commitments today?

 

Prayer Focus: Ask God to help you trust Him as Abram did, even when the fulfillment of His promises is not yet visible.

 

—–

 

Day 2: The Nature of Divine Promises

Reading: Genesis 15:7-21

 

Reflection: In this passage, we see the detailed covenant God makes with Abram, including the sacrificial ritual. Reflect on the seriousness and solemnity of this moment. How does the weight of God’s promises shape your perception of His character?

 

Prayer Focus: Pray for a deeper reverence for God’s promises in your life and for the insight to recognize their impact on your faith journey.

 

—–

 

Day 3: The Significance of Abraham’s Covenant Ritual

Reading: Genesis 15:9-11, 17-18

 

Reflection: Consider the diligence Abraham showed in preparing for the covenant and protecting the sacrifices. How does this attention to detail mirror the dedication we should have in our spiritual practices?

 

Prayer Focus: Pray for the diligence and commitment to maintain your part of the covenant relationship with God, seeking to uphold your spiritual responsibilities with integrity.

 

—–

 

Day 4: Embracing the Unconditional Nature of God’s Promise

Reading: Romans 4:13-25

 

Reflection: Paul speaks of the righteousness that comes by faith, referencing Abraham’s belief. Consider how God’s unconditional promise to Abraham foreshadows the New Covenant through Jesus Christ. How does this understanding affect your view of grace and faith?

 

Prayer Focus: Thank God for the grace given through Jesus Christ and ask for the strength to live by faith, not by sight, embracing the unconditional nature of His covenant.

 

—–

 

Day 5: Living Within the Eternal Covenant

Reading: Hebrews 8:6-13

 

Reflection: This passage speaks of the New Covenant, superior to the old, written on our hearts. Contemplate the transformative power of this new relationship with God. How does this covenant invite you to a deeper, more intimate walk with Him?


Prayer Focus: Commit yourself anew to the covenant relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you in living out this sacred bond daily.

Abraham looks at the stars

An Unconditional Covenant

Sermon Summary: This week we delve into the concept of biblical covenants, exploring their enduring influence on the history and destiny of believers. The focus

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what jezebel spirit?

What Jezebel Spirit?

Sermon Summary: Listen in as we tackle a controversial topic stirring within the Christian community this week: the misapplication of the term “Jezebel spirit” and

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Categories
Prayer Sermons

What Jezebel Spirit?

Sermon Summary:
Listen in as we tackle a controversial topic stirring within the Christian community this week: the misapplication of the term “Jezebel spirit” and its non-biblical roots. This discussion brings to light the pitfalls of Christian leaders capitalizing on such concepts for personal gain, whether to sell books or build their social media presence. There have been real-world consequences of these false teachings, including the spread of gossip, slander and the unwarranted division it causes among believers. Moreover, we reflect on the biblical teachings that warn against gossip and slander and the importance of staying anchored in scripture rather than getting swept up in online theological spats.

 

In a heartfelt address to our congregation, we also touch upon the importance of unity and the dangers of engaging in divisive online debates. It’s a reminder that sometimes the most profound act of faith is to avoid contention and instead, focus on our building up our faith community instead of tearing it down. Whether you’re deeply entrenched in these debates or blissfully unaware, this conversation is a clarion call to prioritize faith and fellowship over controversy and conflict.

 

The sermon centered around the importance of unity within our community and staying true to the teachings of the Bible, specifically addressing the concerns around the misapplication of the term “Jezebel spirit”.

 

Here are a few key takeaways from the sermon:

 

  • The term “Jezebel spirit” lacks a scriptural basis and should not be used to sow discord among believers or to further personal agendas.
  • The term “Jezebel spirit” is literally nowhere to be found in the Bible. It never warns about it, talks about it or teaches on it. Avoid making a big deal out of things that aren’t taught in the Word.
  • Our focus should be on the core values of our faith: grace, forgiveness, and the love of Christ, rather than on divisive narratives.
  • As a community, we should avoid getting entangled in online disputes that distract us from our spiritual growth and the pursuit of unity.
  • Personal responsibility is paramount in our conduct, and we must guard against gossip, slander, and false teachings.
  • Embracing humility and showing love to one another is essential in nurturing a community rooted in Christ’s teachings.

Let us remember to invest our energies in building each other up, rather than being divided over unfounded teachings. Our path is one of love, support, and togetherness as we journey towards a deeper connection with Jesus and each other.

 

Begin Five Day Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

 

Day 1: Discerning Truth from Falsehood

Reading: 2 Timothy 3:16-17

 

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

 

Devotional: Today, we focus on the foundation of our faith: the Word of God. It is through Scripture that we discern truth from falsehood. As we begin this week’s study, reflect on the ways you have encountered teachings that may not align with the biblical text. Consider the importance of grounding your beliefs in Scripture, which is designed to guide us in righteousness and equip us for good work. 

 

Reflection Question: How can you better equip yourself with the knowledge of Scripture to discern teachings that may be false or misleading?

 

—–

 

Day 2: Avoiding Gossip and Slander

Reading: James 1:26

 

“If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”

 

Devotional: The power of the tongue is immense, and as believers, we are called to use our words to build up, not tear down. Reflect on times you have encountered gossip or slander within your community. How did it affect the unity of the believers? Today, pray for the wisdom to speak life and for the strength to avoid participating in harmful discourse.

 

Reflection Question: How can you ensure that your words align with the love and righteousness that Christ calls us to embody?

 

—–

 

Day 3: Embracing Humility and Personal Responsibility
Reading: Matthew 7:3-5

 

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? … First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

 

Devotional: In the midst of confronting false teachings, it’s crucial to maintain humility and acknowledge our own imperfections. As we meditate on Jesus’ words, let us seek personal growth and transformation. Reflect on the importance of focusing on your own spiritual journey rather than judging others.

 

Reflection Question: In what areas of your life do you need to take responsibility and seek forgiveness, rather than focusing on the faults of others?

 

—–

 

Day 4: Building a Community Rooted in Love

Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

 

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. … And if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”

 

Devotional: Love is the cornerstone of our faith and the essence of the community we are called to build. As you read Paul’s words, consider how love should be the driving force in your interactions and teachings. Reflect on how you can contribute to creating a community rooted in the genuine love of Christ.

 

Reflection Question: What are practical ways you can show love to others in your community, particularly in times of disagreement or controversy?

 

—–

 

Day 5: Rising Above Division to Find Unity

Reading: Ephesians 4:2-3

 

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Devotional: Our final reflection this week calls us to be peacemakers. In a world filled with division, we as believers are to exemplify unity and peace. Think about how you can actively work towards reconciling differences and strengthening the bonds within your spiritual family.

 

Reflection Question: How can you personally contribute to maintaining unity in your congregation, and what steps will you take to foster peace among your brothers and sisters in Christ?



End Five Day Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

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Categories
Sermons

Don’t Give Up Meeting Together

Sermon Summary:

This weeks sermon delves into the transformative power of faith-based fellowship, the balance between tradition and new beliefs in Christianity, and the vital role of communal worship. Drawing on Hebrews 10:25, it discusses the unknown authorship of the Book of Hebrews and considers the historical context of Jewish Christians facing persecution. The sermon emphasizes Jesus’s sacrifice, which tore the veil to the Holy of Holies, granting believers boldness to approach God directly. It challenges psychological barriers that separate us from God, urging a sincere and confident faith. The discussion also addresses the importance of hope and God’s faithfulness, rather than personal works or guilt. 


Key Points:

  1. The importance of Christian fellowship is rooted in Hebrews 10:25, which emphasizes not abandoning communal worship, even amid adversity.
  2. The authorship of the Book of Hebrews is unknown, with Apollos, Priscilla, and Aquila being potential authors who addressed the challenges Jewish Christians faced in reconciling their traditions with their new faith in Jesus.
  3. Early believers endured persecution from Romans and their community, which tempted some to revert to Judaism. The sermon stresses the importance of perseverance in gathering together as a community of faith.
  4. Jesus’s sacrifice grants believers direct access to God, allowing them to approach with confidence, a privilege previously limited to the high priest once a year under the old covenant.
  5. Psychological barriers can inhibit our confidence in approaching God, but we are encouraged to recognize these as illusions since holiness is granted through grace, not earned by deeds.
  6. Holding unswervingly to hope is key, and the faithfulness of God is highlighted as the foundation of Christian hope, rather than our own faithfulness.
  7. The value of spurring one another toward love and good deeds, emphasizing community’s role in understanding and growing in faith.

Scripture References:

  1. Hebrews 10:25 – Encouragement to not give up meeting together.
  2. The Book of Hebrews – General references to the book’s messages and themes about Jesus’s superiority and the new covenant.

Takeaways 

  • The Importance of Christian Fellowship: Hebrews 10:25 reminds us not to forsake gathering together. In times of adversity, our communal worship becomes a source of strength and perseverance.
  • Direct Access to God through Jesus: The sacrifice of Jesus grants us the confidence to approach God with boldness. This privilege is a gift of grace, not something earned by our deeds.
  • Holding Onto Hope: Our hope rests not in our own faithfulness, but in the steadfast promise of God. This hope inspires us to encourage others towards love and good deeds.
  • Embracing Freedom in Christ: Let us approach God with assurance, free from guilt, recognizing the liberation that comes through Jesus’s love and sacrifice.

Begin Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

 

Day 1: Embracing Community in Worship 

Reading: Hebrews 10:19-25

 

Devotional: Today, reflect on the vital role that fellowship plays in your faith journey. The encouragement to not forsake gathering together is a powerful reminder of the strength found in unity. Consider how meeting with fellow believers can uplift you, especially during times of hardship or when facing external pressures that challenge your faith. 

 

Reflection Question: How can you prioritize and cherish the time spent in communal worship this week?

 

Prayer Focus: Ask God to deepen your appreciation for the community of believers and to show you ways to encourage others to remain steadfast in collective worship.

 

—–

 

Day 2: The Confidence to Approach God 

Reading: Hebrews 10:16-22

 

Devotional: Dive into the confidence we have to enter the Most Holy Place because of Jesus’ sacrifice. Meditate on the fact that it’s not by our works but by His grace that we can approach God with assurance. Challenge yourself to break down mental barriers that hinder your access to God’s presence.

 

Reflection Question: What mental constructs do you need to surrender to fully embrace the access you have to God through Jesus?

 

Prayer Focus: Seek the Lord’s help in overcoming doubts and fears that prevent you from approaching Him with the boldness and confidence He has given you.

 

—–

 

Day 3: Holding Unswervingly to Hope 

Reading: Hebrews 10:23-25

 

Devotional: In the midst of life’s challenges, we are called to hold fast to the hope we profess. Our hope is not in our ability to persevere, but in God’s faithfulness. As you go through your day, identify areas where you may have been placing your hope in your own strength or circumstances.

 

Reflection Question: How can you remind yourself to place your hope in God’s faithfulness rather than in your own efforts?

 

Prayer Focus: Pray for the courage to hold unswervingly to hope and to be an encouragement to others who may be struggling to maintain their hope.

 

—–

 

Day 4: Spurring One Another On

Reading: Hebrews 10:24-25

 

Devotional: Reflect on the significance of encouraging one another in love and good deeds. Think about those in your life who could use a word of encouragement or support. Consider how you can be an instrument of God’s love to spur others on in their faith.

 

Reflection Question: Who in your community can you actively encourage this week, and what practical steps will you take to do so?

 

Prayer Focus: Ask God to open your eyes to the needs of those around you and to use you as a source of encouragement and inspiration.

 

—–

 

Day 5: The Full Assurance of Faith 

Reading: Hebrews 10:19-22

 

Devotional: As we close out the week, let’s focus on the full assurance of faith that we are invited to hold onto. This assurance is rooted in the work of Jesus, not in our performance. Rejoice in the knowledge that you have been cleansed and made holy by His sacrifice.

 

Reflection Question: How can you live out this assurance in your daily walk with God and with others?

 

Prayer Focus: Thank God for the gift of holiness granted through grace, and ask Him to help you live each day with the assurance of your faith.



End Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

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Prayer Sermons

The Faith Of The Canaanite Woman

Sermon Summary:

Our focus this Sunday was on understanding the origins and significance of our traditions, ensuring they are in line with God’s intentions. We delved into the teachings of Jesus and how he addressed the customs that were more about appearances than the heart’s true condition.

Here are a few key takeaways from our time together:

  • Traditions should not be followed blindly, especially when they overshadow God’s commands. Reflect on whether your practices enhance or hinder your relationship with God.
  • Jesus challenged the performative purity rituals and legal loopholes of his time. We must examine our own actions and ensure they reflect genuine faith, not just outward piety.
  • True worship comes from acknowledging Jesus’s worth, not from our emotional state. Worship is due to Him regardless of how we feel or perceive our worthiness.
  • Desperation and faith can lead to profound encounters with the Lord. The story of the Canaanite woman taught us that sincere faith can transcend tradition and expectation.
  • An invitation to deeper connection: We are encouraged to approach God with boldness, just as the persistent woman in scripture did, and to actively engage with our faith.

I encourage each of us to take these messages to heart, applying them to our daily lives and spiritual walk. Let us not be confined by tradition but be liberated by the truth and spirit of our faith.

 

Five-Day Bible Reading Plan and Devotional: Traditions Of Men

 

Day 1: Tradition vs. Commandment

Reading: Matthew 15:1-9

 

Devotional: Today, we start by considering the tension between human traditions and God’s commandments. Reflect on areas in your life where tradition may have taken precedence over what God desires. Remember that God’s Word should be the foundation of our faith, not merely the customs passed down to us.

 

Reflection Question: In what ways might you be allowing traditions to hinder your relationship with God? 

 

Prayer: Lord, help me discern between traditions of man and Your divine commandments. Give me the wisdom to align my practices with Your Word.

 

—–

 

Day 2: The Heart of Worship

Reading: Mark 7:1-13

 

Devotional: As we delve deeper into the words of Jesus, let’s challenge ourselves to look beyond external rituals to the purity of our hearts. Consider if your worship is a genuine outpouring of love for Jesus, or if it has become a ritual devoid of meaning.

 

Reflection Question: How can you ensure that your acts of worship are authentic expressions of your heart towards God?

 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, let my worship arise from a heart that seeks to truly honor You, not from mere tradition or habit.

 

—–

 

Day 3: True Reverence

Reading: Isaiah 29:13

 

Devotional: Today, we focus on the difference between lip service and heart service. Ponder the depth of your reverence for God. Is it based on societal expectations or a sincere love for the Divine?

 

Reflection Question: Are there areas in your life where you are honoring God with your lips while your heart is distant? 

 

Prayer: Almighty God, draw my heart closer to You, so that my words and actions may be a reflection of a genuine relationship with You.

 

—–

 

Day 4: The Faith of the Canaanite Woman

Reading: Matthew 15:21-28

 

Devotional: In the encounter with the Canaanite woman, we witness faith that breaks through the barriers of tradition. Reflect on the strength of your faith. Does it have the persistence and boldness of the Canaanite woman’s faith, able to transcend the expectations of others?

 

Reflection Question: How can you demonstrate a faith that persists despite barriers and expectations?

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, grant me the courage and persistence in my faith to reach out to You, regardless of barriers or societal expectations.

 

—–

 

Day 5: Applying the Word

Reading: James 1:22-25

 

Devotional: Our final reflection challenges us to be doers of the Word, not merely hearers. Contemplate how you can actively apply the insights from this sermon in your life, ensuring that your traditions align with the spirit of faith and the teachings of Christ.

 

Reflection Question: In what practical ways can you apply God’s Word to move beyond tradition and into a transformative faith?

 

Prayer: Merciful God, help me to apply Your teachings in my daily life, that I may not only listen to Your Word but live it out in every action.

 

*End Bible Reading & Devotional Plan

Abraham looks at the stars

An Unconditional Covenant

Sermon Summary: This week we delve into the concept of biblical covenants, exploring their enduring influence on the history and destiny of believers. The focus

Read More »
what jezebel spirit?

What Jezebel Spirit?

Sermon Summary: Listen in as we tackle a controversial topic stirring within the Christian community this week: the misapplication of the term “Jezebel spirit” and

Read More »
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Categories
Sermons

The Eclipse Of Reason

Sunday morning we delved deep into the subject of end times prophecies and how to approach them with both wisdom and skepticism. For those who couldn’t join us or would like a refresher, here are a few key takeaways from the sermon:

  • Skepticism is Healthy: It’s important to approach end times predictions with a critical eye, using biblical wisdom to discern the truth from sensationalism.
  • Context Matters: We examined how cultural and historical contexts can influence our understanding of scriptures, emphasizing that verses like Matthew 24:29 should be interpreted in light of their original setting.
  • Beware of Misinterpretation: The sermon warned against using Bible verses to predict specific events, such as using the date of a solar eclipse to declare the end of the world.
  • Historical Insight: We explored the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and how it serves as a reminder that earthly kingdoms are transient and that prophecies have context that is often overlooked.
  • Don’t Be Deceived: We must guard against those who use fear to manipulate others, particularly when they claim to predict Jesus’ return or other apocalyptic events.
  • Faithfulness and Discernment: The sermon concluded with a call to live faithfully and to steward our lives wisely, praying for discernment to resist deceptive teachings and to embrace genuine revelation.

We at Revive Chicago Church must be equipped with tools to navigate prophetic claims with a balanced and educated approach. As we move forward, let us hold onto these insights and apply them to our daily walk with the Lord.

Five Day Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

Day 1: Understanding Prophecy and Discernment

Bible Reading: Matthew 24:1-14

 

Devotional: Today we reflect on the words of Jesus regarding the signs of the end times. In a world full of predictions and conspiracy theories, it’s crucial to understand the biblical perspective on discerning truth. Jesus warned of false prophets and the need for vigilance. As you read, consider how Jesus emphasized the importance of steadfastness in faith amidst deception and turmoil. Ask yourself, how can you apply discernment in evaluating modern-day claims about the end times?

 

Reflection Question: What signs does Jesus say will indicate the end times, and how can you avoid being led astray by false teachings?

 

 

Day 2: The Significance of Scripture Context

Bible Reading: Matthew 24:15-28

 

Devotional: As we continue exploring Matthew 24, we see Jesus providing specific instructions and warnings to His disciples. Context is key when interpreting prophetic scripture. Today, ponder the historical and cultural backdrop of Jesus’ words. Think about how this passage applies to the original audience and the lessons it holds for believers today.

 

Reflection Question: How does understanding the context of Jesus’ prophecy help you discern its application for your life?

 

 

Day 3: Heeding Warnings and Staying Watchful

Bible Reading: Matthew 24:29-35

 

Devotional: Jesus describes cosmic disturbances as signs of the end. In our search for wisdom, we’re reminded to not be carried away by every claim of prophetic fulfillment. Reflect on the natural and human inclination to seek signs and wonder if this aligns with Jesus’ teaching. Consider the balance between awareness of the times and unwavering trust in God’s sovereignty.

 

Reflection Question: What does Jesus mean when He talks about the sun being darkened, and how can you stay focused on His message rather than external events?

 

 

Day 4: The Fall of Jerusalem as a Historical Lesson

Bible Reading: Luke 21:20-24

 

Devotional: Today we turn to Luke’s account of Jesus’ prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem. This event in 70 AD serves as a historical reminder of the fulfillment of Jesus’ words and the reality of prophetic warnings. Contemplate the transient nature of earthly kingdoms and the enduring truth of God’s word.

 

Reflection Question: How does the historical event of Jerusalem’s destruction influence your understanding of biblical prophecy and God’s faithfulness?

 

 

Day 5: Remaining Faithful Amidst Uncertainty

Bible Reading: 2 Peter 3:3-14

 

Devotional: In his second letter, Peter encourages believers to remain steadfast, despite scoffers and the uncertainty of the times. The call is to live holy and godly lives as we await the Lord’s return. Reflect on the call to be vigilant, not in predicting the exact time of the end, but in living a life that honors God each day.

 

Reflection Question: How can you cultivate a lifestyle of faithfulness and stewardship as you anticipate the Lord’s return, according to Peter’s exhortation?

 

 

Closing Prayer for the Week:

Heavenly Father, as we delve into Your word this week, grant us wisdom and discernment to understand the times without falling into the trap of fear or deception. Help us to heed Your warnings with sober-mindedness and to live with the expectation of Your return, grounded in faith and love. May we steward our days wisely, ever watchful for Your genuine truths. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Abraham looks at the stars

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Sermon Summary: This week we delve into the concept of biblical covenants, exploring their enduring influence on the history and destiny of believers. The focus

Read More »
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Sermon Summary: Listen in as we tackle a controversial topic stirring within the Christian community this week: the misapplication of the term “Jezebel spirit” and

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Sermons

The Death & Resurrection Of Jesus

This Resurrection Sunday, we journeyed through the profound story of Christ’s crucifixion and the joyous celebration of His resurrection. As we read from the Gospel of John, allow the familiar words to renew your spirit, and reflect on the diversity of perspectives offered by the four Gospels as they tell the greatest story ever told. It’s important that we tap into the intricate web of historical figures and cultural contexts that shaped the final moments of Jesus, exploring their roles in the poignant narrative that lies at the very heart of our faith.

 

In this sermon, we also trace the connections between the dawn of creation and the new beginning symbolized by Jesus’ resurrection. We delve into the emotions of the empty tomb discovery, the initial disbelief of the disciples, and how these events parallel the challenges and skepticism of our own faith journeys. Let’s not settle for a simple retelling but a true re-experiencing of these sacred moments. Jesus is inviting you to grasp the transformative power of the resurrection as it redefines our existence. 

 

Notice the parallels with the Creation Story too. In Genesis, on Day Six, God made humanity. On Day Seven He rested. In the story of Jesus’ death, we see that on the sixth day (Good Friday) God re-made humanity. On the seventh day, He rested (laid in the tomb). And on the 1st day of the (new) week He said, “Let there be light!” We have a new first day of the week, the celebration of the eighth day. A day of new beginnings! 

 

Quick takeaways from the Sermon:

  • The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are at the core of our faith, and revisiting this story can renew our spirit.
  • Understanding the cultural and historical context of Jesus’ time can deepen our appreciation of the Easter narrative.
  • Jesus’ resurrection signifies a new creation, inviting us to embrace transformation and live out the power of our renewed faith.
  • Encountering the risen Christ is about spiritual rebirth, impacting not only our knowledge but our entire being and relationship with God.
  • Gratitude and action are our responses to the resurrection, as we turn our personal trials into triumphs, celebrating the renewing power of faith. 

This week, let’s reflect on these points and consider how the resurrection story can continue to shape our lives. May we all carry the joy and power of this message into our daily interactions and embrace the changes within as we walk in the light of Christ. 

 

As a church, we at Revive Chicago desperately need an authentic encounter with the risen Christ. By His power, we begin a metamorphosis within, as we embrace the redemption offered to us and how it restores our connection with Jesus. Together, let’s turn our personal trials into triumphs, just as graves were turned into gardens, celebrating the renewing power of faith on this Resurrection Sunday.

 

Begin Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

Day 1: The Crucifixion Reading: John 19:16-27 

 

Devotional:

Today we reflect on the somber moments of Jesus’ crucifixion. As you read John’s account, ponder the gravity of what it meant for Jesus to carry His own cross to Golgotha. The sacrifice of Jesus is a portrayal of ultimate love and fulfillment of prophecy. In your quiet time, consider the significance of Jesus’ words to His mother and the beloved disciple, revealing His care for those He loved even in His final moments.

 

Reflection Question:

How does understanding the depth of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross challenge you to love and care for others in your life, even when it’s difficult?

 

Day 2: The Burial – John 19:28-42

 

Devotional:

In today’s passage, we encounter the burial of Jesus. This act was one of respect and love carried out by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. As you read, take a moment to consider the humility and bravery of these individuals who cared for Jesus’ body. Reflect on the significance of Jesus’ burial as it sets the stage for the resurrection.

 

Reflection Question:

What does the careful and loving burial of Jesus by Joseph and Nicodemus teach you about honoring God and standing firm in your faith amidst potential opposition?

 

Day 3: The Resurrection – John 20:1-18

 

Devotional:

The darkness of the tomb could not hold back the light of the world. Today, we celebrate the empty tomb and the resurrection of Jesus. Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the risen Christ transformed her grief into joy. As you meditate on this passage, let the reality of the resurrection ignite hope in your heart. Embrace the new life that is promised to you through Christ’s victory over death.

 

Reflection Question:

How does the resurrection of Jesus give you hope and strength in areas of your life where you need renewal and transformation?

 

Day 4: Doubt and Faith – John 20:24-29

 

Devotional:

Thomas’ doubt is a part of many believers’ journeys. His desire to see and touch the wounds of Jesus was met with compassion, not condemnation. Today, as you read about Thomas’ encounter with the risen Lord, ask God to strengthen your faith in the unseen. Trust in the promises of Jesus and the reality of His resurrection, even when doubts arise.

 

Reflection Question:

How can you follow Jesus’ encouragement to believe without seeing, and how might that faith manifest in your daily walk with Christ?

 

Day 5: New Creation – 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Devotional:

As we conclude our journey through the transformative events of the crucifixion and resurrection, we land on the promise of becoming a new creation in Christ. The old has gone, the new has come. Today, meditate on what it means to live as a new creation. Embrace the changes God is making in you and through you, and walk forward in the resurrection power that is at work within every believer.

 

Reflection Question:

In what practical ways can you live out your identity as a new creation in Christ, and how does this change your perspective on life’s challenges and opportunities?

End of Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

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