TUESDAY, JANUARY 2, 2018
Series: The Mvmnt Message: The Acts of the Exalted Jesus Preacher: Jeff Wood Reflection: Andre Wang
Refresh: Open with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Acts 1:1–11; 28:11–24, 30–31 in The Message (MSG). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: I have another disclosure to make in addition to yesterday’s revelation: I am a recovering politician. In 2010, I ran for a seat in the Oregon State Legislature. During my campaign, I assembled a small group of friends that I respected professionally, spiritually, and morally. This was not a campaign committee to advise me on political strategy. This was strictly an accountability group. Political campaigns are brutal, relentless endeavors. So once a week, I huddled with my friends to pray, discuss issues, and lean on their wisdom.
I’ve been a political junkie my entire life and holding office has always been a personal ambition. But since I was doing it for real, I realized that the endeavor was bigger than me. I wanted my group of friends to hold me accountable for being true to my motives for running. So I charged them with this pledge: “This campaign is about serving the community. If at any time this campaign this becomes all about me, say the word and we’re shutting the campaign down.” It never came to that—and I didn’t win the election. (And looking back, I count myself blessed beyond measure for having lost.)
It seems that the disciples had political ambitions of their own. In Acts 1:6, after they were told to wait for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, they asked Jesus, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom of Israel now? Is it time?”
They were told in no uncertain terms that not only was it not the time, it was also none of their business (verses 7–8). The disciples had missed the point. This wasn’t about political power. This wasn’t about them. This was much bigger.
To be beneficiaries of the Holy Spirit requires complete surrender of our will, our ambitions, and our agendas.
Recalibrate: Ambition has taken on a negative connotation. God created us to have goals and aspirations. How can we use our personal ambitions to exemplify the character of Jesus and advance His kingdom?
Respond: As you start your day, ask for humility—that everything be all about Jesus, not about you.
Research: Read The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
LIVE WONDER (AGES 0-4)
Take time to enjoy where you are at. So often we wish for a full night’s sleep or for those first steps or for potty training to be complete. Hold your child and be thankful for this moment, this breath. As you take your child’s hand, know that God wants to hold yours, too.
LIVE ADVENTURE (AGES 5-11)
Play “Follow the Leader.” Take turns following each other the best that you can. Do you like to follow or do you like to lead? Why? Who do you think would be the best leader ever?
LIVE PURPOSE (AGES 12-16)
As you go about your day, notice the things that make you impatient. What are some ways you could be more patient?