Bible Readings: Jan 20-26 2020

PRAYING THE KING’S AGENDA

21 Days of Prayer – January 2020

Jesus is the King of kings. He is the Lord of lords. When a king speaks, his subjects listen. When a lord (master) sets the agenda, that agenda is followed to a T. This is praying the King’s Agenda: Take what Jesus has revealed and pray it back to him. These 21 Days of Focused Prayer won’t begin to exhaust all that the Scriptures reveal about Jesus or all that comes from him. But it’s a wise start. And it sets a pattern you can continue.

Each day, we invite you to: Read a brief passage with a truth about Jesus or a command from him. Notice some details from the passage, to aid in understanding. Think about it. What does this imply for me today? How will this impact my day (my week, my month, my life)? Pray. Additional Bible passages are offered for deeper thought. Finally, take a moment and respond personally to each day’s truth and prayer opportunity. What is the King, Jesus Christ, saying to me personally through his word today?

Abridgment-Source: Praying the King’s Agenda, 2019

Download PDF: Daily Bible Readings 2020 Praying the King’s Agenda Week 3

Monday, January 20 (Day 15)

Read Mark 12:13-17 (Psalm 33, Romans 13)

THINK: It is never a good idea to try to trap King Jesus. But that’s what certain religious leaders tried to do, first feigning respect, then offering their zinger question about taxes to Caesar. Zealots opposed paying tax to Rome; Herodians and others cooperated with Rome to “go along and get along” for their own gain. The trap was set: Jesus is in trouble with somebody whichever way he goes on this one. Or so they thought. Jesus brilliantly answers with a question of his own, “Whose likeness is on the coin?” And then the remarkable statement, “Render to Caesar.” Two implications are immediately clear. We ought to exercise an appropriate citizenship in our country, paying taxes, obeying just laws, and so forth. Yet we also know our nation is needy, with sin rampant and rebellion a great offence to our holy God. Do we pray for our sin-sick nation? Second, are we offering to God the things that belong to him? Do we generously give to the kingdom work of God? Do we use our spiritual gifts for the glory of God and the building up of the church? Do we pray fervently and earnestly for kingdom breakthroughs in church planting, missions, and evangelism? Have we fully embraced the King’s agenda?
PRAY: “My heavenly Father and all-wise God, give me a healthy perspective on both my earthly citizenship and my heavenly one. I pray for our nation, asking you to do a grand work of grace in our land, a work of revival among your people and a work of renewal in our culture. Forgive us our many sins, break our rebellious attitude, turn our nation from darkness to light, O God. And then, Father, I give myself wholly to you for the building up of your church. Help me also to be a solid kingdom citizen. Give me a spirit of generosity, a desire to use my gifts for you, and a heart that longs for Christ to be magnified in my life. Fill me with your Holy Spirit! I surrender myself to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Tuesday, January 21 (Day 16)

Read John 10:22-30 (Exodus 20, Psalm 138, John 10)

THINK: With great clarity here, Jesus declares his deity as the second person of the trinity. “I and the Father are one.” Jewish religious leaders demand to know if Jesus is the Christ, that is, the Messiah promised in the Hebrew Bible. “Tell us plainly.” Jesus cites several layers of evidence: 1) I have already told you! 2) The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness. 3) My sheep hear my voice and follow me. To these I give eternal life, they will never perish, and no one can snatch them from me. What a grand truth! Jesus is the Messiah, and believers in Christ have heard his voice and followed him, and they cannot be snatched away by the enemy. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, your Savior is in fact the Son of God and promised Deliverer. He declared it to be so; he revealed it through his miracles and signs; he graciously spoke to you through the gospel and allowed you to hear his voice and follow him. This is saving grace! Jesus and his heavenly Father have a strong grip on you, and they won’t ever let go.
PRAY: What an extraordinary gift, Father, you have given, your unique and only Son, Jesus. I praise him, Jesus my Lord and King, and exalt him. I dedicate my life to declaring his glory, his love, his beauty, and his salvation. May nothing ever surpass my love for Jesus Christ, and may I follow in the obedience of faith every day. May our church be devoted to singing the praises of Jesus, preaching his gospel and kingly agenda, loving you, our neighbors and enemies, and participating in your grand kingdom plan, O God.”

Wednesday, January 22 (Day 17)

Read Matthew 4:18-22 (Ezekiel 36:22-38, Acts 26, Rom. 10:1-17)

THINK: Here in Matthew’s gospel the command “Follow me” has a promise attached, “I will make you fishers of men.” To these experienced fishermen, Jesus was laying down a purpose-filled kingdom challenge, “set your sights on fishing for people.” Their response was immediate, and it was life-altering. How fascinating that Jesus would choose a group of fishermen to join him. How appropriate! Jesus embraces their way of life but kicks it up a few notches—”let’s find people to become part of my kingdom family.” Question: Are you people fishing? Are you a witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, telling others of his life-changing power? God can and will use you to declare his good news to people in your sphere of influence. You might be the first genuine, Christ-loving, Spirit-filled believer the barista has ever met! Your neighbor has seen that your life is rather different; have you told them that following Jesus is the reason why? List five people in your sphere who need Jesus and pray for them.
PRAY: “What a privilege, Father, to tell others what Jesus Christ has done for me! I want to live “on mission” to grow your kingdom family, life-by-life, household-by-household. Open windows of opportunity for me to share the gospel today, Father. Help me to be led by your Holy Spirit. And thank you for saving me! Thank you for giving me the great gift of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, my Savior/King. Amen.”

Thursday, January 23 (Day 18)

Read Matthew 28:16-20 (Gen. 12:1-3, Is. 25, Ps. 117, Rev. 7:9-17)

THINK: This Great Commission is packed with meaning. The risen Christ first establishes his authority—he has every right to direct his disciples this way. Then he commissions his disciples to make disciples by proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. Making disciples involves going to all the nations (ethne, or people groups), baptizing them when they begin to follow Jesus, and teaching them the agenda of King Jesus (all that he has commanded). The Commission ends with a fabulous promise: I will always be with you as you do this. We have this same calling, to take the good news of Jesus Christ to all the ethnic and language “peoples” of our planet. Making disciples is our highest and grandest calling as the church, and it fuels our passion as a movement to plant healthy, vibrant, reproducing churches in every people group on earth. Are you personally “on board” with this Commission? Why not “adopt” an unreached people group for your ongoing intercession.
PRAY: “What a grand vision you have, Heavenly Father, for filling the earth with worshippers from every language and ethnic group! I commit myself to be part of your Great Commission force, Lord, for the fulfilling of the King’s agenda to make disciples. Help me to live “on mission” and to either go or send others. Bless my church’s efforts to fulfill our fair share of this Commission. In particular, I pray for the ________________ people, that a church would be planted among them, and that many among them would embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Amen.”

Friday, January 24 (Day 19)

Read Acts 1:6-9 (Isaiah 56:1-8, Luke 24:36-53, Rom. 15:15-33)

THINK: King Jesus has risen from the dead and now appears to his disciples. Rather than immediately restoring Israel, God has another plan, and it involves us. “Don’t be fixated on times and seasons for such things; God has those in hand. But here’s what will happen—you will receive power from the Spirit of God, and you will be my witnesses here, there, and everywhere. This is a key piece of The King’s Agenda: the followers of Jesus bearing gospel witness to the religious center of Judaism (Jerusalem), to the nearby ethnic centers (Judea, Samaria), and in fact, to the entire earth (all the peoples!). What Jesus declared to his disciples then we are still fulfilling now. We still have the Holy Spirit and our divine calling to be witnesses to King Jesus. There is still much gospel ground to be taken. Read Mark 13:10!
PRAY: “Father, because I love you so much, it is my delight and desire to be a witness to others. Help me share what Christ has done for me, and show the love of Jesus wherever you send me. I am willing to go, to live “on mission,” to do my part as a “goer” or a “sender” so that the Great Commission is fulfilled. I pray again for the unreached people group, the _________________ (from yesterday’s reading), that they would hear of Jesus Christ, of the cross and resurrection and saving faith in Christ and be saved. Thank you for the joy of being part of this global gospel revolution, Father! In Jesus’s name, Amen.”

Saturday, January 25 (Day 20)

Read John 14:1-6 (1 Chronicles 16, John 14, Philippians 1)

THINK: On the road to the cross, in the upper room, Jesus offers great reassurance and hope to his disciples—and to us! Don’t be troubled by the events that are unfolding. Instead, believe in my Father and believe in me. You will have a future dwelling place with me that will last forever. Do we need a roadmap to know where we’re going? Jesus is the way! Do we need a standard of truth for this mixed up world of situational ethics and political correctness? Jesus in the truth! Do we need to know how to experience life to its fullest, with enduring joy now and forever? Jesus is the life! There is a massive amount of information and misinformation that is available to us every moment of every day; it’s one click away. But does it provide clarity? Does it provide true guidance? Does it reveal the King’s agenda? Most of it does not. King Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one finds fellowship with God the Father except through him.
PRAY: “Holy and eternal God, giver of life and breath and every good thing, I come to you today with a heart full of thanksgiving that you have shown me the way through your only, unique Son Jesus. I look to Jesus as my roadmap for daily living, standard of truth, and source of true joy. Help me this day, Father, to point others to Jesus. Give me words to testify to the difference Jesus Christ has made in my life, and to the profound truth of the gospel. Fill me today with your Holy Spirit. And may our church be a lighthouse of faith, hope, and love in our community as we point to King Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life. In his matchless name, Amen!”

Sunday, January 26 (Day 21)

Read Revelation 19:11-16 (Is. 66:1-2, Ps. 150, Revelation 21-22)

THINK: The scriptures reveal Jesus to be the one and only “King of kings and Lord of lords.” The King’s agenda is the agenda of Jesus Christ our Lord. What Jesus reveals about himself we believe as truth; what he commands we obey, trusting that his way is the path to joy, purpose, hope, and love. The white horse represents the victory of the conquering hero—Jesus Christ. His character? Faithful and true and righteous. He wears on his head many kingly diadems; he is clothed with a kingly robe, dipped in the blood of the cross; his name is the Word of God; and he is followed by the mighty army of heaven. Will our King be a judge? Oh yes, from his mouth comes a sharp sword, and he will execute the wrath of Almighty God on the nations. King Jesus’s commands are our agenda, and he wills us to obey it, not from some capricious, volatile temper but for our eternal hope and joy. Jesus knows what is best! He is leading us to an amazing life that will last forever, in his presence, where there will be fulness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11—worth memorizing!).
PRAY: “O God of Creation, God of Salvation, God of Eternity—today I exalt you as the only True and Living God. And I thank you for Jesus, my Savior who is King of kings and Lord of lords. I thank you for the scriptures, which show me the path of life and the agenda of Jesus. Help me to follow wisely, Father. Fill me today with your Holy Spirit so that I can follow Jesus effectively. I offer every part of me to King Jesus: my lips to praise and bear witness, my hands to love as Christ loved, my feet to go where you want me to go, my mind to believe and obey, and my heart to know and love Jesus more. In his holy and magnificent name, Amen.”