Read Mark 1:1-12; Romans 1:1-6
Merciful Father, you announced your good news to a dark, decaying, and dreary world. That gospel declaration came in the form of Jesus, the Messiah. He was your anointed One, promised and pictured in the old covenant. Abraham and Moses looked forward to his coming. Isaiah prophesied his person and work. This Son of God would take our very flesh and reconcile all things to you. We praise you, O Lord.
God, we are grateful to you for sending your Son to save your people from their sins, a fact foretold through the prophets in the Scriptures. We praise you that this greater son of David was raised from the dead by the power of your Holy Spirit and has become our triumphant King. We praise you that sin, Satan, and death itself has been defeated on the Cross.
We thank you for the ministry of John, who prepared the way for our Lord. We are grateful for his powerful preaching that called people to repent of their sins. God, you continue to call all people everywhere to repent and turn from sin and turn toward you. But not in our own strength! Gracious Father, you have filled us with Holy Spirit power so we can give our lives to you. We can hardly believe it – the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us and through us. Thank you!
Let us be people who live in light of the blessings poured out by your Spirit and not as those who steadfastly refuse to bow their knees to Christ nor live under his kingdom rule. For they will be judged. Indeed, were it not for your grace, so would we. But we are grateful for your free and prevenient grace that awakens us from our slumber and breathes life into us. Thank you for the new birth we have in Christ. Thank you for being mindful of even us, undeserving as we are.
- We pray for your Spirit to continue to empower those who do not know you, even those who are in hostile rebellion against you. Father, we pray they would receive your grace and give themselves to you.
- We pray for you to give us a sense of urgency and make us faithful heralds of your good news. Enable us to lovingly declare it to all those you place in our lives.
- Give us the same heart as our Lord Jesus who had compassion on those to whom he came. Forgive us when we have been judgmental, but please do not let us hide behind the world’s understanding of tolerance. Instead, let us humbly, winsomely, yet decisively, take our calling seriously and share the Gospel with a world in need.
We praise you loving Father. Help us to never take your grace for granted but to have hearts filled with gratitude all our days. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
- How did you come to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? What difference has knowing him made in your life?
- How would you describe to a person what the Good News of Jesus Christ is? Do you often share your faith with others? Why or why not? Describe one of those encounters.
- What are some ways you are encouraged to know that the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is the same Spirit who lives in you?
- What does it mean to repent? Talk about this with a Christian friend and pray for one another to continue living a life of repentance in the power of God’s Spirit.