Grow Deep - Sent Week 2

Week: June 9-15

Sent With the Spirit

Memory Verse: “… And you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8b

I once sent a package that contained a number of ridiculous items to a friend. Among the contents was a movie no one would want to watch, a romance novel listed online as the most poorly reviewed book ever, and some snacks that truly looked atrocious! This friend had recently been injured, and he was going to be bedridden for an extended period. I wanted to bring humor and joy into a difficult situation, so I sent the package filled to the brim with inside jokes. I was sure it would elicit a laugh and a phone call. Only the call never came. My friend had moved a couple weeks before his injury, and my package went to his former address. My well-intentioned gift was lost due to the poor directions I gave the postal service.

Fortunately for us, we are sent by God with much better guidance than my ill-fated package. The Holy Spirit lives within us, ensuring not only that we are sent to the right location every time, but that we carry the best contents as well. Our readings this week demonstrate how the Holy Spirit helps to guide our paths, shape our words, and reinforce our internal compasses of forgiveness and mercy. Jesus filled us with the Holy Spirit in baptism, and now we will forever be connected to His navigation! God’s words this week will direct us to arrive on time, and on message, no matter what obstacles appear in our pathways.

Once I finally learned of my folly, I called my friend. We spent the better part of the next hour laughing together about the contents of the package being intercepted by a new resident in his former home. We wondered what that person must have thought about our taste in movies, books and snacks. Despite the complication of my inadequate mailing skills, the Holy Spirit ensured I had the right words to lift my friend’s mood anyway.

Sunday, June 9
Read: Acts 2:1-41
On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to the disciples and followers of Jesus who were gathered in Jerusalem. It came as tongues of fire on their heads, and they were speaking in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Then Peter, emboldened by the Spirit, spoke to the crowd and urged them to repent and be baptized.
Reflect: Can you identify reasons from this passage why this is the fulfillment of the promise made by Jesus in Acts 1 …. the promise that the Father would send the Holy Spirit? How was Peter “sent” and to whom was he speaking? Pray that the Holy Spirit emboldens you to engage in conversations about faith today.

Monday, June 10
Read: Romans 8:1-17
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Instead, we are united with Christ through the Holy Spirit, which testifies that we are God's children. We are sent into the world to share in Christ's suffering and His glory.
Reflect: How does the Spirit lead us? Can you think of a time that you had to “pull” yourself away from some sin? What role did the Holy Spirit play in that process? Seek God’s clarity. Read verse 16 again. How does the Spirit of God testify with our spirits?

Tuesday, June 11

Read: Nehemiah 9:20-30
The Holy Spirit leads and teaches us how to act in accordance with God's purpose for us, but many times we turn away from the directions we receive.
Reflect: Think of the last time you were given good instructions but did not follow them. Repent for the times you have not followed God's directions and savor His forgiveness.

Wednesday, June 12
Read: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
The Word tells us that the Holy Spirit is a deposit, a guarantee of what is to come in Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:5). We are “sent” into this world to live a life that pleases God and to share His love with others.
Reflect: How are you doing at living your life to please God? How does the Holy Spirit encourage you to live that kind of a life? Think about the Spirit as a deposit. Rejoice in the comfort and peace that accompanies that guarantee. Find someone with whom you can share that peace today.

Thursday, June 13

Read: Psalm 139:1-12
David was fully aware of God's Spirit within him. He knew the comforting, supporting presence of God and trusted God's Spirit to guide and “send” him where he was to go. The Holy Spirit ensures you that God is present with you at all times, regardless of where you are on this earth.
Reflect: Think of believers in far-off lands; pray for missionaries sent to spread God's word in remote, possibly hostile, places. Think of ways you can become a missionary right in your own community.

Friday, June 14

Read: John 20:19-23
The same Holy Spirit that Jesus breathed into the disciples is alive in you and me! Like the disciples, we are sent by Jesus to share peace and forgiveness in His name.
Reflect: Give thanks to God right now for His mercy and forgiveness. Who is someone needing to hear you speak Jesus' forgiveness to them today?

Saturday, June 15

Read: Titus 3:1-11
We have been saved by the washing and renewal of the Spirit that was poured out upon us; we received God’s mercy. He sent us into the world to be a people belonging to Christ and eager to do His good works. Still, useless controversies and quarrels confront us and threaten our effectiveness.
Reflect: In the opening verses Paul tells us how we should act as followers of Jesus. Then he tells us why. Review verses 3-7. What are the reasons he shares? What instructions did Paul give his readers about handling divisiveness? Pray for confidence and the Holy Spirit's guidance the next time those stumbling blocks trip you up.