Grow Deep - The Playbook Edition - Week 4

Week 4: November 24-30

In the End Zone

Memory Verse: “ Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of man; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9:28

The Cardinals and the Braves were tied at two games each. Game five was “Winner Take All” to move on to the championship series. For two days the suspense built to a feverish pitch. Will we celebrate the thrill of victory or suffer the agony of defeat? And then it happened ... suddenly ... against all the odds. Twenty-six minutes after the first pitch, before the Braves even came to bat, it was over. A ten-run first inning all but guaranteed the victory. For the next eight innings, you could see it in the eyes of the players and the mood on the bench: “We’re gonna’ win!”

For followers of Jesus, the difference is this: It’s not “all but” over; IT’S OVER! We win! The final score is settled! Sin, death and the devil put up a good fight, but they have already lost the contest. Jesus declared the victory when He cried, “It is finished,” and He sealed the victory when He rose from the dead. It’s OVER!

The Cardinals had to play eight more innings, and we’re not done yet, either. We still walk by faith, but our journey is filled with joy because there is no doubt about the outcome. We don’t know everything that will come our way in these days of our lives, but we have an insurmountable lead while the clock continues to tick away. We’re only waiting for the Lord to return.

This week we focus on the joy of our victorious Lord’s triumphant final return that we can begin to celebrate even today!

Sunday, November 24
Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
That day when Jesus “comes down from heaven” will be glorious beyond imagination, but remember: He is enthroned in glory today.
Reflect: What confidence do you have to face today’s challenges, knowing that Jesus is on His throne and in charge right now?

Monday, November 25

Read: Acts 1:10-11
The angels’ confirmation is absolute: “Jesus ... will come back.” We are to be actively engaged in living our faith as we await His return.
Reflect: How will you react when you meet Him? How does that change how you live while you wait?

Tuesday, November 26

Read: 2 Corinthians 2:14-17
Followers of Jesus are in a “triumphal procession” as we walk through life. He leads us and uses us to spread the same sweet fragrance of victory won by Him on the cross to the world.
Reflect: How do triumphant people live? What does triumph smell like? Do those close to you smell the fragrance of Jesus in you?

Wednesday, November 27

Read: John 16:28-33
Jesus promised peace, even though we face troubles.
Reflect: What troubles have you faced in the past year? How has Jesus given peace? Pause to give thanks for the gift of peace.

Thursday, November 28

Read: Hebrews 9:24-28
Jesus came, first to save us from our sin through His death and resurrection. He will come again to gather His faithful who are waiting to celebrate victory with Him in eternity.
Reflect: Notice in these verses how many times “Christ” and “He” are mentioned. Turn each of His actions on your behalf, mentioned in this passage, into a prayer of thanksgiving!

Friday, November 29

Read: Titus 2:11-14
Jesus’ return is certain; it’s only a matter of time.
Reflect: Knowing that the world ends, how is your behavior different? What is the grace of God teaching you about how to wait for His return?

Saturday, November 30
Read: Revelation 1:1-20
The Book of Revelation is summarized in two words: “We win!”
Reflect: Look again at verse 9. How is John’s companionship an encouragement to you today?