Throughout Momentum, we will be challenged to Pray, Live and Give in new ways. The Pray Live Give Devotional provides an opportunity to spend intentional time with God.
Each day consists of a selected Scripture passage, a short devotional piece and a challenge to Pray, Live and Give.
All are welcome to participate; new posts will publish to this site daily or you can opt in to receive emails.
Receive Daily Emails
Wednesday, October 11
And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?
The book of Acts is structured around chapter one, verse eight which is a command of Christ that the good news of God’s grace be preached from Jerusalem, to Judea, Samaria and to the outermost parts of the world. In chapter two, we see the Holy Spirit descending upon the disciples and they even gain the ability to speak in new tongues the praise of God. God used this as a sign in the early church; affirming His presence and His purpose to save. In our passage today, God asks Simon Peter to share the Gospel with a Gentile. Being a Jew, Peter was hesitant but God appeared to him in a vision and instructed him to visit the home of a devout gentile (i.e., non-Jewish) man, Cornelius.
Upon arriving at Cornelius’ house, Peter shares the good news about Christ and suddenly the Holy Spirit comes down upon the gentiles and they too speak in new tongues; glorifying God. Remember the sign? It is no wonder that in recounting this episode, Peter tells his fellow Jewish believers back in Jerusalem, “I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” Peter understood that God was giving the gift of the Spirit to the gentiles as a sign that they too had received the gift of God’s grace; just like the Jewish believers of Jerusalem.
Dear Lord, just like You did for Peter, please teach me to never stand in the way of what You are giving to Your people. Help me, instead, to always seek to be Your channel; to give Your grace to others. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Like Peter, try to never interrupt what God is doing as He gives life and grace through you. Beginning today, would you seek to know daily what God wants to GIVE to others through you? It may be your time, your money, your ear, your prayer – whatever it is… GIVE in a new way today.
Tuesday, October 10
He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”
It is important that we take God at His Word. Meaning, when God says anything it is right to believe Him! At the same time, however, it is good to ask questions, seek clarity and desire understanding. God wants all people to come to Him not only in repentance, but also remain in His love every moment of every day; even when we have questions.
God spoke to Peter while He was praying. God showed Peter something very special; that some of the old ways of doing things were no longer appropriate. Peter had lived his entire life as a Jew in a certain way that God had prescribed. Peter only ate certain foods. Peter did not associate with certain types of people. Yet, God showed Peter a new way; a new way, in Christ.
You see, God made a way through faith in Jesus for all to come near to the Father and remain there. Peter was now free to spend time with the Roman soldier, Cornelius (beginning in Acts 10:24). Because of Jesus, Peter was able to go to all people – regardless of their identity or social status. Peter shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all who were present were saved, received the Holy Spirit and were baptized. Peter sought God, listened to God, believed God and followed. By God’s grace, may we also live near to God.
Father, You have made a way for me to draw near to You. You have given me freedom and strength to walk where Your Spirit leads. Give me wisdom, Lord. Give me courage. May I represent You as I go today. Amen.
Today would you PRAY in a new way? Pray that God would open your eyes to the fullness of the freedom you have in Christ. You are free to talk about Jesus with everyone. Pray that God would help that truth to resonate within your very spirit. Pray that God would give you His desire and His courage to pray with people, invite someone to church and share your Christian faith and all that the Lord has done in your life with others.
Monday, October 9
The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord – Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here – has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.
The soon-to-be Apostle Paul (known by his Hebrew name, Saul, in this passage) has hatred towards Christians (see Acts 9:1); then God intervenes. God causes Paul to fall to the ground, speaks to Him, blinds him and commands him to enter Damascus. Saul remained there for three days; not eating or drinking, but praying.
Ananias was a Christian leader within the church of Damascus. Ananias knew about Saul. He knew that Saul hated Christians, had done evil towards the Christians in Jerusalem (e.g., Acts 6-8), and was on his way to harm the Christians of Damascus. Yet, God intervened; God appeared to Ananias in a vision. God told Ananias to help Saul.
Both men received special grace and words from God. Both actively sought God through prayer (see Acts 9:10-11). Both listened and obeyed. God used these two people in wonderful ways as He continued to build His Church. Jesus is not done bringing people into and building His Church. Jesus is not yet finished in making His people more like Him. God will continue to walk with His people as His people continue Christ’s mission in seeking and saving the lost. Will we choose to respond to God’s intervention in our lives? Will we choose to walk with Jesus?
Father, You have intervened in my life. You have rescued me from an eternity apart from You. You have given me Your Holy Spirit. You have spoken to me through written Word. You have given me a choice to seek you, hear from You, and say “yes” to You. You have loved me; even as Your child. Thank You. I am Yours. Direct my path that I might bring You honor and glory through my obedience to You. Amen.
PRAY in a new way, today; for a heart that is like Christ’s. Jesus submitted fully to the Father. Have the attitude that says: “If Jesus loved like ____, then so will I.” Submitting to God in our actions, begins first in submission to our Father in prayer.
Sunday, October 8
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road – the desert road – that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.
Not every believer has an angel of the Lord to direct their path. However, we have the unchanging Word of God (i.e., the Bible). We also have other believers within the church to help us. Additionally, every believer has the Holy Spirit of the living God inside. What wonderful gifts we have been given by God! Yet, not every person has these gifts; certain gifts are given only to those who believe and trust in Jesus.
Consider Jesus. Jesus had a perfect relationship with His Father; no one else had this. Jesus sought to share this gift with others. In fact, that is the main reason that Jesus came; that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:17). Jesus shared the good news with others. This is exactly what we see Philip doing in Acts 8:30-38. Philip is sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
Father, give me eyes to see the people you have put in my path. Give me a desire and a courage to tell them about You. Strengthen me with Your Spirit; so that You might be glorified as we walk together in Your mission of love. Amen.
Today, GIVE in a new way. We all realize that God is calling each of us to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. God’s Spirit is leading us out of our comfort zone and into a walk of faith with Him. Yet, how do we overcome our fear and inadequacies? Here is one practical way: Pray with others. GIVE the good news of Jesus to a family member, friend, neighbor and coworker by asking them, “How can I pray for you today?” After they answer, pray for them (right there and then). While you pray to Jesus, thank Him for who He is and for what He has done. Thank Him for hearing and considering your prayer. Ask Him to answer your prayer (in the name of Jesus), according to how good He is.
Saturday, October 7
When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Stephen just finished defending the Christian faith (see Acts 7:2-53), by summarizing the Old Testament. Stephen showed (through Scripture) that Christ was sent by the Father. Stephen went on to say that those rejecting the message of Scripture were in fact resisting the Holy Spirit and do not belong to God. This spirit of resistance existed in those who persecuted the prophets of old, those who murdered Jesus and now those who are stoning Stephen. The common thread is that hatred for God translates into hatred towards His believers.
Yet, we see Stephen’s attitude towards them. His life was a testament to the goodness of God. He cared enough to share the truth with them (knowing full-well it would end in his death). And even with his final breath, he showed Christ-like compassion for his enemies (to include a young man named Saul). Stephen was ready to die for Christ because Jesus was all he lived for.
Jesus taught us not to hate our enemies, but to love them. Stephen was killed for his faith… just like Jesus. Stephen chose to forgive his executioners… just like Jesus. Stephen’s identity was in Christ. Meaning whoever Jesus is, that’s who Stephen aimed to be. If Jesus shared the faith, so would he. If Jesus loved His enemies, so would he. If Jesus forgave those who hurt Him, so would he.
Father, I want to live a life of faith. I want to follow You in all I do. I am weak without You; but I am strong with You. Help me to have an attitude like Jesus. Amen.
Today, LIVE in a new way We all have certain people in our lives that can get a little under our skin sometimes. Some of us may even have an enemy or two. Consider choosing one difficult person that comes to mind. Choose to forgive them. By the grace of God, forgive that person in your heart and also with the words of your mouth. Next (and this is important) choose to treat them well.
And realize, you’re not doing any of this because they deserve it. You are choosing to do this because it is what your Savior does. Understand, this is exactly how God has loved each of us.
Friday, October 6
Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called) – Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia – who began to argue with Stephen. But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.”
So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”
All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Stephen was full of God’s grace and power. His thoughts and actions were motivated by his faith in Jesus Christ. Not only did Stephen believe and trust Jesus for his salvation, but he also depended on Jesus in his days thereafter. And everyone saw it. Stephen helped to resolve disputes within the early Jerusalem church. He also evangelized within the community outside of church. Wherever Stephen went, he wore his faith (unashamedly) on his sleeve.
Stephen experienced the joy and blessing of relationship with God; Stephen lived within God’s love. Stephen was also hated because he aligned himself with (and lived for) his Savior. People told lies about Stephen and treated him unjustly. Yet, he continued to live for and with God. Even in the minutes immediately preceding his death (Acts 6:12-7:60), Stephen’s face shone like that of an angel in the presence and communion of God Almighty.
What might God be trying to communicate and remind us of through this passage? Certainly, it is good to live for Jesus, but isn’t a dependency on the Holy Spirit the foundation for Christ-like thinking and godly living? Yes, we must be filled with His Spirit, just as Stephen was (Acts 6:3). “Being filled with the Spirit” can be described in many ways, but one way to define it is active fellowship with God. When we are filled with His Spirit, it is easy and natural to live for Christ and glorify the Father!
In light of today’s passage, think about how remarkable the rescue of God is. Consider the greatness of the cost paid by God to take away the sin of the world. Think about how amazing God’s love is; not only did He make a way for you to come to Him, He actually came and got you and is bringing you closer to Him every day. All that we might bring Him glory as we become more like Him, in life and in death.
Father, You are absolutely incredible. You take hold of the unbelieving hearts of men and women… and You rescue. You are love and You are the giver of love. Make me more like You, Lord. Amen.
Now… respond by GIVING in a new way. God has given you everything you have. GIVE today that you might become more like Him. GIVE something to someone. It could be a piece of clothing, a cold drink of water, an encouraging Scripture, a hug, etc. But when you give, let the person know that you are giving because God has given to you.
Thursday, October 5
Acts 5:27-29, 5:33, 5:40-42
The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
In verse 27 the Apostles are being brought back to the Sanhedrin who had put them in jail. Then, during the night an Angel came and brought them out. The Angel told them to go to the temple and tell all the people about the new life that they had been given through Christ. They did this after they were put in jail and were told to never speak about, teach about, or give account of what they saw Jesus do. Even when faced by the high priest in court, Peter told them, “I can’t listen to you; I have to listen to what God is telling me to do.” They were sent out again and the Sanhedrin talked amongst themselves. When they brought the Apostles back in, they were beaten and told not to speak of Jesus anymore.
They got up after the beating and went out “REJOICING” (picture them dancing and singing), because they had suffered for Jesus. Then they continued speaking out in the name of Jesus. For Jesus, they continued telling anyone and everyone about the good news that Jesus was the Messiah.
Father, I come to You as Your servant. Today would You help me bring praises to Your name? I also ask that You give me opportunities today to share Your good news; please give me the courage to open my mouth when that opportunity arises. Spirit, I ask that You guide me in what words to speak, so when I share Your good news it is clear to whoever You have me telling. Father, I ask all these things in your Son’s great and glorious name. Amen.
Today PRAY for God to show you a new way to share the good news. PRAY also for Him to give you opportunities to share His amazing Gospel.
Wednesday, October 4
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus.
What is the greatest thing that anyone has ever done for you? Has someone done something amazing, like giving you their kidney or providing great financial assistance? Not to minimize any great gift or sacrifice, but what Jesus accomplished makes all other gifts pale in comparison. He died in your place so that your sins could be totally forgiven and “wiped out.” And all you have to do is “repent” (i.e., “turn” from your sin to the Savior).
If you have received Jesus then you are not only forgiven, but are now free to enjoy the “refreshing that comes from the Lord.” You were created to have a relationship with Jesus and enjoy Him always. Are you enjoying all that God has for you? Are you enjoying the presence of the Lord in your life?
Jesus, thank You for dying in my place; thank You for wiping out my sin so that I could enjoy freedom in You; thank You for Your great love. Help me to enjoy Your presence in my life today. May I rest in You; may I trust in You for all the strength, wisdom and faith that I need. May I have Your everlasting joy in my heart. Lord, work in and through my life today.
Take a few minutes today to reflect on all that God has done for you. Hopefully that will be a catalyst for you to PRAY in a new way for God to work in your life. Don’t settle for anything less than the refreshing that comes from the Lord. And be sure to share that refreshing with others that they may also be blessed.
Tuesday, October 3
And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
The early church in Jerusalem was comprised mainly of Jewish believers, many of whom had previously taken part in the crucifixion of Jesus. After turning their hearts to God and receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. An outpouring of love for each other, and a desire for oneness, overflowed within the early church from the Gift. This oneness in the Spirit created an environment in which believers shared whatever they had with those who were in need. Their giving was not done from an obligation or based on rules, but was based on the love of God that overflowed from their hearts to others.
As believers, we have been given the same gift of the Holy Spirit. We are known as His own, to the world and those in need, by the love and compassion that we show others through giving – giving of ourselves, our time and our resources.
Lord, I thank You for your gift of the Holy Spirit, and the desire for oneness within us as your Church. I pray that You continue to grow within me Your love for others and Your heart for those in need. Help me to see them through Your eyes. Direct each step I take in responding to Your greatest commandment to love by giving of myself in service to everyone You have placed in my life. I lay my heart, and everything You have given to me at Your feet, for Your glory. I pray these things in Your holy name. Amen.
How can you GIVE in a new way today? As you pray and listen to God’s leading throughout your day, open your heart to promptings from the Holy Spirit. That you might GIVE of yourself, your time and your resources in ways that glorify Him. That, through you, His love might touch the lives of family members, friends, coworkers, volunteers and others that He purposefully places in your path today.
Monday, October 2
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
In Acts 2, God shares with us the birthing of the New Testament church. As we come into verse 42, we discover four dynamics that Jesus continues to use to build His church and bless as the members of it. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
Here’s a quick noting of each before our key notation:
First is the teaching of God’s Word; the apostles teaching. Second is the necessity of meaningful Christian relationships with other believers; fellowship. This continues through small group ministry today. Thirdly, the breaking of bread is the call to worship. Communion is the transcultural epitomizing of this call. Fourth, prayer completes the essential dynamic list.
Here is the key notation that we should pay attention to. None of these were done individually, but rather, they were done together with others. You could say that there was a fifth dynamic that Jesus used and continues to use to build his church; the dynamic of together. Momentum challenges us together to Pray, Live and Give in new ways.
Lord Jesus, thank You that You promised that “where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I with them.” Help us to grow in both private prayer times and also when we pray together. May we experience more Momentum together as a church and in the lives of all those in it.
Today, would you PRAY with someone?