Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Seek God Challenge Day 31

Standard

HOLD ON TO GOD

READ

“22 The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had.24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him.30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.”

 – Genesis 32:22-32

THINK

While there is lots to be learned through this passage the concept we want to look at is in verse 26. Jacob despite being in pain and clearly going from a position of strength to brokenness refuses to let go. What is Jacob’s reason for refusing to let go? Why do you think the blessing was so important to Jacob?

Look again at verses 25-28. In what ways was Jacob changed in these verses? Which one made the greatest impact on his future? Why?

What are you holding onto God for? Who are you holding onto God for?

PRAY

These thoughts and prayers are just a guide to get you started in your conversation with God. Think of them as conversation starters rather than a check list to quickly pray.

Cry out to God for the things/people that you are refusing to give up on.

Thank the Lord that He changes you from death to life and from darkness into light. Ask Him to help you be a light in the darkness to your generation

DO

We are seeking the Lord through prayer and fasting starting tonight at dinner (skip dinner), and finishing tomorrow at dinner (skip breakfast & lunch, then eat dinner).

Download the guide here

 

The Seek God Challenge Day 30

Standard

MINISTERING TO THE LORD

READ

“25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.

“1 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.”

-Acts 12:25 -13:3

THINK

The church at Antioch understood the importance of passionately seeking God and His direction. Keep in mind that there are things in our life that we don’t need to seek God on, such as sharing the Gospel, because we have been clearly commanded through scripture to do them. What would be an example of things you should seek God’s direction for?

Some translations use the phrase “ministering to the Lord” in verse two which is a great picture of what it means to worship. He is our audience and we are giving honor and attributing praise to God. The picture here is that they were giving up food to worship God. They refused to just sit casually and attend church as normal. How might fasting change your relationship with God?

Knowing the end result of this meeting, (1.3 billion people coming to Christ, 13 books of the NT, etc.) what then can we conclude might be accomplished by diligently seeking God through prayer and fasting?

PRAY

These thoughts and prayers are just a guide to get you started in your conversation with God. Think of them as conversation starters rather than a check list to quickly pray.

Pray that you will begin to desire God even more than lunch or dinner.

Thank the Lord that He hears our prayers and draws close to us when we draw close to Him.

DO

Make a plan to set aside tomorrow night and the following breakfast and lunch to seek the Lord through prayer and fasting.

Download the guide here

 

The Seek God Challenge Day 29

Standard

GOSPEL IS OUR ONLY HOPE

(ETERNITY IS FOREVER)

READ

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

-Philippians 3:20-21

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

-Revelation 20:11-15

THINK

The reason that the Gospel is the only hope for those that surround us is concluded in the fact that what we do with this truth effects peoples eternity. What should the knowledge of the Gospel lead us to concerning those around us?

How does the reality of heaven and hell effect you? Your family? Your friends?

PRAY

These thoughts and prayers are just a guide to get you started in your conversation with God. Think of them as conversation starters rather than a check list to quickly pray.

Pray that you will be unashamed of the Gospel for the sake of those people in your life who don’t know Christ.

Pray that although the destination of eternity is pressing that your faith will be built on more than just going to heaven.

DO

Time again to jump out there, share the truth of the Gospel with one of the three friends you have been praying for.

Download the guide here

 

The Seek God Challenge Day 28

Standard

THE GOSPEL IS OUR ONLY HOPE

(THE IMPORTANCE OF FAITH)

READ

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

-Ephesians 2:4-7

We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person

is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

-Galatians 2:15-16

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

-Romans 5:1

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

-1 John 2:4-6

THINK

So we’ve seen our condition before God (dead in our sin), and then we’ve seen God’s saving plan (Jesus death & resurrection), now we want to see how we move from death in sin to life in Christ. According to both Galatians 15-16, and Romans 5:1 how do we stand right before God?

As we mentioned early on in our study, too often we stop at what we believe is the point of salvation then we may miss Jesus altogether. 1 John 2:4-6 tells us that what must be present to say that we “know” God?

Why is doing what Jesus tells us to do an important part of faith?

Jesus’s actions on the cross and through the resurrection opens the door to us to move from death to life and if we will place our faith in Christ, repent from our sins, and walk in His ways we will be transformed, both in our eternal destination and on this earth.

So then the whole answer of how we enter from death to life is?

PRAY

These thoughts and prayers are just a guide to get you started in your conversation with God. Think of them as conversation starters rather than a check list to quickly pray.

Pray that your faith will grow in such a way that you will walk in the ways of Jesus.

Pray that as we desire God we come to better understanding of the gospel and its role in your life.

DO

Take a minute and write out the gospel in a way that helps you clearly understand it.

Download the guide here

 

The Seek God Challenge Day 27

Standard

THE GOSPEL IS OUR ONLY HOPE

(THE JESUS FACTOR)

READ

“7 Josiah provided for all the lay people who were there a total of thirty thousand lambs and goats for the Passover offerings, and also three thousand cattle—all from the king’s own possessions.

8 His officials also contributed voluntarily to the people and the priests and Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah and Jehiel, the officials in charge of God’s temple, gave the priests twenty-six hundred Passover offerings and three hundred cattle.9 Also Konaniah along with Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah, Jeiel and Jozabad, the leaders of the Levites, provided five thousand Passover offerings and five hundred head of cattle for the Levites.

10 The service was arranged and the priests stood in their places with the Levites in their divisions as the king had ordered.11 The Passover lambs were slaughtered, and the priests splashed against the altar the blood handed to them, while the Levites skinned the animals.12 They set aside the burnt offerings to give them to the subdivisions of the families of the people to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the Book of Moses. They did the same with the cattle.13 They roasted the Passover animals over the fire as prescribed, and boiled the holy offerings in pots, caldrons and pans and served them quickly to all the people.14 After this, they made preparations for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were sacrificing the burnt offerings and the fat portions until nightfall. So the Levites made preparations for themselves and for the Aaronic priests.”

-2 Chronicles 35:7-14

“He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.”

-1 Peter 2:22

“9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”

-Romans 5:9

“9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”

-Colossians 2:9-15

THINK

We know that the point of the Passover was to celebrate the saving goodness of God, particularly in the way he led them out of Eygpt, we see through our other verses that Jesus is now responsible for our salvation. What does Romans 5:9 tell us about how Jesus saves us?

1 Peter 2:22 shows us that, all the while He was on the earth, Jesus was without sin. That He lived a human life just like ours and yet displayed the righteousness of God. What does that mean to you? The fact that Jesus came to demonstrate what a holy life looks like should hopefully encourage us.

Without the resurrection we’re all just wasting our time. Why or why not is this a true statement? Colossians 2:12-15 talks to us about the importance of us being raised from  the dead. According to yesterday what are we dead in? And then if we are dead in our sin, then we, through Jesus are made alive by the power of His resurrection.

PRAY

These thoughts and prayers are just a guide to get you started in your conversation with God. Think of them as conversation starters rather than a check list to quickly pray.

Praise God that He loves you so much that He sent His Son to die for you.

Pray that today you would not take for granted what Jesus did for you and will allow that memory to lift Jesus up among those you come in contact with.

DO

Contact the last person who’s name is on your list. Just let them know that you are praying for them. Then do it.

 Download the guide here

The Seek God Challenge Day 26

Standard


THE GOSPEL IS OUR ONLY HOPE

(THE SIN PROBLEM)

READ

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

-Romans 6:16-20

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.”

-John 8:34

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

-2 Corinthians 4:4

They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

-Ephesians 4:18

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned …

-Romans 5:12

THINK

In the first three chapters of the Bible we watch God create a perfect world where humans and God walk together in sweet fellowship and then in an instance humans disobey God and bring sin and death into the world. Our passages today help us better see why, as a result of this, it is huge in our understanding that the Gospel is our only hope.

The Bible tells us clearly in both Romans 6:16-20 and, from Jesus Himself, in John 8 that we are slaves in sin. What comes to mind when you hear the word slavery? Could slaves just choose freedom? Could they just will their way out of slavery? Seeing the comparison what does that tell us about our condition concerning sin?

Likewise it gets worse and we read on to see that we aren’t only slaves to our sin but in fact we are dead. (Romans 5:12)

 What can dead men do about their condition? Fortunately God has not left us without a way out of death, think about in your life if you were physically dying, and someone you knew possessed the knowledge to restore you into life. Even better life than you experienced before you nearly died. How desperate would you be for that life? In the same way shouldn’t our knowledge of being born into slavery and death change how we reach out to this generation around us? Why is this most important?

PRAY

These thoughts and prayers are just a guide to get you started in your conversation with God. Think of them as conversation starters rather than a check list to quickly pray.

Acknowledge your sin before the Lord today.

Confess your failures to God and dwell on the fact that alone we are helpless

DO

Take your list from a few days ago and contact another member in the same way you did the first name. Just let them know that you are praying for them. Then do it.

 Download the guide here

The Seek God Challenge Day 25

Standard

THE GOSPEL IS OUR ONLY HOPE

(THE CHARACTER OF GOD)

READ

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things were created through him and for him.

-Colossians 1:16

He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in welldoing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.

-Romans 2:6-11

“I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.”

 -Isaiah 43:11

“But I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior.”

-Hosea 13:4

THINK

We know there are depths to God that we will never grasp or understand, but we have been given pictures of who God is through His Word. Colossians 1:16 gives us the picture that God is our what?

It also shows us (see the last three words) about our relationship to him. What does it tell us?

Romans 2:6-11 lets us know that we will be held accountable for our actions and will receive based on our seeking. What is granted to those who seek good things?

We see the picture that God is our creator and we were created for Him, and that He is our just judge and finally in Isaiah 43:11 and Hosea 13:4 we see that we need Him because He is our what?

PRAY

These thoughts and prayers are just a guide to get you started in your conversation with God. Think of them as conversation starters rather than a check list to quickly pray.

Thank the Lord that He created you for a purpose and that you belong to Him.

Thank Him that He is a righteous judge and treats us mercifully when we do not deserve it.

Thank Him that He alone is our salvation.

DO

Wrestle with how you should respond to those aspects of God today. It may be in a song, or a poem or a picture, etc. Just respond to God.

Download the guide here

The Seek God Challenge Day 24

Standard

THE GOSPEL FOUNDATION

READ

“21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

-Romans 3:21-26

THINK

We see quickly in verse 23 that all human beings are what?

Verses 24 & 25 tell us that “redemption” and forgiveness of that sin come as a result of Who? And as a result of what?

We as humans can take hold of this forgiveness how?

And then in verse 26 it tells us that we can be justified or made acceptable by what?

PRAY

These thoughts and prayers are just a guide to get you started in your conversation with God. Think of them as conversation starters rather than a check list to quickly pray

Pray that we will clearly see that the truth and our spiritual, eternal condition will be made plain to us

Pray that we will begin to view those around us in light of the scriptures and see their need for Jesus

DO

Take your list from yesterday and write a note to one of the people on it letting them know that you are praying for them. It can be a text message, facebook message, handwritten note, etc. Then take a few more moments and pray that God will give you an opportunity to share the Gospel in there life.

Download the guide here

The Seek God Challenge Day 23

Standard

THE GOSPEL IS OUR ONLY HOPE

READ

1 Josiah celebrated the Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem, and the Passover lamb was slaughtered on the fourteenth day of the first month.2 He appointed the priests to their duties and encouraged them in the service of the Lord’s temple.3 He said to the Levites, who instructed all Israel and who had been consecrated to the Lord: “Put the sacred ark in the temple that Solomon son of David king of Israel built. It is not to be carried about on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel.4 Prepare yourselves by families in your divisions, according to the instructions written by David king of Israel and by his son Solomon.

5 “Stand in the holy place with a group of Levites for each subdivision of the families of your fellow Israelites, the lay people.6 Slaughter the Passover lambs, consecrate yourselves and prepare the lambs for your fellow Israelites, doing what the Lord commanded through Moses.”

7 Josiah provided for all the lay people who were there a total of thirty thousand lambs and goats for the Passover offerings, and also three thousand cattle—all from the king’s own possessions.

8 His officials also contributed voluntarily to the people and the priests and Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah and Jehiel, the officials in charge of God’s temple, gave the priests twenty-six hundred Passover offerings and three hundred cattle.9 Also Konaniah along with Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah, Jeiel and Jozabad, the leaders of the Levites, provided five thousand Passover offerings and five hundred head of cattle for the Levites.

10 The service was arranged and the priests stood in their places with the Levites in their divisions as the king had ordered.11 The Passover lambs were slaughtered, and the priests splashed against the altar the blood handed to them, while the Levites skinned the animals.12 They set aside the burnt offerings to give them to the subdivisions of the families of the people to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the Book of Moses. They did the same with the cattle.13 They roasted the Passover animals over the fire as prescribed, and boiled the holy offerings in pots, caldrons and pans and served them quickly to all the people.14 After this, they made preparations for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were sacrificing the burnt offerings and the fat portions until nightfall. So the Levites made preparations for themselves and for the Aaronic priests.

15 The musicians, the descendants of Asaph, were in the places prescribed by David, Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun the king’s seer. The gatekeepers at each gate did not need to leave their posts, because their fellow Levites made the preparations for them.

16 So at that time the entire service of the Lord was carried out for the celebration of the Passover and the offering of burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, as King Josiah had ordered.17 The Israelites who were present celebrated the Passover at that time and observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days.18 The Passover had not been observed like this in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel; and none of the kings of Israel had ever celebrated such a Passover as did Josiah, with the priests, the Levites and all Judah and Israel who were there with the people of Jerusalem.19 This Passover was celebrated in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign.”

-2 Chronicles 35:1-19

THINK

We see Josiah unsatisfied with simply cleansing the land and having the people pledge to follow the Word of God in their lifetime. He goes a step further and reinstates the Passover festival to bring the nation to an annual remembrance of the greatness of God. What in your life is pointing people to the greatness of God?

The Passover was set to remember the salvation God provided for His children in Egypt. What is the salvation provided from God for you and me today?

In what ways does this generation need to see the delivery of salvation to this world? How can you be an example of that today?

PRAY

These thoughts and prayers are just a guide to get you started in your conversation with God. Think of them as conversation starters rather than a check list to quickly pray.

Pray that we will become focused on the fact that our only hope rests in the gospel of Christ.

Pray that the people you encounter in the days ahead will come to know Christ by your words and example.

DO

Take a moment and write down the names of three people that you know that need to experience the saving knowledge of the Gospel in their lives.

Download the guide here

The Seek God Challenge Day 22

Standard

THE WORD MUST BE SHARED

READ

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” -2 Timothy 4:2

THINK

Paul’s final instruction to his apprentice Timothy is to “preach the word” what images come to your mind when you hear that phrase?

We often think that it is simply the job of paid staff at churches or other Christian ministries to preach the word however; the Bible calls us to share. What difficulties come as a result of sharing the word in your life?

What fears are there that keeps you from sharing God’s word with others?

PRAY

These thoughts and prayers are just a guide to get you started in your conversation with God. Think of them as conversation starters rather than a check list to quickly pray.

Pray that God will help erase the misconceptions about sharing His word

Pray that the Lord will create a Spirit of boldness which will lead you to sharing God’s word with others.

DO

Share with someone today, something you’ve recently read in God’s word.

Download the guide here