Tag Archives: Josiah

The Seek God Challenge Day 23

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THE GOSPEL IS OUR ONLY HOPE

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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 18

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THE WORD LEADS TO DEEP COMMITMENT

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“32 And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the Lord their God. And all his days they departed not from following the Lord, the God of their fathers.”

-2 Chronicles 34:32-33

THINK

We see Josiah take a kingdom from the worst condition possible, and through his seeking of God and the discovery of the word he leads them to this place of commitment. What is the difference between hearing the word and being committed to the word?

What lasting effect did the commitment of Josiah have on the people around him?

The disciplined pursuit of God that was introduced lasted “all his days”, what do you think was different than generations before?

Why do you think the people willingly pledged to serve the Lord under Josiah’s leadership? What lessons can we apply to our own lives in regards to our influence on those we encounter throughout the day?

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 the message of the Lord will ignite our hearts to passionately commit to following God wherever He may send us.

Pray that our deep commitment to Christ will not be something that is quick lived and fleeting, but will be something that will not only transform us but those around us.

DO

Rank your commitment level in response to the following questions:

My walk with God is a priority….

1 2 3 4 5

Not Committed at all Very Committed

My Desire to follow God is…

1 2 3 4 5

Not Committed at all Very Committed

When I read the Bible I apply it to my life…

1 2 3 4 5

Not Committed at all Very Committed

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The Seek God Challenge Day 17

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THE WORD LEADS TO DEEP CONVICTION

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“29 Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.30 He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord.31 The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book.”   – 2 Chronicles 34:29-31

“1 On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads.2 Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors.3 They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God.”                                                           – Nehemiah 9:1-3

THINK

At this point Josiah had already purified the land of idols, and had begun work on the temple, but the hearts of the people have no reason to change apart from a King’s order, what reason do they have now? What’s the difference in motivation of obeying God, and obeying man?

We see both personal confession (by ourselves), and corporate confession (with other believers) in this passage. How difficult would it be to participate in public confession among your Christian friends at church? Why do you think that’s the case?

The word brings conviction because it is the standard which we are called to live by, do you read the Bible this way?

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 the word of God will bring conviction to your life, and that the places that are not in line with God’s scripture will be clearly revealed so that we can correct them

Pray that we will welcome the discipline of God and not flee his word for fear of feeling ashamed of our sin

DO

Stop now and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the things you need to confess to the Lord today, as soon as they pop into your mind, confess them to God out loud.

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The Seek God Challenge Day 16

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WE ARE UNSTOPPABLE WITH THE

WORD OF GOD

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14 While they were bringing out the money that had been taken into the temple of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord that had been given through Moses.15 Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan.

16 Then Shaphan took the book to the king and reported to him: “Your officials are doing everything that has been committed to them.17 They have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord and have entrusted it to the supervisors and workers.”18 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.

19 When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes.20 He gave these orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant:21 “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the remnant in Israel and Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that is poured out on us because those who have gone before us have not kept the word of the Lord; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book.”

-2 Chronicles 34:14-21

THINK

We see Josiah’s response to the reading of God’s word, why does he respond this way?

Different things in the Bible cause us to respond in different ways, what different things have you experienced as a result of the Word?

The Word should always require a response. Why do you think people either read the word and don’t respond or fail to even read the word? What about in your own life do you fall into one of those two categories(read & not respond or not even read)? Why or why not?

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 be like Josiah in that we will treat the word of the Lord as importantly as we should.

Pray that when we devote ourselves to the word that we won’t stop at simply reading but we will be moved to action in response to the word.

DO

Look at these two passages of scripture and look for the appropriate response;

Philippians 4:4

1 Thessalonians 5:18

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The Seek God Challenge Day 11

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GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN OUR REPUTATION

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“1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom;2 and over them three presidents, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss.3 Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other presidents and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.4 Then the presidents and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him.5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”

6 Then these presidents and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever!7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.8 Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.”9 Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.

10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God.12 Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.”13 Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”

14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him.15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.”

16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”17 And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.

19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions.20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever!22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.24 And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied to you.

26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,
for he is the living God,
enduring forever;
his kingdom shall never be destroyed,
and his dominion shall be to the end.
27  He delivers and rescues;
he works signs and wonders
in heaven and on earth,
he who has saved Daniel
from the power of the lions.”

28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”

-Daniel 6:1-28

THINK

Today’s passage is yet another “Sunday School” story that you probably learned when you were little, but don’t let that cause you to miss out on what God wants us to see in the this text. Take a look at what got Daniel convicted by the king. Not so much the actual act but the fact that they could count on him doing what (verse 10,11)? What does that model for us today?

They knew that Daniel was going to seek God at this particular place and time each day. In fact it’s his integrity that gets him thrown to the lions. Now keeping in mind that the king does not worship the Lord look at his response to the punishment Daniel is to receive. What is it? Do you see how Daniel’s following of God’s righteousness impacted the life of the pagan king? What hope should this give us for the role that righteousness should play in our lives?

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.

 

Look at verse 16, and then at 26-27 see how Daniel’s righteous living transformed the king. The Righteousness of God is more important than our reputation. In fact the righteousness of God will form for us a new reputation.

Pray that the righteousness of God will be more important to us than our reputation among our friends, families, and coworkers.

Pray that our consistent seeking of God will establish a new reputation of integrity and holiness

DO

Stop for a minute and genuinely think about whose opinion matters the most to you. Take a moment and ask the Lord to bring you to repentance for not being most concerned about God’s opinion, and then ask Him to help shape you into someone of righteousness.

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The Seek God Challenge Day 9

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BECAUSE HOLINESS MATTERS TO GOD,

HOLINESS MATTERS TO ME


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“and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, and the carved and the metal images.4 And they chopped down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and he cut down the incense altars that stood above them. And he broke in pieces the Asherim and the carved and the metal images, and he made dust of them and scattered it over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.5 He also burned the bones of the priests on their altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.6 And in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, in their ruins all around,7 he broke down the altars and beat the Asherim and the images into powder and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.”

-2 Chronicles 34:3-7

THINK

If Josiah would have followed in the footsteps of his ancestors, his job would most likely have been much easier. Why do you think that instead of just doing business as usual he instead took on the status quo and began to purge the land of idols and false gods?

Josiah was not compromising even to the point of “He also burned the bones of the priests on their altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.” Why do you think that he went to that kind of extreme? Does holiness really require these kinds of sacrifices?

Verse 7 tells us that it wasn’t until he had “broke down the altars…throughout all the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.” Why do you think he didn’t just make a decree and sit in the palace and wait for it to be accomplished? What does this tell us about holiness in our own lives, does God want us to just get rid of the surface things? Or does he want us to not rest until the sin is completely removed from our lives?

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.

Because holiness matters to God, holiness matters to me. This statement should most likely bring some conviction in our lives. Are there places in your life that aren’t holy?

Ask God to show you all those places in your life that contain sin, take a piece of paper and pen and write those down. Take your time and be still and listen, write down every thought that comes in your mind during this time.

Holiness requires sacrifice and intensity, and a thorough examination of all the land.

Take the list that you’ve made and as you read over it, ask God to give you a plan to begin to bring holiness into your life.

DO

Take your list and circle the area of your life that you are determined to bring holiness too immediately. What has to change, be cut out, or move?

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The Seek God Challenge Day 8

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SEEK AND FIND

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9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.11 What father among you, if his son asks fort a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” – Luke 11:9-13

THINK

This passage is directly after Jesus gives the model prayer. We see that given to disciples at their request. Likewise Jesus is asking us here to do what?

Verses 11-13 give us a picture of what? What is God telling us that He desires to give us (verse 13)?

Jesus is essentially telling us here that when we seek Him we will find Him, when we ask he gives and when we knock He will answer. What are you seeking, asking, and knocking 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.

Jesus rewards us for our boldness in our prayers. His children that desire to know Him are seeking Him greater and greater.

Ask God that your heart may desire more of Him, that you will never be satisfied with Him, and that you will always desire to know Him more.

Pray that you will be diligent to seek God boldly as you learn what it means to really ask, seek, and knock

 

DO

Take a few moments and sit down and think about what would you do for God if you could not fail, write that down and put it somewhere you won’t lose it.

Download the guide here

The Seek God Challenge Day 6

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PURSUE HIM RELENTLESSLY

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1 David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim.3 And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, 4 with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark.

5 And David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the Lord, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.6 And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled.7 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God.8 And David was angry because the Lord had burst forth against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah, to this day.9 And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?”10 So David was not willing to take the ark of the Lord into the city of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.11 And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.

12 And it was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing.13 And when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal.14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.

THINK

In this passage we see David’s quest to bring the Ark of the Lord to his city, when the first attempt failed he could have easily given up, but instead he waited and went back again. Have you ever tried to seek God and just felt silly? What usually happens after this kind of experience? If we are determined to be near to God what should we do then instead?

God wants to dwell with us, commune with us and lead us to walk in His ways as David did. Often times we have to be persistent in our pursuit of God, He is not someone who is simply there for us to meet with when we feel like it and will sit and wait there for us to care enough to seek Him. He is the Almighty God who is worthy of our worship and praise always. What are the barriers you’ve faced in seeking God, in the past? The last week?

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.

David often used phrases similar to, “like a deer pants for water, so my soul thirsts for you O God” to describe his desperate desire for God

Ask God to begin to show you your need for Him, and that in response your desire for Him will continue to deepen.

Ask God to change your heart from impatience and self-centered to grateful and God-centered.

DO

When the prophet Samuel was first in the temple as a boy the Lord spoke to him and Samuel didn’t realize it was God. Finally at the urging of his mentor Eli, Samuel simply said, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening”

Block out a fifteen minute space (look back at your list where you saw what things could be changed to make time for seeking God), and find a space you can be alone and uninterrupted to just be before the Lord. Take some worship music with you if you want or just be still before God Tell the Lord “Speak Lord, your servant is listening” and then listen. 

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Seek God Challenge Day 1

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DAY 1- SEEK HIM PERSONALLY, SEEK HIM CONTINUALLY

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“1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem.2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father; and he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father,” -2 Chronicles 34:1-3a

THINK

Matt mentioned Josiah sought God both personally, and continually. What does seeking God look like in your life today? How should/could that be different?
Verse two tells us that Josiah “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” and he “did not turn aside to the right hand or the left”. Why do you think that was?
Verse three actually answers our last question; “For in the eighth year of his reign…he began to seek…God” How do you think that seeking God caused him to do “what was right” and “not turn aside”?
Look for a second at John 5:19
“19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” – John 5:19
We know that Jesus was fully man and yet was without sin, and I believe that he gives us the secret right here in John 5:19. Do you see it? What is it?
He was in constant communication with His Father. He didn’t choose any decision on His own. He didn’t take any job, trip, or activity without the Father’s direction. Like a life GPS it gave Jesus the exact, perfect will of God the Father. For us pressing into God is the only way to learn to hear the Father in every situation. If you have surrendered your life to Christ then He’s already equipped you to be victorious you just have to learn when and how to use what. How is your life GPS operating? When was the last time you turned it on and listened?

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.
The kind of passionate seeking God that changes your generation is hard, persistent, and it will bring about hardship. There will no doubt come some sort of distraction that will attempt to edge out your time seeking God over the next month, it’s the things that we place the most value on that we use our time doing.
Pray that you will have the discipline to stick with it for the whole 30 days.

As you seek God you will be drawn deeper into Him, and with that comes a greater love of His character and his love for you. In light of that we’ll quickly see sin in our lives and the decisions that put us there. Holiness is not easy. Opposition from the enemy is promised, as is persecution from the world. It’s here that we decide if it’s worth it.

Pray that you will release the boldness God has given you to be a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.

DO


Stop right now and plan a time each day that you’re going to protect each day to seek God for the next 30 days.

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