Tag Archives: Israel

The Seek God Challenge Day 31

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HOLD ON TO GOD

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“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

 

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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

Download the guide here

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

Download the guide here

The Seek God Challenge Day 9

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BECAUSE HOLINESS MATTERS TO GOD,

HOLINESS MATTERS TO ME


READ

“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?

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. 

Download the guide here

The Seek God Challenge Day 4

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Desire is NOT Passion

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“29 And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord GOD.”  Ezekiel 39:29

17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  2 Corinthians 3:17-18

 

THINK

For most of us the concept of seeking God’s face is awkward. Most of us don’t really have a clear picture of what that means. What is the most difficult part for you of the concept of seeking God’s face?

The concept of seeking God’s face is to know God’s person. To be intimate, to look into His eyes and be near Him. What are some ways that you can seek His face? No Sunday School answers allowed, ie. Pray, read His Bible etc. Be creative.

In order to be transformed into the glory of God requires first off knowing Jesus as your Savior, if you have never made Jesus Lord of your life stop right now and give Him your whole person. If you need assistance call Matt at 870-692-8855 he will be happy to walk you through that!

For those who have the Holy Spirit of Christ living in you, what is keeping you from reflecting the glory of Christ to those around you?

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.

 

Seeing Jesus face to face has an effect on us. His presence does something to you.

Pray that your seeking will be after His face and not His hand, that you will desire Him for Him and not for what He gives.

 

Ask God to increase your desire to know Him in way that is passionate and real.

 

DO

Find a picture (online or in print) that represents the face of God to you (it can be whatever reminds of that) then save it as the background on your phone or hang it somewhere you’ll see it often (in your locker or the dashboard of your car) when you see it simply tell God that you want to see His face.