Tag Archives: Jerusalem

The Seek God Challenge Day 30

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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

 

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The Seek God Challenge Day 18

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THE WORD LEADS TO DEEP COMMITMENT

READ

“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 17

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THE WORD LEADS TO DEEP CONVICTION

READ

“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.

Download the guide here

The Seek God Challenge Day 11

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GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN OUR REPUTATION

READ

“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.

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