Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 40 (end)

Day 40


Before reading today, spend a few minutes contemplating the idea of worship. What does worship mean? What does it look like? What are some ways that you worship?

Read Revelation 4:1-11.

In this passage in Revelation, John describes a vision he has of the throne room of the Almighty God. What stands out to you about His vision?

Read Revelation 4:1-11 again, slowly. Take in the details of the throne room of Heaven and the living creatures surrounding the throne.

What are the creatures doing? In verses 8-9, John explains what the creatures around the throne are saying and doing. They are worshipping God, giving Him praise. How long do they praise? It isn’t a 20-minute setlist or a 2-hour concert. They praise the Lord day and night; they do not rest from praising Him. How often to you spend time worshipping God?

Sometimes we get caught up in the stigma of worship. We think that worship is about singing the right songs and feeling a certain way. But worship isn’t about us. It isn’t a feeling or a lyric. Worship is acknowledging God for who He is and rightly responding to Him.

Spend a few minutes in worship of your Creator. Tell Him how powerful and awesome He is. Give Him praise for who He is and all that He has done.

When you’re ready, read Revelation 5:1-14.

No one is worthy of worship except God. He is the only One who deserves our time, efforts, energy, and adoration. What are other things in your life that you worship? Confess to the Lord your lack of praise and worship of Him. Spend some time praying through Revelation 4:8-11 and 5:9-12. Ask Him to draw you into His spirit and to raise you up as one who worships Him in spirit and in truth.

What has God spoken to you about as you’ve read and prayed through these Script?

Day 39

Day 39


Read James 1:1-4.

According to James, what are the byproducts of the trials we endure? Why?

Read James 1:5-8.

James encourages the reader to ask God for wisdom, particularly in the midst of trials, but he says to ask a certain way. He says to ask in faith, with no doubting. What does it mean to ask God for faith without doubting? When you ask of God, do you doubt? Why should we not doubt when asking God for wisdom?

Read James 1:9-20.

How do you see wisdom played out in this passage? What does wisdom look like?

Spend a few moments focused on wisdom. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:19 that even the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God. Ask the Lord to show you what His wisdom looks like. Ask Him for guidance in discerning His wisdom in the world around you.

Read James 1:21-27.

Where do you see wisdom in these verses?

How wise are you living? James makes the point that we are to be doers and not hearers only of the Word. Wisdom isn’t just a lofty, intangible concept to think on; it’s a characteristic to embody and apply. Where do you see wisdom in your life? In what areas of your life do you need to ask God for wisdom and then apply it?

Spend some time in prayer. Ask the Lord for wisdom, and then do not doubt when He answers. Commit to following the Lord and walking in His wisdom, rather than man’s.

What has God spoken to you about as you’ve read and prayed through these Scriptures?

Day 38

Day 38


Before you begin reading today, stop and reflect for a few minutes. How would you describe your faith? What kind of faith do you want to have?

Spend a few minutes in prayer, asking God to grow your faith in new ways right now.

Read Hebrews 11:1-3.

How does the writer describe faith in the opening verse? What does he say that faith accomplishes? What is your faith accomplishing currently?

Read Hebrews 11:4-38.

Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Baak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and many others are all mentioned as having great faith. Why? Who are your heroes of faith? Why?

Take some time to review the stories of these who overcame by faith. What stands out to you about their stories? How did their faith change their lives? How does your faith change your life? Spend a few minutes in prayer asking the Lord to change your life through faith.

Read Hebrews 11:39-40.

The writer of Hebrews clarifies that all of those mentioned as heroes of faith continued to be faithful to God despite the fact that they did not receive the promise of God in their lifetime here on earth. They didn’t live for His fulfillment in this lifetime, but rather, they trusted in the Lord and lived by faith that He would provide something better—completion and perfection—in the life to come.

Where is your faith? Are you trusting God for fulfillment and promise for this lifetime alone or are you setting your sights to the things unseen (vs 1-3)?

Read Hebrews 12:1-2.

Pray. Examine your life and your faith before the Lord. Ask Him for clarity and discernment in setting your faith in Him and in His provision. Praise Him for His faithfulness.

What has God spoken to you about as you’ve read and prayed through these Scriptures?

Day 37

Day 37

Church Conduct

Read 1 Timothy 4:12-16.

In his writing to Timothy, Paul instructs Timothy not to be shy or insecure because of his youth, but to set an example for the believers around him. Do you ever feel insecure because of your age? How does your age affect your actions as far as your faith is concerned?

Paul explains that Timothy should set an example for other believers in 6 areas of his life. What are those 6 areas? How do you personally set an example for other believers in those areas of your life?

Take a minute to stop and pray. Ask the Lord to help you be bold in setting an example for other believers through these 6 areas of your life. Ask Him to show you which areas you need to focus on improving as a leader and example of faith.

Read 1 Timothy 5:1-2.

Paul gives some specific instructions about how Timothy and his fellow believers ought to interact with one another. Does how you treat fellow believers line up with what Paul tells Timothy? Why or why not?

Read 1 Timothy 5:3-16.

How does Paul say that the church should care for widows? Why?

Read 1 Timothy 5:17-24.

Paul makes the point that elders in the church are to be treated with double honor. Is that the case in the church today? How do you treat those adults placed in leadership around you?

In his letter to Timothy, Paul outlines how the church as a body ought to treat one another. Spend a few minutes going back over these passages. Look for areas that stand out to you as needing improvement. Submit those areas to God in a prayer. Ask Him to help grow you in your respect and treatment of leadership and fellow believers, and also ask Him to grow the body as a whole.

What has God spoken to you about as you’ve read and prayed through these Scriptures?

Day 36

Day 36

Pressing on

Trials are an inevitable part of life. Consider your journey right now. What trials are you experiencing currently?

Read Philippians 3:12-13.

Paul speaks about pressing on in the faith. Sometimes when we are under fire from the enemy in some area of our lives, we easily get discouraged. Paul says that he forgets things of the past and reaches forward to those things ahead of him. Are there things in your life from your past that you’re holding onto? What’s causing trials in your life and preventing you from pressing on? Spend a few minutes in prayer. Ask God to reveal to you those things to which you are clinging. Ask Him to help you let go of the things behind you so that you can press on to what He has in front of you. Thank Him for His endurance and steadfast love.

Read Philippians 3:14-15.

A major contributor to our discouragement is often where we set our sights. Setting our sights isn’t just about looking forward and not backward, but it’s also about looking upward and not around us. What have you been setting your sights on? Paul speaks of the prize as being in Christ Jesus. That is the reason we run this race: for Him and for Him alone. Spend a few minutes in prayer aligning yourself with how the Bible says we ought to run this race. Consider where your eyes have been fixed and commit now to fix your eyes on Christ as your prize.

Read Philippians 3:16.

It’s clear throughout Scripture that we were not created to run this race alone. We weren’t meant to endure hardships or trials on our own. Who in your life can you turn to when you’re discouraged in the midst of a trial? Who in your life may be needing to turn to you for encouragement in the midst of their trials? Spend some time in prayer. Praise the Lord for His provision and sustaining grace. Ask Him to reveal to you those people He’s placed in your life to share this race with. Ask Him to be your endurance and your sustenance as you press onward. Commit to setting your sights forward and upward.

What has God spoken to you about as you’ve read and prayed through these Scriptures?

Day 35

Day 35

Sowing and reaping

Read Galatians 6:1-5.

Paul addresses the need for brothers and sisters to bear each others’ burdens. What does it mean to bear one anothers’ burdens? What stands in the way of bearing each others’ burdens in our lives? How are you at sharing your burdens? How about bearing others’ burdens?

Read Galatians 6:6-8.

So often our flesh gets in the way of accomplishing God’s purposes. We are too prideful or selfish or lazy to get down to the nitty gritty of sharing this journey together. We don’t open up or lend a hand to our brothers and sisters in need. Paul warns us to not be deceived, that God isn’t fooled by our actions even when we fool ourselves. What we sow, we reap.

Spend a few minutes examining your life through prayer. Ask God for clarity in discerning how you sow and reap. What kind of seeds are you sowing? What you are reaping will help you determine what you are sowing.

Read Galatians 6:9-10.

Paul encourages the Galatians to stay steady in doing good. Sometimes the harvest takes a lot of planting. We may sow seeds of the Spirit for a long time before we see them reaped. But we are to stay the course, to not grow weary. How are you feeling about the seeds you’re sowing? Are you investing in the lives of others? Are you doing good to and for those around you and planting seeds of everlasting life?

Pray. Ask the Lord to show you where you need to make adjustments to your sowing. Ask Him to guide you in bearing your brothers’ and sisters’ burdens. Thank Him for the blessing of relationships and His design for us to not walk alone. Commit to sowing seeds of the Spirit which will reap everlasting life.

What has God spoken to you about as you’ve read and prayed through these Scriptures?

Day 34

Day 34

True Love

Consider the word love. What does “love” mean? Where do you see “love”? What does the world say “love” is? Spend a few minutes thinking about love. Jot down some of your thoughts.

Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-7.

How does Paul describe love to the Corinthians?

Read the passage again. How does the Bible’s description of love compare to how the world loves? How does it compare to how YOU love?

Read 1 Corinthians 13:8-13.

What is the most valuable thing in your life? We tend to use love as a measuring tool for defining significance and priority in our lives. But often times, we are quick to say we “love” things, posessions, ideas, etc. that are not really worthy of our love, yet we are skeptical or selfish when it comes to loving as we ought. If “the greatest of these is love,” how ought that affect how we live our lives?

Read through 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 again. As you read, evaluate your own life. Are you loving according to Scripture? Are you experiencing love according to Scripture?

Spend some time praying through verses 4-8. Ask the Lord to help you love like the Bible describes love. Ask Him to show you places where you can increase your love. Thank Him for His great love and the opportunity for us to know Him and love Him in return.

What has God spoken to you about as you’ve read and prayed through these Scriptures?

Day 33

Day 33

Dead to sin but alive in God

Before you read, take a moment and concentrate on the idea of grace. It is because of grace that we have life, hope, a future. It is because of God’s grace that we are redeemed and we are seen as worthy. Spend a few moments soaking in the knowledge and power of God’s grace. Thank Him for His unending and unrelenting grace. Ask Him to open your eyes now as you seek to discover how to live in accordance to His grace and mercy.

Read Romans 6:1-4.

In spite of the fact that we are made free by grace, we do not receive the license to continue living in sin. In fact, to live in sin is not really to live at all, but it is to take on death. Do you ever take advantage of grace? How? Paul makes the point that since we as believers have been buried with Christ through His death, we are also raised to walk in new life with Him. What does it mean for you to be buried with Christ? What does it look like to walk in new life with Him?

Read Romans 6:5-11.

Paul goes on to say that not only are we dead to sin, but when we did die with Christ, we died to sin once and for all. We don’t have to live in sin. But it’s our choice. Do you live in sin or do you walk in righteousness with Christ?

Spend a few moments in prayer. Ask the Lord to examine your life and reveal to you how you’re living your life. Ask Him to show you areas of your life that you have not chosen to live in Christ. Thank Him for His grace in dying for you and in offering you the gift of living in Him.

In verse 11, Paul commands the Romans to “reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Will you reckon yourself dead to sin today? Maybe you have sin in your life that you need to confess. Spend time in prayer, confessing your sin before the Lord and asking His forgiveness.

Read Romans 6:12-20.

If you have confessed Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are no longer a slave to sin. Commit yourself today to living and walking in righteousness with the Lord.

What has God spoken to you about as you’ve read and prayed through these Scriptures?

Day 32

Day 32

The Early Church

Read Acts 4:32-37.

Acts gives us a picture of the early church and how it functioned. What strikes you most about how the believers interacted with one another? How does this model compare to believers today? What are similarities and differences between how you see the church operating today versus the church as described in Acts 4?

Read Acts 4:32-37 again, slowly.

Spend some time in prayer for the body today. Lift up your brothers and sisters in Christ. Ask God to show us how to operate as one body. Ask Him for His guidance for the church, that we would function as He intended.

Write down what the Lord says to you as you spend time pouring over the church.

What things do you see people lacking today both inside and outside of the church? How can you affect those situations?

Ask God to orchestrate and organize His body of believers to operate in ways the most glorify Him and show His love to others.

What has God spoken to you about as you’ve read and prayed through these Scriptures?

Day 31

Day 31

Jesus’ Resurrectction & Ascension

Read John 19:38-42.

After Jesus’ death, His friends prepared His body and laid His body to rest. How would you feel to know Christ as friend and Savior, and have to prepare His body for burial? As humans in the physical world, they had to feel rather hopeless, knowing that their Lord had been crucified. Have you ever lost hope? What was your experience like?

Read John 20:1-10.

Mary Magdalene was the last to leave when Jesus dies and the first to visit His grave…but what does she find? What would your reaction be if you found the grave of your Lord empty? Mary did what most of us would do: she told someone. Peter arrived at the tomb, then John, to find nothing but Christ’s grave cloths. Unlike Mary’s reaction, Peter and John assess the situation and they believed. What did Peter and John believe? How do you react in unexpected situations; do you panic or do you believe?

Read John 20:11-13.

Take a look at Mary’s further reaction. She wept. The disciples have headed back home and she’s left alone and she breaks down. She didn’t get it yet. But what happened next changed everything…

Read John 20:14-16.

Hope was restored! Jesus appeared to Mary and called her by name, and everything changed for Mary. In the times that you have lost hope, what changes your perspective? To what do you cling?

Read Luke 24:36-53.

Jesus appeared to His disciples and their reaction was of disbelief. What did it take for them to believe that He was the living, breathing Son of God resurrected? After His visit with the disciples, Jesus led them to Bethany, where He blessed them and then ascended into Heaven. What was the disciples’ reaction to Christ’s ascension? How would you react?

Spend some time in prayer. Thank the Lord for renewing hope, for causing all things to work according to His plan. Praise Him for His death and resurrection that makes your life possible.

What has God spoken to you about as you’ve read and prayed through these Scriptures?

Day 30

Day 30

Jesus’ Death

Read John 18:1-11 and John 19:1-16.

Jesus willlingly took the cup that the Lord had for Him. He willingly endured the mocking of the soldiers, the robe, the crown, the public humiliation. Why? Read John 15:13.

Spend a few minutes absorbing the truth that Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, willingly died for you, because He loves you. Take some time to focus on the concept of Christ’s love for you. Thank Him for His endless love and mercy that would lead Him to die in your place.

Read John 19:17-27.

Can you picture the scene? Hear the cries of mockery, the laughs, and cheers over Jesus’ death. See His loved ones looking on. Feel the weight of the sin that Christ carried as He bore the cross on His bruised and bloody back.

How do you think Jesus felt at this point? What about Jesus’ mother and loved ones?

Read John 19:28-30.

What is your reaction to Jesus’ death? How do you feel knowing that He loved and loves you enough to die for you? How does that affect how you live your life on a day-to-day basis?

Spend some time thanking God for His tremendous sacrifice and for His love for you. Ask Him to make you aware of the price He paid for you.

What has God spoken to you about as you’ve read and prayed through these Scriptures?

Day 29

Day 29

Jesus’ final hours

Read Luke 22:31-34.

Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Him. He knew that the end was coming, but that didn’t stop Jesus from seeking fellowship with the Father and encouraging His disciples to do the same and to also be on guard against temptation. It was no coincidence that Jesus knew of Peter’s future betrayal and then warned His friends of the temptation. Why would Jesus warn Peter of his betrayal? What good does it do for Peter to know in advance?

Read Luke 22:39-41.

In Jesus’ final hours on earth, He retreated. He sought the Father in a solitary place and asked his disciples to keep watch while He prayed. Notice He said to His disciples, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Why would Jesus instruct them to pray against temptation? How are you at following Jesus’ instructions to pray against temptation?

Read Luke 22:41-44.

In this passage, Jesus offered an honest yearning to the Father. Notice His plea: “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Jesus knows the agony He is about to endure and, in His humanness, asks that the Father intervene. But in the same breath, He willingly submitted to the Father’s plan, acknowledging His power and authority. Are you so willing to submit to the Father’s plans, even if it means dying?

Spend some minutes in prayer. Consider your heart and open yourself honestly to the Father, as Jesus did in the garden. Tell the Lord where you honestly stand in surrendering to His will.

Read Luke 22:45-46.

When Jesus found His disciples sleeping, He again encouraged them to pray and fight against temptation. Spend some time asking the Lord to help you resist temptation in your life. Ask for His power and might to guide your steps so that you might fulfill His call, that He would not catch you sleeping in the hour of need.

What has God spoken to you about as you’ve read and prayed through these Scriptures?

Day 28

Day 28

Take up your cross

Take some time to examine your heart before diving into Scripture. Where is your heart currently? How are your priorities? Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your attention any areas of your heart and life that need adjusting. Ask Him to ready you for His truth today. Write down anything that He reveals as you are quiet before Him.

Read Mark 8:34-38.

Jesus proclaimed that in order to truly find ourselves, we must lose our lives for His sake. What does it mean to lose your life for His sake? What areas of your life reflect you and what areas reflect Jesus?

Ask the Lord to bring to mind areas of your life in which you have not lost yourself in Him. Ask Him to show you what it looks like to lose your life for His sake.

Read Luke 9:23-27.

Luke emphasized Jesus’ instructions to take up our cross daily to follow Him. Following Christ isn’t something to do half-heartedly; it’s a daily commitment, a daily journey. Spend a few minutes committing yourself to the Lord and to following Him on a daily basis. Ask Him for the endurance and guidance to follow Him daily.

Read Luke 9:57-62.

Following Jesus comes at no small price. Jesus demands that we give our all to Him…our routines, commitments, desires, relationships, comforts—everything. Are you willing to give all that you have and all that you are to follow Him? Pray through anything that you may be struggling with giving up. Confess that to the Lord and ask for His help in losing yourself to follow Him. Only in losing yourself will you truly be found.

Spend some time losing yourself in Him right now. “Whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” Luke 9:24

What has God spoken to you about as you’ve read and prayed through these Scriptures?