Docx - Devotional Guide

Document Sample
Docx - Devotional Guide Powered By Docstoc

Devotional Guide
Preparation for the Community Revival
February 13-17

                                                                                     Page |2

                              A WORD FROM THE PASTORS’ HEART

Take an honest look around. It is sad to say that we live in a country and culture which is
disintegrating before our very eyes. There is a song from about 20 years ago which very
well expresses the attitude of the day; we seem to be „living life upside-down.‟ Think about
these things;

              President declares, “We are no longer a Christian Nation”
                    Homosexuals seek to have ‘civil-rights status’
                            Abortion is a woman’s right.
                          The church is seen as irrelevant.
                           Absolute Truth does not exist.
                          The Bible is not the word of God.
                            Morals & Ethics are eroding.
The list goes on and on. In his classic work, “Why Revival Tarries”, Leonard Ravenhill
entitles chapter 9 “As the church goes, so goes the world.” What a sobering & startling
truth! Henry Blackaby begins his book, “Holiness,” with this truth, “It is the people of God
who can truly shape a nation.”

With these needs and truths in our heart, we pastors are preparing, planning, and praying
for God to do something extraordinary in the “2011 Hueytown Revival” meeting.

First, our prayer is that this will become more than a meeting. There is not one among us
who needs another „meeting‟ to attend. Through our prayer meetings, this devotional
guide, and the congregational preparation, our heartfelt desire is for God to „show up‟ in a
manifest way, break our hearts, show us our sin, and bring about repentance.

Next, our prayer is that YOU will commit to being a part of this process. Contained in the
pages of this booklet are some 30 or so devotions which possess the power to put each
one of us on the same spiritual page for this meeting. However, this booklet alone will not
help unless we commit to staying true and faithful in seeking the Father‟s will for this time.

Finally, our prayer is that YOU will block out the week of February 13-17, 2011, and be
present for every service. In Acts 2 we read about 3000 people being saved. The only
way that 3000 were saved is that „at least‟ 3000 were present. Our presence is required.

Let us make this time together a “defining moment” in the Hueytown community. We will
spend an eternity together in heaven, so let‟s be together in this effort on earth.
                                              Page |3

              Table of Contents

Date                    Topic              Page #
1/12       Renewed or just “Newed”           3
1/13        Who Are you talking to?          4
1/14              How’s Your Walk            5
1/15      What’s Giving You Problems         6
1/16      How Are Your Relationships?        7
1/17       If Everyone were like me?         8
1/18                Meeting God              9
1/19       Where Are My Treasures?           10
1/20              What Can I Give?           11
1/21                  His Praise             12
1/22                 His Worship             13
1/23   Honestly, What Are my Priorities?     14
1/24            Am I truly thankful?         15
1/25               Am I Christlike           16
1/26          Guarding Your Tongue           17
1/27       Repentance, what is that?         18
1/28        Turn Loose and Let it Go         19
1/29            Just say “Good-by”           20
1/30             Reaching Forward            21
1/31           Looking in the Mirror         22
 2/1     What Sins Is He Talking About       23
 2/2               Sin of Thought            24
 2/3               Sin of Attitude           25
 2/4                Sin of Speech            26
 2/5            Sin of Relationships         27
 2/6             Sin of Commission           28
 2/7               Sin of Omission           29
 2/8                Sins of “Self”           30
 2/9          Living Out Forgiveness         31
2/10             Loving God’s Way            32
2/11           Take me to the Cross          33
2/12    The Importance of a Quiet Place      34
2/13    Finish the Race with Enthusiasm      35
                                                                                                          Page |3

                                              Wednesday, January 12, 2011

                                       "Renewed" or just "Newed"
       Scripture:   2 Corinthians 5, Romans 3, and Colossians 3

       Today, we begin the countdown to the Hueytown Community Revival for the God’s family in this
       community. The goal for God’s “family of faith” will be to become or be spirit-filled, fully-devoted Disciples
       of Christ. The “Revival” or “Renewal” of any people only happens when ‘one heart at a time’ is revived or
       renewed. While the entire family of God in Hueytown is sharing the same scripture and thoughts during
       this 30-day period, right now please commit to not thinking about others. Pause and spend a few minutes
       to inviting God to be with you right here, right now. (Pray)

       It goes without saying that before a person can be “renewed in their faith” they must be ‘newed’ or better
       said, “Made new” in their life. Turn in your Bible to 2 Corinthians 5:17 and consider the message. (READ)

       First, has there truly been a time when God through Christ has come into your life and made you

       If you cannot remember this time happening in your life, why not experience the forgiveness, love, and joy
       which come through knowing, believing, and trusting Christ. You can do this ‘right now!’ (To understand
       your need and response, read Romans 3:10, 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-13– why not pray right now)

                                 Use your words, but here are some suggested thoughts;

                                                  Admit you are a sinner,
                                               Acknowledge Jesus is the Lord
                              Ask Jesus to forgive you, save you, and to come into your life.
                                                 Thank Him for saving you.
               (If you pray and ask Jesus to save you, share this decision with someone as soon as possible)

       If you can remember this time in your life, recall it, remember that “sense” of Him being present with you,
       and reflect on those days which followed. Think of the joy, peace, and even excitement of knowing the
       forgiveness & love of God. Now, turn to Colossians 3:1-10 and read paying special attention to the things
       we are told to “put to death,” “put away”, and “put on.”

                                      Write out a short prayer of dedication to God”

Dear God,

                                             Tuesday, December 15, 2009
                                                                                                     Page |4

                                           Thursday, January 13, 2011

                                     "Who Are You Talking To?"
   Scripture:   1 Samuel 12:23-25; Psalms 51:1-19

   There is an old hymn which says, “I must tell Jesus all of my problems, I cannot bear these burdens alone.
   In my distress He kindly will help me; He ever loves and cares for His own.” Today’s question is simply,
   “Who do you tell it all to?” Human behavior seems to dictate that each of us desires to talk with someone
   about both the good and the bad things which happen to us. For most, we share the bad things hoping to
   receive everything from sympathy to assistance. However too often we “share” or “tell” our friend, our
   spouse, or someone else we can trust. While it is good to have confidants with whom we can share our
   deepest faults, failures, and sins, how often do you “take it to the Lord?”

   Read Mark 1:35. Now, write down how many minutes a day you spend talking with your closest
   friend_________, watching TV_________, Reading the paper ________, praying ___________.

   Prayerfully consider what these numbers suggest about the priorities in your life and where connecting to
   God everyday fits into your daily routine. A personal checkup might be to ask yourself, “If I spent as much
   time with my spouse, children, and friends, as I do with the Lord in prayer; would they believe that I cared
   deeply for them?”

   The words of Samuel which are recorded in 1 Samuel 12 focus in verses 23-25 on the truth that not praying
   regularly or enough is an act of rejection and is sinful.

   Perhaps the most needed prayer we can pray today is found in Psalm 51. As part of your commitment for
   the day, pray all 19 verses back to the Lord as if YOU wrote the words. Personalize this prayer as much as

   Now, write out your prayer of commitment or recommitment to spend time with Him;

Dear God,
                                                                                                         Page |5

                                               Friday, January 14, 2011

                                        How's Your Walk
   Scripture:    1 John 1:5-7; Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 6:4; Galatians 5:16; 2 Cor. 5:7; Ephesians 4:1-3

   Walking is a big deal. Walking is literally a ‘controlled fall.’ As the body moves forward it is caught by the
   alternating movement of the legs. To watch a child learn to walk is an enlightening experience. First, they
   simply stand and fall, then a take one step and fall, then a couple of steps and fall, and finally, they learn to
   walk (and they still fall from time to time). For youngsters, walking is something one learns to do in order
   to get around without being carried.

   Later in life walking becomes a health issue as doctors often prescribe walking to strengthen one’s health.
   At this point, walking is not so much about ‘transportation’ as it is about ‘life.”

   In the Bible, walk is used figuratively in the matter of conduct and spiritual state. So the question today is,
   “How’s your walk?” Think about the scripture which speak about walking.

   First, think about how difficult it is to ‘walk in darkness’ – if it is dark, you cannot see the way to go.
   Please read 1 John 1:5-7. (To "walk in the darkness" is to be involved in unbelief and misled by error)
   Now, prayerfully consider what it is to ‘walk like the people who are controlled by the pull of this world.”
   Please read Ephesians 2:1-3. Can you remember what it was like to walk like this? PRAY IT THROUGH.

   Please recall, once again, the time your met Jesus and what it meant to sense the change of walking in
   darkness to walking in light (Read Romans 6:4), in the spirit (Read Galatians 5:16), and by faith (2 Cor. 5:7)

   Now, ask God to reveal to you the truth about your walk. Is your spiritual walk strong enough for people
   who see you to know that you walk in His light, by His spirit, and in His faith? Read Ephesians 4:1-3.

   Write out your prayer to God committing your walk to Him. Be reminded of what it means to walk in a way
   that is counted worthy by Him. As you write out your prayer, ask Him to reveal the strengths & weaknesses
   of your walk.

Dear God,
                                                                                                      Page |6

                                            Saturday, January 15, 2011

   Scripture:   2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16, Ephesians 6:10-20, Revelation 12:11

   One of the huge ‘problems’ for believers today is the idea that “because I’m a believer, I should have it
   altogether. If I don’t have it altogether, I better act like I do because people will think badly of me if I
   confess to a weakness and temptation.” Though this thinking is completely unbiblical and no one is really
   sure of where this type of thinking was birthed, most of us do understand the sentiment.

   The liability of this line of thought is that after a while we are tempted to believe that we DO have it
   altogether. Take a minute and look at the past 7 days. Were there times when you did not honor Christ
   with your life and your words? Surely there are times like this, but that doesn’t make you a bad person—it
   does make you human. However, often our humanity stands in the way of our relationship to our deity.
   To dismiss ungodly words, actions, or attitudes in the name of being human is not ‘of God.’ God is still pure
   and holy; He desires to see us as pure and holy. In fact, God has no fellowship with the darkness or ‘sinful
   people’. He expects us to be as clean, pure, and holy, as is “divinely possible.” To help you, prayerful take
   the next step or steps;

   Identify by name what it is that is giving you problems in becoming like Christ; _______________________


   Next, examine yourself to see if these things have developed into a “stronghold” of the enemy. A
   stronghold is a powerbase of place of fortification set up by the enemy and can be used by him at will to
   cause you to sin. (Now read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

   As a believer in Christ Jesus, God has given you offensive and defensive weapons to overcome the forces
   and the strongholds of Satan. Your weapons are not of this world, but are powerful that you may win the
   battle today and take every thought captive. Take note of 3 Spiritual Weapons:

   The Word of God – Read Hebrews 4:12 and 2 Timothy 3:16. Use the word of God as a sword and shield.
   Psalms 119:11 tells us to hide and treasure God’s word in our heart that we may not sin against God.

   The Armor of God – Ephesians 6:10-20 – Can you envision the “armor” protecting you?

   The Word of your Testimony – Revelation 12:11 – You testimony is a powerful tool to overcome problems.

Dear God,
                                                                                                     Page |7

                                            Sunday, January 16, 2011

  Scripture:   John 13:34-35, John 17:19-23, 1 John 2:1-11

  In 1974 at a Youth Ministries Conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina, Jack Taylor made this statement,
  “Revival moves in on the avenue of right relationships.” The scriptures are replete with proof texts that
  affirm this statement. In the upper room it was Jesus who said, “A new Commandment I give you, LOVE
  ONE ANOTHER as I have love you.” And then He gave them the “WHY” – “It is in this way that the world will
  know you are my disciples.” It was only a few hours later that Jesus prayed, “Father, make them one as
  you and I are one.” Spend a few moments thinking about the heartbeat of Jesus for His Children. He
  desired for His redeemed Children, that is, His church to love another to the point of walking in love, unity,
  and harmony. Now think about YOUR relationships praying through them to be sure that there are not any
  ungodly problems in any of these. If God reveals to you a relationship problem, it will come with an urging
  and urgency to do everything “you can” to repair that relationship. Remember this is an issue of the heart.
  Do you truly desire for your relationships to be “God-honoring” and do you honestly want that troubled
  relationship repaired?

  As you bear your soul before the Father, slowly read 1 John 2:1-11 and allow God’s word to permeate you
  heart and soul.

  That troubled relationship you have in your life could be across the ‘pew”, across the ‘street’, or across the
  ‘country.” It could have developed in the last hour or the last decade. As long as you do not do YOUR PART
  to resolve the difficulty, the Lord may well be hampered in His filling your life. (REMEMBER: True
  reconciliation is not ‘setting the other person straight’ it is more about setting ‘me’ straight before God)

  For renewal, revival, and refreshment to come, reconciliation must be found. As you write out your prayer
  to God, ask Him to help you be the initiator in reconciling your broken relationships.

Dear God,
                                                                                                       Page |8

                                              Monday, January 17, 2011

     Scripture:   1 Corinthians 4:16 and 11:1, Philippians 3:10

     How often have we heard the phrase, “They are just like their dad” or “She’s just like her mom?” While we
     love to hear these words and even swell up with pride (most times), what about those times that the child
     does something really bad and someone whispers, “A chip off the old block?” Those words kind of stings.

                                               Ponder these questions

  If all were as committed to the church as me:                       If all ‘loved Jesus’ like I love Him:
      What kind of church would this be?                            Would the lost ever ‘hear’ about Him
      How often would we meet?                                      What position would He hold in their lives
      Each year, how many people would be saved?                    What priority would He hold in the church
      Who would receive an invitation?                              Would people know Jesus as Savior & Lord
      What would be the perception of the community                 Would my local church be in existence
       about Christ & the Church?                                    Would the community be better or worse
      Would the priority of the church be HIS?                      Would young people have a picture of what
                                                                      it means to love and serve Jesus

     Read 1 Corinthians 4:16 and 11:1 and ask yourself this question: “Would I have the courage to write these
     words?” Consider your strengths and weaknesses (you know; those things that are good as well as those
     things which you wish you could do over or better) and spend a few minutes in personal reflection before
     God. Ask Him to reinforce the strengths He has given you and to reveal your weaknesses so that ‘if’
     someone was to make you their model that you would have HIS assistance overcoming your weaknesses.

     Paul gives us a hint of how to become a person as filled with God’s spirit and blessing as he was. From jail
     he writes the letter to Philippi. Read Philippians 3:10-11 and be reminded of Paul’s goal, aim, and purpose
     in life. As you write your prayer, ask God to help you keep your goal in line which His so that you can
     always be a model and example for others.

Dear God,
                                                                                                    Page |9

                                           Tuesday, January 18, 2011

   Scripture:   Isaiah 6:1-7, Matthew 17:1-6

   Have you ever met anyone who didn’t want to go to heaven? Most people want to go to heaven but few
   people want to meet God. The thought of meeting with deity can be a little disconcerting, yet every person
   to ever live will one day meet God. However, God desires to meet with you and me because HE created us,
   He loves us, and He has laid out a plan for us to know Him personally. But we must meet on His terms.

   Read Isaiah 6:1-7 and use your imagination to take the place of Isaiah in this experience. Can you sense
   what Isaiah sensed? Is it humbling?

   Now read Matthew 17:1-6 and think about being on a mountain top in the middle of the night and seeing
   the bright light from a cloud and then hearing the voice of God. Would it cause you to fall facedown and be
   “terrified?” I think it would all of us.

   Finally, read Romans 14:10-12 and 2 Corinthians 5:10 and spend some time in prayer about “giving an
   account” of the good and/or bad things you have done. Ask the Father to shine the light on your life and
   reveal to you what He would like to deal with you about. Then just listen for a while.

   As you write your prayer today, focus on the understanding that one day, sooner or later, you will be face-
   to-face with God and He will require you to account for your action. Remind yourself that the standard by
   which you will answer is the Bible.

Dear God,
                                                                                                P a g e | 10

                                        Wednesday, January 19, 2011

 Scripture:   Matthew 13:44, Luke 12:16-21, Luke 12:31-34

 When people hear the word “treasures” they generally think of things like money, jewelry, precious metals,
 and the like. Certainly, these are treasures to a great many people but these are only “things” which
 people make into treasures. But a “treasure” is really something you hold dear or close to your heart. For
 women, almost anything can be a treasure. From people to pets, the feminine mind is given to love and
 have deep feelings about a myriad of things. For men (who are not so emotion driven), their treasure can
 be anything from their guns to their gold. Point being, that each of us has a totally different concept of
 treasure and we tend to make our “treasure” whatever we want it to be.

 In Matthew 13:44 we read of a buried treasure. (Read) Spend a few minutes asking God to reveal to you
 what this treasure might be and write down your thoughts. _____________________________________

 One of the things which is overlooked today is that the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of this world have
 currency which is the OPPOSITE of each other. For instance, what is valuable on earth (gold) is used to walk
 on in heaven (streets of gold). What is valuable in heaven (love for and obedience to God) is literally
 ‘walked on’ down here on earth. So while not impossible, it is as difficult as a camel going through the eye
 of a needle to lay up treasures on earth and in heaven. The issue is this; what do you treasure.

 The parable found in Luke 12:16-21 is an enlightening lesson. Take a minute and read this story. Now ask
 God to reveal to you what it is that you treasure.

 Mary, the mother of Jesus, treasured the angelic message in her heart. Is the message of Jesus a treasure
 to you? Do you love it, protect it, watch out for it, and even speak about it?

 Our treasure is whatever we love and set our sights on “getting.” Read verse Luke 12:31-34 and then pray
 through it seeking to discover, before God, what you treasure, what your treasure is, and where it is. Then
 write out your prayer asking God to help you seek first His Kingdom & righteousness.

Dear God
                                                                                                     P a g e | 11

                                            Thursday, January 20, 2011

   Scripture:    Malachi 3:7-12, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 1 Peter 4:7-11

   For the 21st century believer to see the term “give” is to think of ‘money.’ While money is one thing which
   we can and should ‘give’, it is only one thing. God expects us to give the first fruits of our income to be
   returned (not given but returned) to Him. Let us not forget that He owns it all and has made us the
   “stewards” or “managers” of His possessions. Read Malachi 3:7-12. Candidly, this passage requires little
   human comment as it speaks for itself. Read these verses again, in an attitude of prayer and allow It to
   speak to you. How painful this exercise is will reveal your faithfulness with your money.

   However, money is only one piece of the spiritual puzzle for giving. At the time we are saved, through the
   work of the Holy Spirit, God gives to us at least one spiritual gift. The reason we are given these gifts is to
   produce what is ‘beneficial’ for the church and the Kingdom. (Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-11) While Paul
   teaches us about the gifts and even names ‘some’ of the possible gift, Peter gives us a clear picture of the
   expectations for the use of our gifts. (Read 1 Peter 4:7-11.) Re-read verses 10-11 and ask yourself how you
   have been fulfilling this principle of Scripture.

   Spend time in prayer asking God to tell you how you can use you to serve others? Write down your
   thoughts __________________________________________________________________________

   Now for the hard part: Ask yourself, “What do I give to God?” “Do I give Him what He asks or do I only give
   what I have left over?”

   As you write your prayer for today, ask God to reveal to you what it is that He wants you to give and then
   ask Him to give you a burden to fulfill His perfect will for your life.

Dear God,
                                                                                                    P a g e | 12

                                             Friday, January 21, 2011

   Scripture:   Psalm 150, Psalms 103:1-3, Hebrews 13:15

   Begin tonight by ready the 6 verses of Psalms 150. Think about what “praising God” actually means as well
   as the ways in which you can praise Him.

   First, what is your definition of praise? Too many of us only think praise is about music. While music is
   certainly one mode of praise, we need to recognize that they are other ways to praise Him. Look back over
   Psalm 150 and notice the prepositions the writer uses. Praise God “in”, praise God “for”, and praise God
   “with,” which brings us to the climax of let EVERYTHING THAT BREATHES praise the Lord. In private, have
   you ever simply looked toward heaven, raised your heads toward the Father, and said “I Praise you Lord?”
   Whether you raise your hands in ‘public worship’ is a different issue, this is about YOU and God. This is
   about offering Him the thanks and joy which comes from ‘inner-emotion of your heart” and is expressed,
   not for others to see but simply between you and Him.

   Read Psalms 103:1-3. Some people has grown up in their tradition of faith and never have been instructed
   to “Bless (or Praise) the Lord.” Now take some time and offer a prayer of ‘praise.’ Remember the 3 ways
   to praise Him which Psalm 150 just pointed out. Praise Him “for” all He has done in your life, praise Him
   “with” your whole heart (being in private gives you the freedom to become unabandoned and unhindered
   in your praise), and praise Him in whatever situation you are in right now. It’s two days to the Birthday of
   our Lord, things may be a little stressful, and money a little tight, but praise Him for the ability to have
   “tight” money as opposed to being destitute.

   Consider this question: Do I live my life in a such a way that it brings “Praise” to God? __________ List
   your reasons _________________________________________________________________________

   For years in worship we have sung the chorus, “We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise,” so now, conclude the
   Bible reading with Hebrews 13:15 and notice how we offer the sacrifice of praise. Now write our your
   prayer, asking God to help you give Him praise every day.

Dear God,
                                                                                                      P a g e | 13

                                            Saturday, January 22, 2011

   Scripture:    Matthew 2:1-2, John 4:21-24

   Recently a preacher was heard to say, “There is no difference in Praise and Worship,” yet, the Bible uses
   two different words and concepts for “Praise” versus “Worship.” A picture of praise can be seen in the
   lives of King Solomon (2 Chronicles 6:12) or King David (1 Chronicles 15) as they lifted hearts, hands, and
   even danced before the Lord. Praise is about our adoration and appreciation of God.

   Worship, on the other hand, had a far different meaning. The Greek word for worship paints a picture of a
   “dog licking the hand of his master.” It is like a gentleman kissing the hand of his sweetheart.

   Read Matthew 2:1-2. When the wise men came from the East to see the young child Jesus, they came to
   kneel before Him, to offer Him their gifts, and to pledge to Him their lives. This is their act of worship. Too
   often, the concept of “Worship” is the large group church service. However, worship begins in the heart.
   Literally bowing, kneeling, and/or becoming prostrate before Him.

   Read John 4:21-24 – Jesus says, “God is looking for people to WORSHIP Him” and to worship Him “In Spirit”
   and “In truth.” Pray through your concept of “worship.” Does your worship begin in your heart and then
   focus on Him and His truths? He is the creator, caretaker, and overseer of this world. He “stiff-arms” those
   who are too proud to worship Him.

   As you write out your prayer, express to Him your desire to honor His as the King and Lord of your life.
   Acknowledge who He is, what He has done, and what He will do. Let this be a time of bowing, kneeling, or
   lying prostrate before Him.

Dear God,
                                                                                                     P a g e | 14

                                             Sunday, January 23, 2011

   Scripture:    Matthew 22:34-40, Matthew 6:25-34

   Today is Christmas, the day we celebrate the Birth of Jesus. So it is a good day to ask the above question,
   “What are my priorities?” Will (or has) today hold (or held) any thought or mention of Him? Honestly,
   whatever our priorities are will be revealed by the focus of our minds and our days.

   Read Matthew 22:34-40 – When confronted with the question of the “greatest commandment”, Jesus
   didn’t hesitate. In simplistic terms He said, “Love God COMPLETELY” and make Him the priority of your life!
   This begs us to ask the question, “Where on my priority list do I have Jesus, God, and the work of the
   Kingdom?” Begin like this; Where do you desire to place God on your list of priorities? ________________

   Survey your last month, consider your life, think through your activities, honestly evaluate your personal
   Bible study and attendance, remember your “giving” history, and then rate (circle the rating) to the priority
   you have given to the Lord in your life. (Circle one) Top High Medium Low None

   Read Matthew 6:33 – To read one verse causes us, many times, to miss the full meaning of the verse.
   Often we are so focused on the things in ‘this world’ that we misplace our priorities and seek them first.
   We do this because our society has ingrained in us that we need to give our lives to securing money,
   possessions, and even notoriety. Now, read Matthew 6 again but read verses 25-34.

   Jesus teaches us that when we get our priorities in order, God will take care of us. “All of these things” are
   all the things of this world (which God knows is best) will be given WHEN we put Him first. That is, first
   over family, finances, friends, and yes, even our fun.

   Write your day’s prayer and ask God to reveal the ways you can make Him #1 in your life.

Dear God,
                                                                                                     P a g e | 15

                                            Monday, January 24, 2011

   Scripture:   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Colossians 3:12-17

   The day(s) after Christmas can sometimes be trying. There are gifts to return, decorations to remove, and
   even family which we have to “say good-by.” Candidly, it is easy to get a case of a bad attitude. Don’t be
   offended or embarrassed at this temptation because everyone goes through the same feelings. The
   problem is not that we are tempted to become unthankful, the real measure is “what we do with our
   temptation.” It is an old saying but it is still true; you can become bitter or you can become better. You can
   either get stressed or get stronger.

   Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Being thankful for all things is an outflow of a strong prayer life and a life
   with proper priorities. When we seek first God’s Kingdom, life begins to make sense. Whether good times
   or bad times, it becomes easier to seek God’s hand working. Spend a few minutes thanking God for both
   the good and the bad which you have experienced over the past weeks. Ask Him to help you see what He
   is teaching you through the difficulties and to help you recognize the lessons from the blessing.

   Read Colossians 3:12-17 – Now be reminded of how the peace of God will control your heart and help you
   develop an “attitude of gratitude” leading you to worship and praise Him with personal Psalms, Hymns,
   spiritual songs, and showing gratitude in your heart to and for Him.

   As you write out your prayer, ask Him to reveal the areas of your life and the times of your life that you are
   not thankful. Then ask Him to give you the strength to become a thankful person in all things.

Dear God,
                                                                                                     P a g e | 16

                                            Tuesday, January 25, 2011

   Scripture:    Acts 11:19-26, Matthew 15:1-13,

   The word “Christian” is overused in America today. Church members think little of pronouncing that “I am
   a Christian.” Have you ever considered that no one ever called themselves a Christian in New Testament
   times? Read Acts 11:19-26. You didn’t miss the fact that they were “called” Christian, did you? As you
   may know, the word Christian means “little Christ” or “Christ-like.”

   What does it mean to be Christ-like? There are many misconceptions about this. Some believe that to be
   Christ-like is to become a doormat for others, yet Jesus was not a doormat. For an example of this truth
   Read Matthew 15:1-13. The average person today would deny that Jesus did anything but “go along to get
   along,” yet, His words pointed at the Biblical flaw in the “Traditions of the Elders.” To be Christ-like is to
   keep the main thing the main thing.

   Think about just a few of His many characteristics; He was concerned about others. He sought to fulfill the
   Father’s will and way for His life. He spent quality and quantity time in prayer. He sought to help everyone
   understand the Kingdom and its principles. His ultimately desire was to point people to the Father.
   Consider this truth: The people that He spoke to did not have a clue that He was virgin born (the “God-
   man”), yet they knew He was sent from God.

   What a ‘high bar’ to set! Do people recognize that you are from God? Let’s be painfully personal. We let
   people know where we were raised, who our parents are, what schools we follow in sports, and sometime
   even what church we attend, BUT – do they know that we are from the Father? Jesus made no secret
   about who He represented. As you write your prayer, ask God if “people can see & sense Jesus in you”.

Dear God,
                                                                                                  P a g e | 17

                                          Wednesday, January 26, 2011

   Scripture:   James 3:1-12, Psalms 141:3-4, Matthew 12:33-37, Proverbs 15:4

   Nothing destroys lives like an uncontrolled tongue. The tongue is small but wields extraordinary power.
   Read James 3:1-12. Write out the things which James compares the tongue to: _____________________

   Think back through the last couple of weeks and write down a time that your tongue got you in trouble or
   hurt someone else:_______________________________________________________________________

   Now write down a time when you used your tongue to encourage or uplift someone: ________________

   Because there is so much to pray through in this matter of the tongue, let’s keep our reading short and our
   prayers long today. David knew about the problems equated to the tongue. Read Psalms 141:3-4. David
   understood that the tongue serves as a ‘revealing device.’ Read Matthew 12:33-37. Reading this passage
   is almost an “ouch” passage. To think that what comes out of my mouth is born in my heart is a sobering
   thought. By the way, the Bible teaches us that to use our tongue to destroy a person is the same as
   murder. Read Proverbs 15:4

   With all these thoughts, spend a few moments in prayer asking God to reveal how you use your tongue.
   Then write a prayer asking Him to right this use and to guard your tongue.

Dear God,
                                                                                                  P a g e | 18

                                           Thursday, January 27, 2011

   Scripture:   Acts 3:19-20, Acts 17:30-31, Acts 26:20

   When John the Baptist began his ministry, Mark tells us he came preaching a baptism of repentance.
   Likewise, when Jesus began His ministry, His message was, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven has come
   near!” In Luke 13, Jesus reiterated the requirement of repentance by saying, “I am telling you the truth,
   unless you repent, you will perish.” From these scriptures we can know that the message to us is to repent.

   In simplistic terms, ‘repentance’ is having a “change of mind” or a “turning away from.” Repentance is
   more than ‘feeling sorry’ for something, it is feeling sorry enough that you ‘never intend to do it again,
   EVER!’ Sixteen year old Scott was sitting in Student prayer meeting one night as repentance was discussed.
   When asked what repentance was he said, “I’m not sure I know what it is, but I know this, it is not
   repentance if you plan to do it again.”

   Now open your Bible and read about repenting or repentance: Acts 3:19-20, Acts 17:30-31, and Acts 26:20.

   In reading these scriptures, do you get the sense that in order to turn your face toward God one must turn
   their backs to sin? Why not take some time and pray that God will lead you in true repentance of any sin,
   shortcomings, omissions, or committed sin from which you need to turn.

   One of the great songs of recent years is “Open the Eyes of My heart”, why not make those words your
   prayer and allow God to speak words of repentance into your life. As you write out your final prayer today,
   include repentance and the affirmation of turning from ‘things’ and turning to Him.

Dear God,
                                                                                                    P a g e | 19

                                             Friday, January 28, 2011

   Scripture:   John 11:38-44, 1 Corinthians 9:19-24, Galatians 5:1

   The story of Lazarus is such an encouraging story. John 11 is filled with lessons for life. We can learn that
   Jesus sets the schedule, we don’t and He is never early or late, but is always on time! We can also learn
   and know that His ways are always best. Through this story we can be reminded that He has everything He
   needs to accomplish whatever He wants to accomplish. We also know He wants to release us to complete
   His divine assignment in our lives. Read the last part of this story in John 11:38-44.

   Jesus found Lazarus in the same condition in which He finds us. We are dead in our trespasses and sin,
   bound up in the grave clothes of our guilt, and sealed for eternity in a death chamber called Hell. His words
   toward us are essentially the same words towards Lazarus:

   First He said, “Remove the stone!” For us Jesus did this in His own cross. Not having any sins of His own to
   die for, He died for ours and took away our sin. Next He said, “Lazarus, come out.” Most of us know that
   the call of Jesus from death to life is a personal call. He calls us by name. (If He didn’t call our name,
   everyone would come out at one time). Finally Jesus says, “Loose Him and Let Him go.” Think about this:
   Jesus sets you free and lets you go!! He is the truth (John 14:6) and when you know the truth, the truth
   sets you free. You may ask, “The question to do what?”

   The Apostle Paul knew the answer to this question. Read 1 Corinthians 9:19-24. Like the runner out of the
   starting block or the running back handed the football, both are trying to win! Our Lord wants us to be free
   in Him that we may win the race for the Kingdom. God didn’t save you to be bound up but to be free.
   Read Galatians 5:1 and catch the spirit that Christ has set us free from the power and penalty of sin for now
   and one day He will set us free from the presence of sin. So today, we have been loosed to serve Him.

   As you write out your prayer, thank God for the freedom in Him and then ask Him to help you “Go”!

Dear God,
                                                                                                    P a g e | 20

                                            Saturday, January 29, 2011

   Scripture:   Philippians 3:7-21

   Begin by reading Philippians 3:7-21. We will use the same scripture for today and tomorrow. After you
   have read and absorbed these verses focus your attention on the thought “forgetting what is behind” part.
   With that thought in your mind, now re-read verses 7-11.

   As the year closes tonight, it is a good time to reflect back over the past 12 months and do a personal
   evaluation. Certainly during the past 12 months you have had experiences you want to hold to. These
   were or are memorable things which will help you to become stronger and a better person in the next 12
   months. Conversely, there are those things which you desire to forget! These things, if not let go, will pull
   you down and rob you of your joy for days or years to come. These are the things which you may want to
   take a minute and turn loose of.

   Before making any decision, ask yourself this these questions: Am I closer to God today than I a year ago?
   Do I reflect the image of Jesus today more than 12 months ago? Has my life, for this past 12 months,
   fulfilled His mission, ministry, and will? With these questions in mind, you can decide what to ‘let go’ of.

   Can you list some of the things which you should lose? You know, these are those things which get in the
   way of you totally and completely following God. ___________________________________________

   Sometimes to have the focus of Paul is difficult. Yet, If we are going to “Seek First the Kingdom of God”
   then we must make gaining and knowing Christ the part of life which we hold on to and turn loose of or say
   good-by to the things of this world.

   Ask God to give you a clear perspective of the things in your life to which you need to say ‘good-by’. Always
   be honest before God, because He knows what you are thinking anyway.

   Write out your prayer asking God to help you deal with what He wants you to let go of. Remember, it can
   be anything from possessions to position to pride to _________________.

Dear God,
                                                                                                       P a g e | 21

                                              Sunday, January 30, 2011

   Scripture:    Philippians 3:7-21

   Read Philippians 3:13 and remember that last night we spent time with God focusing on saying “Good-by”
   to some things. Now, say a prayer asking God help to let go for good of whatever He revealed to you last
   night. This may become a daily prayer until it is gone.

   The most wonderful thing about our Lord is that He always works with us in at least 2 dimensions. He tells
   us about the darkness and then gives us light. He explains to us about death and then gives us life. In this
   principle He tells us to let go of the past and to grab hold of the future. How blessed we are!

   What lies ahead for the believer in Christ? It is a goal, a prize, and a call. Our goal is to know Christ and the
   power of His resurrection (that is life from death). Our prize is found in our deliverance from the power and
   penalty of sin in the future (this is our heavenly home). Our Call is to make preparations to be a part of the
   growing and maturing Kingdom of God. This includes how we live, what we do, who we reach, and where
   we focus.

   What are you reaching for this year? God has a specific plan for you and a specific outcome He desires for
   your life. Are you reaching for what HE has led to reach for or have you left Him out of the equation?

   Can you list some of the things which you are reaching towards during the next 12 months? ____________

   Reading over your list, do these things lead you to Spiritual maturity and closer to Christ, or _______?

   Spend time in prayer asking God to help you look into these next 12 months and discover what is on YOUR
   agenda and what is on HIS agenda. After giving Him time to talk with you and you with Him, write out a
   prayer which will remind you to “Seek Him First” and “Reach Forward to and for Him.”

Dear God,
                                                                                                   P a g e | 22

                                            Monday, January 31, 2011

   Scripture:   James 1:22-27

   Every morning it’s the same thing. When you step to the mirror you see the same face. For some, this is a
   delight but for most it becomes a chore. A mirror tends to show us things we don’t care to see. We hate to
   see the wrinkle, the pimple, the freckle, or any other blemish, yet the mirror only reflect what we look like
   in our physical bodies.

   Read James 1:22-27. I have heard the President of the SBC, Dr. Johnny Hunt, say on two different
   occasions, “The world’s mirror reflects our image while God’s mirror reveals our image.” When we look
   into God’s law it reveals a number of things about us.

   It reveals whether we are a law-breaker or a law-keeper. James speaks to us after our being saved and tells
   us that our obedience to God’s law and word reveals our position in Him. In fact, He goes so far as to say,
   “If we are only hearer and not doers of God’s word, then we are deceiving ourselves.” Spend a time in
   prayer and ask God if you are doing and fulfilling His will, word, and way for you.

   What does the mirror of His word say about you?

   Now write out your prayer for the day and ask God to help you see your clear reflection. Ask Him to help
   you to remember what kind of person you are (V. 24) and ask Him to help you live out His wish for you to
   be involved in the work of His Kingdom.

Dear God,
                                                                                                      P a g e | 23

                                            Tuesday, February 01, 2011

   Scripture:    Romans 14:23, 1 John 4:4, 1 John 3:8-9, Ephesians 4:25-5:5

   Insight:   (Over the next week, we will be dealing with sin)

   Sin is a ‘nasty word!” It possesses a stigma, so our culture has chosen to rename it. We call it a mistake, a
   problem, a sickness, or a difficulty. However, the Bible reads the same today as it has throughout history.

   Sin literally means to “miss the mark”, to “fall short of the goal”, and “not partake in the prize.” However,
   you know that sin means ‘displeasing God.” Read Romans 14:23 and notice the last phrase. Prayerfully
   consider, what this means. Remember this, ‘The just (or righteous or saved) shall live by faith.” So when
   the God’s people do not respond and live by faith, it is sin. Never forget, God saves us “from our sin.” On
   earth, He saves us from the power of sin. That is, the power to control us. We must draw strength from
   the Holy Spirit. Read 1 John 4:4. In Christ, you not only CAN, but are expected to become victorious over
   sin. Read 1 John 3:8-9.

   Armed with this Biblical reminder about the Believer has been given the ability to live without habitual sin,
   let’s take a look at one of several ‘lists’ of sins in God’s word. While we are looking at them, let us pray
   through them and listen to God as to whether “I” am afflicted by one of the or not. As you read Ephesians
   4:25-5:5, write down every sin that you see listed and then pray through that sin. Ask God if it is your sin, if
   it is, ask Him to give you strength to repent and then pray a prayer of repentance. It if is NOT your sin,
   thank Him for protecting you. _______________________________________________________________


   Now ask God to reveal to you any sin which you have in your life that was not seen in that Ephesians
   passage (and go through the same process of repentance for these. _____________________________

   As you write out your prayer, why not ask God to help you avoid the sins which you are easily pulled into.

Dear God,
                                                                                                   P a g e | 24

                                            Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Scripture:    Proverbs 23:7, Luke 6:45, Matthew 5:28, Romans 12:2, Matthew 15:8-9, Amos 5:21-24,
2 Corinthians 10:5

As we begin this week, we must deal with some deeply personal issues. These will be only dealt with by
you and God so it should not be as difficult. But ‘if’ revival is to come to the body, it must begin with clean
and pure hearts. Today, let’s go into the places we don’t let people go, into our thought life.

Read Proverbs 23:7. This verse reminds us that our thought life reveals much about us.

Read Luke 6:45. This can be a frightening verse when we realize that the things we say reveal much about
our thought life and our true character. Let’s engage in some questioning:

Read Matthew 5:28 (and remember these are the words of our Lord). Do impure and unclean thought
permeate your mind? Do you often have unhealthy and improper motives for doing things? If you sense
any conviction from God, be as specific as possible in your repentance. Ask for His help to overcome. Now
Read Romans 12:2.

Now read Matthew 15:8-9 and Amos 5:21-24. Can you sense the extreme dissatisfaction & displeasure of
God with insincere worship and empty ritual? Now consider for yourself: When you come for corporate
worship, is your primary purpose to bow before God in true repentance and obedience? Do you sing the
songs giving more thought to their style than they meaning? Do you listen to the sermons without giving
any thought to being obedience?

Please conclude by reading 2 Corinthians 10:5. This verse contains the answer for a thought life which does
not please God, “Take every thought captive.” How do we do this? By praying and repenting in the strong
name of Jesus. It is at the name of Jesus that darkness become light, death become life, and wrong
becomes right. Spend some time in prayer about your thought life because it controls much in your life.
Then write out a prayer calling for God’s help in this area.

Dear God,
                                                                                                      P a g e | 25

                                          Thursday, February 03, 2011

Scripture:    1 Peter 5:5, Psalms 51:17, Ephesians 4:2, Ephesians 4:32, Revelation 3:15-16

Yesterday we gave some prayer time to our ‘thought’ life and remembered that our ‘thoughts’ originate in
our hearts and largely define who we are. It is those thoughts we dwell on that also control our attitude.
The Bible has much to say about “attitude.” Right now ask God, “Show me my general attitude as other
people see it and as YOU see it.” Then, listen for His answer. Quite likely, He will bring to your mind some
recent instances to reveal to you both the strengths & weaknesses of your attitude.

Now, let’s read and be reminded of attitudes which are not acceptable to God:

Read 1 Peter 5:5. Pride is subtle and is easily overlooked. The essence of pride is seen in the spiritual
complacency that sees little need for more spiritual growth or personal cleansing. Read Psalms 51:17 and
let the word touch your heart. Consider a couple revealing question: Do you think yourself quite spiritual?
Do you come across as having a “holier than thou” attitude? Are you frequently trying to set others
straight? Do you spend time daily allowing God to search your life deeply & cleanse your heart? Let us
never forget that God hates self-righteousness and spiritual complacency.

The primary mark of a spirit-filled believer is a kind and loving attitude. Read Ephesians 4:2. This verse
clearly contrasts a spirit-filled and a carnal believer. The attitude which marks a spirit –filled believer is the
attitude of kindness and love (even in the times of conflict) read Ephesians 4:32. The spirit-filled person
displays the attitude of love, forgiveness, and acceptance. The carnal believer displays a critical, divisive,
and almost angry attitude which demands it own way.

Although every attitude needs to be examined through the lens of our Lord’s eyes, let’s consider one that
most times is never considered. Read Revelation 3:15-16. The attitude of apathy, of indifference, of being
‘lukewarm’ literally makes God sick. From this passage the truth is seen that generally, “God discards the
lukewarm” & hopes our attitude gets COLD ENOUGH to want to do something about it. What’s your temp?

As you pray today, ask God to speak to you and reveal any issues with your attitude. Listen for His voice.
As you write out your prayer, why not come clean & ask for His help EVERY DAY with this thing of attitude.

 Dear God,
                                                                                                    P a g e | 26

                                           Friday, February 04, 2011

Scripture:    Matthew 12:36, Ephesians 4:29, Ephesians 5:4, 1 Corinthians 10:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:18

A week or so ago we visited the issue of “guarding your tongue,” however, because so many of the
struggles we experience and so much of the troubles we face are directly related to how we talk let us turn
our thoughts, once again to our speech. Begin today by reading a sobering word, Matthew 12:36. Let’s
face it; today’s culture is exploded with vile and wicked speech. Ask God to give you discernment so you
will not be drawn into this pattern.

Read Ephesians 4:29 and Ephesians 5:4 and then consider these penetrating questions: Do you ever speak
slang words that are crude and inappropriate? Do you use God’s name in other ways than in worship,
honor, & praise? Has the filthiness of our society crept into your speech? Honestly examine yourself in
prayer and ask God for His forgiveness. Be as specific as possible and completely surrender.

Read 1 Corinthians 10:10 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Were you to read (in Exodus) about the Children of
Israel’s journey out of Egypt you would note that they continually complained about God’s provision. No
matter what He did, it wasn’t enough. As a result, they died in the wilderness. It is impossible to be spirit-
filled and to be a constant complainer. Yet, the habit of complaining is an easy one to develop. A couple
penetrating question may help: Do you often gripe and complain about the situations in your life? Do you
fail to give thanks for all things and at all times? Are you filled with an attitude of gratefulness & praise or
grumbling and complaining? Do you make excuses by saying, “I have good reason to complain?” Do you
seem to find the dark side of everything? Admittedly, these are difficult questions, but these questions
allow us to deal with a major problem and stumbling block for many believers today. Spend some time in
prayer asking God for His help. If you will He will turn your sorrow to joy!

As you write your prayer, ask God to help you daily in the matter of affirming & uplifting speech.

  Dear God,
                                                                                                    P a g e | 27

                                          Saturday, February 05, 2011

Scripture:    Matthew 5:22-23, Matthew 6:14-15, Matthew 18:35, Hebrews 10:25, Ephesians 5:23-6:4

Back on the 5th day of our journey, we prayed through our relationships in general. Again we revisit the
subject of relationships but this time, let us speak as specific and pray it through. You see, through bad and
broken relationships we lose the fullness of the Spirit. Consider these areas of sin in our relationships.

First, read Matthew 5:22-23. Jesus was emphatic about getting right with those who have been offended
in an ungodly way. He is talking about brothers and sisters who are walking in the spirit. In essence Jesus
says, “Don’t approach God until you first get right those broken relationship.” This is common theme from
our Lord. Take a few moments and allow God to bring to your mind those you have wronged. When He
reveals them to you, take a moment and write down the names and ask Him to help you right this wrong.

Now, read Matthew 6:14-15 – Now ask yourself, “Am I holding bitterness or a grudge against anyone?”
Many time prayers get no higher than the ceiling because of internal resentment and bitterness toward a
brother or sister. We are called to ‘forgive people from the HEART’ which, in light of previous day’s prayer;
we know that our heart is tied to our attitude which is tied to our thoughts. Read Matthew 18:35. If there
is even the slightest hint of a grudge or bitterness in your heart, God will not send the fullness of His Spirit.

Now, read Hebrews 10:25. One of the most unknown or unacknowledged sins for a believer is to neglect
regular fellowship and worship with the body of Christ. God calls no one to be a lone ranger or an
isolationist. In fact, to purposefully miss gathering with the body is a direct violation of God’s desire for His
people to fellowship, worship, and grow together. Satan often deceives believers into thinking they are
fulfilling their responsibility to the body of Christ even when being unfaithful. This breaks fellowship with
God and your fellow believers. This is unacceptable to God.

Finally, how are your family relationships? Are they consistent with God’s principles as stated in the Bible?
Spend some time thinking and praying about God’s plumb line for husbands, wives, and children. Now,
read Ephesians 5:23-6:4. How are these relationships? Husband, have you taken the spiritual lead for your
family? Do you love your wife as Christ loved the Church? Before you answer, remember Jesus loved the
church so much that He died for her. Wife, do you demonstrate respect for your husband or do you
frequently treat him with dishonor and disrespect? Do you respond to his needs or ignore them? Young
Person, do disobey your parents and/or ignore their guidance? If so, this could be why your life seems so
filled with so much “stuff.” Spend some time in prayer asking God to reveal to you the hurting
relationships which may cause God not to bless you. Ask for His guidance to help you do the hard, difficult
work of restoring these relationships. Now write out a prayer of commitment to do your part in restoring
these relationships.
 Dear God,
                                                                                                P a g e | 28

                                         Sunday, February 06, 2011

Scripture:   Ephesians 5:5 and 5:12, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Exodus 20:2-3, Matthew 7:24, Rev. 2:14-15

Many years ago it was common to ask God’s forgiveness for our sins of “commission” (and the sins of
omission—but that’s tomorrow). These are the transgressions which are explained as breaking God’s law
or doing something God forbids.

Read Ephesians 5:5 and Ephesians 5:12. The Bible speaks of sins which are painful to admit; sexual
immorality, uncleanness, or perversion. Do you watch TV shows which are full of filthiness & perversions?
Have you ever dressed in a suggestive way? Do you read things which you know God would not approve?
Please never forget, this culture is depraved and you are called to be ‘pure’ & ‘holy.’ While these concepts
may not be politically correct, they are eternally required by God. God’s standards have not changed.

Next, read 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. Your body is the “temple of God” and is to be kept spiritual holy and
physically fit. Have you abused your body with sexual immorality, overeating, or harmful habits?

Next, read Exodus 20:2-3 and then Matthew 7:24. Admittedly, we don’t have any images carved out which
we fall down and worship, but make no mistake, the temptation is greater today than we imagine for us to
grant “god-status” to “things”. Has the Lord’s Day become so full for you that little time remains for God?
Is your schedule so busy that giving time to serve God through ministry and missions is impossible? Has
your desire for financial gain and work taken over your life?

Now, read Revelation 2:14-15. The context of this passage speaks of compromise. The sin which is so
prevalent among the churches today is the sin of ‘compromise’. When God speaks, He speaks definitively.
It is a sin to compromise with the world. The pull of this culture, to make God’s people accept ‘political
correctness,’ is enormous. Spend time in prayer asking God to show you if you have compromised yourself
or your beliefs in any way.

Now, prayerfully look back over each of the mentioned sin and ask God if any of these are yours. If not, ask
Him ‘what sins that you have committed?’ Then, spend time in confession and repentance before Him.
When you write out your prayer, ask God to make you sensitive and have a defense against repeating sin.

Dear God,
                                                                                                  P a g e | 29

                                         Monday, February 07, 2011

Scripture:    James 4:17, John 15:4-5, Ephesians 4:8, Luke 12:48, James 1:23-24

As far back as the Garden of Eden, God has desired to have an intimate walk with mankind. He has made it
clear and has given us the ability to walk with Him. This is what we were designed for. IN the aftermath of
the ‘fall of man’, God has called us to spend time with Him and obey His words, thus, when we don’t do
what He has said, we sin. Read James 4:17. Consider some of these sins.

Read John 15:4-5. Our Lord wants us to be close to Him. In fact, it is His will that we become closer to Him
and like Him every day. The only way to do this is through abiding in Him and the only way to abide in Him
is through daily Bible reading and prayer. Before you began this 31 day journey, did you spend time with
Him in prayer each and every day? Have you been too busy to spend time with God? Do you spend enough
time to have a conversation with Him and then grow from His words?

Read Ephesians 4:8. God has given you at least one spiritual gift (quite likely, you have several). Don’t cop
out by saying, “I don’t know my spiritual gift” because if you seriously seek God, He will reveal your gift(s)
to you. Do you look for ways in which you can use your gift to serve God and others or are you content to
sit and be served? This is tantamount to the sin of laziness. Never forget Luke 12:48.

Although there are many other sins of omission we could pull out of God’s word, James 1:23-24 (read)
covers many of the problems. This has been called “showcase repentance.” That term means that we
spend so much time dissecting God’s word that we never get around to doing it. Or if we get around to
doing it, we procrastinate until we can’t put it off any longer.

Spend some time before the Lord and ask Him to move you to action. Ask Him to show you those things
which He wants you to do that you have omitted. Then ask Him to give you the courage & strength to do.

  Dear God,
                                                                                                   P a g e | 30

                                         Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Scripture:    Matthew 16:24-25, Isaiah 55:8, Romans 6:12-14, John 12:24

The sins of “SELF” is a very deceptively subtle sin. It is subtle because focusing on self is easily overlooked
and it is deceptive because of the tendency to rationalize that we are not hurting anyone else and are just
taking care of self. However, the very reason so many may not be able to experience God’s power in their
life is because of the sins of self-rule and self-reliance.

Please read Matthew 16:24-25. For the true believers, there will be many points which God’s way must be
adhered to over our OWN way. Read Isaiah 55:8. From time to time, the old man in each of us will stick up
his head and attempt to pull us away from the Lord’s way. The old man will make “self’s” way seem
appealing, fun, and easy. It is only in denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following the Lord’s way
that you will find victory and be able to walk in the spirit. The practical question for many of us is exactly
“how to I die to self daily?” The answer is found in our previous lesson on our thought life. You must take
each thought captive and say ‘no’ to those thoughts, attitude, and actions which are obviously not of God.

Being the “captain” of your own life effectively removes Jesus as the Lord of your life. What is required is
that we ‘deny self’ and turn it over to God. Read Romans 6:12-14. To allow ‘self’ to rule your life is to live a
life of defeat. You cannot make the “self-rule-life” better, it must be crucified. This is hard, but the Christ
who lives in you will give you the strength to die to self. Pray now and ask God to help you die to both self-
rule and self-reliance. Then ask Him to move in and take control.

Read John 12:24. This is the Spiritual principle of brokenness which is dying to self and is required to
“breakthrough” spiritually. God uses at least two tools to bring about brokenness and breakthrough in our
lives. God uses the conviction and revelation of the Holy Spirit as well as circumstances in life to take us
through this process.

Today there is much to bring before our Lord. Who is controlling your life? Self or the Savior? ME or Him?
The Spirit of Life or the Spirit of nature? For a true answer to this question, spend time talking to and
listening to your Heavenly Father. Ask Him if you truly allow Him to control your attitudes and actions.

Ask Him to give you the strength and courage to face the truth about yourself & do something about it. As
you write your prayer, ask God to help you daily surrender control of your life to Him.

 Dear God,
                                                                                                  P a g e | 31

                                       Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Scripture:    Matthew 6:14-15, Ephesians 4:32

As we enter the last few days before we gather and ask God to renew us, restore our spiritual joy, and fill
us up with His Holy Spirit, let’s zero in on a few things which will help us be clean and pure so that God can
come to us. Let’s remember that God will only fill an empty and clean vessel.

Forgiveness is an interesting concept which means you will not “get back” at someone who has wronged
you. Remember, we are not condoning the offensive behavior but we are turning loose of our right to get
even. In fact, to forgive is to “drop the charges” against those people who have wronged us. If we don’t
drop the charges we will never live in peace or be free to live in victory. Unforgiveness keeps us in
bondage. Jesus told us if we don’t forgive, there will be dire and permanent consequences. (Matthew

Yet, the really interesting thing about forgiveness is that when we ‘need to be forgiven’—we want it
immediately but when we ‘need to forgive’—we want to take our time.

First, ask God if there is anyone whom you need to forgive. If you listen for His voice, He will speak.

Now, ask Him what He would have you to do to forgive from your Heart. Then, commit to God that you will
follow through with your personal forgiveness. Now, ask Him if there is someone you need to “do”
something (like apologize, attempt to reconcile, etc). Then, ask God for the strength to do what He tells
you to. (It won’t be easy.)

Read Ephesians 4:32. What if someone comes to you after today to ask you for forgiveness or to offer you
forgiveness for something which happened in days gone by? What would you do? How would you
respond? Would you be kind and tender or would you be unfair and unkind which would be unchristian in
your respond? Please think about this possibility and ask God how HE would have you to respond. Again,
this is not easy, but it is required.

Write your prayer to God asking Him to help you ‘live out’ forgiveness in your life, both the granting and
asking for forgiveness.

  Dear God,
                                                                                                      P a g e | 32

                                          Thursday, February 10, 2011

Scripture:    John 13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Read John 13:34-35. The New Testament gives two ways for the world to know that we are His people.
The first is by our fruits. This principle runs throughout the New Testament in such ways as “Can good fruit
come from a bad tree” or “Can fresh and salt water come from the same fountain” or “you can tell people
by their fruit.” The second way Jesus gives is “by our love.” The love which Jesus was speaking of was an
“Agape” (or God’s type) of love.

This love is not an “if” type of love. An example is: “I’ll love you “IF” you’ll _________ (fill in the blank). In
High School this could have been if you are the quarterback, the drum major, dress right, or are the best
looking. In adulthood, this can be “I’ll love you “IF” you’re making enough money, have the right
connections, or even are well-known.” This is not the love of which Jesus is speaking.

This love is not a “because of” type of love. Using the same logic, this is offering love because of what you
are, who you are, or even what you do. This is not that love.

The love Jesus is talking about is an “in spite of” type of love. This is the agape love which God has for us
and the love Jesus expected us to have for each other. It is the love spoken of by the apostle Paul in 1
Corinthians 13. He gives the characteristics in verse 4-7. (Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Too often in the family of God, we only love as long as we view things the same way. This causes church
members to ‘change churches’ at the drop of a hat. Agape love for one another cause us to love one
another through good, bad, up, down, and everything in between.

Ask God about your love for your brothers and sisters in Christ, and how you can demonstrate Godly love
to those who are a part of the redeemed family. Listen for His voice. This one thing has the power to
change the face of this congregation because it has the power to change your heart.

Write your prayer asking God for help to love those whom you do not care for. Ask Him to help you
demonstrate your love by affirmations and encouragement.

Dear God,
                                                                                                  P a g e | 33

                                          Friday, February 11, 2011

Scripture:    Read Isaiah 53:5, 1 John 1:9

There is an old story about a teenager who lived down the road from a magnificent church building which
had a large cross on the top of its tall steeple. As he grew up, he watch the worker do maintenance on that
cross as they replaced light bulb and kept it freshly painted. Even though he grew up in the shadow of this
steeple, the people of the church never reached out to him. As he began Junior High, he began to run with
the rough crowd. For 4 years, his life was on a downhill spiral which included drugs, sex, and violence. One
night he was found face down in an alley, high on drugs, and severely beaten. His rescuers wanted to take
him to the hospital, but he knew that would bring questions which he didn’t care to answer, so he asked
them to take him home. Between the alcohol, drugs, and the beating, he could not remember his own
address. Remembering that church building and that enormous steeple, he said, “Take me to the cross, I
can get home from there.”

Over the past 30 days we have taken a journey together desiring God to pour out His spirit on us. If this is
to happen, it will be when we return to the cross. “At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light &
the burden of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith I received my sight & now I am happy all the

Right now, visualize the cross, visit that place, and see Jesus. Se the nails in His feet and hands, see the
thorns on His head, hear the crowd mocking Him, and remember what happened there. Read Isaiah 53:5.

Ask God today to reveal whatever sins have subtly crept into your life. Even though you were forgiven
when you came to Jesus at Calvary to be saved, now He can forgive your sin if you bring them to Him. Read
1 John 1:9. At the foot of the cross the ground is level.

Every trip to Calvary evokes a need for confession, repentance, and renewal. Why not take this
opportunity as you look to Jesus hanging on the cross. Keep this picture fresh in your mind; it will keep you
fresh in your heart.

As you write your daily prayer, why not ask God to keep the picture of the cross in your mind? This could
help you to keep a fresh spirit every day.

  Dear God,
                                                                                                  P a g e | 34

                                         Saturday, February 12, 2011

Scripture:   Psalms 23:1-3, Luke 5:16,

If we are honest, we don’t do “quiet” very well or very often. Before radio, television, recorded music,
tapes, CD’s, and even IPODS, the world was quiet. At night there were little sounds in the house because
the family talked in quiet tones, read, and/or studied. Today, we move from sound to sound and many
times, these are LOUD sounds. It is difficult to get alone and have quiet.

Jesus often sought a quiet place. He wanted quiet so that He could commune with and talk with His
heavenly Father. Read Mark 1:35. How long has it been since you have sought out a quiet place to spend
time with God? For the last month we have (hopefully) made a quiet time a priority in our day.

Where is your quiet place? Please understand, your quiet place is not so much a destination point as much
as it is a place free of distractions and interruptions. It is the place where you “expect” to talk and walk
with the Lord.

Read Psalms 23:1-3. Think about those “still waters.” Your quiet place is the place of still waters in your
life. If Jesus needs one, so do you. Read Luke 5:16

Ask God to help you permanently establish your quiet place and to remind you daily of your need for it.
Write out your prayer to God asking Him to keep you clean and pure as He reveals to you the sin which
takes you by surprise. Include a request for His help to confess and repent.

Dear God,
                                                                                                  P a g e | 35

                                         Sunday, February 13, 2011

Scripture:    Hebrew 12:1, James 1:12, 2 Timothy 2:5.

This is the day for which we have been planning and praying for many weeks. Can you imagine an Olympic
race where the runner was about to finish the race as a winner and then, just on a whim, decided to go to
the locker room without finishing the race? Can you imagine a halfback in a football game getting the ball,
making a 70 yard run, about to score only to throw down the ball and walk into the locker room? In this
sports crazed society, these thoughts are considered unheard, impossible, if not crazy. Yet, there are those
who will miss out on what God wants to do in us during the next 3 days.

Please read Hebrew 12:1. We are called to run the entire race, not give in or give up, and be excited about
it. There will be a temptation to stop, to quit, and to give up, but for those who endure to the end, it will
be worth it. Read James 1:12 and 2 Timothy 2:5.

Spend some time talking with God about the help He can give you to finish the course. Do you want to
hear the words, “Well done?” Paul could say it this way, “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
He was eligible for the prize.

When God called you to Himself, he was full of expectation that you would be a witness, not a whiner. He
wants you to finish the race with JOY, not drop out along the way.

Will you ask Him to speak words of encouragement and help to you that you may be excited about the
race and what lies at the finish line.

Write a prayer – asking Him to give you the heart, mind, and soul, to run, run, run, with excitement and
enthusiasm because of His grace and peace.

  Dear God,

Shared By: