Monday - 12/7By Daniel Larsen
Read: Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG) The Message“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Response/Questions1. Make a list of what “tired,” “worn out," or “burned out” looks like in your life. Putting pencil to paper helps to remove the noise that these things can create in our minds.
2. Now that you have a list, examine it. What is preventing you from taking a “real rest” with God? Is there a common desire that these things share? Can you name it?
3. Ok, now here is the challenging part, but stick with it! Take items listed, or the common desire that the listed items share and ask your Father in Heaven to replace them with a desire to “keep company” with Him. Boldly request in faith that the unforced rhythms spoken about in this verse will become increasingly true of your life and that your soul would feel the repercussions.
Tuesday - 12/8By Mark Wittig
Prayer is a powerful tool to Relocate Desire. It roots us in our daily lives.
Read: Mark 1:32-37"That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
Response/Questions1. Jesus, being God, was always perfectly connected to God and yet He took the time to pray. He wanted to have a conversation with His Father. How do you pray? Does it feel like a list of requests or more like a conversation?
2. Jesus had so many demands on His time (The whole town gathered, everyone is looking for you) and yet He made time to pray. In the midst of this busy Christmas season, how can you make more time to pray?
3. Spend 5 minutes having a conversation with God right now. Talk to Him as your Dad. Connect to Him.
Wednesday - 12/9By Jessica Bowman
Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
Response/Questions1. Paul uses this illustration to explain that life takes hard work, and a daily preparation. Among these three essential disciplines- prayer, bible study and worship, which practice are you consistent with, and which practice do you need encouragement in? Don’t miss the important message that Paul is trying to share here…spiritual disciplines equip us to run with endurance, and grit.
2. What area(s) of your life is thriving right now? (ie. career, friendships, children, marriage, household…)
3. What have you intentionally put in place or given up to help that area of your life thrive?
4. Believe it or not, there are times in our life, when we must give up something good in order to do what God wants. When you read that statement, does anything come to mind? Write that down, and keep it close to you.
Thursday - 12/10By Jon Peacock
Read Psalm 63:1-3“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”
Response/Questions1. "Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning.” -Dallas WillardWith that quote and these verses from Psalm 63 in mind, know that today is in no way an attempt to earn God’s love or favor. Through Christ, you already have it. From this gospel centered place, continue.
2. On a scale of 1-5 where does your seeking of God rank this week? What secondary desire have you allowed to become primary? Write that desire or those desires down. Spend some time acknowledging the weight of placing secondary things where only Christ belongs.
3. This Psalm conveys how desperation and brokenness becomes a catalyst for authentic connection with God. Instead of hiding your weakness or running from your weakness, acknowledge it and capture it right now. Take out a piece of paper and write down where you lack, where your hurt and where you have fallen short.
4. In this place of honesty and vulnerability before God, invite His love to fill you and heal you for truly His love is better than life. Write out your prayer today and keep this to remember how on this day, you were honest before God.
Friday - 12/11By Eric Welliver
“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream."
Read Romans 12:2"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
There are a lot of things seeking our attention and our thoughts in society today. Positive things, and definitely not so positive things. We are surrounded by “our world”. But we have to remind ourselves that God has a different vision, he has a different way for us. Lets answer a couple questions that might help us relocate what we desire daily.
Response/Questions1. How often do you read the bible? (Not the whole book front to back, but how often do you read scriptures?)
2. Think of a time in your life when you felt the most “connected” to God. Why do you think you felt that way?
3. Earlier in the week we looked at the spiritual disciplines (prayer, worship, sharing your faith, serving, stewardship, fasting, solitude, journaling, and learning). Have you tried any of them this week? Which one is God calling you to practice today?
4. How could you be intentional with renewing your mind this week? What can you take in and what can you leave out to focus yourself on Christ?
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