40 Days of Love Week 3 Devotionals

40 Days of Love – Prayer ♥ Care ♥ Share
September 29 to November 7, 2019

Day 15: Sunday, October 13
The last thing that people need in time of loss and destruction is someone pounding a Bible and yelling about the wrath and judgment of God. Hate and judgment never open doors or hearts. We live in a broken world; sin scarred all of creation. Nature groans for Christ’s return and its restoration to God’s beginning statement when seeing what He had created: “it was good.” In times of trouble, leave the convicting up to the Holy Spirit and focus instead on loving people to Christ, not pushing them away. Share hope and love as you help to restore those who are hurting or lost.

Day 16: Monday, October 14
Studies of the brain show that the subconscious of every human is first concerned with preservation and safety. The brain is always asking, “Am I safe?” If the answer is yes, then the brain asks, “Am I cared for?” Only after these two questions are answered positively is the brain able to ask, “What can I learn?” Think about that for a moment. People who fear for their lives or don’t have food or shelter, do not have the capability to listen, learn, and receive the message of Jesus. It is not that they are rejecting Jesus, it is that they are not capable of even conceiving and receiving. How does this change the way you think and share faith from this day forward? Always start with love and care before you share.

Day 17: Tuesday, October 15

Love is a calling and a command, a tone and a touch, and it is minimized or magnified in all that we do. You can take out the trash or clean the bathroom with a cheerful heart because you are happy to have the provisions to have garbage and a home with a bathroom. Make a choice to share love with people throughout your day. Check your posture, your expressions, the timing of your responses, as well as the cheerfulness and gratefulness that you express to others all day. If someone asks, “Why are you in such a good mood?” or “Why would you do that for me?” share what Jesus has lovingly done for you. Share His love.

Day 18: Wednesday, October 16
Many people who have never experienced the love of Jesus think of church and Christianity as a club filled with rules and unreachable expectations. The church is the body of Christ, made up of every person who lives their life under the love and lordship of Jesus in faith that He is the perfect, risen, living Son of God. His commands protect us; they do not steal our fun but rather add to our joy. There is safety and protection, peace and comfort
under the wings of God’s authority. In the finished work of the cross, we can enter into the presence of God with praise and thanksgiving. Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus, not a building full of rules.

Day 19: Thursday, October 17
Jess called us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Our oneness begins with our Creator, our heavenly Father whose image we all bear. Share this with someone who feels like they never fit in—the person who sits alone, who deliberately makes their appearance stand out, or whose background would have them believe that you have nothing in common. Look for and talk about what you do have in common.

Day 20: Friday, October 18
Romans 8:6 says, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” God gives you the options to make up your own mind. You decide what you will pursue: the flesh or the Spirit. God is clear: choosing to follow Him brings life and peace, but choosing the flesh is a road to nowhere. You cannot be neutral—if you are not for Him, you are against Him. Share this with someone you know or meet today
who is looking for peace. The Prince of Peace has been pursuing them to offer life and peace today. It’s their choice.

Day 21: Saturday, October 19
We may remember that grace brought us to Jesus, but sometimes we forget that this gift from God is what equips and blesses us to live in victory. We walk through the doors of abundant life by grace but somehow get turned around and start trying to earn God’s favor and love. Jesus could not love you any more than He does right now. You are a significant person with a significant kingdom purpose, and your faith in and love for Jesus
is all you need to be showered with blessings and opportunities that will enable you to fulfill your destiny. Share this with someone who struggles with insecurity or works-based religion; your faith-filled relationship is the key to God’s heart. When the road looks rocky, just say out loud: “I trust you, Jesus!”

Source: 40 Days of Love, A Prayer, Care, Share Devotional (with minor adaptation

40 Days of Love Week 2 Devotionals

40 Days of Love – Prayer ♥ Care ♥ Share – September 29 to November 7, 2019

Day 8: Sunday, October 6
Transparency is an important part of being a Christ follower. We are not perfect, just forgiven. We are in the process of sanctification—a big word for the process of being disciplined and discipled into the character of Christ. That process won’t be complete until God “graduates” us to heaven. Those who feel ashamed and unworthy need to know that we all need forgiveness. Share your testimony honestly with someone today…the good, the bad and the ugly. Just remember that the most important thing to focus on is the wonderful things God has done for you and in you!

Day 9: Monday, October 7
You have probably heard, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). There is a joy in giving, happiness in helping, and delight in doing for others. We do for others because it shows our love for God as we show love for others. There is no greater joy than watching someone receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior! Boldly share Christ’s message of love and pray that many will receive.

Day 10: Tuesday, October 8
Many times Christians choose not to share the message of Jesus with the people they love the most because they do not want the relationship to get awkward or cause that person to pull away. Sadly, they are willing to lose them for eternity and miss a lifetime of blessings here on earth just to keep things comfortable between them. Share your faith in casual conversations and ask faith questions. Be willing to listen without interrupting. Find connection points. When they ask questions you don’t know how to answer, be willing to say: “That’s a great question! I don’t know the answer, so let’s look for that answer together”. There’s no need to guess or make up a response—being a disciple means being a lifelong student of Jesus.

Day 11: Wednesday, October 9
“Just as I am” is a famous hymn which says that when we come to Jesus, He accepts us just the way we are. We can never “clean ourselves up” or do enough good to present ourselves favorably before our Holy God. We should never expect a disciple’s behavior from an un-discipled person. Share Christ’s love before a lesson or lecture about Christlike behavior. Jesus changes hearts and then He changes behavior.

Day 12: Thursday, October 10
Love begins at home, at work and in your neighborhood. God intentionally planted you in the midst of people who need to hear His Word, who need to be told the good news of Jesus and how to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. God calls us to reach out with His love and equips us to love others. Is there something you think God wants you to do, but you think is too difficult or will take too much effort? Start walking and working in faith as you
ask God to guide you. The results may astound you.

Day 13: Friday, October 11
We are all sinners who need a Savior. We’ve all made mistakes, sinned, and suffered discipline and consequences. Grace and mercy washes away shame but the lessons remain (hopefully). Be willing to share that your life is not perfect and that you sometimes have regrets but in spite of all that, God still loves you. He disciplines us, teaches us, forgives us, and enables us to turn away from sin and get back on His path for our lives. Be willing to be transparent and share an experience where God disciplined you and how you responded.

Day 14: Saturday, October 12
You may have spent most of your life trying not to stand out, but God calls us to be set apart. This does not mean we are to be egotistical. Rather, God’s holiness brings healing and forgiveness so that we can boast only in Him. Holy people are humble people; share your testimony of how Christ’s sacrifice saved you, enabling you to have an ongoing relationship with your heavenly Father.

Source: 40 Days of Love, A Prayer, Care, Share Devotional (with minor adaptation)

40 Days of Love Week 1 Devotionals

40 Days of Love – Prayer ♥ Care ♥ Share – September 29 to November 7, 2019

Day 1: September 29

It is a misnomer to think that trials and troubles cease when you become a Christian; the truth is that Jesus will cover you as the Holy Spirit guards and guides you through the tough times, not around them. Someone you know or that you will meet today needs to know the fullness of God’s love for them and what it looks like to express this love to others. Be prepared to share and show His love.

Day 2: September 30

When you value others with acts of compassion, you will stand out in a selfish world and people will be curious about the reason you have hope. It is necessary to share the reason for your hope, to let people know that Christ’s love for you and your love for Him is the source and strength for all that you do. Do not let people label you as a “do-gooder”, but rather a “God’s doer”!

Day 3: October 1

Have you ever noticed how a vine grows with its branches intertwined, adding additional support to each branch as it matures and produces fruit? God puts people in your life so that you can grow together and support one another through storms and tender places of new growth. Who do you know that could use some extra support? There are many ways to provide support: through prayer, spending time listening and encouraging, providing a meal, a ride to an appointment or childcare for a few hours, or doing a chore for someone. Be prepared to share what Christ means to you as well as what He has done in you, and for you, as you walk and work in a world of hurting people who need hope today.

Day 4: October 2

This world appears to have a lot to offer: choices compete for our attention, time and money. We fill our days and our closets searching for satisfaction and significance. Some decisions quickly turn into regret, and “buyer’s remorse” sets in to steal the joy of that new item. Do you know someone drowning in regret or disappointment? There is a world of people searching for fulfillment; share with them the peace which comes with surrender, and walk with them as Jesus fills their heart with real treasure.

Day 5: October 3

Your joy-filled obedience can be a significant testimony to help others take the first step in trusting and obeying Jesus. Resentful obedience reflects a heart that does not understand the better blessings found in the boundaries and promptings of God. Pride says: “I want what I want, no matter the consequences.” Obedience says and shows the world that you trust God to give you what you need and to shield you from what you do not. Be prepared to share this message with someone today and every day.

Day 6: October 4

We are storytellers by design. For thousands of years, people have been passing down history and stories in the oral tradition. Even after printing presses and laptops, we still love a good conversation filled with life’s adventures and emotions. You share stories all the time whether you realize it or not, so make it a habit to share “God stories” in your everyday conversations. Give Him glory for the great things He has done, or connect a current life situation with a story from the Bible and follow when God opens the door to faith discussions or questions from unbelievers. Let them know they can talk to you without judgment or pressure. Always have transparent, real-life conversations, and avoid “church language” they may not understand.

Day 7: October 5

Life is full of surprises, good and bad. As you walk and work through your day today, you may pass by dozens of people who have been shocked and rocked by unexpected, painful circumstances. How can you share the love and message of Jesus with them now? How can you give them a hand out of the pit they fell (or maybe even got pushed) into? Share your trust in Jesus, the One they can always trust.

Source: 40 Days of Love, A Prayer, Care, Share Devotional (with minor adaptation)

Exciting Thursday Night Bible Study: “Unoffendable”

It’s a radical, provocative idea: We’re not entitled to get offended or stay angry. The idea of our own “righteous anger” is a myth. It is the number one problem in our societies today and, as Dallas Willard says, Christians have not been taught out of it.

As it turns out, giving up our “right” to be offended can be one of the most freeing, healthy, simplifying, relaxing, refreshing, stress-relieving, encouraging things we can do.

Join us at 7 pm. All questions welcome.