40 Days of Love Week 5 Devotionals

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

Day 36: Sunday, November 3
We rely on God’s protection with every breath for every second of every day. He created and sustains us, and we would perish without him. His protection gives you courage, comfort and peace. Fear vanishes when we focus on our great God watching over us. Share this with someone who seems to worry or is often fearful. Let them know that God watching over them is like a parent watching their new baby sleep; He just can’t take His eyes off you!

Day 37: Monday, November 4
Do you know someone who makes the same mistake over and over again? They suffer the hard consequences, and you think they’ve finally learned their lesson, only to watch them fall, or run, back into trouble. Share Christ’s message of love and hope with them today. With a gentle tone of lovingkindness, offer to journey with them to change their choices and put into practice the hard lessons that they have to endure so they don’t suffer any longer.

Day 38: Tuesday, November 5
Most people think negative thoughts about themselves. Even people who seem super self confident or conceited have insecurity issues and often cover them up by trying to tell everyone how great they are. Share with someone today how God sees them—they are His beautiful, gifted creation that He loves so much that He was willing to send His Son to die for them. Let them know how precious and valuable they are to God. Make sure you believe this for yourself as well.

Day 39: Wednesday, November 6
Christ’s love causes us to share His love. Once you’ve experienced it, you just have to go and express it. Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35 NIV). When people ask you why you care, why you give, why your sacrifice for others, always be quick to answer that it is Jesus’ love pouring through you. Share Jesus through your love.

Day 40: Thursday, November 7
Can you believe that this is the final day of the 40 Days of Love? So now what? Well, we go loving on day 41, 42, 43, and 99…. We love, until in the blink of an eye, we are absent from the body and present with the Lord. Forty Days of Love was meant to help you make love a lifestyle, to see how easy and fulfilling it is to live out a Prayer-Care-Share lifestyle—even to your “enemies.” Never stop sharing the love and message of Jesus. You were born to love and live out Christ’s love. After all, King Jesus was born to
die for you.

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

40 Days of Love Week 4 Devotionals

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

Day 22: Sunday, October 20
Do you have any friends who are unbelievers? Sometimes we isolate ourselves with our church friends and small groups; we go to our Christian bookstores and coffee shops and have no idea what is going on with the people we were sent to love. It is important to have close Christian friends and support Christian businesses, movies and radio stations, but we cannot close ourselves off from our mission field. Connect with someone new at work, school, or in your neighborhood that you don’t believe knows Jesus and get to know them. Ask God to use you to help take the enemy’s blinders off so they can see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.

Day 23: Monday, October 21
When we think about sharing the gospel, we often think of a mission trip to a foreign land. These are significant trips, but so are the walks you take to your neighbor’s house. Every soul matters to Jesus. You live, work, learn, shop, dine, work out, and hang out in certain places by God’s design. You are on the mission every day. Know that there are dozens if not hundreds of international students in the colleges and universities not far from your home. Introducing them to the love and life in Christ while they are in your community could result in their returning to their country to spread the gospel with their influence and education. Look for ways to share Jesus around the world by looking around your community.

Day 24: Tuesday, October 22
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 NASB). If you are involved or know about a situation where happiness, health, relationship and destiny is under attack, go encourage the people involved to see the enemy’s trap that they have fallen into and the destruction that lies ahead for both or all of them. Blessed are the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9).

Day 25: Wednesday, October 23
God’s plan is the very best for you, greater than anything you can dream or imagine. Satan has a plan for your life too. Have you ever thought about that? For everything God does, satan has a counterfeit. Satan is your enemy, not your buddy. You know someone who needs to hear this today. The enemy has a battle plan against your destiny; if he can’t steal your soul, he will try to steal as many blessings as possible. Remember to resist the devil, and bless God and let Him fight for you while you submit to Him.

Day 26: Thursday, October 24
Church is just one place where we worship, but it is also a vital part of worship. Corporate prayer, learning, singing, giving, and fellowship are an essential part of being a Christ follower. We are stronger together, we accomplish more together, and we are supported and grow like a vine intertwined…together. The church is not perfect (neither are your leaders); the Holy Spirit is working in us and through us, but He is not finished with us. Like the saying, “the church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” Someone who has been hurt by the church or who has never been to church needs you to share this with them today.

Day 27: Friday, October 25
Has there ever been an emergency in your neighborhood—a fire, ambulance, or police car in someone’s driveway? Every neighborhood has moments of crisis and celebrations— everything from garage sales to graduations, robberies, deaths, and weather-related outages or destruction. Consider starting a Prayer-Care-Share hub in your neighborhood that prays together, watches out for one another, and responds with love in times of
triumph and tragedy.

Day 28: Saturday, October 26
We have become a society that cannot sit still and be quiet. The average smartphone user reaches for their phones hundreds of times a day. We are working but we are usually looking to see what the rest of the world is saying on social media, text, email, and more. Make it a habit to post something on your social media that is glorifying. Post Scripture, a praise of God’s blessing, or a beautiful picture and thank God for His creation or the
event in the picture. Use your voice to share God’s words with someone searching their phone or tablet for inspiration or hope, but never enlist yourself to be a substitute for the voice of God. Pray for people and ask God to speak to them so that they hear and know His voice.

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

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.