Friday, December 20, 2002

Day 9- Friday, December 20, 2002
God has given each of us things that we are passionate about that He wants us to pursue in order to bring Him glory. When it comes to serving the Lord, what are you most passionate about? Are you serving in your passion? Read psalms 37:5. Ask the Lord to give you ooportunities to work out your passions.
Day 8- Thursday, December 19, 2002
As we begin to evaluate ourselves, we need to remember who the Lord has made us. List who you are in Christ. What of these are hard to believe? Why? Read Ephesians 1-3. Thank the Lord for all He has made you!

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Day 7- Wednesday, December 18, 2002
We can often better evaluate where we need to grow in character as we listen to what others have said to us. Where have people confronted me, or spoken truth to my life recently? Do I allow people to know me well enough to do that? Am I teachable? How have I grown from others' feedback? What do I still need to change? Read Proverbs 27:5-6, 28:13, 23. Pray that you will be open to the rebuke of others and respect them for it.
Proverbs 27
5 Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Proverbs 28
13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
23 He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor
than he who has a flattering tongue.

God Bless

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Day 6- Tuesday, December 17, 2002
Rarely do we take the time to ask the Lord where we need to grow in our character. What areas has the Lord placed on your heart to grow in your character? Where do you need to grow in leadership? Where do you need to grow in discipline? Read Hebrews 12:7-11, Romans 5:3-5, Proverbs 22:1

Hebrews 12

7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Romans 5
3Not only so, but we[1] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Proverbs 22
1 A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Some Significant Words And Definitions For Today...Because This Can Be A Way To Start Thinking About What A Passage Is Really Saying and From There What It Means To You And Your Life...
intr.v. re•mained, re•main•ing, re•mains
1. To continue in the same state or condition: These matters remain in doubt.
2. To continue to be in the same place; stay or stay behind: We are remaining at home.
3. To be left after the removal, loss, passage, or destruction of others: Only a few trees remain.
4. To be left as still to be dealt with: A cure remains to be found.
5. To endure or persist.

trust n.
Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.
Custody; care.
Something committed into the care of another; charge.

The condition and resulting obligation of having confidence placed in one: violated a public trust.
One in which confidence is placed.
Reliance on something in the future; hope.
Reliance on the intention and ability of a purchaser to pay in the future; credit.
A legal title to property held by one party for the benefit of another.
The confidence reposed in a trustee when giving the trustee legal title to property to administer for another, together with the trustee's obligation regarding that property and the beneficiary.
The property so held.

Day 5- December 16, 2002
As we allow the Lord to create a clean heart in us (Cue the exciting worship song), we will see areas in which we need to grow spiritually. How do you need to grow spiritually? How can you be more commited to your growth in your walk with the Lord? Is it prayer, scripture memory, solitude, fasting, worship? Read Psalms 4:4-5, John 15:1-11. Pray that the Lord will show you where you need pruning (Oh please, someone go into a monologue on the benefits and symbolism of the pruning process in agriculture...It'll feel like home), and where you need to bear fruit for Him.

John 15
The Vine and the Branches
1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[1] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
15:2 The Greek for prunes also means cleans.

Psalm 4
4 In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer right sacrifices
and trust in the LORD .

Day 4- Sunday, December 15, 2002
Our main priority each day is to meet with the Lord. What has the Lord been placing on your heart that hinders you from pursuing Him daily? What do you need to change in thought, word or deed? Read Psalm 51. Pray this to the Lord, write it in your own words. Acknowledge your sin (v. 1-6), seek removal of your sin (v. 7-9), trust God to renew you (v. 10-22), and maintain a readiness to repent.

Psalm 51
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts [1] ;
you teach [2] me wisdom in the inmost place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
14 Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 The sacrifices of God are [3] a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

18 In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;
build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then there will be righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings to delight you;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

And now, to catch up to today...
Day 3- Saturday, December 14, 2002
If each day is to be lived with purpose, we will need to check what our priorities should be. (Oh so appropriate during finals season) What have been my priorities and what should they be? What will I need to change in order to be able to live in my priorities? What habits need to be changed, or made? Read Mathew 13:44, 6:33. Pray that you would be able to keep eternal things as your priority.

13:44"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field

6:25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[2] ?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Day 2- Friday, December 13, 2002
If we are made for a purpose, we should live each day with purpose. What should we pursue each day is God created us to worship Him? Read Psalm 27:4, Psalm 42:1-2, Psalm 84:2,10, Philippians 3:10. How do these desires fulfill God's purposes? What will you do today to experience and express these desires?

Psalm 27
4 One thing I ask of the LORD ,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

Psalm 42
For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.
[2] As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

Psalm 84
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD ;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

Philippians 3
10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death

Here's the first little prompt thingy:
Day 1- Thursday, December 12, 2002
God created each person for a specific purpose. What was God's purpose in creating you? Read Acts 17:22-31, Colossians 1:16. Write out a prayer as you think about the next 40 days. Commit your entire self to the purpose of God for your life.

A Thought: Y'all might want to keep a private prayer journal for more personal prayers like that, but sharing thoughts, prayers, and especially questions and comments on the verses would be a great place to start. I had a really great discussion with some of my Berkeley buddies about these verses last night. So, let's begin...

Acts 17
22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:|sc TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
24"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
29"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone--an image made by man's design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

Colossians 1
16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him

They come from a guide written by Holly Ashman in "40 DAYS OF SEEKING THE LORD" a tool for doing some hardcore seeking of the heart of God. The 40 Days are significant because 40 is a number that God uses throughout the Bible to prepare His people for great things (ie. Noah in the ark, Moses on the mountain, Jesus in the wilderness, The Isrealites in the desert). The book was written as a guide for preparing our hearts for a great big outreach that Campus Crusade for Christ at Cal is doing in our spring semester *prayers for that* but being totally on fire for God is always a good thing. Plus, it brings up some great things to study and topics to start off some serious discussions and inspire some real sharing. So, pray about what God wants you to be doing right now and post thoughts, responses, prayers, and questions.
These entries and journals are one part of a guide for serious spiritual seeking that includes spending some extended time with God in preparation, regular private time with God, praying, fasting, studying some biblical topic, and keeping a spiritual journal.