My dear friend, I know your soul is doing fine, and I pray that you are doing well in every way and that your health is good.
3 John 1:2 (NCV)
Sometimes it seems like we hear a lot about all the other aspects of our faith-based life and not a lot about our health and fitness. But our bodies are a temple of God and we should treat them as such. As believers, the world is watching to see how we live, act and move-literally. Are we being good stewards with the body God has given us?
Everything we do begins with a foundation. Without a foundation we can’t begin to build whatever we’re building! Goals are our foundation. What do you want your fitness foundation to be? Now, I’m not talking about having vain or unrealistic health goals (i.e. size 1 or 8-pack abs), but healthy, sustainable goals. Maybe you’ve always wanted to run a 5K or maybe even a marathon. Perhaps it’s just to be consistent in working out regularly. Need some ideas? Here are a few that I encourage everyone to do. Walk 10,000 steps per day – that’s five miles if you’re wondering. Drink at least 64 oz. of water daily (you actually need more than that, but the eight glasses, 8 oz. each is easy to remember). Start with five pushups on the first day of the month and add one each day.
Just like building a house, you have a blueprint that shows the design, color, height, room sizes. Think of this as your health blueprint. Do you want to lose weight? Run further, faster? Eat less processed junk?
Growth happens when we challenge ourselves. So don’t be afraid to set the goals high and work towards them.
Pray about what your health goals should be. God cares about your health. If you don’t have your health, you can’t enjoy your family, friends and most importantly, Jesus!
Get your health and fitness blueprint started today!
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Colossians 4:2 NIV
These days we seldom have to wait patiently for an answer or request. Today, we expect everything at lightning speed and assume tomorrow’s response will probably arrive even faster!
So it’s easy to start expecting God to work this way; that we’ll pray in the morning and have an answer by lunch. We think God isn’t listening because it’s taking so long. God wants us to wait with patient endurance for answers and then, watch.
Waiting on God is how we were designed so that we would be always aware of Him at every moment.
What are you waiting for? God’s timing coupled with our patience renews our strength, increases trust (faith), ensures obedience, and leads us to peace. Can you be patient with God?
Are you willing to wait for God’s timing and sovereign answer, or do you expect Him to deliver answers and solutions right now?
Pray today for patient endurance. Ask God first, take a deep breath, and focus your mind on peacefully soaring with Him while waiting to hear His answer.
When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
Matthew 13:19-23 NIV
God calls us to Him and we must answer the call so that He can be deeply rooted in our lives. When He first calls us, we may be rocky soil. Once we respond and faith builds, the rocks are removed and our soil becomes richer. When we are persecuted for our beliefs and we remain steady in who we are with God, even richer soil develops. Finally, when we start diving into God’s word, listening to him even in the darkest times, stepping in faith through pain or confusion, beautiful fruit bearing plants come to life and thrive.
God is glorified every step of the way!
What type of soil are you? Are you rich soil, full of God’s Word deeply rooted and faithful to His will? Or are you the rocky soil? Identify the next step you can take to grow your faith to become that rich soil!
If you are not sure or need guidance, talk with your HOME Group leader and together you both can identify your next step.
Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do.
Hebrews 5:8 MSG
If you were really honest with yourself, would you say that you are strong-willed, maybe even stubborn? If you have ever parented a strong and stubborn child, you know how frustrating and challenging it can be. When God looks at you, does he see His child in this way?
Obedience is not an easy way to live. Disobedience pre-dates us all the way back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. When we are obedient we must give up power and control to someone else and follow their will rather than our own. Obedience involves trust, and surrender. Jesus Christ was the only person in our world that was completely obedient to God.
Trusting God and being obedient to His will moves us into his glorious presence where we can feel safe surrendering our lives to Him. Is this where you are today? If not, what do you need in order to surrender to God? More faith? More focus? Or maybe, just more of Him and less of you.
Do you truly trust God, even when the answer is not what you want?
Pray for God to guide you into a life of responsive obedience. Ask God for the faith necessary to truly submit to Him in every way.
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
1 Peter 1:6 NIV
Grief can manifest itself in our lives in many ways; the loss of a loved one, the loss of a marriage, a friendship, innocence lost, even the loss of a pet or something we cared deeply about.
Grief is a different process for each person. Have you ever judged someone because they were not grieving the way you thought they should? Have you ever been deep in grief, almost paralyzed, and felt guilty for a smile or a giggle, feeling shamed for one moment of joy? It’s okay to grieve differently than others. It’s okay to grieve for longer than someone thinks you should, or deeper than society says is “normal.”
God is our Father who grieves alongside us. God understands loss; after all, his only Son was hated, rejected, and ultimately killed. Only He can give you the strength to stay faithful through your grief, and only He can turn our grief into joy, bring triumph out of tragedy.
Today, rejoice in the knowledge that God is with you and He is powerful enough and understands you enough, to comfort you in this moment. In the opening scripture Peter tells us “for a little while you may have had to suffer grief”. “A little while” can be days, months, or years. Some grief will stay with us for a lifetime, but God will change the level and depth of the pain over time so that your life can still bear fruit and have joy.
What are you grieving for today?
Pray for God to strengthen you and comfort you in your grief. Ask Him to show you your purpose in your situation and be patient for the answer. Pray for God to lift your grief enough to have the strength to act on His divine will.
By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
Exodus 13:21-22 NIV
Today, what is God’s purpose for you? Wouldn’t it be nice if you received an email each morning telling you God’s will for you today? During the great Israelite exodus from Egypt, God led Moses and the Israelites each day by a pillar of cloud…
Today, we do not have pillar clouds to guide us, but we do have something far better, the Holy Spirit! As we listen to the Spirit through bible study, prayers, other Christians, or that nudge you get that can only be Him, the light turns on.
God speaks to each of us in His Word, and through our walk we learn to see Him and hear Him. “Coincidence” can be God speaking to us and saying, “Here I am.” Once we hear him, we can then begin our journey of Christ-centered purpose. Faith must be involved in this process as hearing and doing are different. Sometimes when we hear God and it’s not convenient for us or we’re unsure of what we are hearing, because of our circumstance, so we don’t act in faith. Remember, God loves us and everything through him serves His purpose and is for His glory! If He brings you to it, he will bring you through it!
Do you look for purpose even in times of sorrow or pain? Pray to the Lord, cry out for Him and He will give the answer “Here I am.”
Pray today for God to reveal His purpose for you and quietly listen for His answer. If you hear an answer that seems unreasonable, pray for the faith to continue in your purpose and God will be your rear guard.
If I were in your shoes, I’d go straight to God, I’d throw myself on the mercy of God. After all, he’s famous for great and unexpected acts; there’s no end to his surprises. He gives rain, for instance, across the wide earth, sends water to irrigate the fields. He raises up the down-and-out, gives firm footing to those sinking in grief.
Job 5:8-11 MSG
Life can change in the blink of an eye. Our lives can go from contentment and happiness one day to complete pain and despair the next. Yet though tragedy and heartbreak can be our walk today, God is with us and will sustain us through any situation. As followers of Christ, we must keep in step with the Spirit.
Does this mean nothing will befall us during our time this side of heaven? No! But it does mean that as we traverse this life on earth, we are helped, comforted, and strengthened by the Spirit through our situations.
Pray today for God to turn your wailing into dancing. Pray for the strength and power each day to stay in step with the Spirit.
If you feel God is not with you, will you take a step towards Him?
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NIV)
In our Kidz Creek First Steps Class, where we teach them about salvation, we use this verse to teach several points about God and his big plan for all. Here are the four points
God Loved – God Gave – We Believe – We Receive
The first point that the kids are taught is God Loved. God loves everyone! You, me, your neighbor, the unbeliever, did you catch that! He loved them; He loved everyone before we were believers.
The second point is God Gave. Because of the sin in our lives God knew we would need a big sacrifice to pay for our sins. So he gave us a great gift
The third point is We Believe. We believes what? If believe that Jesus is Gods only son, that he came to earth, died for our sins and then arose after 3 days, we will be rewarded from our heavenly father.
The fourth point is We Receive. Once we acknowledge that we are lost without Jesus Christ, and that He alone can save us, we receive eternal life with Him, God, through Jesus Christ.
If you are already a Christ follower pray that God will put someone on you mind, in your daily life to share this verse with.
If you are not currently a Christ follower and want to commit your life to Christ talk to your HOME Group Leader.