Monthly Archives: July 2015

Forgiveness

Let forgiveness be your operating system.

 

READ MATTHEW 6:14-15

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

 

REFLECTION
Forgiveness requires us to give up our right to retaliate against someone who has hurt us. It is a choice to make things “right,” not “even.” As Pastor Brian said last weekend, forgiveness has to be a part of our operating system, not just an app we use when we feel like it. How are you extending forgiveness? How are you receiving forgiveness? How are you living forgiveness?

 

PRAY
As you pray, thank God for the forgiveness he has graciously given you and ask that he would help you to forgive those who have hurt you.

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Live On Mission Together

READ MATTHEW 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

REFLECTION
How is your family living on mission? How is your family’s light shining? What is one thing you could you do so others would see your family and glorify your Father in heaven? How does this connect with your two for ten (two people/families you are praying for, investing, and inviting to church)?

 

PRAY
As you continue to pray for your two for ten, ask God to shine through your family so that others may see him through you.

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Eternal Treasure

As Pastor Brian shared this weekend, there are no examples of perfect families in scripture. Truthfully, there is no such thing as a perfect family, but as we invest in our families, God’s ideals are best and still worth pursuing.

 

READ MATTHEW 6:19-24

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

 

REFLECTION
Evaluate the time, energy, and priority you are placing on the eternal treasure in your life and the lives of your children? How are you doing? How are you attempting to serve two masters? What needs to change?

 

PRAYER
As you pray, ask God to help you re-prioritize your life and the lives of your children around eternal treasure. Ask him to reveal areas that require change.

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Seek Solitude

READ LUKE 5:15-16

Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

 

REFLECTION
Jesus, the Creator and Savior of the universe, took time away to be quiet and pray. When is the last time you spent time away in silence praying? What keeps you from doing this? Who do you know who does this well? What can you learn from them?

 

PRAY
Set aside time in the next couple weeks to seek solitude. As you prepare for this time, ask God to speak to you and to fill you.

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Slow Down, Set Priorities

READ EXODUS 20: 8-11

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

 

REFLECTION
We live in a culture that never stops moving and never slows down. The problem with this way of life is that we can easily fall into the trap of believing that we are valuable because of what we can produce, not because we are God’s children. Sabbath is not as much about rest as it is about setting aside time in the rhythm of our week to remember that God is in control and remembering where our value comes from. It’s essentially a re-prioritization of our lives. How are you doing at slowing down? Where should your priorities be different?

 

PRAY
Be intentional about planning a time in your week to slow down and reflect on what is most important in your life. During this time, pray for the people and things in your life that matter most.

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Sitting at the Feet of Jesus

As Pastor Josh shared this weekend, we have to believe that the most significant opportunity before us every day is the opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus.

 

READ LUKE 10:38-42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

 

REFLECTION
In the busyness of life, how often are you slowing down to sit at the feet of Jesus? What gets in the way? What is the first step toward making a change?

 

PRAYER
Take time to sit quietly before God. Remember how deeply he loves you. Remember how deeply he desires to connect with you. Take time to reflect on all he has done for you.

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Fight for Forever

Fight for your marriage. Fight for forever.

 

READ MATTHEW 28:19-20

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

 

REFLECTION
A healthy marriage requires investment, and investment requires time and intentionality. How are you investing in your spouse? How are you investing in those you share life with?

Marriages that make a difference in forever involve couples who are on mission together. In the previous series, we talked at length about the above verses. Are you and your spouse on mission together? If not, what is the first step?

 

PRAY
Take time today to thank God for your spouse. Thank him for the specific blessings in your life because of your spouse. Pray that God will align your hearts to be on a mission that is greater than yourselves.

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Fighting Fair

The way we engage conflict, argue, and fight with our spouse has a HUGE impact on the health of our marriage.

 

READ JAMES 1:19

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

 

REFLECTION
Fighting is a normal part of any human relationship, particularly when we get comfortable enough to really be ourselves with another person. How are you fighting with your spouse or those closest in your life? Are you fighting in a way that helps your relationship grow or just trying to get your way? Are you listening? Are you careful with your words? Are you easily angered? What needs to change?

 

PRAY
As you pray, take time to listen to God. Ask him to show you how to fight fair. Ask Him to help you forgive and seek forgiveness from those you’ve hurt — particularly your spouse.

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Submit, Serve, Love, & Respect

As Pastor Brian shared this weekend, the more you do to submit, serve, love, and respect your spouse—the healthier and better your marriage will be—Bottom Line.

 

READ EPHESIANS 5:21-33

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. ”This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

 

 

REFLECTION
If you are married, how are you submitting, serving, loving, and respecting your spouse today? Married or unmarried, how are you submitting, serving, loving, and respecting others in your world today, even when it’s tough?

 

PRAYER
As you pray, ask God to reveal ways you can submit, serve, love, and respect your spouse and/or those around you, better. Ask God to strengthen and bless your marriage so you can be a greater reflection of his love for the Church. Please continue to pray for your two for ten.

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Pursuing Sexual Purity

READ EPHESIANS 5:3

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

God created sex as a deeply spiritual, emotional, and physically bonding act between a husband and wife. In a culture saturated by sexuality, where the sexual norm is constantly evolving, it is important that we avoid even a hint of sexual immorality. Whether married or unmarried, our goal should be to live out the life that God designed for us. In other words, it’s not our goal to just avoid immorality but to pursue purity.

 

REFLECTION
How are you pursuing purity? What needs to change? Who is helping keep you accountable?

 

PRAY
Ask God to reveal anything in your life that needs to change regarding purity.

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