I have sought the face of God to know the best way to impart us this year and especially in the course of our 40 days of fasting and prayers – should I send us prayer points alone? I had no peace in my mind to do just that, then the Holy Spirit laid it on my mind to share with us Rick Warren’s book on “ Purpose Driven Life ”. I believe this fits perfectly into our theme for 2019.- RESTORATION OF DIVINE PURPOSE
Your birth was no mistake or mishap. Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. He thought of you first. It is not fate, nor chance, nor luck, nor coincidence that you are breathing at this very moment. God prescribed every single detail of your being. He deliberately chose your race, the color of skin, your hair, and every other feature. He also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. God also planned where you’d be born and where you’d live for his purpose. Your race and nationality are not accident. Most amazing, God decided how you would be born. While there are illegitimate parents, there are no illegitimate children. God never does anything accidentally, and He never makes mistake. He has a reason for everything He created. He is
haphazard; he planned it all with precision. God did all these because He is God of love. This kind of love is difficult to fathom, but it’s fundamentally reliable. You were created as a special object of God’s love. God made you so he could love you. This is a truth to build your life on.
PRAYER POINT 2
a) Father, I thank you because am not a product of accidental discharge
b) Father, bring my life back to the original rhythm you originally created it to be
c) Father, I separate my life from the spirit of confusion, oh Lord, let my life begin to sing a new song of excellence and purpose in Jesus Name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey of purpose, let your divine favour rest on me in Jesus Name.
e) Thank you because I know it is done in Jesus Name
What drives your life?
Everyone’s life is driven by something. Here are five of the most common driving forces in the world today:
1. Many people are driven by guilt – they allow their past to control their future. God’s purpose is not limited by your past. God specializes in giving people a fresh start.
2. Many people are driven by resentment and anger – they hold on to hurts and never get over them. Instead of releasing their pain through forgiveness, they rehearse it over and over in their minds. Resentment always hurt you more than it does the person you resent. While your offender has probably forgotten the offence and gone on with life, you continue to stew in your pain, perpetuating the past.
3. Many people are driven by fear – may be as a result of a traumatic experience, unrealistic expectations, growing up in a high –control home. Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.
4. Many people are driven by materialism – there desire to acquire becomes the whole goal of their lives. Possession only provide temporary happiness. Your value is not determined by your valuables, and God says the most valuable things in life are not things. The most common myth about money is that having more will make me more secure. It won’t. Wealth can be lost instantly through a variety of uncontrollable factors. Real security can only be found in that which can never be taken from you. Your relationship with God.
5. Many people are driven by the need for approval – one key to failure is to try to please everyone. Being controlled by the opinions of others is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purposes for your life. Without purpose, life is a motion without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason.
Five great benefits of living a purpose driven life:
1. Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life
2. Knowing your purpose simplifies your life
3. Knowing your purpose focuses your life
4. Knowing your purpose motivates your life
5. Knowing your purpose prepares you for eternity.
PRAYER POINT 3
a) Father, I release myself to be driven only by your divine purpose, I break the link with my past failures in Jesus Name
b) Father, I forgive all who offend me both in the past, present and future by the grace of God in Jesus Name
c) Father, I receive the spirit of power, Love, and sound mind in Jesus Name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey of purpose, I receive total deliverance from the spirit of materialism in Jesus Name.
e) Thank you because I know it is done in Jesus Name
Made to last forever
Eccl.3:11, 2Cor.5:1, Phil. 3:7
This life is not all there is. Life on earth is just a dress rehearsal before the real production.You will spend more time on the other side of death – in eternity – than you will here. Earth is the staging area, the preschool, the tryout for your life in eternity. It is the practice workout before the actual game, the warm-up lap before the race begins. This life is preparation for the next. You were made to last forever. You have an inborn instinct that longs for immortality.This is because God designed you in His image, to live forever. One day your heart will stop beating. That will be the end of your body and your time on earth. But it will not be the end of you. The earthly body is just a temporary residence for your spirit. The Bible calls your body a ‘Tent’, but refers to your future body as a ‘House’. While life on earth offers many choices, eternity offers only two: heaven or hell. Your relationship to God on earth will determine your relationship to Him in eternity. When you fully comprehend that there is more to life than just here and now, and you realize that life is just a preparation for eternity, you will begin to live differently. You will start living in light of eternity, and that will color how you handle every relationship, task and circumstances. Suddenly many activities, goals, and even problems that seemed so important will appear trivial, petty, and unworthy of your attention. The closer you live to God, the smaller everything else appears. When you live in light of eternity, your values change. You use your time and money wisely. You place a higher premium on relationships and character instead of fame or wealth or achievements or even fun. Your priorities are reordered. Keeping up with trends, fashions, and popular values just doesn’t matter as much anymore. The most damaging aspect of contemporary living is short term thinking. To make the most of your life, you must keep the vision of eternity continually in your mind and the value of it in your heart. God has a purpose for your life, but it doesn’t end here. His plan involves far more than the few decades you will spend on this planet. The only time most people think about eternity is at funerals and then it’s often shallow, sentimental thinking, based on ignorance. Actually, it should be wiser to live each day as if it were the last day of your life. Matthew Henry said “it ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our final day” – live ready.
PRAYER POINT 4
a) Father, I detach myself from everything that takes my focus from eternity in Jesus Name
b) Father, I pray not to allow worldly desires and wants to jeopardize my eternity with Christ in Jesus Name
c) Father, I receive kingdom values and not the world’s value into my heart in Jesus Name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey of purpose, I receive total deliverance from the fear of death in Jesus Name.
e) Father, I receive grace to live ready for eternity with God.
f)Thank you because I know it is done in Jesus Name
DAY 5: Seeing Life from God’s View
James 4 :14 b, Rom.12:2, 1 Cor. 10: 13
The way you see life shapes your life
How you define life determines your destiny. Your perspective will influence how you must use your time, spend your money, use your talents, and value relationships.
If I ask how you picture life, what image would come to your mind? This image is your life metaphor. It’s the view of life that you hold consciously or unconsciously, in your mind, it’s your description of how life works what you expect from it. People often express their life metaphors through clothes, jewelry, cars, hairstyles, bumper stickers, even tattoos.
Your unspoken life metaphor influences your life more than you realize. It determines your expectation, your values, your relationships, your goals, and your priorities. For instance, if you think life is a party, your primary value in life will be having fun (and buying Aso-ebi), if you see life as a race, you will value speed and will probably be in a hurry much of the time, if you view life as a marathon, you will value endurance. If you see life as a battle or a game, winning will be very important to you.
To fulfill the purposes God made you for, you will have to challenge conventional wisdom and replace it with the biblical metaphor of life.
The Bible offers three metaphors that teach us God’s view of life:
Life is a test
Life is a trust
And life is a temporary assignment. These ideas are the foundation of purpose – driven living.
*Life is a test:* this life metaphor is seen in stories throughout the Bible. Character is both developed and revealed by tests, when you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life. Even the smallest incident has significance for your character development. Some tests seem overwhelming, while others you don’t even notice but all of them have eternal implications.
*Life on earth is a trust:* This is the second biblical metaphor of life, our time on earth and our energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships and resources are all gift from God that He has entrusted to our care and management. We are stewards of whatever God gives us. This concept of stewardship begins with the recognition that God is the owner of everything and everyone on earth, we never really own anything during our brief stay on earth. God just loans the earth to us while were here. it was God’s property before you arrived, and God will loan it to someone else after you die. You just get to enjoy it for a while. Life is a test and trust, and the more God gives you, the more responsible he expects you to be.
PRAYER POINT 5
a) Father give me the grace to see life from you point of view.
b) Father, help me Lord to fulfill the purpose you made me for in Jesus Name.
c) Father, I receive grace to see things as God sees in Jesus Name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey of purpose, I receive a new heart of a faithful steward in Jesus Name.
e) Father, Thank you because I know it is done in Jesus Name.
LIFE IS A TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT
Ps. 39:4, Ps. 119:19
The Bible if full of metaphor that teaches about the brief temporary, transient nature of life on earth.
To make the best use of your life, you must never forget two truths: first, compared with eternity, life is extremely brief.
Second, earth is only a temporary residence. You won’t be here long, so don’t get too attached. The bible used terms like alien, pilgrim, foreigner, stranger, visitor, and traveler to describe our brief stray on earth.
Your identity is in eternity, and your homeland is heaven. when you grasp this truth, you will stop worrying about “having it all” on earth.
We are not completely happy here because we’re not supported to be! Earth is not our final home, we were created for something much better.
A fish would never be happy living on land, because it was made for water . An eagle could never feel satisfied if it wasn’t allowed to fly. You will never feel completely satisfied on earth because you were made for more.
It is a fatal mistake to assume that God’s goal for your life is material prosperity or popular success, as the world defines it. The abundant life has nothing to do with material abundance, and faithfulness to God does not guarantee success in a career or growth in ministry. Never focus on temporary growth.
Paul was faithful, yet he ended up in prison . John the Baptist was faithful, but he was beheaded. Millions of faithful people have been martyred, have lost everything, or have come to the end of life with nothing to show for it. But the end of life is not the end.
In God’s eyes, the greatest heroes of faith are not those who achieve prosperity, success, and power in this life, but those who treat this life as temporary assignment and serve faithfully, expecting their promised reward in eternity.
PRAYER POINT 6
a) Father, please help me not to attach importance to the things of this would in Jesus Name
a) Holy Spirit, guide me as I pilgrim on earth in Jesus Name
c) Father, empower me Lord to live like a traveler that has ‘Home’ in view in Jesus Name
d) Father, in this 40 days journey of Purpose, I receive a new heart of a sojourner I Jesus Name
e) Father, I thank you for prayer answered in Jesus Name
DAY 7: THE REASON FOR EVERYTHING
Romans 11:36, Prov. 16:4, Ps 19:1, Rev 21:23
It’s all for him
The ultimate goal of the universe is to show the glory of God. It is the reason for everything that exists, including you. God made it all for his glory. Without God’s glory, there would be nothing.
What is the glory of God? It is who God is , it is the essence of his nature, the weight of his importance, the radiance of his splendor, the demonstration of his power, and the atmosphere of his presence.
Where is God’s glory? Just look around. Everything created reflects his glory in some way. From the simplest microscopic form of life to the vast Milky Way, from sunsets and stars to storms and seasons, throughout history, God has revealed his storm to people in different settings; he revealed first in the Garden of Eden, then to Moses, then in the tabernacle and the temple, then through Jesus, and now through the Church.
God’s story is best seen in Jesus Christ. He is the light of the world, illuminates God’s nature, because of Jesus, we are no longer in the dark about what God is really like.
In the entire universe, only two forms of God’s creations fail to bring glory to him; fallen angels
(Demons) and we (people). All sins, at its root, are failing to give God glory.
Refusing to bring glory to God is prideful rebellion, and it is sin that caused Satan’s fall and ours too, in different ways we have lived for our own glory, not God’s.
How can I bring glory to God? There are many ways to bring glory to God, but they can be summarized in God’s five purposes for your life:
We bring God’s glory;
1- by worshiping Him,
2- by loving other believers,
3- by becoming like Christ,
4- by serving others with our gifts,
5- by telling others about him,
What will you live for?
Living the rest of your life for the glory of God will require a change in your priorities, your schedule, your relationships and everything else. It’s time to settle this issue, right now God is inviting you to live for His glory by fulfilling the purpose he made you for, it’s really the only way to live. Everything else just exists. Real life begins by committing yourself completely to Jesus Christ. If you are not sure you have done this,
First, believe God loves you and made you for his purpose.
Second, receive Jesus Christ into your life as Lord and Savior.
Wherever you are reading this, I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper this prayer that will change your eternity
“Jesus , I believe in you and I receive you”
If you sincerely meant that prayer, Congratulations! Welcome to the family of God, you are now ready to discover and start living God’s purpose for your life.
PRAYER POINT 7
a) Father, please forgive me for not giving you enough glory for all you have done for me in Jesus name
b) Father, please open the eyes of my inner man to see your glory more and more in 2019 in Jesus name
c) Father, I renounce everything that compete with your glory in my life in Jesus Name
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose I receive fresh insight into your glory in Jesus name.
e) Father, I thank you for showing me your glory in Jesus name .
DAY- 8 PURPOSE No. 1: You are planned for God’s pleasure
Rev. 4:11, Ps. 149:4a, Isa. 61:3, Ps. 147:11
Bringing enjoyment to God, living for His pleasure is the first purpose of your life. The moment you were born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at your birth. He wanted you alive, and your arrival gave Him great pleasure. God did not need to create you, but He chose to create you for his own enjoyment. You exist for His benefit, His glory, His purpose, and His delight. If you are so important to God and He considers you valuable enough to keep with Him for eternity, what great significance could you have? You are a child of God. One of the greatest gifts God has given you is the ability to enjoy pleasure. He wants you to enjoy life, not just endure it. The reason you are able to enjoy pleasure is that God made you in His image.
How do you bring pleasure to God?
Bringing pleasure to God is called “worship” anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship. Like diamond, worship is multifaceted. It would take volumes to cover all there is to understand about worship but the primary aspects are these:
– Worship is a universal urge, hard wired by God into the very fiber of your being – as inbuilt need to connect with God. The reason God made us with this desire is that He desires worshipers “ _the Father seeks worshipers” John 4:23
– Worship is a lifestyle
– Worship is more than music. For many people, worship is just a synonym for music, they say “at our Church we have the worship first, and then the teaching” this is big misunderstanding. Every part of the Church service is an act of worship. Actual worship predates music. Adam worshiped in the Garden of Eden, but music isn’t mentioned until Gen.4:21 with the birth of Jubal. If worship were just music, then all who are non-musical could never worship. Worship is far more than music.
– Worship has nothing to do with the style or volume or speed of a song. God loves all kinds of music because He invented it all. Fast and slow, loud and soft, old and new. If it is offered to God in spirit and truth, it is an act of worship.
–Worship is not for your benefit. We worship for God’s benefit. When we worship, our goal is to bring pleasure to God, not ourselves.
– Worship is not a part of your life, it is your life: worship is not just for Church services. We are told to “worship Him continually” and to “praise Him from sunrise to sunset”.
This is the secret to a lifestyle of worship: doing everything as if you were doing it for Jesus. Work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of His presence.
PRAYER POINT 8
a) Father, help me to live a life that is pleasing unto you.
b) Father, Let the works of my hand bring worship to your name oh Lord.
c) Father, let my worship rise up to you like a sweet smelling savour in Jesus Name
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with Purpose, I receive a new heart to worship you in spirit and truth in Jesus Name
e) Father, I thank you for doing this me in the mighty Name of Jesus.
DAY 9: WHAT MAKES GOD SMILE?
Num. 6:25, Ps. 119:135, Eph. 5:10
The smile of God is the goal of your life
Since pleasing God is the first purpose of your life, your most important task is to discover how to do that. Fortunately, the Bible gives us a clear example of a life that gives pleasure to God. The man’s name is Noah. In his days, the entire world had become morally bankrupt. Everyone lived for their own pleasure not God’s. God couldn’t find anyone on earth interested in pleasing Him, so He was grieved and regretted making man. God became so disgusted with human race that He considered wiping it out. But there was one man who made God smile. The Bible says _“Noah was a pleasure to God_(LB). God said, “This guy brings me pleasure. He makes me smile, I’ll start over with his family” Because Noah brought pleasure to God, you and I are alive today. From his life we learnt the five acts of worship that make God smile:
God smiles when we love Him supremely. Noah loved God more than anything else in the world, even when no one else did. This is what God wants most from you: a relationship. It’s the most astounding truth in the universe- that our creator wants to fellowship with us. God made you to love you, He, longs for you to love Him back.
God smiles when you love Him completely. The second reason Noah pleased God was that he trusted God, even when it didn’t make sense; it took 120 yrs to build the ark. I imagine he faced many discouraged days. With no sign of rain year after year, he was ruthlessly criticized as a “crazy man who thinks God speaks to him”. Yet Noah kept on trusting God. Trusting God completely means having faith that He knows what is best for your life. You expect Him to keep His promises, help you with problems, and do the impossible when necessary. Trusting is an act of worship. Just as parents are pleased when children trust their love and wisdom, your faith makes God happy.
God smiles when we obey Him wholeheartedly. Notice that Noah obeyed completely (no instruction was over looked) and he obeyed exactly (in the way and time God wanted it done) that is wholeheartedness. It is no wonder God smiled on Noah. God doesn’t owe you an explanation or reason for everything He asks you to do. Understanding can wait but obedience can’t. In fact, you will never understand some command until you obey them first. Obedience unlocks understanding.
God smiles when we praise and thank Him continually. Noah’s life brought pleasure to God because he lived with a heart of praise and thanksgiving. Noah’s first act after surviving the flood was to express his thanks to God by offering sacrifice. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we don’t offer animal sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. An amazing thing happens when we offer praise and thanksgiving to God. When we give god enjoyment, our own hearts are filled with joy.
God smiles when we use our abilities. You don’t bring glory or pleasure to God by hiding your abilities or by trying to be something else. You only bring Him enjoyment by being you. Anytime you reject any part of yourself, you are rejecting God’s wisdom and sovereignty in creating you.
PRAYER POINT 9
a) Father, please give me the grace to love you more than any other thing (supremely) in Jesus Name
b) Father, I receive the faith and grace to trust you completely in Jesus Name
c) Father, please give me the grace to obey you wholeheartedly in Jesus Name
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with Purpose, I receive a thankful heart in Jesus Name
e) Father, I thank you for doing this for me in Jesus Name
DAY 10: THE HEART OF WORSHIP
Rom. 6:13, Rom.12:11
The heart of worship is surrender.
Surrender is an unpopular word, disliked almost as much as the word submission. It implies losing, and no one wants to be a loser, surrender evokes the unpleasant images of admitting defeat in battle, forfeiting a game, or yielding to a stronger opponent. But surrendering to God is the heart of worship. It is the natural response to God’s amazing love and mercy. We give ourselves to Him, not out of fear or duty, but in love, ”because He first love us”.
True worship – bringing God pleasure – happens when you give yourself to God. Offering yourself to God is what worship is all about. There are three barriers that block our total surrender to God: fear, pride, and confusion, we don’t realize how much God loves us, we want to control our own lives and we misunderstand the meaning of surrender.
– Can I trust God? trust is an essential ingredient to surrender. You won’t surrender to God unless you trust Him, but you can’t trust Him until you know Him better. Fear keeps us from surrendering but love casts out all fear. The more you realize how much God loves you, the easier surrender becomes. God is a lover and a liberator and surrendering to Him brings freedom, not bondage, when we completely surrender ourselves to Jesus, we discover that He is not a tyrant, but a savior, not a boss but a brother, not a dictator but a friend.
– Admitting our limitation: A second barrier to total surrender is our pride. We don’t want to admit that we’re just creatures and not in charge of everything. It is the oldest temptation. “you’ll be like God”, that desire – to have complete control is the cause of so much stress in our lives. We want to be God, and there is no way we are going to win that struggle. It is when we try to be God that we end up most like Satan, who desired the same thing.
What it means to surrender: Surrendering to God is not passive resignation, or an excuse for laziness. It is not accepting the status quo. It may mean the exact opposite. Surrendering is best demonstrated in obedience. You say “yes Lord” to whatever He asks of you. You can’t call Jesus your Lord when you refuse to obey Him. Another aspect of a fully surrendered life is Trust. Abraham followed God’s leading without knowing where it would take Him. Hannah waited for God’s perfect timing without knowing how. Joseph trusted God’s purpose without knowing why circumstances happened the way they did. Each of these people were fully surrendered to God. you know you’re surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. You let go and let God work. You don’t have to always be ‘in charge”.
The blessings of surrender are: you experience peace, freedom, and God’s power in your life. And the best way to live is to put Jesus Christ in the driver’s seat of your life and take your hands off the steering wheel. Don’t be afraid; nothing under his control can ever be out of control. Mastered by Christ you can handle anything.
PRAYER POINT 10
a) Father, by your power and grace, remove every fear, pride, and confusion from my life in Jesus Name.
b) Father, by your grace and power, I fully surrender all to you as from today in Jesus Name.
c) Father, by your grace and power, I cast all my burdens and cares on Jesus Christ the surety of our better covenant in Jesus Name.
d) Father, in these 40 days of journey with purpose, Lord I receive new heart that surrenders all to you in Jesus Name.
e) Father, thank you for answering all my prayers in Jesus Name.
DAY 11: BEST FRIENDS WITH GOD
Rom. 5:10, 2 Cor. 5:18, John 15:15
God wants to be your best friend.
Your relationship with God has many different aspects. God is your creator and maker, Lord and master, Judge, Redeemer, Father, Savior and much more. But the most shocking truth is this: Almighty God yearns to be your friend! In Eden we see Gods real relationship with us. Adam and Eve enjoyed an intimate friendship with God. There was no ritual, ceremonies or religion- just a simple loving relationship between God and the people He created, unhindered by guilt and fear.
Adam and Eve delighted in God and He delighted in them. We were made to live in God’s continual presence, but after the fall, that ideal relationship was lost. Only a few people in the Old Testament times had the privilege of friendship with God. Moses and Abraham were called “friends of God”, David was called “a man after God’s own heart” and Job, Enoch and Noah had intimate relationship with God. But the fear of God, not friendship, was more common in the Old Testament. Then Jesus changed the situation when He paid for our sins on the cross. We can now access God anytime- Hallelujah!
That God would want me for a close friend is hard to understand. It’s difficult to imagine how intimate friendship is possible between an omnipotent, invisible, perfect God and a finite, sinful human being.
By looking at the lives of God’s friends in the Bible, we learn six secrets of friendship with God.
–THROUGH CONSTANT CONVERSATION: You will never grow a close relationship with God by just attending church once a week or even having a daily quiet time. Friendship with God is built by sharing all your life experiences with Him. Of course, it is important to establish the habit of a daily devotional time with God, but He wants more than an appointment in your schedule. He wants to be included in every activity, every conversation, every problem and even every thought. You can carry on a continuous open-ended conversation with Him throughout your day, talking with Him about whatever you are doing or thinking at that moment. “Praying without ceasing” means conversing with God while shopping, driving, working, or performing any other everyday task.
In Eden, worship was not an event to attend, but a perpetual attitude. Adam and Eve were in constant communion with God. But God is with you all the time; no place is any closer to God than the place where you are right now.
–THROUGH CONTINUAL MEDITATION: When you think about a problem over and over in your mind, that’s called worry. When you think about Gods word over and over in your mind, that is called meditation. If you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate. You just need to switch your attention from your problem to Bible verses. The more you meditate on God’s word, the less you will have to worry.
Friends share secrets and God will share with you if you develop the habit of thinking about His word throughout the day. Start today by practicing constant conversation with God and continual meditation on His word. Prayer lets you speak to God, meditation lets God speak to you. Both are essential to becoming a friend of God.
Prayers Points 11
a) Father, I separate myself from everything that hinders my intimate friendship with you in Jesus Name
b) Father, let me love you more dearly, follow you more closely as a friend in Jesus Name
c) Father, let the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your site in Jesus Name
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with Purpose, make me your friend forever oh Lord in Jesus Name
e) Father, I thank you for am now your friend from this day in Jesus Name
DAY 12: DEVELOPING YOUR FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD
Prov. 3:32, James 4:8
You are close to God as you choose to be
If I want a deeper, more intimate connection with God.
–I MUST CHOOSE TO BE HONEST WITH GOD: The first building block of a deeper friendship with God is complete honesty about your faults and your feelings. God doesn’t expect you to be perfect, but He does insist on complete honesty. None of God’s friends in the Bible were perfect. If perfection was a requirement for friendship with God, we would never be able to be His friends. Fortunately, because of God’s grace, Jesus is still the “friend of sinners”. God allowed Abraham to question and challenge Him over the destruction of the city of Sodom. God also listened patiently to David’s many accusations of unfairness, betrayal and abandonment by God. God did not slay Jeremiah when he claimed that God had tricked him. Job was allowed to vent his bitterness during his ordeal, what about Moses?
Genuine friendship is built on disclosure. What may appear as audacity God viewed as authenticity. God listens to the passionate words of His friends.
–I MUST CHOOSE TO OBEY GOD IN FAITH: Every time you trust God’s wisdom and do whatever He says, even when you don’t understand it, you deepen your Fellowship with God. We obey God not out of duty or fear or compulsion, but because we love Him and trust Him that He knows what is best for us. We want to follow Jesus out of gratitude for all He has done for us and the closer we follow Him, the deeper our friendship becomes.
Notice that Jesus expects us to do only what He did with the Father. His relationship with His Father is the model for our friendship with Him. Jesus did whatever the Father asked Him to do out of love.
–I MUST CHOOSE TO VALUE WHAT GOD VALUES: This is what friends do. They are about what is important to the other person. The more you become God’s friend, the more you will care about the things He cares about, grieve over the things He’s grievous over and rejoice over the things that bring pleasure to Him.
What does God care about most? The redemption of His people! He wants all His lost children found! That’s the whole reason Jesus came to earth. To be a friend of God, you must care about all the people around you who God cares about. Friends of God tell their friends about God.
–I MUST DESIRE FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE:
Like any friendship, you must work at developing your friendship with God. It won’t happen by accident. It takes desire, time and energy. You may have been passionate about God in the past, but you’ve lost that desire. That was the problem of the Christians in Ephesus. They had left their first love. They did all the right things, but out of duty, not love. If you’ve just been going through the motions spiritually, don’t be surprised when God allows pain in your life. “Pain is God’s megaphone”. It’s God’s way of arousing us from spiritual lethargy. Your problems are not punishment; they are wake-up calls from a loving God. God is not mad at you, He is mad about you and He will do whatever it takes to bring you back into fellowship with Him. But there is an easier way to reignite your passion for God. Start asking God to give it to you and keep on asking until you have it.
PRAYER POINTS 12
a) Father I am sorry for drifting away from you all this while, forgive me oh Lord in Jesus Name.
b) Dear Jesus, more than anything else, I want to get to know you intimately. Please draw me closer to you in Jesus Name.
c) Father, by your grace and power, I promise an honest walk with you from now on in Jesus Name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, I enter a deeper connection with you in Jesus Name.
e) Father, I thank you for making me your friend in Jesus Name.
Day 13 Worship that pleases God
GOD WANTS ALL OF YOU
God doesn’t want a part of your life. He asks for all your heart, all your soul , all your mind and all your strength. God is not interested in halfhearted commitment, partial obedience and leftover of your time and money, he desires your full devotion not little bits of your life.
Where you worship is not as important as why you worship. There is a right and wrong way to worship, the kind of worship that pleases God has four characteristics:
God is pleased when our worship is accurate
We cannot just create our own comfortable or politically correct image of God and worship him; that is idolatry. Worship must be based on the truth of the Scripture, not our opinions about God. Jesus told the Samaritan woman “true worshipers will worship the father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kinds of worshipers the father seeks”. To ‘worship God in truth’ is to worship God as He is truly revealed in the Bible.
God is pleased when our worship is authentic
When Jesus said you must “-worship in spirit-”. He wasn’t referring to the Holy Spirit, but to your spirit. Made in God’s image, you are a spirit that resides in a body, and God designed your spirit to communicate with him .worship is your spirit responding to God’s Spirit.
When Jesus said “love God with all your heart and soul”, he meant that worship must be genuine and heartfelt. It is not a matter of saying the right word; you must mean what you say. Heartless praise is not praise at all. It is worthless, an insult on God.
When we worship, God looks past our words to see the attitude of our heart. God hates hypocrisy. Real worship happens when your spirit responds to God, not to some musical tone.
God is pleased when our worship is thoughtful.
God is not pleased with thoughtless singing of hymns, perfunctory praying of clichés, or careless exclamations of ‘’praise the lord’’ because we can’t think of anything else to say at that moment, if worship is mindless, it is meaningless. You must engage your mind. Jesus called thoughtless worship ‘vain repetitions’.
God is pleased when our worship is practical
The Bible says “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice … this is your spiritual act of worship-“. Why does God want your body? Why doesn’t he say offer your spirit? This is because without your body you cannot do anything on this planet. God wants you to be a living sacrifice; he wants you to live for him. However, the problem with a living sacrifice is that it can crawl off the altar and we often do that.
A real worship cost, one thing worship costs is our self-centeredness. You cannot exalt God and yourself at the same time, you don’t worship to be seen by others or to please yourself. You deliberately shift the focus off yourself. The heart of the matter is the matter of the Heart.
Prayer point 13
a) Father, I surrender my all to you, in Jesus name.
b) Father, more than anything else, help me to live a life of worship in Jesus name.
c) Lord Jesus, please deliver me from anything in my body and soul that would hinder me from offering the worship you seek in Jesus name.
d) Father, in this 40 Days journey with Purpose, please let my worship rise to you as a sweet perfume in Jesus name.
e) Father, I thank You for answering my prayers of giving you the worship you seek in Jesus name.
DAY 14- When God seems distant
God is real, no matter how you feel .
It is easy to worship God when things are going in your life- when he has provided food, fruits, family, health and happy situations. But circumstances are not always pleasant. How Do You Worship God Then? What do you do when God seems a million miles away?
The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during trials, trusting him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving him when he seems distant.
To mature your friendship, God will test it with periods of seeming separation-times when it feels as if he has abandoned or forgotten you.
How do you praise God when you don’t understand what’s happening in your life and God is silent?
Tell God exactly how you feel: Pour out your heart to God. unload every emotion that you’re feeling .
Focus on how God is- His Unchanging nature . Regardless of circumstances and how you feel, hang on to God’s unchanging character, remind yourself what you know to be eternally true about God: He is good, He loves me, He is with me, He knows what I’m going through, He cares and He has a good plan for my life.
Trust in God to keep His promises: During time of spiritual dryness, you must patiently rely on the promises of God, not your emotions, and realize that he is taking you to a deeper level of maturity. Don’t be troubled by trouble. Circumstances cannot change the character of God . Gods grace is still in full force, He is still for you, even when you don’t feel it.
Remember what God has already done for you
If God never did anything else for you, He would still deserve your continual praise for the rest of your life because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. God’s son died for you. This is the greatest reason for worship.
Jesus gave up everything so you could have everything, He died so you could live forever. That alone is worthy of your continual thanks and praise. Never again should you wonder what you have to be thankful for.
PRAYER POINTS 14
a) Father, I receive the grace not to say “why me” to you in my time of trials in Jesus Name
b)Father, I look on to you the author and finisher of my faith in all my trying times in Jesus Name
c)Oh Lord, you are my light in my dark hours in Jesus Name
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, I receive a new heart to thank you during trials, trust you when tempted, surrender while suffering, and love you when you seem distant in Jesus Name
e)Father, I thank you because I believe you have answered me through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
PURPOSE NO. 2: YOU WERE FORMED FOR GOD’S FAMILY
John 15:5, Rom.12:5
You were formed for God’s family
God wants a family, and He created you to be a part of it, this is God’s second purpose for your life, which He planned before you were born. The entire Bible is the story of God building a family who will love Him, honor Him, and reign with Him forever.
Because God is love, He treasures relationships, His very nature is relational, and He identifies Himself in family terms; Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The Trinity is God’s relationship to Himself. He’s the perfect pattern for relational harmony, and we should study its implications.
Every human being was created by God, but not everyone is a child of God. the only way to get into God’s family is by being born again into it. You become part of the human family by your first birth, but you become part of God’s family by second birth. The invitation to be part of God’s family is universal, but there is one condition: Faith in Jesus.
Your spiritual family is even more important than the physical family, because it will last forever. Our families on earth are wonderful gift from God, but they are temporal and fragile, often broken by divorce, distance, growing old, and inevitably death. On the other hand, our spiritual family- our relationship to other believers will continue throughout eternity. It is a much stronger union, amore permanent bond, than blood relationships.
BENEFITS OF BEING IN GOD’S FAMILY: The moment you are spiritually born into God’s family, you were given some outstanding birthday gifts: the family name, the family likeness, family inheritance. As children of God we are given “the riches …of His grace…kindness. Patience…glory…wisdom…power… and mercy” but in eternity we will inherit even more:
-We will get to be with God forever
-We will be completely changed to be like Christ
-We will be freed from all pain, death and suffering
-We will be rewarded and reassigned position of service
-We will get to share in Christ glory
This eternal inheritance, not retirement is what you should be looking forward to and working for. Retirement is a short-sighted goal. You should be living in light of eternity.
BAPTISM: IDENTIFYING WITH GOD’S FAMILY.
Healthy family have pride, members are not ashamed to be recognized as a part of the family. Baptism is not an optional ritual to be delayed or postponed. It publicly announces to the world “I am not ashamed to be part of God’s family”. Baptism doesn’t make you a member of God’s family. Only faith in Christ does that. Baptism shows you are part of God’s family. Like a wedding ring, it is a visible reminder of an inward commitment made in your heart. If you haven’t been baptized as an expression of your faith in Christ, do so as soon as possible, as Jesus commanded. Being included in God’s family is the highest honor and the greatest privilege you will ever receive. Nothing else comes close. Whenever you feel unimportant, unloved, or insecure, remember to whom you belong.
PRAYER POINTS 15
a) Father I thank you for making me part of your family
b)Father, please don’t let any of my God’s family inheritance elude me in Jesus Name
c)Father, open my spiritual eyes to see the riches of my glorious inheritance in Jesus Name
d)Father, in this 40 day journey with purpose, let no one in my earthly family be excluded from God’s family in Jesus Name
e)Father I thank you for granting these requests in Jesus Name
Day 16: What matters most
1Cor.13:3b, 2 John 1:6, Gal. 5:14, 1Pet.2:17b
Life is all about Love
Because God is love, the most important lesson He wants you to learn on earth is how to love. It is in loving that we are most like Him. So love is the foundation of every command He has given us.
Learning to love unselfishly is not an easy task, it runs counter to our self – centered nature. God wants us to love everyone, but He is particularly concerned that we learn to love others in His family. As we have already seen, this is the second purpose for your life.
God wants His family to be known for its love more than anything else, that is why He insist that we give special love and attention to other believers as a matter of priority.
God wants you to be in regular, close fellowship with other believers so you can develop the skill of loving. Through fellowship we learn three important truths:
THE BEST USE OF LIFE IS LOVE
Love should be your top priority objective and greatest ambition. Love is not a good part of your life, it’s the most important part. Relationship must have priority in your life above everything else because:
*Life without love is really worthless* .
Jesus summarized what matters most to God in two statements: Love God and Love people. After learning to love God (Worship), learning to love others is the second purpose of life
*Love will last forever*
Love leaves a legacy, how you treat other people, not your wealth, or accomplishments, is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth. Love is the secret of a lasting heritage.
*We will be evaluated on our love* .
One of the ways God measures spiritual maturity is by the quality of your relationships.
THE BEST EXPRESSION OF LOVE IS TIME
It is not enough just to say relationships are important, we must prove it by investing time in them. words alone are worthless. Relationships takes time and effort, and the best way to spell love is “T-I-M-E”. The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses or chocolate, it is focused attention. Love concentrates so intently on another that you forget yourself at that moment. Whenever you give your time, you are making a sacrifice, and sacrifice is the essence of love. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.
THE BEST TIME TO LOVE IS NOW
Because love is what matters most, it takes top priority. Now is the best time to express love because you don’t know how long you will have the opportunity. Circumstances may change. People die. Children grow up. You have no guarantee of tomorrow. If you want to express love, you had better do it now.
PRAYER POINTS 16
a) Father, please saturate my heart with the God kind of love in Jesus Name.
b) Father, let your love reign in my Church and home in Jesus Name.
c) Father, remove deceit and hypocrisy from my heart and fill it with genuine Love in Jesus Name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, cause love revolution to erupt in God’s family – The church – in Jesus Name.
e) Father, I thank you for granting these requests in Jesus Name.
Day 17 A PLACE TO BELONG
Eph. 2:19b, 1Tim.3:15b
You are called to belong no just believe
In the perfect, sinless environment of Eden, God said “it is not good for man to be alone” We are created for community, fashioned for fellowship, and formed for a family, and none of us can fulfill God’s purpose by ourselves. While your relationship to Christ is personal, God never intends it to be private. In God’s family you are connected to each other believer and we will belong to each other for eternity. Following Christ includes belonging, not just believing. We are members of His body – The Church
The Church is a body , not a building, an organism, not an organization. For the organs of your body to fulfill their purpose, they must be connected to your body. The same is true for you as a part of Christ’s body. You were created for a specific role, but you will miss this second purpose of life if you’re not attached to a living, local Church. You discover your role in life through your relationships with others.
The Church is God’s agenda for the world. The Church is indestructible and will exist for eternity. The Church is so significant that Jesus died on the cross for it. The Bible calls the Church “the bride of Christ.” I can’t imagine saying to Jesus; “I love you, but I dislike your wife” or “I accept you, but I reject your body” But we do this whenever we dismiss or demean or complain about the Church.
The Bible says a Christian without a Church is like and organ without a body, a sheep without a flock, or a child without a family. It is unnatural state. Today’s culture of independent individualism has created many spiritual orphans who hop around from one Church to another without any identity, accountability, or commitment.
*The Bible offers many compelling reasons for being committed and active in a local fellowship* :
-A Church family identifies you as a genuine believer
-A Church family moves you out of self – centered isolation.
-A Church family helps you develop spiritual muscle
-The body of Christ needs you
-You will share in Christ’s mission in the world
-A Church family will help keep you from backsliding.
The difference between a Church attender and a Church member is commitment. Attenders are spectators from the sidelines, members get involved in the ministry. Attenders are consumers, members are contributors. Attenders want the benefits of a Church without sharing the responsibility. They are like couples who want to live together without committing to a marriage.
Joining the membership of a local Church is the natural next step once you’ve become a child of God. you become a Christian by committing to Christ, but you become a Church member by committing yourself to a specific group of believers. The first decision brings salvation, the second brings fellowship.
PRAYER POINTS 17
a)Father, I thank you for making a part of a local Church
b)Father, I ask for insight on how I can be more committed to the body of Christ in General and to my local Church in particular in Jesus Name
c)Father, please make me a blessing to your Church and not a burden in Jesus Name
d)Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, I receive inspiration on how to move my local Church to the next level in Jesus Name
e)Father I thank you for answered prayers in Jesus Name
Day 18: Experiencing life together
Col. 3:15, Ps. 133:1
Life is meant to be shared
God intends for us to experience life together. The Bible calls this shared life fellowship. Real fellowship is so much more than just showing up at services. It is experiencing life together. It includes unselfish loving, honest sharing, practical serving, sacrificial giving, sympathetic comforting, and all the other “one another” commands found in the New Testament. When it comes to fellowship, size matters. Smaller is better. You can worship with a crowd, but you can’t fellowship with one. The life of the Body of Christ, like your body is contained in the cell. For this reason, every Christian needs to be involved in a small group, a Sunday school class or Bible study. This is where real community takes place, not in the big gatherings.
The difference between real and fake fellowship:
_In real fellowship people experience authenticity_ . Authenticity is the exact opposite of what you find in some churches. instead of an atmosphere of honesty and humility, there is pretending, role playing, politicking and superficial politeness but shallow conversation. People wear masks, keep their guard up, and act as if everything is rosy in their lives. These attitudes are the death of real fellowship.
_In real fellowship people experience mutuality_ . Mutuality is the act of giving and receiving. Its depending on each other. Mutuality is the heart of fellowships, building reciprocal relationships, sharing responsibilities and helping each other. The Bible commands mutual accountability, mutual encouragement, mutual serving and mutual honoring.
_In real fellowship people experience sympathy_ . Sympathy is not giving advice or offering of quick, cosmetic help. Sympathy is entering in and sharing the pain of others. Sympathy meets two fundamental human needs: the need to be understood and the need to have your feelings validated. Every time you understand and affirm someone’s feelings, you build fellowship.
_In real fellowship people experience mercy_ . Fellowship is a place of grace, where mistakes aren’t rubbed in but rubbed out. Fellowship happens when mercy wins over justice. We all need mercy, because we all stumble and we all require help getting back on track. We need to offer mercy to each other and be willing to receive it from each other. Many people are reluctant to show mercy because they don’t know the difference between trust and forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Trust has to do with future behavior. Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be built overtime. Trust request a track record. If someone limits you repeatedly, you are commanded by God to forgive them instantly but you are not expected to continue to allow them to hurt you. They must prove they have changed over time. The best place to restore trust is within the supportive context of a small group committed to real fellowship.
PRAYER POINTS 18
a) Father, please give your church a fresh understanding of home cells in Jesus name.
b) Father, inspire us to open our doors for home cells in Jesus name.
c) Father, make my home an extension of your church in Jesus name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, cause a fresh yearning for an authentic fellowship in the heart of believers in Jesus name
e) Father, I thank you for prayer answered in Jesus name.
DAY 19: CULTIVATING COMMUNITY
James 3:18; Acts 2:42
Community requires commitment
Only the Holy Spirit can create real fellowship between believers, but He cultivates it with the choices and commitments we make. It takes both God’s power and our effort to produce a loving Christian community. Unfortunately, many people grow up in families with unhealthy relationships, so they lack the relational skills needed for real fellowship. They must be taught how to get along with and relate to others in God’s family. If you are tired of fake fellowship and you would like to cultivate real fellowship and a loving community in your small group, Sunday school class, and Church, you’ll need to make some tough choices and take some risks:
_Cultivating community takes honesty_ . You will have to care enough to lovingly speak the truth, even when you would rather gloss over a problem or ignore an issue. Often we know what needs to be said to someone but our fears prevent us from saying anything. Many fellowships have been sabotaged by fear. No one had the courage to speak up in the group while a member’s life fell apart Sadly thousands of fellowships have been destroyed by a lack of honesty until you care enough to confront and resolve the underlying barriers, you will never grow closer to each other.
_Cultivating community takes humility_ . Self-importance, smugness and stubborn pride destroy fellowship faster than anything else. Pride builds walls between people, humility builds relationships. The proper dress for relationship is a humble attitude. You can develop humility in very practical ways by admitting your weakness, by being patient with others’ weakness, by being open to correction and by pointing the spotlight on others. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others.
_Cultivating community takes courtesy_ . Courtesy is respecting our differences, being considerate of each other’s feelings, and being patient with people who irritate us. In every Church and in every small group there is always at least one “difficult” person usually more than one. God puts these people in our midst for both their benefit and ours. They are an opportunity for growth and a test of fellowship. One key to courtesy is to understand where people are coming from. Discover their history. When you know what they’ve been through, you will be more understanding. Instead of thinking about how far they still have to go, think about how far they have come in spite of their limit.
_Cultivating community takes confidentiality_ . Confidentiality does not mean keeping silent with your brothers or sister sins. It means that what is shared in your group needs to stay in your group, and the group needs to deal with it not gossip to others about it. God hates gossip, especially when it is thinly disguised as a “prayer point” for someone else.
_Cultivating community takes frequency_ . You must have frequent regular contact with your group in other to build genuine fellowship. Relationship takes time. In your small group, I urge you to make a group covenant – these includes the nine characteristics of biblical fellowship:
-We will share our true feeling (Authenticity)
-Encourage each other (sympathy)
-Forgive each other (mercy)
-Respect our differences (courtesy)
-Speak the truth in love (honesty)
-Admit our weaknesses (humility)
-Not gossip (confidentiality) and
-Make group a priority (frequency)
PRAYER POINTS 19
a)Holy Spirit, please help us to create a real fellowship between the brethren in Jesus name
b)Father, I ask for an honest heart to genuinely fellowship with my brethren in Jesus name.
c)Father, please cloth me with the garment of humility in Jesus name
d)Father, in this 40 days journey of purpose, destroy every habit that destroys our fellowship in Jesus name
e)Father, I thank you for answering my prayers in Jesus Name
Day 20: RESTORING BROKEN FELLOWSHIP
2 Cor. 5:18
Relationships are always worth restoring
Because life is all about learning how to love, God wants us to value relationships and make the effort to maintain them instead of discarding them whenever there is a rift, a hurt or a conflict. In fact, the Bible tells us that God has given us the ministry of restoring relationships. Paul taught that our ability to get along with others is a mark of spiritual maturity. Since Christ wants others to be known for our love for each other, broken fellowship is a disgraceful testimony to unbelievers. If you want God’s blessing on your life and you want to be known as a child of God, you must learn to be a peacemaker. Peacemakers are rare because peacemaking is hard work.
HOW TO RESTORE A RELATIONSHIP
_Talk to God before talking to the person_ . Discus the problem with God. All your relationships would go smoother if you would just pray more about them. Most conflict is rooted in unmet needs. Some of these needs can only be met by God.
_Always take the initiative_ . It doesn’t matter whether you are the offender or the offended: God expects you to make the first move. Don’t wait for the other party, go to them first. Restoring broken fellowship is so important; Jesus commanded that it even takes priority over group worship. When fellowship is strained or broken; plan a peace conference immediately.
_Sympathy with their feelings_ . Use your ears more than your mouth. Before attempting to solve any disagreement you must first listen to peoples’ feelings. The cliché is true: people don’t care what we know until they know you care. It is a sacrifice to patiently absorb the anger of others, especially if it’s unfounded. But remember, this is what Jesus did for you. He endured unfounded malicious anger in order to save you.
_Confess your part in the conflict_ . If you are serious about restoring relationship, you should begin with admitting your own mistakes or sin. Confession is a powerful tool for reconciliation. Often the way we handle a conflict creates a bigger hurt than the original problem itself. When you begin by humbly admitting your mistakes, it defuses the other person’s anger and disarms their attack because they were probably expecting you to be defensive. Don’t make excuses or shift the blame, just honestly own up to any part you have played in the conflict. Accept responsibility for your mistakes and ask for forgiveness.
_Attack the problem, not the person_ . You cannot fix the problem if you’re consumed with fixing the blame. You will never get your point across by being cross, so choose your words wisely. A soft answer is always better than a sarcastic one. For the sake of fellowship, you must destroy your arsenal of relational nuclear weapon, including condemning, belittling …. Labeling, insulting, condescending and being sarcastic.
_Cooperate as much as possible_ . Peace always has a price tag. Sometimes it cost our pride; it often costs our self centeredness. For the sake of fellowship do your best to compromise, adjust to others, and show preference to what they need.
_Emphasize reconciliation, not resolution_ . It is unrealistic to expect everyone to agree about everything. Reconciliation focuses on the fellowship, while resolution focuses on the problem. When we focus on reconciliation the problem loses significance and often becomes irrelevant. We can reestablish a relation even when we are unable to resolve our difference. Christians often have legitimate, honest disagreements and differing opinions, but we can disagree without being disagreeable. Who do you need to contact as a result of today’s word? With whom do you need to restore relationship? Don’t delay another second. Pause right now and talk to God about that person. Then pick up the phone and begin the process.
PRAYER POINTS 20
a)Father, I receive grace by this word to restore every broken relationship in Jesus name.
b)Father, by your Grace and Power, I take the initiative to resolve every broken relationship in Jesus name.
c)Father, please forgive me in whatever area I might have offended my fellow brethren in Jesus name.
d)Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, let every broken fellowships be restored in Jesus name.
e)Father, thank you for answered prayers in Jesus name.
Day 21- Protecting your Church
Eph 4:3, Col 3:14, Rom 14:19
It is your job to protect the unity of your church
Unity in the church is so important that the New Testament gives more attention to it than either heaven or hell. God deeply desires that we experience oneness and harmony with each other. Unity is the soul of fellowship, destroy it and you rip the heart out of Christ’s body. It is the essence, the core, of how God intends for us to experience life together in His Church. Our supreme mode; for unity is the Trinity; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are completely unified as one. If you are a part of God’s family, it is your responsibility to protect the unity of where you fellowship. You are commissioned by Jesus Christ to do everything possible to preserve the unity, protect the fellowship and promote the harmony in your church family and among believers.
The bible gives us practical advise on how to do this:
– _FOCUS ON WHAT WE HAVE IN COMMON NOT OUR DIFFERENCES_
As believers we share one Lord, one Body, one Purpose, one Father, one Spirit, one Hope, one Faith, and one Love. We share the same Salvation, the same life, and the same future, factors far more important than any differences we could enumerate. These are the issues not our personal differences that we should concentrate on.
-BE REALISTIC IN YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Once you discover what God intends _real_ fellowship to be, it is very easy to become discouraged by the gap between the _ideal_ and the _real_ in your church, yet we must passionately love the church in spite of its imperfections. Every church could put out a sign ‘’No perfect people need apply, this is a place only for those who admit they are sinners, need grace, and want to grow.’’
– CHOOSE TO ENCOURAGE RATHER THAN CRITICIZE_
It is always easier to stand on the sidelines and take shots at those who are serving than it is to get involved and make a contribution. God warns us over and over not to criticize, compare, or judge each other.
_-REFUSE TO LISTEN TO GOSSIP_
Gossip is passing information when you are neither part of the problem nor part of the solution. Listening to gossip is like accepting stolen property, and it makes you just as guilty of the crime. People who gossip to you will also gossip about you.
_-PRACTICE GOD’S METHOD FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION_
In addition to the principles mention in our previous message, Jesus gave the church a simple three-step process in Matthew 18:15-17a.
Private confrontation is always the first step, and you should take it as soon as possible. The next step is to take one or two witnesses to help confirm the problem and reconcile the relationship if the first step failed. The third step is to take the matter to the church if the person is still stuck in stubbornness . if the person still refuses to listen after that, you should treat the person like an unbeliever
– _SUPPORT YOUR PASTORS AND LEADERS_
There are no perfect leaders, but God gives leaders the responsibility, and the authority to maintain the unity of the church. We protect the fellowship when we honor those who serve us by leading. Pastors and elders need our prayers, encouragement, appreciation and love.
PRAYER POINTS 21
a)Father, I receive grace to keep the unity in your church in Jesus name.
b)Father, shine your light on my life, help me to see ways I have moved against the unity of your church and forgive me in Jesus name.
c)Father, help me to live daily in your Love as this would help keep unity in your church, in Jesus name.
d)Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, let the church dwell in unity because it is pleasant in your sight, in Jesus name.
e)Father, thank you for answered prayers in Jesus name.
PURPOSE NO. 3: You were created to become like Christ
DAY 22: Created to become like Christ
Col.2:7, 1:15, Rom.8:29
You were created to become like Christ.
From the very beginning, God’s plan has been to make you like his Son, Jesus. This is your destiny and the third purpose of your life. The Bible says that all people not just believers possess part of the image of God: that is why murder and abortion are wrong. But the image of God is incomplete and has been damaged by sin. So God sent Jesus on a mission to restore the full image that we have lost. ‘Jesus is the exact likeness of God’, the invisible image of the invisible God an exact representation of his being. Let me be absolutely clear: you will never become God or even a god. That prideful lie is satan’s oldest temptation “ _ye shall be as gods_ ”. This desire to be a God shows up every time we try to control our circumstances or future , and people around us, but has creatures we will never be the creator. God doesn’t want you to be a god, he wants you to become godly- taken up his values, attitudes and character.
God wants you to develop the character described in the beatitudes of Jesus, fruit of the Spirit, Paul’s great chapter of Love, and Peter’s list of the characteristics of an effective and productive life.
GOD’S SPIRIT WORKING IN YOU
New year resolutions, willpower and best intentions are not enough to reproduce the character of Jesus in you. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to produce Christlike characters in you. That is, only the Holy spirit has the power to make the changes God wants to make in our lives. Christlikeness is not produced by imitation but by inhabitation. We allow Christ to live through us.
How does this happen?
– _we must cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s work_ .
The Holy spirit releases His power the moment you take a step of faith , obedience unlocks God’s power. God waits for you to act first. Don’t wait to feel powerful or confident . Move ahead in your weakness doing the right thing in spite of your fears and feelings. This is how you cooperate with the Holy Spirit , and it’s how your confidence develops.
Paul explains in Eph 4:22-24 our three responsibilities in becoming like Christ
First – we must choose to let go of our old ways
Second, we must change the way we think
Third, we must “put on” the character of Christ by developing new, godly habits. Your character is essentially the sum of your habits
– _God uses his word, people, and circumstances to mold_ _us_ . All three are indispensable for character development. God’s word provides us the truth we need to grow, God’s people provide the support we need to grow, and circumstances provide the environment we need to practice Christlikeness. If you study and apply God’s word, connect regularly with other believers, and learn to trust God in difficult circumstances, I guarantee you will become like Jesus
_-Becoming like Christ is a long slow process of growth_ . Spiritual maturity is neither instant nor automatic, it is a gradual, progressive development that will take the rest of your life. You are a work in progress . Your spiritual transformation in developing the character of Jesus will take the rest of your life and even then it wont be completed here on earth. It will only be finished when you get to heaven or when Jesus returns .The Bible says that when we are finally able to see Jesus perfectly, we will become perfectly like him.
God is far more interested in what you are than in what you do. We are human beings, not human doings. God is much more concerned about your character than your career because you will take your character into eternity but not your career.
Prayer Points 22
a) .Father, I receive grace to walk with you till I become like Christ, in Jesus name.
b). Father, Help me to let go of ways that would hinder me from being like Christ, in Jesus name.
c) Father, help me to cooperate and align myself with the holy Spirit when he wants to work in me, in Jesus name.
d). Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, renew my mind and help my thought pattern, in Jesus name .
e). Father, I thank you for answered prayers.
DAY 23-HOW WE GROW
EPH 4:15A,14A, PHIL 2:12-13, MATT 9:9
GOD WANTS YOU TO GROW
Your heavenly Father’s goal is for you to mature and develop the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Sadly, millions of Christians grow older but never grow up. They are stuck in perpetual spiritual infancy, remaining in diapers and booties. The reason is that they never intended to grow. Spiritual growth is not automatic. It takes an intentional commitment. You must want to grow, decide to grow, make an effort to grow and persist in growing. Discipleship -the process of becoming like Christ- always begins with a decision- you must decide to become a disciple.
It is at this point of commitment that most people miss God’s purpose for their lives. Many are afraid to commit anything and just drift through life, make half-hearted commitments to competing values, which leads to frustration and mediocrity. Others make a full commitment to worldly goals, such as becoming wealthy or famous, and end up disappointed and bitter, every choice has eternal consequences, so you had better choose wisely. Tell me what you are committed to and I’ll tell you what you will be in twenty years. We become whatever we are committed to.
– GOD’S PART AND YOUR PART
Christ-likeness is the result of making Christlike choices and depending on his Spirit to help you fulfill those choices. Phil 2:12-13, shows the two parts of spiritual growth. “Work out and work in’’. the ‘’work out’’ is your responsibility, and the ‘’work in’’ is God’s role. Spiritual growth is a collaborative effort between you and the holy spirit. God’s Spirit work with us and not just in us. This verse, written to believers is not about how to be saved but how to grow. It does not say ‘’work for’’ your salvation, because you cannot add anything to what Jesus already did. Doing a physical ‘’work out’’, you exercise your body, not to get a body.
-CHANGE YOUR AUTO PILOT
To change your life, you must change the way you think, behind everything there’s a thought. Every believer is motivated by a belief, and every action is prompted by an attitude. Change your autopilot- the way you think. Your first step in spiritual growth is to start changing the way you think. Change always starts from the mind. The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel influences the way you act. To be like Christ. The New Testament calls this mental shift. Repentance – meaning to ‘’change your mind’’. You repent whenever you change the way you think by adopting how God thinks.
There are two parts to doing this. The first half is to stop thinking immature thoughts, which are self-centered and self-seeking like bodies. The second half of thinking like Jesus is to start thinking maturely which focuses on others, not yourself.
Today many assume that spiritual maturity is measured by the amount of biblical information and doctrine you know. While knowledge is on measurement of maturity, it isn’t the whole story. The Christian life is far more than creeds and convictions, it includes conduct and character. Our deeds must be consistent with our creeds, and our beliefs must be backed up with Christ like behavior.
Christianity is not a religion or a philosophy, but a relationship and a lifestyle. The core of that lifestyle is thinking of others, as Jesus did, instead of ourselves.
Prayer Points 23
a)Father, I receive the grace to continue to grow up spiritually, in Jesus name.
b)Father, help me to live my life with utmost focus on your purpose for my life in Jesus name.
c)Father, help me not to hinder your work in me, in Jesus name.
d)Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, I rededicate my life to a new commitment to spiritual growth, in Jesus name.
e)Father, I thank you for I know you hear my requests in Jesus name.
DAY 24: TRANSFORMED BY THE TRUTH
MATT 4:4, ACTS 20:32
THE TRUTH TRANSFORMS US
Spiritual growth is the process of replacing lies with the truth. Jesus prayed ‘’sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth’’.
Sanctification requires revelation. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
God’s Word is unlike any other word. It is alive, when God speaks things change. Everything around you, all of creation exists because God’s ‘’said it.” He spoke it all into existence.
The Bible is far more than a doctrinal guidebook. We cannot live without it. Never take it for granted. You should consider it as essential to you as food- it is called milk, bread, solid food and sweet desert. This four course meal is the Spirit’s menu for Spiritual strength and growth.
ABIDING IN GOD’S WORD.
In day to day living, abiding in God’s word includes three activities:
-I MUST ACCEPT ITS AUTHORITY
The Bible must become the authoritative standard for my life; the compass I rely on for direction, the counsel I listen to for making wise decisions, and the bench mark I use for evaluating everything. The Bible must actively have the first and the last word in my life.
Decide that regardless of culture, tradition, realism, or emotion, you choose the Bible as your final say when making decisions. Resolve that when God says to do something, you will trust God’s Word and do it whether or not it makes sense or you feel like doing it.
-I MUST ASSIMILATE ITS TRUTH
It is not enough just to believe the Bible, I must fill my mind with it so that the Holy Spirit can transform me with the truth. There are five ways to do this: You can receive it, read it, research it, remember it and reflect on it.
First , You receive God’s word when you listen and accept it with an open receptive attitude. The parable of the Sower illustrates how our receptiveness determines whether or not God’s words takes root in our lives and bear fruit.
Second, for most of the 2000 year history of the Church, only Priests got to personally read the Bible but now billions of us have access to it. In spite of this many believers are more faithful to reading daily newspapers than the Bible. It is no wonder we don’t grow. We can’t watch television for three hours then read the Bible for three minutes and expect to grow. Daily reading of the Bible will keep you in a range of God’s voice. A simple tool that is helpful for this, is a daily Bible reading plan.
Third, researching or studying the Bible is another practical way to abide in the Word. The difference between reading and studying the Bible involves two additional activities: asking questions and writing down your insights.
The fourth way to abide in the word of God is by remembering it. Your capacity to remember is a God given gift . you remember what is important to you. If God’s Word is important to you , you will take time to remember it.
The Fifth way to abide in God’s word is to reflect on it which the Bible calls ‘’Meditation’’. Meditation is focused thinking . it takes serious effort, you select a verse and reflect on it over and over in your mind. No other habit can do you more to transform your life and make you more like Jesus than daily reflection on Scripture.
-I MUST APPLY ITS PRINCIPLES
Receiving , reading, researching, remembering , and reflecting on the word of God are all useless if we fail to put them to practice . we must become ‘’doers of the word’’. This is the hardest step of all, because Satan fights it so intensely. He doesn’t mind you going to Bible studies as long as you don’t do anything to what you learn. The best way to become a doer of the word is to always write out an action step as a result of reading or studying or reflecting on God’s word. Every application will involve either your relationship with God, Your relationship to others or your personal Character. ‘’ The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives’’.
Prayer points 24
a)Father, I receive grace to abide in your word, in Jesus name.
b)Father, help me not to feel comfortable when I don’t study your word, in Jesus name
c)Father, make me a doer of your Word, in Jesus name
d)Father , in this 40 days journey with purpose, help me to desire to grow, in Jesus name
e)Father, I thank You for answered prayer in Jesus name.
DAY 25- TRANSFORMED BY TROUBLE
2 COR 4:17
God has a purpose behind every trouble
He uses circumstances to develop our character. In fact He depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible. The reason is obvious; you face circumstances twenty four hours a day.
God uses problems to draw you closer to himself. Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days – when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you’re short of options, when the pain is the greatest and you turn to God alone. It is during suffering that we learn to pray ever most authentic, heartfelt, honest to God prayers.
God could have kept Joseph out of jail, kept Daniel out of the lion’s den, kept Jeremiah from being tossed into a slimy pit, kept Paul from being shipwrecked three times, and kept the three Hebrew boys from being thrown into the burning fiery furnace , but he didn’t . He let those problems happen and every one of those person was drawn closer to God as a result. Problems force us to look to God and depend on him instead of ourselves . regardless of the cause , none of your problems could happen without God’s permission. Everything that happens to a child of God is Father-filtered, and He intends to use it for our good even when Satan and others mean it for bad.
UNDERSTANDING ROMANS 8:25-29
This is one of the most misquoted and misunderstood passages in the Bible. To fully understand this Scripture you must consider it phase by phase. “we know’’. Our hope in difficult times is not based on positive thinking, wishful thinking or natural optimism. it is a certainty based on truths that God is in complete control of our universe and he loves us.
“that God causes ’’. There is a Grand Designer behind everything. There is a master plan. God is pulling the strings. God cannot make a mistake because He is God.
“everything’’ God’s plan for your life involves all that happens to you, including your mistakes, your sins, and your hurts. God can bring good out of the worst evil. He did it at Calvary.
“to work together ’’ not separately or independently. The events in your life work together in God’s plan. They are not isolated acts but they are inter dependent. . if you will give God all your distasteful, unpleasant experiences. He will blend them together for good.
“for the good ’’ this does not say that everything in life is good, much of what happens in the world is evil and bad, but God specializes in bringing good out of it. God’s purpose is greater than our problems, our pains and even our sin.
“of those who love God and are called’’. This promise is only for God’s children, it is not every one. The things work for bad for those living in opposition to God and insist on having their own way.
“according to his purpose’’ what is that purpose? It is that we ‘’become like his Son’’. Everything God allows to happen in your life is permitted for that purpose.
BUILDING CHRISTLIKE CHARACTER
We are like jewels, shaped with hammer and chisel of adversity. If a jeweler’s hammer isn’t strong enough to chip off our rough edges, God will use a sledgehammer . if we are really stubborn, he uses a jack hammer. He will use whatever it takes. Since God intends to make you like Jesus, He will take you through the same experiences Jesus went through. That includes loneliness, temptation , stress, criticism, rejection, and much more problems. Why would God exempt us from what he allowed His own Son experience?
RESPONDING TO PROBLEMS AS JESUS WOULD
– REMEMBER GOD’S PLAN IS GOOD
God knows what is best for you and has your best interest at heart. The secret of endurance is to remember that your pain is temporary but your reward will be eternal. Stay focus on the end.
–REJOICE AND GIVE THANKS
God doesn’t expect you to be thankful for evil, for sin, for suffering, or for their painful consequences in the world. Instead, God wants you to thank him that he will use your problems to fulfill his purposes.
– REFUSE TO GIVE UP
Be patient and persistent. Character building is a slow process. Wherever we try to escape the difficulties in life, we short circuit the process, delay the growth and actually end up with the worst kind of pain.
If you are facing trouble right now, don’t ask ,’’why me?’’ instead ask ‘’ what do you want me to learn?’’ then trust God and keep on doing what’s right. Don’t give up – grow up.
Prayer Points 25
a)Father, I receive grace for growth, in Jesus name.
b)Father, I receive Grace to be thankful in every circumstance, in Jesus name
c)Father, break me, mold me, and make me like your Son, in Jesus name
d)Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, help me learn from every problem of my life in Jesus name
e)Father, I thank You for answered prayers, in Jesus name.
DAY 26- GROWING THROUGH TEMPTATION
Every temptation is an opportunity to do good
On the path to spiritual maturity, each temptation becomes a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block when you realize that it is just as much as an occasion to do the right thing as it is to do the wrong thing. Temptation simply provides the choice. While temptation is Satan’s primary weapon to destroy you, God wants to use it to develop you. Every time you choose to do good instead of sin, you are growing in the character of Christ .
To understand this, You must first identify the character qualities of Jesus which is best described by the fruit of the Spirit.
Jesus is perfect Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, and all other fruits embodied in a single person. To have the fruit of the Spirit is to be like Jesus. Because fruit always matures and ripens slowly, the Holy Spirit provides the nine fruit in our lives slowly.
One of the most important Spiritual truth you will learn is this: God develops the fruit of the spirit in our lives by allowing us go through circumstances in which you are expected to express the exact opposite quality. Character development always involves a choice and temptation provides the opportunity.
For instance, God teaches us love by putting some unlovely people around us. It takes no character to love people who are lovely and loving you. God teaches us real joy in the midst of sorrow, God develops real peace in us not by making things go the way we planned, but by allowing times of chaos and confusion. Likewise patience is developed in circumstances in which we are forced to wait and are tempted to be angry or have a short fuse. God uses the opposite situation of each fruit to allow us a choice. Every time you defeat a temptation , you become like Jesus.
HOW TEMPTATION WORKS
It helps to know that Satan is entirely predictable. He has used the same strategy and old tricks since creation. All temptation follows the same pattern. From the Bible we learn that temptation follows a four step process which Satan used on both Adam and Eve and on Jesus.
In step one, Satan identifies a _desire_ inside of you. We think temptation is around us, but God says it is within us. If you didn’t have the internal desire, the temptation wouldn’t attract you. Temptation always starts in your mind, not in circumstances.
Step two is doubt. Satan tries to get you to _doubt_ what God has said about you. Is it really wrong? Did God really say not to do it? Didn’t God mean this prohibition for something else or some other time? doesn’t God want me to be happy?
Step three is _deception. Satan is incapable of telling the truth and is called ‘ father of lies’. Anything he tells you will be untrue or just half true, Satan offers his lies to replace what God has written in his Word.
Step four is _disobedience. You finally act on the thought you’ve been toying with in your mind. What began as an idea gets birthed into a behavior. You give in to whatever got your attention. You believe Satan’s lies and fall into the trap that James warns about in James 1:14-16.
Understanding how temptation works in itself helpful, but there are specific steps you need to take to overcome it
-REFUSE TO BE INTIMIDATED
You will never outgrow temptation. In one sense you can consider temptation a compliment. Temptation is a sign that Satan hates you, not a sign of weakness or worldliness. It is not a sin to be tempted, Jesus was tempted, yet He never sinned. Temptation becomes a sin when you give in to it.
-RECOGNIZE YOUR PATTERN OF TEMPTATION AND BE PREPARED FOR IT
You should identify your typical pattern of temptation and prepare to avoid those situations as much as possible, wise planning reduces temptation.
-REQUEST GOD’S HELP
Heaven has 24 hour emergency hot line. God wants you to ask him for assistance in overcoming temptation. God’s love is everlasting and his patience endures forever. If you have to cry for God’s help two hundred times a day to defeat a particular temptation, He will still be eager to give mercy and grace. So come boldly ask him for the power to do the right thing and then expect him to provide it. Every time you stand up to a temptation you become more like Jesus. When you stumble, which you will, it is not fatal, instead of giving in or giving up, look up to God, expect him to help you and remember the reward that is waiting for you in James 1:12
Prayer Points 26
a)Father, I receive grace to overcome every temptation in Jesus name.
b)Father, help me to stand in the face of temptations and refuse any intimidation from Satan, in Jesus name.
c)Father, guard my heart, help me to be focused on you and wipe out wrong thoughts and ideas, in Jesus name.
d)Father, in this 40 days journeys with purpose, because Jesus overcame Satan’s temptations, I will overcome all of Satan’s temptations in Jesus name.
e)Father, I thank you for you are faithful and you answer prayers, in Jesus name.
DAY 27: DEFEATING TEMPTATION
2 Tim.2:22, 1 Cor.10:13
There is always a way out
You may sometime feel that a temptation is too overpowering for you to bear, but that’s a lie from satan, God has promised never to allow more on you than he put within you to handle it. He will not permit any temptation that you could not overcome. However you must do your part too by practicing four biblical keys to defeating temptation.
– Refocus your attention on something else –
It may surprise you that no where in the Bible are we told to “resist temptation” we are told to “resist the devil” but that is very difficult, instead we are advised to refocus our attention because resisting a thought doesn’t work. It is only intensifying our focus on the wrong thing and strengthens its allure. Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it. Once your mind is on something else, the temptation loses its power. So when temptation calls you on the phone, don’t argue with it just hang up. Sometimes this means physically leaving a tempting situation. This is one time its ok to run away; get up and turn off the television set, walk away from that group that is gossiping. You defeat bad thought by thinking of something better. This is the principle of _replacement. You overcome evil with good. Choose carefully what you think about. This takes a life time of practice, but with the help of the Holy Spirit you can reprogram the way you think.
_- Reveal your struggle to a godly friend or support group.
You don’t have to broadcast it to the whole world but you need at least one person you can honestly share your struggles with, you need the help of other people. Some temptations are only overcome with the help of a partner who prays for you, encourages you and holds you accountable. God’s plan for your growth and freedom includes other Christians. Authentic honest fellowship is the antidote to your lonely struggle against those sins that won’t budge. Do you really want to be healed of that persistent temptation that keeps defeating you over and over? God’s solution is plain: Don’t repress it, confess it, reveal it, Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing.
– Resist the devil –
After we have humbled ourselves and submitted to God, we are then told to defy the devil. We don’t passively resign ourselves to his attacks. We are to fight back.
How can we resist the devil? The first step is to accept God’s Salvation , You wont be able to say no to the Devil unless you’ve said yes to Christ. Without Christ. We are defenseless against the devil but with the “helmet of Salvation” our minds are protected by God. Second, you must use the word of God as your weapon against Satan, Jesus modeled this when He was tempted in the wilderness. Every time Satan suggested temptation, Jesus countered it by quoting Scriptures he didn’t argue with Satan. Don’t ever argue with the devil. You cant bluff Satan with logic or your opinion, but you can use the weapon that makes him tremble… The truth of God. This is why memorizing Scriptures is absolutely essential to defeating temptation. If you don’t have any Bible verses memorized. You’ve got no bullets in your gun. I challenge you to memorize one verse a week for the rest of your life. Imagine how much stronger you’ll be.
_- Realize your vulnerability. God warns us never to get cocky and over confident, that is the recipe for disaster. Don’t carelessly place yourself in tempting situation. Avoid them. Remember it is easier to stay out of temptation than to get out of it.
Prayer points 27
a) Father, thank you Lord for I know you will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I can bear.
b) Father, I thank you for always creating a way of escape from every temptation for me in Jesus name.
c) Father, by your power and grace, I refocus my mind on Jesus Christ the author and finisher of my faith in Jesus name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, I assimilate these strategies for defeating temptations in Jesus name.
e) Father, thank you for prayer answered in Jesus name.
DAY 28- IT TAKES TIME
ECC 3:1, PHIL 1:6
There are no short cuts to maturity
It takes years for us to grow to adulthood, and it takes a full season for fruit to mature and ripen. The same is true for the fruit of the Spirit. The development of Christlike character cannot be rushed. Spiritual growth like Physical growth takes time.
While we worry about how fast we grow, God is more concerned about how strong we grow. God’s views our lives from and for eternity, so he is never in a hurry.
Why does it take so long?
Although God could instantly transform us, he has chosen to develop us slowly. Jesus is deliberate in developing his disciples. Just as God allowed the Israelites to take over the promise land _little by_ _little_ . So they wouldn’t be overwhelmed , He prefers to work In incremental steps in our lives. It takes so long to change and grow up because of several reasons;
– We are slow learners
We often have to relearn a lesson forty or fifty times to really get it. The problems keep recurring and we think ‘’not again, I’ve already learned that’’ but God knows better. The history of Israel illustrates how quickly we forget the lessons God teaches us and how soon we revert to our old patterns of behavior. We need to repeat exposure.
-We have a lot to unlearn
There is no pull, prayer, or principle that will instantly undo the damage of many years. It requires the hard work of removal and damage replacement. The Bible calls it _‘taking off the old self and putting on the_ _new_ ’’. While you were given a brand new nature at the moment of conversion , you still have old habits, patterns and practices that need to be removed and replaced.
-We are afraid to humbly face the truth about ourselves
The truth will set us free but it often makes us miserable first. The fear of what we might discover if we honestly faced our character defects keeps us living in the prison of denial. Only as God is allowed to shine the light of this truth on our faults, failures and hang ups can we begin to work on them. This is why you cannot grow without a humble teachable attitude.
– Growth Is often painful and scary
There is no growth without change , there is no change without fear or loss, and there is no loss without pain. Every change involves a loss of some kind . you must let go of old ways in order to experience the new.
-Habit takes time to develop
Remember that your character is the sum total of your habits. If you practice something over time, you get good at it. Repetition is the mother of character and skill. These character building habits are often called ‘’spiritual disciplines’’.
DON’T GET IN A HURRY
As you grow to spiritual maturity, there are several ways to corporate with God in the process
– Believe God is working in your life even when you don’t feel it.
Spiritual growth is sometimes tedious work, one small step at a time. Expect gradual improvement.
–Keep a notebook or journey of lessons learned
This is not a diary of events, but a record of what you are learning. Write down the insights and life lessons God teaches you about him, about your life, relationships and everything else. The reason we must unlearn lessons is that we forget them. Reviewing your spiritual journal regularly can spare you a lot of unnecessary pain and heartache.
– Be patient with God and with yourself
You may feel frustrated with the seemingly slow progress you’re making in life. Remember that God’s timetable is rarely the same as ours. He is never in a hurry, but he is always on time. he will use your entire lifetime to prepare you for your role in eternity.
– Don’t get discouraged
A delay is not a denial from God. God isn’t finished with you, either, so keep on moving forward. Even the snail reached the ark by persevering.
Prayer Points 28
a) Father , I receive grace to be patient as you work on me, in Jesus name.
b) Father, I ask that you help me not to frustrate your work in me, in Jesus name.
c) Father, I ask for consciousness of your work in me, in Jesus name
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, I ask that You would help me unlearn all you would have me unlearn in this season, in Jesus name.
e) Father, I thank you always for prayer answered in Jesus Name
PURPOSE 4: YOU WERE SHAPED FOR SERVING GOD
1 COR 3:5-6
ACCEPTING YOUR ASSIGNMENT
EPH 2:10, JOHN 17:4
You were put on earth to make a contribution
You were not created just to consume resources- to eat, breath and take up space. God designed you to make a difference with your life. You were created to add to life on earth, not just to take from it. God wants you to give something back. This is God’s fourth purpose for your life, and it is called your ministry or service.
The Bible gives us the details:
_You were created to serve God_
The Bible says God has created us for a life of good deeds, which He has already prepared us to do. These good deeds are your service. Whenever you serve other. You are actually serving God and fulfilling one of your purposes. You were placed on earth for a special assignment. Jer 1:5
_You were saved to serve God_
God redeemed you so you could do His holy work. You are not saved by service, but for service. In God’s kingdom, you have a place, a purpose, a role, and a function to fulfill. This gives your life great significance and value. It cost Jesus His own life to purchase your salvation. We don’t serve God out of guilt or fear or even duty, but out of joy and deep gratitude for what He has done for us. Apostle John taught that our loving service to others shows that we are truly saved. If I have no love for other, no desire to serve others, and I’m only concerned about my needs I should question whether Christ is really in my life.
Every member of God’s family is a minister . if you are a Christian , you are a minister, and when you are serving, you are ministering. We are blessed to be a blessing. __We are saved to serve_ ,_ not just to sit and wait for heaven. Once you’re saved, God intends to use you for his goal of salvation.
_You are called to serve God_
The Bible says every Christian is called to service, your call to salvation included your call to service. Regardless of your job or career, you are called to full time Christian service. Anytime you use your God-given abilities to help others, you are fulfilling your calling. One reason why you need to be connected to a church family is to fulfill your calling to serve other believers in practical ways. Your service is desperately needed in the body of Christ. There is no small service to God; it all matters. There is no correlation between size and significance. Every ministry matters because we are all dependent on each other to function.
You are commanded to serve God
For Christians , service is not optional. It is the heart of Christian life. Jesus came ‘’to serve’’ and ‘’to give’’. And those two verbs should define your life on earth. Jesus taught that spiritual maturity is never an end itself. Maturity is for ministry. We grow up in order to give out. We must act on what we know and practice what we claim to believe. An impression without expression cause depression. Study without service leads to spiritual stagnation.
Serving is the opposite of our natural indignation. Most of the time we’re more interested in ‘’ serve us’’ than service. As we mature in Christ, the focus of our lives should increasingly shift to living a life of service. The mature followers of Jesus stops asking ‘’ who’s going to meet my needs?’’ and start asking ‘’whose needs can I meet?’’ do you ever ask that question ?
Prepare for Eternity
At the end of your life on earth, you will stand before God, he is going to evaluate how well you serve others with your life. One day God will compare how much time and energy we spent on ourselves compared with what we invested in serving others. At that point our excuses for self-centeredness will sound hollow and God will respond ‘’ sorry wrong answer, I created, saved, called and commanded you to live a life of service. What part did you not understand? We are only fully alive when we’re helping others. If you are not serving: you are only existing, because life is meant for ministry. God wants you to learn to love and serve others unselfishly.
Service and significance
Career, sport, Hobby, fame, wealth? None of these has a lasting significance. Service is a pathway to real significance. It is through ministry we discover meaning of our lives. As we serve in God’s family. Our lives take on eternal importance. God wants to work through you. What matters is not the duration of your life, but the donation of it. Not how long you lived but how you lived. God can use you too, if you will stop making excuses. Service is not optional.
Prayer points 29
a)Father , I receive grace for service in Jesus Name .
b)Father, help me locate my ministry and give me the strength to carry it out , in Jesus Name
c)Father. Help me to think of others before myself in Jesus Name
d)Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, I receive grace to live in the light of eternity with you, in Jesus Name
e)Father, thank you for answered prayers, in Jesus Name.
DAY 30- SHAPED FOR SERVING GOD
JOB 10:8, ISAIAH 43:21, PS 139:16
You were shaped to serve God
God formed every creature on this planet with a special area of expertise. Some animals run, some hop, some swim, some burrow and some fly. Each has a particular role to play, based on the way they were shaped by God. The same is true with humans. Each of us was uniquely designed or shaped to do certain things.
Before God created you, he decided what role he wanted you to serve him, and then he shaped you for those tasks. You are the way you are because you were made for a specific ministry. He carefully mixed the DNA cocktail that created you.
Not only did God shape you before your birth, He planned your birth, He planned every day of your life to support his shaping process. This means that nothing happens in your life is insignificant. God uses all of it to mold you for your ministry to others and shape you for your service to Him.
God never wastes anything. He would not give you abilities, interests, talents, gifts, personality and life experiences unless he intended to use them for his glory. By identifying and understanding these factors you can discover God’s will for your life.
You are a combination of many factors. To help you remember five of these factors, I have created a simple acrostic: *SHAPE. I will explain how to discover and use your shape.
*How God shapes you for your ministry*
Whenever God gives us an assignment, he always equips us with what we need to accomplish it. This custom combination of capabilities is called *SHAPE*
S piritual abilities
SHAPE: UNWRAPPING YOUR _SPIRITUAL GIFTS_
God gives every believer spiritual gifts to be used in ministry. These are special God empowered abilities for serving him that are given only to believers. You can’t earn your spiritual gifts or deserve them, that is why they are called gifts. They are an expression of God’s grace to you. Because God loves variety and he wants us to be special, no single gift is given to everyone. Also no individual receives all the gifts. If you had them all, you’d have no need of anyone else, and that would defeat one of God’s purposes – to teach us to love and depend on each other. Your spiritual gifts were not given for your own benefits but for the benefit of others, just as other people were given for your benefit..
Sometimes spiritual gifts are over emphasized to the neglect of other factors God uses to shape you for service. Your gifts reveal one key to discovering God’s will for your ministry, but your spiritual gifts are not total picture. God has shaped you in four other ways too.
SHAPE: LISTENING TO YOUR HEART.
Your heart represents the source of all your motivation. What you love to do and what you care about most . Your heart reveals the real you- what you truly are, not what others think you are or what circumstances force you to be.
Another word for heart is -passion-. What you are passionate about reveals the nature of your heart.
Repeatedly, the Bible says to ‘’serve the Lord with all your heart’’. God want you to serve him passionately, not dutifully.
How do you know when you are serving God from your heart? The first sign is – enthusiasm- . When you are doing what you love to do. No one has to motivate you or challenge you or check up on You. The second characteristic of serving God from the heart is -effectiveness- Whenever you do what God wired you to love to do, you get good at it, passion drives perfection. The highest achievers in any field are those who do it because of passion not duty or profit.
Serve God in a way that expresses your heart. Figure out what you love to do, what God gave you a heart to do and do it for His glory.
Prayer points 30
a) Father, I receive grace to serve you more passionately, in Jesus name.
b) Father, I ask you to help me locate the gift you have deposited in me for your service, in Jesus name.
c) Father, I ask that you help me to listen to my heart, in Jesus name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, bless me with the gifts that will bring more glory to you alone, in Jesus name.
e) Father, I thank You for answered prayers, in Jesus name.
Day 31: Understanding your shape
Only You can be You
God designed each of us so there would be no duplication in the world. No one has the same mix of factors that make you unique, that means no one else on earth will ever be able to play the role God planned for You. If you don’t make your unique contribution to the Body of Christ it won’t be made.
Now let us look at the rest of your SHAPE for serving God.
SHAPE: APPLYING YOUR ABILITIES
Your abilities are the natural talents you were born with. When God wanted to create the Tabernacle and all the utensils for worship He provided artists and craftsmen who were shaped with the skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts to make artistic designs… and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. Today , God still bestows these abilities and thousand of others, so people can serve him.
-All of our abilities come from God.
Since your abilities are from God, they are just as important and as spiritual as your spiritual gifts. The only difference is that you were given them at birth. You are a bundle of incredible abilities, an amazing creation of God. Part of the church’s responsibility is to identify and release your abilities for serving God.?
– Every ability can be used for God’s glory-. God has a place in his Church where your specialties can be seen and you can make a difference. It’s up to you to find that difference.
– What I’m able to do, God wants me to do-
You are the only person on earth who can use your abilities. No one else can play your role because they don’t have the unique shape that God has given you. To discover God’s will for your life, you should seriously examine what you are good at doing and what you’re not good at. God will never ask you to dedicate your life to a task you have no talent for. Your abilities were not given just to make a living, God gave them to you for your ministry.
SHAPE: USE YOUR PERSONALITY
Your uniqueness is a scientific fact of life. When God made you, He broke the mold. There never has been, and never will be anybody exactly like you. God created each of us with a unique combination of personal traits. God made _introverts_ and _extroverts_ . He made people who love _routine_ and those who loves _variety. He made some people ‘’ _thinkers ’’ and others ‘’ _feelers”’. Some people work best when given an individual assignment while others work better with a team. Peter was a –sanguine, Paul was a -choleric, and Jeremiah was a -melancholy. There is no -right_ or _wrong_ temperament for ministry. We need all kinds of personalities to balance the Church and give it flavor. Your personality will affect how and where you use your spiritual gifts and abilities.
SHAPE: EMPLOYING YOUR EXPERIENCES
You have been shaped by your experiences in life most of which were beyond your control. God allowed them for his purpose of molding you. In determining your shape for serving God, you should examine at least six kinds of experiences from your past.
*Family experiences: what did you learn growing up in your family?
*Educational experiences: what were your favorites subjects in School?
*Vocational experiences: what jobs have you been most effective in and enjoy most?
*Spiritual experience: what has been your most meaningful times with God?
*Ministry experience: how have you served God in the past?
*Painful experience: what problems, hurts, thorns, and trials have you learned?
It is this category of painful experiences that God uses the most to prepare you for ministry. God never waste a hurt. In fact your greatest ministry will most likely come out of your greatest hurt.
People are always more encouraged when we share how God’s grace helped us in our weakness than when we brag about our strengths.
Paul understood this truth, so he was honest about his bouts with depression, as he admitted in 2Cor 1:8-10. If Paul had kept his experiences of doubt and depression, millions of people would never have benefitted from it. _Experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with what happens to you. What will you do with what you’ve been through? Don’t waste your pain, help others.
Prayer points 31
a) Father, I receive grace to apply my abilities in my ministry, in Jesus name.
b) Father, I receive grace to employ my experiences for the furtherance of the Gospel, in Jesus name.
c) Father, help me to see you in every of my experience, in Jesus name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, by your grace I see my hurts and pains as a blessing to my ministry, in Jesus name.
e) Father , I thank You for answered prayers, in Jesus name.
Day 32- Using what God gave you
God deserves your best
He shaped you for a purpose, and He expects you to make the most of what you have been given. He doesn’t want you to worry about or covet abilities you don’t have. Instead he wants you to focus on talents He has given you to use. When you attempt to serve God in ways you’re not shaped to serve, it feels like forcing a square peg into a round hole. It’s frustrating and produces limited results. It also wastes your time, your talent and your energy.
Discover your SHAPE
– Begin by assessing your gifts and abilities-.
The best way to discover your gifts and abilities is to experiment with different areas of service. Until you’re involved in serving, you’re not going to know what you’re good at. You have a dozen of hidden abilities and gifts you don’t know you’ve got because you’ve never tried them out. So I encourage you to try doing some things you’ve never done before.
– Consider your heart and your personality-
It helps to get feedback from those who know you best. Ask yourself questions. What do I really enjoy doing? When do I feel the most fully alive? What am I doing when I lose track of time and so on.
_-Examine your experiences and extract the lessons you have learned_
Review your life and think about how it has shaped you. Forgotten experiences are worthless. That’s a good reason to keep a spiritual journal
ACCEPT AND ENJOY YOUR SHAPE
Since God knows what’s best for you, you should gratefully accept the way He has fashioned you. Part of accepting your shape is recognizing your limitations. Nobody is good at everything and no one is called to be everything. We all have defined roles. Satan will try to steal the joy of service from you in a couple of ways by tempting you to compare your ministry to others, and by tempting you to conform your ministry to the expectations of others. Both are deadly traps that will distract you from serving in the ways God intended. Whenever you lose your joy in ministry, start by considering if either one of these two temptations is the case.
There are two reasons why you should never compare your shape, ministry, or the results of your ministry with anyone else.
First, You will be able to find someone who seem to be doing better job than you and you will become discouraged or you will always be able to find someone who doesn’t seem as effective as you and you will get full of pride. Either attitude will take you out of service and rob you of your joy.
You will find that people who do not understand your shape for ministry will criticize you and try to get you to conform to what they think you should be doing ignore them.
KEEP DEVELOPING YOUR SHAPE
Jesus’ parable of talents illustrates that God expects us to make the most of what He gives us. We are to cultivate our gifts and abilities, keep our hearts aflame, grow our character and personality, and broaden our experiences so we will be increasingly more effective in our service.
Whatever gifts you have been given can be enlarged and developed through practice. Take advantage of every training opportunity to develop your shape and sharpen your serving skills.
In Heaven we are going to serve God forever, right now, we can prepare for that eternal service practicing on earth. We’re getting ready for eternal responsibilities and rewards.
Prayer Points 32
a) Father, I receive grace to give you my best always in a Jesus name.
b) Father, take away anything that will disturb me from giving you my best, in Jesus name.
c) Father, help me to make the most of all you have given me in Jesus name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, that which you have prepared for me, prepare me for it, in Jesus name.
e) Father, I thank You for answered prayers, in Jesus name.
Day 33- How real servants act
Mark 10:43, Matthew 7:16
We serve God by serving others
The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige and position. Jesus, however measured greatness in terms of service not status. God determines your greatness by how many people you serve, not how many people serve you.
Everybody wants to lead, no one wants to be a servant, we would rather be Generals than privates. Even Christians want to be servant- leaders not just plain servants. But to be like Jesus is to be a servant. That’s what He called Himself.
How can you know if you have the heart of a servant?
_-Real servants make themselves available to serve_
Servants don’t fill up their time with other pursuits that could limit their availability. They want to be ready to jump into service when called on, if you only serve when it’s convenient. For you, you’re not a real servant. Real servants do what’s needed, even when it’s inconvenient.
– Real servants pay attention to needs_
Servants are always on the lookout for ways to help others. When they see a need, they seize the moment to meet it. John Wesley was an incredible servant of God. His motto was ‘’ do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all places you can, at all times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can’’. That is greatness
– Real servants do their best with what they have-
Servants don’t make excuses, procrastinate, or wait for better circumstances. God expects you to do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are.
_-Real servants do every task with equal dedication_
The size of the task is irrelevant. The only issue is, does it need to be done? You will never arrive at the state in life where you’re too important to help with menial tasks. God will never exempt you from the mundane. It is a vital part of your character curriculum. It is in this small services that we grow like Christ. Don’t look for great tasks to do for God. Just do the not-so-great stuff, and God will assign You to whatever He wants you to do. But before attempting the extraordinary, try serving in ordinary ways.
– Real servants are faithful to the ministry- .
Servants finish their tasks, fulfill their responsibilities, keep their promises, and complete their commitments. They don’t have a job half undone, and they don’t quit when they get discouraged. They are trustworthy and dependable. Faithful servants never retire. They serve faithfully as long as they live. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God.
– Real servants maintain a low profile-
Servants don’t promote or call attention to themselves. Instead of acting to impress and dressing for success they put on the apron of humility to serve one another. If recognized for their service, they humbly accept it but don’t allow notoriety to distract you from the work.
God put you where you are for a purpose. He has every hair on your head numbered, and He knows your address. You had better stay put until He chooses to move you, He will let you know if He wants you somewhere else. Your humility matters to the kingdom of God. Don’t be discouraged when your service is unnoticed or taken for granted. Keep on serving God.
Prayer Points 33
a) Father, I receive more grace for service in Jesus name.
b) Father, I ask for help to be the kind of servant I ought to be according to your standard, in Jesus name.
c) Father, help me to be great in your sight much more than than in the sight of men, in Jesus name.
d) Father, in this forty days journey with purpose, by your grace, I unlearn and relearn all that will make me an effective servant in your kingdom in Jesus name.
e) Father, thank you for answered prayers, in Jesus name.
Day 34-Think like a Servant
Num 14:24, Phil 2:5
Service starts in your mind
To be a servant requires a mental shift, a change in your attitudes. God is always more interested in why we do something than in what we do. Attitudes count more than achievements. Real servants serve God with a mindset of five attitudes .
_-Servants think more about others than about themselves_
Servants focus on others not themselves. This is true humility; not thinking less of ourselves but thinking ourselves less. This is what it means to ’’lose your life”. Forgetting yourself in service to others. Unfortunately a lot of our service is often self-serving. We serve to get others to like us, to be admired, or to achieve, our own goals. That is manipulation, not ministry. Real servants don’t try to use God for their purposes. They let God use them for His purposes.
– Servants think like stewards not owners-
Servants remember that God owns it all. In the Bible, a steward was a servant trusted to manage an estate. How are you handling the resources God has entrusted to you? To become a real servant you are going to have to settle the issue of money in your life. Living for ministry and living for money are not mutually exclusive goals. Which one will you choose? If you’re a servant of God, all your time belongs to God. He insists on exclusive allegiance, not part time faithfulness. Money has the greatest potential to replace God in your life. the Bible is very clear. God uses money to test your faithfulness as a servant. That is why Jesus talked more about money than He did about either Heaven or Hell.
-Servants think about their work, not what others are doing-
They don’t compare or criticize or compete with other servants or ministers. They are too busy doing the work God has given them. Competition between God’s servants is illogical for many reasons: we are all on the same team. Our goal is to make God look good, not ourselves, we’ve been given different assignments and we are all uniquely shaped.
Anytime spent criticizing others is time that could be spent ministering. Real servants don’t complain of unfairness, don’t have pity parties, and don’t resent those not serving. They just trust God and keep serving. It is also not our jobs to defend ourselves against criticisms let your master handle it. If you serve like Jesus you can expect to be criticized. Your service for Christ is never wasted regardless of what others say.
– Servants base their identity in Christ-
Because they remember they are loved and accepted by grace, servants don’t have to prove their worth. They willingly accept jobs that insecure people would consider ‘’beneath’’ them. If you’re going to be a servant, You must settle your identity in Christ. Only secure people can serve. Insecure people are always worrying about how they appear to others. They fear exposure of their weaknesses and hide beneath layers of protective pride and pretensions. The more insecure you are the more you will want people to serve you and the more you will need their approval. Servants don’t need to cover their walls with plaques and awards to validate their work. They don’t insist on being addressed by tittles, and they don’t wrap themselves in robes of superiority. Servants find status symbols unnecessary, and they don’t measure their worth by achievements.
_-Servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation_
They enjoy helping people, meeting needs and doing ministry. They are grateful for this grace. They know serving is the highest use of life, and they know God has promised a reward.
God will use you, if You will begin to act and think like a servant ‘’the only happy people are those who have learned how to serve’’.
Prayer points 34
a) Father, I receive your grace to serve, in Jesus name.
b) Father, I ask for help to daily see myself as just a servant, in Jesus name.
c) Father, Bless me with meekness and lowliness of heart, in Jesus name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, help my service to you be far better than before, in Jesus name.
e) Father, I thank You for answered prayers, in Jesus name.
Day 35- God’s power in your weakness
2Cor 13:4, 2Cor 12:9a
God loves to use weak people
Everyone has weaknesses, in fact you have a bundle of flaws and imperfections; physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. You may also have uncontrollable circumstances that weaken you such as financial or relational limitations. The more important issue is what you do with these. Usually we deny our weaknesses, defend them, excuse them, hide them, and resent them. This prevents God from using them the way He desires. We think God only wants to use our strengths, but He also wants to use our weaknesses for His glory. Your weaknesses are not an accident. God deliberately allowed them in your life for the purpose of demonstrating His power through you.
A weakness or ” thorn’’ as Paul called it is not a sin or a vice or a character defect that you can change. A weakness is any limitation that you inherited or have no power to change. It may be a physical limitation like handicap, a chronic illness , naturally low energy, or a disability. It may be an emotional limitation such as trauma scar, a harmful memory, a personality quirk, or a hereditary disposition. Or it may be a talent or intellectual limitation. We are not all super bright or talented.
Like common poetry, we are fragile and flawed and break easily. But God will use us if we allow him through our weaknesses. For that to happen, we must use the following models of Paul.
– _Admit your weakness_
Own up to your imperfections. Stop pretending to have it all together, and be honest about yourself. If you want God to use you, you must know who God is and know who you are. We are only Human
_-Be content with your weakness_
At first, this doesn’t make sense. We want to be free from our weaknesses not to be content with them. But contentment is an expression of faith in the goodness of God. It says God, I believe you love me and know what’s best for me.
Paul gives us several reasons to be content with our inborn weakness; first, they cause us to depend on God. Our weaknesses also prevent arrogance. They keep us humble, God often attaches a major weakness to a major strength to keep our ego in check. A limitation can act as a governor to keep us from going too fast and running ahead of God. Our weaknesses also encourage fellowship between believers while strength breeds an independent spirit (“I don’t need anyone else”), our limitations show how much we need each other.
Most of all, our weaknesses increase our capacity for sympathy and ministry. We are more likely to be compassionate and considerate of the weaknesses of others. People are going to find healing in your words. All God’s generals were weak people. God specializes in turning weaknesses into strengths. He wants to take your greatest weakness and transform it.
_-Honestly share your weakness_
Ministry begins with vulnerability. The more you let down guard, take off your mask, and share your struggles, the more God will be able to use you in serving others. Paul modeled vulnerability in all his letters. He openly shared his failures, his feelings, his frustrations, and his fears.
The most essential quality for leadership is not perfection, but people must be able to trust you, or they won’t follow you. You build credibility not by pretending to be perfect, but by being honest.
_-Glory in your weakness_
Instead of posing as self confident, and invincible, see yourself as a trophy of grace. When Satan points out your weaknesses, agree with him and fill your heart with praise for Jesus.
Sometimes , however, God turns a strength into a weakness in order to use us even more. Jacob was a manipulator who spent his life scheming and then running from the consequences.
God touched Jacob’s strength (the thigh muscle is the strongest in the body) and turn it into a weakness. From that day forward, Jacob walked with a limp so he could never run away again. It forced him to lean on God whether he liked it or not. If you want God to bless you and use you greatly, you must be willing to walk with a limp the rest of your life; because God uses weak people.
Prayer Points 35
a) Father, I receive your grace to walk with you, in Jesus name.
b) Father, I surrender my imperfections and weaknesses to become the trophy of your grace, in Jesus name.
c) Father, help me to turn away from condemnation and turn to you always in the face of my weaknesses, in Jesus name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, turn my weaknesses to your strength, in Jesus name.
e) Father I thank You for answered prayers, in Jesus name.
Purpose No.: 5- You were made for a Mission
Day -36: Made for a Mission
Jh. 17:18, Acts 20:24
You were made for a Mission
God is at work in the world and He wants you to join Him. This assignment is called your mission . God want you to have both a _ministry_ in the body of Christ and a _mission_ in the world. Your ministry is your service to believers and your mission is your service to unbelievers. Fulfilling your mission in the world is God’s fifth purpose for your life. Your life mission is both shared and specific, one part of it is a responsibility you share with every other Christian, and the other part is an assignment that is unique to you. The word _mission_ comes from the Latin word for “Sending”. Being a Christian includes being sent into the world as a representative of Jesus Christ. The mission Jesus had while on earth is now our mission because we are the body of Christ. What He did in His physical body we are to continue as His spiritual body, the Church. What is that mission? Introducing people to God; we are the messenger of God’s love and purposes to the world.
THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR MISSION
Fulfilling your life mission on earth is an essential part of living for God’s glory. The Bible gives several reasons why your mission is so important:
_Your mission is a continuation of Jesus’ mission on earth_ . As His followers, we are to continue what Jesus started. Jesus calls us not only to _come_ to Him, but to _go_ for Him. If you are a part of God’s family, your mission is mandatory. You are the only Christian some people will ever know, and your mission is to share Jesus with them.
_Your mission is a wonderful privilege_ . Although it is a big responsibility, it is also an incredible honour to be used by God. Your mission involves two great privileges: working with God and representing Him. We get to partner with God in the building of His kingdom.
_Telling others how they can have eternal life is the greatest thing you can do for them_ . We have the greatest news in the world, and sharing it is the greatest kindness you can show to anyone. We must remember that no matter how contented or successful people appear to be, without Christ they are hopelessly lost and headed for eternal separation from God.
_Your mission has eternal significance_ . It will impact the eternal destiny of other people so its more important than any job, achievement, or goal you will reach during your life on earth. The consequence of your mission will last forever, the consequences of your job will not. Nothing else you do will matter as much as helping people establish an eternal relationship with God.
_Your mission gives your life meaning_ . If you fail to fulfill your God given mission on earth, you will have wasted the life God gave you. If one person will be in heaven because of you, your life will have made a difference for eternity.
_God’s timetable for history’s conclusion is connected to the completion of your commission_ . If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy. It is easy to get distracted from your mission because Satan would rather have you do anything besides sharing your faith.
WHAT IT COSTS TO FULFILL YOUR MISSION
To fulfill your mission will require that you abandon your agenda and accept God’s agenda for your life. You yield your rights, expectations, dreams, plans and ambitions to Him. If you will commit to fulfilling your mission in life no matter what it costs, you will experience the blessing of God in ways that few people ever experience. There is almost nothing God won’t do for the man or woman who is committed to serving the kingdom of God.
ONE MORE FOR JESUS
I invite you to consider “save one more for Jesus” as a focus for your life; because nothing will make a greater difference for eternity. If you want to be used by God, you must care about what God care about, what He cares about most is the redemption of the people He made. He wants His lost children found. Nothing matters more to God, the Cross proves that. I pray that you will always be on the lookout to reach “one more for Jesus” so that when you stand before God one day, you can say, “Mission accomplished”
Prayer Points 36
a) Father, I receive fresh grace to fulfill my mission purpose in life, in the name of Jesus.
b) Father, by your power and grace, I renounce every hindrance to my mission purpose in Jesus name.
c) Father, please send me divine helpers to carry out my mission in Jesus name.
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, I receive fresh Ideas, concepts, and Insights to fulfill my ministry and mission in Jesus name.
e) Father, I thank you because you always answer my prayers in Jesus name.
Day -37: Sharing your life message
1 Jh. 5:10a
God has given you a life message to share
When you become a believer, you also become God’s messenger. God wants to speak to the world through you. Your life message has four parts to it.
-Your testimony: the story of how you began a relationship with Jesus.
-Your life lessons: the most important lessons God has taught you
-Your Godly passions: the issues God shaped you to come about most.
-The God news: the message of salvation.
_*Your life message includes your testimonies_ . Your testimony is the story of how Christ has made a difference in your life. This is the essence of witnessing – simply sharing your personal experiences regarding the Lord. Sharing your testimony is an essential part of your mission on earth because it is unique. There is no other story just like yours, so only you can share it. If you don’t share it, it will be lost forever. You can divide a testimony into four parts.
_What my life was like before I met Jesus.
_How I realized I needed Jesus
_How I committed my life to Jesus
_The difference Jesus has made in my life.
Different situations call for different testimonies.
_Your life message_ _includes life lessons_ . There are lessons and insights you have learnt about God, relationships, problems, temptations, and other aspects of life. Sadly, we never learn from a lot that happens to us. While it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others. There isn’t time to learn everything in life by trial and error. We must learn from the life lessons of one another. Write down the major life lessons you have learnt so you can share them with others.
_Your life message includes sharing your Godly passions_ . God is a passionate God. He passionately loves some things and passionately hates other things. As you grow closer to Him, He will give you passion for something He cares about deeply so you can be a spokesman for Him in the world. It may be a passion about a problem, a purpose, a principle or a group of people. Whatever it is you will feel compelled to speak about and do what you can to make a difference. God uses passionate people to further His kingdom. He may give you a godly passion for starting new churches, strengthening families, funding Bible translation or training Christian leaders and so on. God gives us different passions so that everything He wants done in the world will get done. You should not expect everyone else to be passionate about your passion. Instead we must listen to and value each other’s life message because nobody can say it all. Never belittle someone else’s godly passion.
_Your life message includes Good-news_ . The Good-news is that when we trust God’s grace to save us through what Jesus did, our sins are forgiven, we get a purpose for living, and we are promised a future home in heaven. Most important, you must learn to love lost people the way God does. God has never made a person He didn’t love. Everybody matters to Him. You have learned God’s five purposes for your life on earth. He made you to be a member of His family, a model of His character, a magnifier of His glory, a minister of His grace and a messenger of His Good news to others. Of these five purposes, the fifth can only be done on earth. The other four you will keep doing in eternity in some way. That’s why spreading the Good-news is so important. You only have a short time to share your life message and fulfill your mission.
Prayer Points 37
a) Father, let my life message draw souls into your kingdom in Jesus Name
b)Father, by your grace, I receive insights from every problem and trials I face in life in Jesus Name
c)Father, turn all my trials to testimonies in Jesus Name
d) Father, in this 40 days journey with Purpose, I receive fresh and strong passion to preach the Good News in Jesus Name
e) Thank you Father, because you always answer me in Jesus Name I pray. Amen
Day 38- Becoming a world-class Christian
Mk 16:15, Ps 67:2
The great commission is your commission
You have a choice to make, you will either be a world-class Christian or a worldly Christian. Worldly Christians look to God primarily for personal fulfillment. They are saved, but self-centered. They love to attend concerts and enrichment seminars, but you would never find them at a missions conference because they aren’t interested. Their prayers focus on their needs, blessings and happiness. It is a ‘’me first faith’’. They want to use God for their purposes instead of being used for His purposes.
In contrast, world-class Christians know they were saved to serve and made for a mission. They are eager to receive a personal assignment and excited about the privilege of being used by God. World-class Christians are the only fully alive people on the planet. Their Joy, confidence and enthusiasm are contagious because they know they are making a difference. They wake up each morning expecting God to work through them in fresh ways. Which type of Christians do you want to be?
The great barriers are no longer distance, cost or transportation. The only barriers are the way we think.
From the book of Revelations we know that God’s global mission will be accomplished. Some day the great commission will be the great completion. To be a world-class Christian you must make some mental shifts. Your perspective and attitudes must change.
How to think like a World class Christian
– _Shift from self-centered thinking to others centered thinking_
Children only think of themselves, grown ups think of others. Of course, this is a difficult mental shift because we’re naturally self-absorbed . the only way we can make this paradigm switch is by a moment to moment dependence on God. Begin asking the Holy spirit to help you to think of the spiritual need of unbelievers whenever you talk to them .
– _Shift from local thinking to global thinking_
God is a global God. He has always cared about the entire world. Much of the world already thinks globally. The largest media and business conglomerates are multi national. Our lives are increasingly interacted with those in other nations as we share fashion, entertainment, sport, music and even fast food. The first way to start thinking globally is to begin praying for specific countries. World-class Christians pray for the world.
Another way to develop global thinking is to reach and watch the news with “the great commission eye”. People are more receptive to God when they are under tension or in transition.
The best way to switch from global thinking is to first get up and go on a short term mission projects to another country. In Acts 1:8 Jesus gave us a pattern for involvement.
– _Shift from ‘’here and now’’ to eternal thinking_
To make the most of your time on earth, you must maintain an eternal perspective. This will keep you from majoring on minor issues and help you distinguish between what’s urgent and what’s ultimate. Don’t trade your life for temporary things. Jesus told us to store up treasure s in heaven. How can we do this? In one of his most misunderstood statements Jesus said ‘’ I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone you will be welcomed to eternal dwellings’’. Jesus did not mean for you to go and “buy” friends with money. What he meant was that you should use money to bring people to Christ. They will be friends for eternity, who will welcome you when you get to heaven. It is the best financial investment you’ll ever make. You’ve probably heard the expression ‘’ you cant take it with You’’. But the Bible says you can send it ahead by investing in people who are going there.
_-Shift from thinking of excuses to thinking of creative ways to fulfill your commission_
If you are willing, there’s always a way to do it; and there are agencies that will help you. Here are some common excuses
‘’ I only speak English’’, ‘’ I don’t have anything to offer’’. ‘’ I’m too old or too young’’.
Whether it was Sarah claiming she was too old to be used by God or Jeremiah claiming he was too young . God rejected their excuses.
We are all called to fulfill God’s five purposes for our lives. The great commission is our commission, and doing your part is the secret to a live of significance.
Prayer Points 38
a)Father, I receive the mind of a world-class Christian, in Jesus name
b)Father, help me to think with the eternity in view in Jesus Name
c)Father, I receive a creative mind to carry out my assignment in Jesus Name
d)Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, I shift from local thinking to global thinking in Jesus Name
e)Father, I thank You for answered prayers, in Jesus Name
Day 39- Balancing your life
Eph 5:15, 2Pet 3:17
Blessed are the balanced for they shall outlast everyone
One of the events in the summer Olympics is the pentathlon. It is composed of five events; pistol shooting, fencing, horseback riding, swimming and running. The pentathletes goal is to succeed in all five areas, not just one or two.
Your life is a pentathlon of five purposes, which you must keep in balance, a great commitment to the great commandment and the great commission would make you a great Christian.
Keeping these five purposes in balance is not easy. We all tend to over emphasize the purposes we feel passionate about and neglect the others, but you can keep your life balanced and on track by developing these four habits:
– _Talk it through with a partner or a small group_
The best way to internalize the principles in this book is to discuss them with others in a small group setting. We learn best in community. Our minds are sharpened and our convictions are deepened through conversation. In a small group, you can give and receive feedback about what you’re learning, you can discuss real life examples. You can pray for, encourage, and support each other as you begin to live out these purposes. Remember we are meant to grow together.
_-Give yourself a regular spiritual check up_
The best way to balance the five purposes in your life is to evaluate yourself periodically. God places a high value on the habit of self evaluation. At least five times in scripture we are told to test and examine our own spiritual health.
– _Write down your progress In a journal_
The best way to reinforce your progress in fulfilling God’s purposes for your life is to keep a spiritual journal. This is not a diary of events, but a record of the life lessons you don’t want to forget. Writing helps clarify what God is doing in your life. You owe it to future generations to preserve the testimony of how God helped you fulfill His purposes in earth. It is a witness that will continue to speak long after you are in heaven.
_-Pass on what you know to others_
If you want to keep growing, the best way to learn more is to pass on what you have already learned. Those who pass along insights get more from God. You probably know hundred of people who do not know the purpose of life. Share these truths with your children, your friends, your neighbors and those you work with.
IT’S ALL FOR GOD’S GLORY
The reason we pass on what we learn is for the glory of God and the growth of the kingdom. God wants us to introduce people to Christ , bring them to his fellowship, help them grow to maturity and discover their place of service and then send them out to reach others too. This is what purpose driven living is all about regardless of your age, the rest of your life can be the best of your life and you can start living on purpose today.
Prayer points 39
a)Father , I receive grace to live a balanced Christian life, in Jesus name.
b)Father, I receive help to live to do all your purposes, in Jesus name.
c)Father, help me to live for your glory, in Jesus name.
d)Father, in this 40 days journey with purpose, help me to live consciously of eternity, in Jesus name.
e)Father, I thank You for answered prayers, in Jesus name.
Day 40: Living with purpose
Prov. 19:21, Acts 13:36
Living with purpose is the only way to really live. Everything else just exists
Most people struggle with three basic issues in life. The first is identity _‘’who am I?’’. The second is importance ‘’ _do I matter_ ?’’. The third is impact ‘’ _what is my_ _place in life?’’._ The answer to all these questions is found In God’s five purposes for you.
Once you know what God wants you to do the blessing come in actually doing it. As we come to the end of our forty days journey together now that you know God’s purposes for your life, you will be blessed if you do them.
This probably means you will have to stop doing some other things. There are many good things you can do with your life, but God’s purposes are the five essentials you must do.
Unfortunately, its easy to get distracted and forget what is most important. Its easy to drift from what matters most and slowly get off course. To prevent this you should develop a purpose statement for your life and then review it regularly
What is a life purpose statement ?
-It is a statement that summarizes God’s purposes for your life.
In your own words, you affirm your commitment to God’s five purposes for your life.
-It is a statement that points the directions of your life.
Writing down your purposes in paper will force you to think specifically about the path of your life. This statement not only spells out what you intend to do with your time, life and money but also implies what you are not going to do.
-It is a statement that defines success for you.
It states what you believe is important, not what the world says is important
-It is a statement that expresses your shape.
It reflects the unique ways of God.
Here are five questions you should consider as you prepare your statements
*Life’s five greatest questions*
-What will be the center of my life? This is the question of worship. Who are you going to live for? How do you know God is at the center of your life? When God’s at the center, you worship when He is not, you worry. Worry is the waning light that God has been shoved to the sideline
-What will be the character of my life? This is the question of discipleship
-What will be the contribution of my life? This is the question of service
– What will be the communication of my life? This is the question of mission to unbelievers.
-What will be the community of my life? This is the question of fellowship.
One day God will review your answers to these questions . did you put Jesus at the center of your life? Did you develop His character? Did you devote your life to serving others? Did you communicate His messages and fulfill His mission? Did you love and participate in His family? These are the only issues that will count.
*God wants to use you*
God is still looking for people to use. Will you be a person God can use for his purpose. Will you serve God’s purpose in your generation?
One day history will come to a close, but eternity will go on forever.
When fulfilling your purpose seem tough, don’t give in to discouragement.
Remember your reward, which will last forever.
Imagine what it is going to be like one day, with all of us standing before the throne of God presenting ourselves in deep gratitude and praise to God.
Together we will say‘’ _worthy o master’’ yes our God’! take the Christ_ _glory, the honor, the power! You created it all, it was created because you wanted it.”_ We will praise him for His plan and live for His purposes forever.
Prayer Points 40
a)Father, I declare in the Name of Jesus , you are the center of my life.
b)Father, I declare by your power and grace, I rededicate my life and family to the service of your kingdom in Jesus name.
c) Father, I declare by your power and grace- I break away from doing anything that hinders me from living a purpose- driven life in Jesus name.
d) Father, In this 40 day journey with purpose, by your power and grace, I break forth into a new purpose-driven life that brings glory to you alone in Jesus name.
e) Father, I give you thanks and glory for enabling me to go through this 40 days journey with purpose and for prayers answered in Jesus name.
REPHRASED BY: REVEREND KAYODE OLULEYE