How to UNCOVER God’s Word:

ASK – God to connect with you here. In prayer, start by slowing down, inviting God to be present. Begin with focus and openness to see what God has for you.

READ – the selected section of Scripture slowly. Take note of the words and phrases that intrigue you, reading them a second time if necessary.

REFLECT – on what grabs you. What connections do you see at this point in your life? How might God be speaking to you through these words? Stop long enough to let this take root and thank God for engaging you.

RESPOND – to the Scripture. Speak directly to God about what’s on your mind and heart. Look for ways to live out what you’ve uncovered – individually and with your church. And look for ways to bring what you have discovered to others.

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I’m Never Too Young

Will I serve the Lord? Will I make that choice? Serving God means waiting on him and learning to know what he wants me to do, then doing it with a joyful heart. No matter how young or weak I am, I can choose to serve the Lord. I can imagine that I’m a waiter in a restaurant. I see Jesus come in the door and take a seat at a table. When I go over to his table, I’ll say, “How may I serve you?” In other words, I’m asking, “God, what would you like?” That’s what it means to serve God. What does he want of me? What can I bring him? How can I serve him so that he is satisfied?

PRAYER

Lord, help me learn to wait on you like a good servant. Amen.

Changed

Being changed by Christ means understanding who you really are in Him. You are His disciple. Over the next four days, you will read from God’s Word about what a disciple is and explore the various things disciples do.

A great example of a disciple can be found in the early church as they worked towards carrying out the Great Commission of spreading the good news of Christ into all the nations.

Jesus’ parable of the vine and branches offers us a perfect picture of what being a disciple of Christ should look like.

As a disciple of Christ you will find a need and meet it, find a hurt and heal it, and Jesus will ask you to do a lot of things that won’t fit neatly into a point on a page.

As a disciple of Christ, it’s important that you publicly stand with Him in celebrating your new life, which is why baptism is a great first step for a new follower of Christ. Over the next three days, you will explore what the Bible has to say about the importance of baptism.

There is spiritual power in baptism. This spiritual power is experienced in the fact that you are publicly standing with Christ. You are being baptized into Christ’s death and you are also being raised into new life.

Baptism is a symbol of your being changed by Christ. If you have never been baptized, let these verses serve as encouragement to you in taking that very important next step.

Being changed means reading and studying His Word regularly. Over the next seven days, you are going to explore verses related to understanding what the Bible is, where it came from, the power of the Bible, the reliability of the Bible, and the importance of mastering the text and being mastered by it.

God’s Word is eternal and has and will continue to withstand the test of time. It is absolute and we must submit to His Word in the way the writer of Psalm 119 explains.

Where did the Bible come from and how do we use it? Paul answers these questions in 2 Timothy 3:10-17.

We know the Bible is reliable because it passes the internal test in answering the question do the writers of the Bible claim their writings are true? It also passes the external test in answering the question what does outside evidence say about the Bible? Finally, it passes the bibliographic test by answering the question how well were the original documents translated to today? Today’s scriptures give answers to these questions.

God calls us to master the Bible and to be mastered by the Bible. As a follower of Christ, we must read the Bible regularly so that we can learn what it says, understand what it says, and do what it says. More importantly, we must allow His Word to transform and change us.

In order for God’s Word to change us into what God desires us to be, we must read His word regularly. Today, you will learn what the Bible says about the importance of reading and studying His Word on a regular basis.

There are four things the Word of God brings us: power, healing, direction, and freedom.

Being changed means understanding who God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are and how they interact in your life. This week you will read passages that will help you understand more about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Today you will read about God being your spiritual father.

Not only does the Bible show us that God is our spiritual father, but it also illustrates three characteristics of His fatherhood: He is a patient father, a forgiving father, and an intimate father.

Jesus is Immanuel meaning God with us. God came in the form of His son Jesus to live among us so that He could ultimately provide us eternal life by dying on the cross. Today you will explore what the Bible says about Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection.

Jesus is Immanuel, and as Immanuel the Bible tells us that He comforts the afflicted and He afflicts the comfortable.

God sent the Holy Spirit to be our counselor. Being our counselor also means that the Holy Spirit serves as our intercessor, our advocate, comforter, and helper.

The Bible says there are three things the Holy Spirit does for you: He comforts you, counsels you, and convicts you.

You are empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit gives you the power to share Christ boldly, gives you power when you are weak, gives you power to have hope in a hopeless world, and gives you power to experience all the fullness of God.

Being changed means you connect with God through prayer. Our relationship with God is like any other relationship we have. We must spend time and connect with God and we do this through prayer. Over the next seven days you will spend time reading what God’s Word has to say about the importance and the power of prayer.

How should we talk to God? The Bible shows us that we should talk to God with gut-level honesty and talk to Him about everything that matters to you.

How should we talk to God? The Bible also says we should talk to God continually and that we should listen for His response.

Not sure how to pray or where to start? Start with Jesus’ example that He shared with His disciples, which is known as The Lord’s Prayer.

What matters to God when you pray? The Bible says your relationships and motives matter.

What matters to God when you pray? The Bible says the way you live matters, your faith matters, and God’s will matters.

Jesus encouraged us to pray without giving up. He illustrated this through the parable of the persistent widow.

Being changed means supporting and regularly attending your local church. Over the next seven days, you will read what the Bible says about what the church is and how you should support the local church through serving and tithing.

The church is not just a building. We are the church and each one of us is called to be ministers.

God has called you to meet the needs in your church.

God has given you both talents and spiritual gifts to use in serving His church and in ministering to others.

We support the local church through the tithe. All throughout the Bible God asks us to give Him a tithe, which is 10 percent of our earnings. In fact, the only time God ask us to test Him in the Bible is related to the tithe in Malachi 3.

Not only does God ask for our tithe, but He also desires us to be cheerful givers beyond the tithe.

During His ministry, Jesus often discussed the importance of tithing and giving generously.

Being changed means engaging in Biblical community. God did not design us to do life on our own, which is why it is vital that we engage in Biblical community with other believers. You will conclude this reading plan over the next six days by reading about the importance of Biblical community from God’s Word.

You’ll never do all God wants you to do without the right people around you. You need people in your life that are with you heart and soul. A great example of this can be seen with Jonathan and the armor-bearer.

One of the benefits of Biblical community is being around other believers that help you grow both spiritually and relationally.

Biblical community comes in many forms, the most common of which is within your local church in the form of regular church attendance and in small groups.

One of the greatest benefits of being in Biblical community with other followers of Christ is having people that support you during difficult times.

Biblical community can occur within a group of believers or between two people. In fact, some of the strongest forms of Biblical community happen between just two people. It’s important that we have believers in our life that can mentor and counsel us, as well as keep us accountable.

On this final day, you will read about the life change that has taken place inside of you as a result of your accepting Christ as your Savior. You have been forever changed as a result of your decision to follow Christ. The old is gone, and the new has come!

Matthew Curious: Learned Optimists

Worry limits possibility, because in order to move forward, everything has to fall into place or make perfect sense. So if you’re worried all the time, you won’t make a move unless it seems as thought the stars have all aligned in your favor. Worry is a stutter of faith. Faith is trust. People who worry won’t do the trust fall with God. A faith defined by worry is an immobile one.

As long as we allow worry to define our perspective, then we will always be prisoner to small possibilities. We will never see what God could do in our lives if we allow fear to determine where we go. Possibility becomes grossly limited because in order to move forward everything has to fall into place or make perfect sense to us. Gates don’t always fling wide, and the stars of our perfectly laid plans don’t always align. God wants us to follow him, whether we can see the path before us or not. We can trust that He will clothe and bless us much more than even the flowers He speckles with a detailed brush.

All that worry, though, mostly comes down to me just being afraid. Afraid to hurt. Afraid to feel broken. Afraid to lose. Afraid to fail. Afraid of rejection. Afraid to die. I worry about what if … what if I do get hurt? Feel broken? Lose? Fail? Get rejected? Die? Do I believe that God can redeem those things or not? Do I believe that He will paint with beautiful intentional on my life just like He does on the flowers?

What are you worried about? What keeps you up at night? Do you believe that God is big enough to address your worries? Your fears? Do you believe that He can overcome them? Do you believe that with Him, you can? What false stories are you telling yourself, or nebulous futures do you imagine? How does your life end when your worries take over?

Martin Seligman, a social psychologist and author of the book “Learned Optimism,” says that optimists are defined as people who come back stronger after defeat.

If you believe that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and resurrected to bring new life to you, then my friend, you subscribe to a theology that hinges on coming back stronger. Which means that worry is nothing more than a lie that gets in your way, slows you down, and prevents you from living out the redemption, possibility, and blessing that God has for you. Root yourself deep in the truth that God promises to never leave you or forsake you (Jos. 1:5). Remember, God is good, and He is for you. Claim the optimism and hope that was given to you in resurrection and redemption. Don’t waste your life in fear and worry when you have a God who is in the business of renewal, rescue, hope, and possibility.