Journey of Faith: Day 6


Day 6: Dare to Renew Your Mind in God’s Word
 
What comes first in your life? Where are your priorities? How high does God rank on that list? When we have no longer conformed to this world, God must become first in our lives. He must become greater and we must become less. God comes first before sports, your friends, your job, even your spouse and children. If He’s not first, everything else falls out of place. If work is our highest priority, how strong of a relationship do you hope to have with God?
 
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,”
(Joshua 24:15) 
 
Our spiritual relationships cannot be all that it is meant to be if God is not our number one focus. Putting Him first makes everything right. Struggles and difficult times become easier to bear when your very first instinct is to turn it all over to God. Your friends can only do so much, your family cannot be depended on for every little thing, but God can! He’s fought for you, He loves you unconditionally, why do we think he deserves anything less than being first, our number one?
 
“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
(Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
 
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
(Romans 12:2-3)
 
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
(Matthew 4:4)
 
“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.”
(1 Corinthians 7:23)

Journey of Faith: Day 5

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Day 5: Dare to Believe You Are No Longer of This World

Once we become Christians our lives, our ways of living, no longer are about us or the ways we lived before, but we wholly belong to God. Our lives must be separate from the way the world wants us to live. The world says it’s all about us, whatever we want we can have. It’s all about living selfishly, putting ourselves before anyone else. As Christians, we are called to do away with our old self and because we have put on Christ in baptism it’s impossible to live as He lives and also live in the world.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

(Romans 12:2)

We cannot live within God’s will without fully surrendering ourselves to Him. This has to be done on a daily basis. Every morning when you wake up, dedicate it to the Lord. Every day live out His calling, His commandments, and His word. We are sacrificing our selfish desires because He paid the ultimate sacrifice to save our lives.

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.”

(John 18:36)

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship.”

(Romans 12:1)

“For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

(1 John 2:16-17)

Journey of Faith: Day 4

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Day 4: Dare to Live Like You Belong to God

Do you remember what is like the day you decided to be baptized into Christ? To throw off your old self and become fully committed to being a follower of Jesus? I bet you were overcome with the unconditional love, joy, happiness, and a peace-filled heart that only a life with God can offer. Maybe you walked around with a giant smile on your face for days, months, even the first few years. You were no longer the you of your past, but you had a bright future in eternity with God waiting for you. You were thrilled to share your story of how you turned your life around and accepted Jesus in, amazed at the transformation that took place that day. Maybe you thank those who had a huge part in your journey there and you begin helping them lead others to the life of Christianity. So why is it that this “high” only lasts for a little while for most of us? Many of us Christians are walking around in a funk all day; sad, lonely, depressed, angry, moody, selfish, ungrateful. No longer are we walking around living our life as true children of God!

 

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

 

The word temple is defined “as a place or house of worship, a place dedicated for a special purpose. Scripture describes our earthly bodies as temples or tents. Our body is temple where the Holy Spirit dwells.” So why don’t we live with this truth? We knew going in that there were going to be ups and downs with following Jesus. We can’t let the down times keep us there. We may go through more lows than highs on this earth, but if we live our life the way God wants us to the eternal reward will forever outweigh every low in this world. I hope these verses from the book will provide you with inspiration and lift you up today!

 

‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

(Acts 17:28)

 

“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

(Psalm 100:1-3)

 

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

(2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

 

“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

(Colossians 1:27)

Journey of Faith: Day 3

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Day 3: Dare to Live Differently by Living Like You Are Loved

I do not know your past. I do not know what kind of circumstances or people you were raised around. You may have had supportive parents and friends who readily cheered you on through life. Many did not. But we can never forget we’re not alone. We may feel beaten down with thoughts of insecurity, low self-esteem, and feeling unloved by everyone around us. But there is a mighty King that loves you unconditionally.

With the love of God we are enough. God is our heavenly Father and we are His sons and daughters; we are His princes and princesses. The book of “John says that God has lavished his love on us. Lavished, according to the dictionary, is a profuse or extravagant display of something. In the Thesaurus lavish is linked to the word shower. God showers us with his love.” This powerful statement should fill us with confidence and lift our spirits each and every day. Why wouldn’t we have endless faith in a God who loves us this much? “When we live as one who is loved, we can walk in faith, believing in something we cannot see but dare to hope for.”

 

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful.

(Jeremiah 31:3-4)

 

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods.

His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords:

His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,

His love endures forever.

who by his understanding made the heavens,

His love endures forever…

He remembered us in our low estate

His love endures forever.

and freed us from our enemies.

His love endures forever.

He gives food to every creature.

His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven.

His love endures forever.”

(Psalm 136:1-5, 23-26)

 

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

(Romans 5:8)

 

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

(1 John 3:1)

 

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

(1 John 4:16)

 

“keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our LORD Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”

(Jude 21)

 

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

(Romans 8:31)

 

Journey of Faith: Day 2

Day 2: Dare to Pay Attention to God’s Lead

Now that we have given our heart wholly to God it is time to live out His word in our daily lives. We do this by listening to His calling, obeying His commands, and letting Him take the lead. The book provides the example of the disciples, who before becoming followers of Jesus, were ordinary fishermen. Jesus called them to be “fishers of men”. They left their nets behind that day to be fully committed to following Jesus and leading others to Him.

Much of our days are set on repeat mode. We wake up, eat breakfast, drive to work, get the job done, drive home from work, eat dinner, go to bed, and do it all over again the next day. We run on autopilot; tackling the same tasks each day. Whether you need to wake up a little earlier, alter your lunch hour, or cut that TV show a few minutes short in the evenings, spend some time alone with God. Pray to Him, read His word, and sit and listen to what He has to say. Keep your eyes and ears always open, God provides us with signs and signals each day. If you’re not paying attention, you just might miss it! Maybe He’s telling you to minister to your co-workers, mend bridges with an old friend or family member, have that difficult conversation you’ve been dreading. “Each day is a ministry opportunity, a chance to do all that God has called us to do for that twenty-four-hour period.”

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

(John 8:12)

“Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart- they do no wrong but follow his ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.”

(Psalm 119:1-8)

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

(Mark 1:16-18)

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

(Luke 5:4-7)

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

(John 14:23)

Journey of Faith: Day 1

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Today I started a new book titled The Faith Dare. Written by Debbie Alsdorf, this book calls you to step out of your comfort zone to live the fullest life God has planned. It’s a 30-day journey of ridding self of fear, worldly anxieties and no longer succumbing to the opinions of others, but putting full, absolute trust in God whom we cannot see. Each day I will be presented with a dare, or a challenge, along with scriptures to guide me and a prayer for the day. I will be reviewing and writing about my thoughts here as I go along this journey.

Day 1: Dare to Ask God for a New Heart

My first task assigned in this book is to pray to God and ask him to restore my broken heart, to make it whole and new again. I must rid myself of a worldly heart and replace it with a spiritual heart, one that is filled with the love of God and doing His work daily. For us to have a complete change of faith and trust in God we must begin at the source.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)

We must give up our old ways of living for our heart to make a change. Keep a close eye on shows we’re watching, music we’re listening to, people we surround ourselves with, the books we read, and the type language we choose to use. We cannot have a heart after God if we don’t completely rid ourselves of worldly things. Our heart must be undivided.

“Hear me, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you. You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me. Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead. Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God; ruthless people are trying to kill me— they have no regard for you. But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me; show your strength in behalf of your servant; save me, because I serve you just as my mother did. Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.”

(Psalm 86)

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.”

(Ezekiel 36:26-28)

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

(Hebrews 4:12)