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Wes Hodges

DAY 9 – DEEPEN MY GRATITUDE

By 21 DAYS OF GOING DEEPER

By: Jorge Hernandez

SCRIPTURE:
1 THESSALONIANS: 5:18 ESV
18 “…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
DEVOTIONAL:

Imagine waking up and finding out you had no body movement and later finding out you lost both your legs above the kneecap. It’s truly unimaginable. But, that was my reality 11-years ago due to a car explosion. I still remember those days–shortly after my accident–I would often wake up with bitterness, negative thoughts, and a sense of hopelessness. This was my experience until the day I met Jesus and He changed my life. He turned my mess into my message and replaced my misery with joy. Despite my life-changing circumstance, I became aware of God’s mercy and grace over my life, the staggering realities of Heaven and Hell, and how God in His goodness not only allowed me to live, but saved me through putting my faith in His Son.

This sparked in me an attitude of gratitude. I found out that in order to cultivate this way of thinking, one must form a habit of being thankful and expressing appreciation for every aspect of life–both big and small and even in the good and bad. Paul reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that God’s will for us in Christ is to maintain this attitude of gratitude. Let’s begin to create an awareness mindset of giving thanks to God in every circumstance and in doing so go deeper in our gratitude.

ACTION STEP:

→ Examine your current attitude and ask yourself if you are walking with an attitude of gratitude.
→ Thank the Lord for 5 things that have happened in your life that were out of your control.
→ Find one person today that has had a positive impact on your life and personally thank them for it.
→ Listen to the song: “Gratitude” by Brandon Lake.

PRAYERFather, in Jesus name, thank you for saving me and adopting me into Your family. Thank you, Father, for choosing me before the foundation of the world and loving me with everlasting love. Father, thank you for fully forgiving me and giving me a lively and eternal hope found in Your Son Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for all that You have done and will continue to do in Christ Jesus name, amen.

DAY 8 – DEEPEN MY HONOR

By 21 DAYS OF GOING DEEPER

By: Pastor Heiden Ratner

SCRIPTURE:
ROMANS 12:10 ESV
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
DEVOTIONAL:

One thing I love to do is honor people. It brings me joy to see people honored for the way they serve, lead, and pour-out. Yet, something happened to me recently that caught me off guard. I was on the other side of being honored. As our church recently sent out a new church-plant, the pastor being sent out decided to honor me with one of my favorite pairs of shoes. The thing that was convicting was that he did this on the day we were honoring him and his family!

I was surprised by the act of generosity, and at the same time I was able to see Romans 12:10 lived out, which says: “Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10b ESV) The phrase outdo means: “to go beyond in action.” (Websters Dictionary) This expression implies a sense of competition, however, this competition has less to do with defeating our neighbor and more to do with lifting them up! When a person is honored, not only do they feel empowered, but the person doing the honoring also feels built up. So, let me ask you. What would your world begin to look like if you started to make “outdo one another in showing honor” a practice in your life?

ACTION STEP:

→ Find one person today at WALK Church to demonstrate intentional honor toward.
→ Send an honoring text message to someone today.
→ Think of someone who honored you in the past year. Over the duration of our 21 Day Prayer and Fast, creatively think of a way to outdo them in showing honor.

PRAYERFather, in the name of Jesus, I pray we would honor You by honoring others. Please give us fresh creativity, ingenuity, and initiative to honor those You have placed in our lives. We love You Jesus and we want to go deeper in our honor. We pray You would not only help us but honor others through us. In Jesus name, amen!

DAY 7 – DEEPEN MY FOCUS

By 21 DAYS OF GOING DEEPER

By: Wilson Morales

SCRIPTURE:
PROVERBS 4:25
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”
DEVOTIONAL:

Have you ever taken photos of a significant moment in life, and find out later that they were blurry or out of focus? As someone who takes photos regularly, this has happened to me a few times. I’ve missed the moment a few times, because my focus was off, or because I wasn’t ready for it. When our focus is off, or when we’re distracted, we don’t always get the outcome we hope for or envision.

The same goes with our faith. Have you ever gone through the motions of something, without taking the time to get your focus right, concentrated on the task at hand, and find out later on that you missed the mark? Distractions can take our gaze away from what’s in front of us and cause our focus to wane. We’ve all been there, and I pray that through experiencing this, we come to realize that where we put our focus and our attention matters. Our focus could be the difference maker in getting the best shot, or getting a bad shot. It could be the difference maker in honoring Him, or falling into sin.

ACTION STEP:

→ Set your focus. What are your priorities for this season of life? What do you need to say “no” to, so that you can say “yes” to the things that matter? I encourage you to write it down. Seeing it on paper can sometimes be a game-changer.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray that you help me to deepen my focus. Help me to know where I should put my attention, so that I can say “no” to the things that distract me, see how you are moving in my life, walk in Your freedom, and say “yes” to the things that truly matter. Amen.

DAY 4 – DEEPEN MY AWE

By 21 DAYS OF GOING DEEPER

By: Kinsey Minter

SCRIPTURE:
DEUTERONOMY 10:21
“He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen.”
DEVOTIONAL:

When was the last time you were absolutely amazed by something? Was it during a sports game? Could it have been a new baby or a beautiful mountain range? At that moment, there was nothing else that mattered more than what was right in front of you. What you were amazed by was worthy of all your attention, focus, and the emotions stirring within you. 

We pause and expect to be moved by awesome things. Are you doing that with the presence of God? Are you pausing and allowing yourself to be moved by God and His wondrous deeds? Let yourself be free to feel the emotions that come from remembering what He has done. 

When we let our awe turn to praise, we are fulfilling what all creation was designed to do, we join the trees and oceans that dance for the Lord, we join the birds of the air and the angels in heaven that sing praises to God. Our awe turns to praise, and our praise turns to gratitude. This is where your personal ministry can operate from. Francis Chan said, “Once we lose our fascination in God, we lose our effectiveness.” We want our hearts to be so full of awe for God so that everything we say and do is for His Glory.

When are you in awe of something that is evil, difficult, or unexpected? Sometimes we are in awe of our to-do list and it can be overwhelming. Living a perfect life with no unexpected twists and turns will not happen to you or anyone. Even when we live a life desiring to please the Lord, we will still make mistakes. 

At times we can be in awe of ourselves, this too can distract us from the calling God has placed on our lives. There are terrible events that happen to us, and there are times when we make the wrong decision, and if we sit in awe of these things, it can take our mind away from what God desires us to focus on; see Philippians 4:4-8. Paul Tripp wrote in his book Awe, “the more we focus on ourselves the more we will focus on our wants, needs, dreams, goals, expectations, and feelings. We get so obsessed with our own plans, schedules, and desires that we have little time for reflection of the awesome glory of God that is ours to see and remember. He is more than what he has done for us because He alone is worthy of our praise.”

ACTION STEP:

→ Listen to the song “Worthy of it All”, there are a few different versions out there, my personal favorite is the one by CeCe Winans. There is also a beautiful hymn, “I Stand in Awe.” Or “Names” by Elevation Worship.

→ Meditate on three characteristics of God that you find awesome. Then remember a time where He showed these characteristics in your life. Thank Him, for all that He has done.

PRAYER: Heavenly father we come to you in Jesus name by the power of your Holy Spirit. We want to enter your throne room with praise, as I close my eyes I picture you seated on your throne, and I hear the voices singing, “You are beautiful beyond description, too marvelous for words, too wonderful for comprehension, like nothing ever seen or heard.” God, deepen my awe of you. I want my awe to increase my praise and gratitude, and my praise to renew my mind, and my mind to delight in your word. God you are my rock and my redeemer, may all that is within me praise the Lord. In Jesus name, amen.

DAY 3 – DEEPEN MY PATIENCE

By 21 DAYS OF GOING DEEPER

By: Wilson Morales

SCRIPTURE:
PROVERBS 14:29
“Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.”
DEVOTIONAL:

Praying for patience is a scary prayer. You don’t just suddenly become more patient. Praying for patience requires our patience “muscle” to be tested and stretched, and through that tension, our patience becomes stronger and deeper.

That verse in Proverbs shows us that we need to have great understanding if we are to be patient. With great understanding, we move from being “reactive” to our external stimulus, to being “proactive”, where our understanding and wisdom protect us from making hasty decisions, or instinctive reactions that lead to relationship strain or sin.

I’ve gone through many things in my life that have caused me to level up in my patience. I am grateful for those things. But the greatest encouragement for me to be patient, is the patience that my Lord and Savior has for me. Thank God that He is slow to anger, and that He has great understanding for us!

ACTION STEP:

Learn from the best. There are so many powerful Bible verses that focus on patience (ex. Romans 15:1, 1 Corinthians 13:4, Ephesians 4:2). If this season of your life feels like you need more patience, deepen your time in the Word, paying more attention to what the Bible has to say about being patient. God wants you to be patient! Patience is a fruit of the Spirit!

→ Pick one of the “patience” Bible verses that resonates with you, and commit to memorizing it. Downloading scripture into your heart is a great way to make it a part of your life and rhythm.  

PRAYER: Lord, deepen my patience. There are many things that are going on in my world that test my patience daily, but I know that you call me to be more patient. Help me to be like You. I pray that people see You in my patience. In Jesus Name, Amen.

DAY 2 – DEEPEN MY DEVOTION

By 21 DAYS OF GOING DEEPER

By: Pastor Mike Bussey

SCRIPTURE: JOHN 12:3, ESV
”Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
DEVOTIONAL:

As we begin this journey of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting and going deeper in our relationship with the Lord through these devotionals, I thought it might be helpful to do a devotional on “devotion.” 

What is devotion? 

One of the best pictures of devotion that I can think of comes from John chapter 12:1-8. There, we read an unforgettable story about Mary, who throws a dinner party in honor of Jesus, and takes an extremely costly jar of perfume and pours it all out on Jesus’ feet and wipes his feet with her hair. You see, in the previous chapter, Mary’s brother, Lazarus, had gotten sick, and he died… But four days later, Jesus arrived on the scene and raised him from the dead. 

You can imagine the gratitude, the love, and the wonder that Mary felt for Jesus in that moment. So, when they threw a dinner for Jesus in her hometown, Mary saw an opportunity to do something beautiful for the Lord. Mary responded by taking the most valuable thing she owned, and she broke the bottle and poured it all out on Jesus’ feet. 

Here are a few principles we can learn about devotion from Mary: 

1. Mary spent time with Jesus. Mary and her sister Martha intentionally planned a dinner and invited Jesus to come. 

Principle: In your devotional time, intentionally plan your time to spend with the Lord, as Mary did. Maybe for you, that will be in the morning before you leave your house. Pastor Heiden quoted Tim Ferris recently when he said, “If you WIN the morning, you will WIN the day.”

2. Mary made her time with Jesus personal by wiping his feet with her hair. 

Principle: In your devotional time, make your time with Jesus personal. Share your love and appreciation for Jesus as well as your desires, fears, and anxieties in prayer.   

3. To Mary, Jesus was the most important person in her life. When she poured out her most valuable possession on Jesus’ feet, it was as if Mary was saying, “Jesus, you are not one more thing in my life with everything else. You’re more important than anything else to me. You’re the most valuable thing, the most!” 

Principle: In your devotional time, that is what you are saying to Jesus. We are reordering our affections, placing Jesus at the top of the list. Don’t hold anything back from Jesus in your time with him.  

4. Mary let her hair down to wipe his feet with her hair. In that culture, that was something that a woman would only do in the presence of her family. 

Principle: In your devotional time with the Lord, you can be “at home” with him. We can be ourselves. He knows us better than we do, and he loves us anyway!

5. Verse 3 tells us that “The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” The fragrance of the perfume was still attached to Mary’s hair. Everywhere that Mary went, people knew that she had been with the Lord. I’m reminded of a poem. The poet Sa’di said something like this: He asked the clay pot, “why do you smell so sweet?” The clay responded, “It is because… I have been with the rose.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 says that we are like jars of clay, but we hold the beautiful treasure of the gospel of Jesus within us. And 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 tells us that Christ leads us in victory, and “through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”

Principle: Expect to be changed! Spending devoted time with the Lord will change you in a way that will be obvious to the people you are with. They will know that you have been with the rose.

ACTION STEP:

1. For the next 20 days and beyond, intentionally set a daily meeting with Jesus. “Set the table” with him by getting your Bible, a journal, and a pen ready (and maybe a cup of coffee 😊).

2. Listen to Nothing Else Matters by Israel Houghton  

PRAYER: Lord, deepen my devotion to you in 2022. You have given me new life, you have forgiven me of my sins, and you have adopted me into your family. Now, use me to make you known. I pray that in all my interactions with people, like Mary, they would know that I have been with you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DAY 21: PRAY TO LEVEL UP – WILSON MORALES

By 21 DAYS OF PRAYER, FASTING, AND FITNESS No Comments

WILSON MORALES

SCRIPTURE

COLOSSIANS 2:6-7
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

DEVOTION

We made it to Day 21, WALK fam! We’re grateful you’ve joined us on this journey of 21 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Fitness! We hope that you’ve experienced level up in your relationship with the Lord, and that you continue to walk in that freedom!
As we lean into Colossians 2:6-7, Paul is sharing with us a few practical ways to level up in our faith walk with Jesus. First, he is telling us to be “rooted and built up in Him”. Our foundation must be Jesus. The discipline of prayer and fasting is so amazing, in that it helps us disconnect from worldy things, and connect deeper to the Lord. I pray that these past 21 days has helped you unroot from the world, and built you up in Him. Second, Paul is telling us to be “established in faith”. The journey of leveling up is never easy. Just like the discipline of fitness, we must endure stress and pain, but the result of our struggle is a more established faith, able to withstand our challenges and stand firm against trials. Lastly, we should “abound in thanksgiving”. There is so much to be thankful for! He has done great things in our lives, is continuing to do great things, and has so many more great things in store for us! We can’t help but be thankful! One sign that you have leveled up is that you are more grateful.
I’m thankful for WALK Church and I’m grateful to be a part of the team! I’m grateful for every leader who contributed devotions and prayer points, and I am pumped to keep leveling up! Pastor Heiden has a lot of exciting things to share with us tomorrow, so make it to church, and bring a friend! Let’s keep leveling up, WALK fam!

PRAYER

Jesus, I thank You for sustaining me these past 21 days. I thank You for revealing Yourself to me in new ways, and for helping me grow in my relationship with You. I thank You for causing level up in my faith and fitness, and I pray that you continue to work in me. Help me be like a strong tree, rooted in You, established in You, able to stand firm in the trials and triumphs of life, and sprout leaves of thanksgiving that provide life and support to the people around me. Reveal areas in my life that need leveling up, and give me the strength and wisdom to grow in those areas. Thank you, Lord!

ACTION STEP

  • Come to the 6 Year Anniversary, and bring a friend! Let’s level up together! We believe that freedom is experienced in community, and there’s nothing better than celebrating birthdays with the family and walking through the journey with your loved ones.

IDEAS:

  • Keep the momentum going! We’ve built new habits in praying, fasting, and fitness, so let’s keep leveling up in those components. Keep praying and fitness a part of your daily rhythm, and consider keeping fasting a part of your monthly schedule.
  • Keep praying for the prayer points! Our leaders did an awesome job highlighting different areas that we can be praying for, so let’s keep those in our hearts and minds even as we conclude our 21 Days.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the twenty-first mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 30 sit-ups and 30 push-ups.

DAY 20: PRAY FOR THOSE WHO ARE INCARCERATED – BRANDON WADE

By 21 DAYS OF PRAYER, FASTING, AND FITNESS No Comments

BRANDON WADE

SCRIPTURE

Hebrews 13:3 (NIV)
Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. 

DEVOTION

As we remember people to pray for we should remember those who are locked up in jails and prisons. If we are honest we can say that those who are imprisoned are “the forgotten” But Jesus has not forgotten them, so neither should we. In fact, he calls us to love, pray, and visit those in prison. We are all created in the image of God and no one is beyond His reach.

Currently, there are about 2.1 million people incarcerated in the United States, and our nation leads all other nations with that statistic. Society has written off those who are imprisoned, They say “do the crime, do the time”. And there’s a lot of truth in that but we still need to love and pray for them. The same God who offers His love and forgiveness to us has offered it to those who are incarcerated as well. Pray that God would change and mold their hearts, and give them a desire to want to live for Him and that they would know and feel His love. Imagine being locked up and feeling hopeless, lonely and that no one cares for you, you might even feel unloved. You’re isolated and away from your family. Those who are locked up need to know that there is a God who loves them, and will forgive them. “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth” – Psalm 145:18. They may not be able to be physically free, but they can be spiritually free, in and through Christ.

I’m a juvenile probation officer and I work at a lock-up facility called Spring Mountain Youth Camp. I get to work with youth in a lock-up facility and I have the privilege of sharing the love of Christ with them. I get to encourage them and share the good news of Jesus with them. From time to time I will lead a Bible study, and I always have a few youths asking me when the next one will be. That lets me know that there is a hunger for God’s word.

God is near to the broken hearted, and those who are locked up, youth and adults alike are broken hearted. Earlier this week Pastor Josh shared a good devotional about seeing people through the lens that God sees them. What a perfect way to do that here! God’s redemption is for us all. Jesus says “It’s not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners”. -Mark 2:17. We and the prisoners alike are sinners, in need of God’s grace.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father I come before you in Jesus name, lifting up those who are incarcerated in jails and in prisons all over our city, from CCDC to Spring Mountain Youth Camp, High Desert, Indian Springs, and every other institution across the state, and our nation. I pray for those who call you Lord, may you use them to be a light to others around them, and may they feel encouraged and remind them of your love for them. For the many who don’t know you, may you draw them to you. May they experience freedom in you and in your son Jesus. Change their hearts, change their ways. I also pray for protection from the dangers that they face from day to day. As many of them might be missing their families and loved ones, I ask that you help them get through the loneliness that they might be feeling and feel any void they might have with your presence and your peace. Lastly, Lord I pray for Christians all over the world who are incarcerated because of their faith, help them to stand strong in the faith. Amen

ACTION STEP

  • Reach out to someone who is incarcerated.

IDEAS:

  • If you know someone personally who is incarcerated reach out to them by writing them a letter.
  • If you know someone who is locked up and your able to, put commissary on their books

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the twentieth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 29 sit-ups and 29 push-ups.

DAY 19: PRAY FOR VISION TO SEE PEOPLE THE WAY GOD SEES PEOPLE – PASTOR JOSH CARTER

By 21 DAYS OF PRAYER, FASTING, AND FITNESS No Comments

PASTOR JOSH CARTER

SCRIPTURE

Matthew 9:35-37 NASB
35 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness.36 Seeing the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” 

DEVOTION

As Jesus would go from town to town, He was moved with compassion to bless others every place he went.  In Verse 36, it says, “seeing the crowds, Jesus felt compassion.” This word compassion is a word picture in the original language. It means to be moved in one’s bowels.  It means to feel so deeply in your inner being, that it motivates you to act.  Here’s a question, when was the last time you were so deeply moved with compassion for someone that you were moved to do something about it?

But what moved Jesus to compassion?  When Jesus looked upon the crowds, he noticed their physical challenges. As a matter of fact, the scripture tells us that he was healing disease and sickness.  But it wasn’t necessarily just the physical needs that moved Jesus to action, but rather their deep spiritual need to know the God who loves them.  Jesus looked beyond the physical and was broken by the deeper spiritual need. He called these people, “sheep without a shepherd.” These people were created for a deep relationship with a Good Shepherd they never knew.  They were not created to be orphan sheep. They were created to know the comforts, security, and identity of belonging to the fold of God.  You see, sheep without a shepherd are vulnerable. They are lost, confused, easily deceived, and discontented. When Jesus looked at these people, he was deeply bothered by their spiritual condition.  In fact, this is what compelled Him to sacrifice his own life on the cross, on our behalf, so that through faith in Him, our relationship with God, our Good Shepherd, could be restored.

As a church planter and pastor in Portland, Oregon, we would host mission teams from across the country to come help us.  Often, our mission teams would come highly motivated to share the love of Jesus and the Gospel with others. The week would come and go, and we would face many challenges and wins along the way. But it was what happened on the last night of the trip that was so life-shaping for the team. On that night, we would host a final meeting.  We would hear story after story about how God moved throughout the week. But just before we closed the meeting, I often asked this one question. “What is the one thing that you wish you could change about the trip?”  It was a strategic question. In fact, it was rare that we didn’t hear at least one person on the team say, “I just wish I could have had more conversations with people.”  I loved this response!  It seemed the Lord always had this answer given so that we could share a life shaping challenge.  When I heard this, I would always respond by saying, “I love that feedback and here is why…think about all we did and all the places we went this week.  We went to coffee shops, we rode on public transportation, we ate at restaurants, we worked at a school.  In fact, if you really think about it, we were around people all day, every single day.” You see, the reality is, we’re around people all the time, we just don’t “see” them.  In fact, God is working all the time around us, but do we see Him?

I love that Jesus challenges his disciples the same way He is challenging us today. He says, “the fields are plentiful, but the workers are few.” I don’t believe Jesus is saying that there aren’t enough Christians in the valley to change our city or that the harvest field is not ready in Las Vegas. Remember, Jesus started the early church planting movement and changed the world with just eleven disciples.  I think Jesus is saying, God is working in our city but there are not enough Christians who are “looking” for it. There are not enough Christians “seeing” people.

PRAYER

Father, I come before You in Jesus’ name by the power of Your Holy Spirit. I ask that you help me “see” the people around me. I pray you help me “see” where you are working and join You in your harvest field. I pray you would use me to be your physical presence in the lives of those who have the deep spiritual need to know you. Lord, move me with deep compassion for the lostness around me every single place I go today. May that compassion move me to intentional action as I join you on mission today. Help me to see You and see others that need You.

ACTION STEP

  • Use the acronym “SEE” in your life today and join God at work around you.

IDEAS:

S – SLOW DOWN

  • Intentionally slow down and look for an opportunity to join God’s activity today.
  • Pray before you start your day. Ask God to show you someone to intentionally encourage today.
  • At the coffee shop or restaurant, decide not to rush. Go inside and as the Lord brings you to conversations, ask how people are doing.
  • Slow Down. Look For God. Listen. Ask questions.
  • And….

E – ENCOURAGE

  • As you are slowing down, expecting God to show you that person to engage, speak a word of encouragement to someone.  Show them you care.
  • Buy them a meal, coffee, or take a co-worker a small gift as the Lord leads you.
  • Then…

E – EAT

  • If you really want to slow down, spend intentional time with someone else and see how God will use you in their life. Invite them to lunch or dinner with the purpose of listening and encouraging them.
  • Ask them about their story. Tell them your story. Include what Jesus is doing in your life.
  • If you have the opportunity, ask them about their relationship with Jesus, Church, or spiritual matters.
  • Ask them if they attend church. Invite them as your guest to Walk Church.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the nineteenth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 28 sit-ups and 28 push-ups.

DAY 18: PRAY FOR OUR COMMUNITY – ANDRES RAMIREZ

By 21 DAYS OF PRAYER, FASTING, AND FITNESS No Comments

ANDRES RAMIREZ

SCRIPTURE

Hebrews 10:24 ESV
 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

DEVOTION

So far this week we have intentionally prayed for our Nation, followed by praying for our city, and now, today I want you to pray for YOUR community.

As I have studied concepts of memory retention and recall, I’ve learned that people are more likely to remember things, events, or experiences that they shared with the community they share life with as opposed to those experiences that were not shared, celebrated, or endured together. It’s quite possible that we as believers in Christ are living our Christian lives in relative isolation from the community we share life with, and therefore our Christian memories are not as vivid as those we have from the world.

We recently started hosting our sixth semester of Charge Group in our home. I can state unequivocally that our experiences, our relationships, and our memories relating to our walk with Christ are more vivid, enriching and authentic since we started sharing our journey with our Christian community as well as those that are not believers. We’ve grown deeper in our faith, and we’ve grown deeper bonds and relationships with those who are joining us on this journey with Christ.

Proverbs 18:1 states: “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” I want to challenge our Christian brothers and sisters to reflect on how they have lived their journey with Christ. Whether that has been in the context of community or now. Here are some questions to process when thinking about this subject:

  • Are you walking alone, isolated from other Christians?
  • Are you neglecting to meet together with other Christians?
  • Are you celebrating the important events that happen in your life with your Christian family?
  • Do you attend a weekly Charge Group?
  • Are you walking in Christian community?

PRAYER

Lord, thank you for guiding me on this journey. I praise you for being a loving God who is for us and not against us. Lord, I pray that you draw us nearer to you and nearer to each other. I pray that we have the courage to live our lives as Christians together and not alone. Lord, give us the boldness to praise each other as we walk our journey. Remove the habit of neglecting to meet with each other, for we know where two or more gather in your name you are there. Lord, we want to be where you are. I pray that my Christian brothers and sisters walk in community with their other Christian brothers and sisters. Amen.

ACTION STEP

  • Join a Charge Group if you have not done so.  If you already belong to a Charge Group share some news about your life, that you have not shared yet.

IDEAS:

  • Invite someone not in your Charge Group to coffee or for a bite to eat to get to know them better.
  • Sign up to serve at Walk Church. The Dream Team would love to have you.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the eighteenth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 27 sit-ups and 27 push-ups.