DAY 11: PRAY AGAINST DISTRACTIONS – PASTOR WES HODGES

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PASTOR WES HODGES

SCRIPTURE

1 Corinthians 7:35 (NLT)
35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.

DEVOTION

Beep Beep. Buzz. Chirp. Ding-Dong. Face it there are distractions all around us today. Every app on our phones competes with notifications for us to open the app and spend time doing something that will take up a portion of our time. How many times have you glanced at your phone in the middle of doing a task or having a conversation with someone when it buzzes just to see a notification that needs your immediate attention? But does it?

Honestly even as I started writing this devotion the TV was on and I had to rewrite a few sentences before I said enough and found a quiet place to continue. The enemy knows we have short attention spans and anything he can use to keep our eyes off of God he counts as a win. This happens to me when I take time to read the Bible, pray and spend time with God. I have to turn things off, find a quiet place and pray to ask God to help my mind not wander.

In the verse above Paul knows we are going to have distractions and encourages us to serve the Lord with as few distractions as possible. When we allow distractions to consume our life we get pulled away from God. We don’t have the right motivation for serving when we are far from God. When distractions are decreased our focus on God increases. For me, I can hear Him more clearly and my heart is more set on serving Him the best when I am focused and free of distractions.

PRAYER

Lord, please help guard me against distractions. Those that come from the enemy, those I bring on myself, and those I fall to from the world around me. I want to keep my eyes on you. Help me to serve You the best way possible for Your glory. In Jesus name, amen!

ACTION STEP

  • Evaluate how you are best serving the Lord. Write a list of three ways you have been distracted and actions to overcome those distractions.

IDEAS:

  • Put your phone/computer on Do Not Disturb when you want to stay distraction-free on a task or conversation.
  • Find or make a quiet place you can spend time in God’s Word.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the eleventh mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 20 sit-ups and 20 push-ups.

DAY 10: PRAY FOR RESILIENCE – PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER

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PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER

SCRIPTURE

Philippians 3:14–15a
14. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15. Let those of us who are mature think this way…” 

DEVOTION

Growing up as an athlete I often heard coaches say: “It’s not how you start, but how you finish!” Here we are on Day 10 of 21 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Fitness. We are just about at the halfway point. This devotional is to encourage you to keep going! If for some reason you stopped praying, fasting, or engaging in some type of fitness activity – here’s your sign to start today!

Resilience is about getting back up, recovering from difficult times, and finishing strong. When I think about resilience my mind goes to NFL star quarter back, Tom Brady who after being traded to a new team was consistently counted out and encouraged to retire. What did he do instead? He led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl Championship in 18 years. But I don’t want our minds to stop at Brady. If we go back two thousand years before football was even a thing, you’ll find a Savior named Jesus carrying a wooden cross up to Calvary’s hill.

Jesus, at any moment could have set the cross down and hit the eject button on His rescue mission for sinners like me and you. But He didn’t do that, instead He showed the ultimate form of resilience by enduring the cross, despising its shame, and finishing His race. (Hebrews 12:2) What a Savior He is. Today, whatever it is that you’re facing I want to encourage you to bring it to the Lord, pray for His resilience to come alive in you, and to press on in Christ.

PRAYER

Father, I come before You in the name of the Resilient One, Jesus, and by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Today I ask you for resilience in all that I’m walking through. Help me to keep my head up and my eyes fixed on Jesus. When I’m tempted to give-up or give-in, don’t let me. Help me to keep praying, keep trusting, and keep fighting the good fight. I know You’re fighting for me, Lord. I trust in You today and I ask You to help me finish strong! In Jesus name, amen! 

ACTION STEP

  • Identify areas you have lacked resilience in and bring them to Jesus in prayer.

IDEAS:

  • Look up the Scriptures: 2 Timothy 1:7, Isaiah 41:10, Ephesians 6:10-11
  • Ask someone to hold you accountable during the second half of 21 days of prayer, fasting, and fitness.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the tenth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 19 sit-ups and 19 push-ups.

DAY 9: PRAY FOR AN AUTHENTIC GRATITUDE AND REVERENCE FOR GOD – KINSEY MINTER

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KINSEY MINTER

SCRIPTURE

Hebrew 12:28-29
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”

DEVOTION

When we think about gratitude, immediately our minds can go to our circumstances, our possessions, and gifts. There may be times in our lives where we don’t feel like we have much or feel far away from where we would like to be. When this happens, it takes looking at others’ poor circumstances and comparing them to ours to make us feel grateful for what we have. The sum of our gratitude cannot just be these quick momentary reliefs, it does not sink in all the way to our hearts. We quickly forget that our circumstances do not depict if God is worthy of our gratitude. Although He has done, and continues to do a lot for us, God is so much more than what He does for us. We can be thankful for God because of His Character. When we remind ourselves of the God, we are thankful for, we will see these characteristics in our lives in every season and circumstance.

Are we looking at God with reverence and awe? Does His presence, character, and holiness bring you to your knees? Human beings were created to be in awe of something, we can be in awe of idols, or we can live in awe of ourselves and the hurdles that present themselves each day, keeping us from where we want to be. When we look inward instead of up, we are consumed by the wrong fire.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” When it comes to gratitude, our lives are full of things to be thankful for, another unpromised day of life, basic needs being met, and all other blessings that you can think of. One thing to be truly grateful for is that God is who He says He is: the King of kings, the Lion and the lamb, the creator of the universe, and yet… our redeemer, our provider, and our friend. He wants you to look at him for who He is, and when we do that, we can’t help but stand in awe, and thank him. This gratitude surpasses our circumstances, setbacks, and disappointments. This is God’s will for our lives, to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. When we do this, it will be like medicine for our minds that are clouded with earthly things.

PRAYER

Heavenly father, You are the King of kings and the Lord of lords, matchless in every way. You are beautiful beyond description, too marvelous for words, too wonderful for comprehension, full of infinite wisdom, and abounding in steadfast love. I pray that I live a life in awe of You and grow in authentic gratitude for who You are and what You’ve done for me. Forgive me for at times I am in awe of my circumstances over You. You are above it all, and I thank You that my future is secure now and forevermore. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

ACTION STEP

  • Listen to “You are Holy” by Jesus Image and bow before a Holy God!

IDEAS:

  • Dance (yes… DANCE) to I Thank God by Maverik City Music & Upperroom and consider all He’s done for you.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run the ninth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 18 sit-ups and 18 push-ups.
  • Dance! Put on some jams, move around and rejoice!!! Add jumping jacks!
  • 1 minute plank hold

DAY 8: PRAY FOR A REPUTATION THAT BRINGS GOD GLORY – NEENA RATNER

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NEENA RATNER

SCRIPTURE

Proverbs 22:1
“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”

DEVOTION

The value of a good name or reputation is better than silver or gold. How important it must be to have! When others hear your name, what do they think about you? How do they feel? Encouraged? Or discouraged? Do they feel a sense of value? Or hurt? Do they feel empowered? Or drained? Do they think of someone who fears the Lord? Or holds themselves in a prideful manner?

If you’re new to walking out your faith, this can be difficult to answer because you have recently put on a new self and put off the old. (Colossians 3:9-10) Praise God for His redemption! Take heart that this is the beginning of your journey no matter how young or old and you can start building a good reputation in Jesus now.

For those who have been walking with the Lord for some time, this is something important that should hold weight to us. As Ephesians 5:1 states, we are to be imitators of God. How high a calling! But if we misrepresent God then how can we share the Good News of Jesus with others? As we look at Jesus’ life, we see a Truth-telling, Love-bearing, people-seeking, God-glorifying, bold-speaking, never giving up, grace-filled, forgiving Leader. Do those attributes challenge us to grow in Christ?

There have been many situations where I struggled with others and wanted to go against Jesus’ attributes, and the Holy Spirit’s desires in me. I wanted to put someone in their place, I wanted to defend why I reacted emotionally, I wanted to wipe my hands of someone else’s hurt feelings because they weren’t sorry for their own wrong-doing, etc. The truth of the matter is this: 1 John 4:4 says, “… He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Jesus is greater. He’s better than me and should drive my actions by the power of His Holy Spirit. We shouldn’t react on emotions but rather on Him.

We use this phrase, “Jesus Wins”, a lot at WALK Church. Jesus wins in my life as my Savior, my Lord, my utmost Love, everything… everything including even the smallest of confrontations. Does Jesus win your arguments? Does He win your parenting? Does He win at the way you respect others who don’t deserve it? Does He win your emotions? That’s what I’m talking about here. I want you and I to live out Proverbs 22:1, in such a way that when others hear our name, they think, Jesus wins in his/her life.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I want to be known for speaking the truth in love, for forgiving when it’s not deserved, for apologizing when I hurt someone, for doing my very best when it comes to pursuing others and forming God-glorifying relationships. I want my reputation to be more valuable than money or gold could ever give because someone found everlasting life in You. In Jesus name, amen!

ACTION STEP

  • Write down attributes of Jesus you see in the Scriptures. Ask accountability and wise counsel in your life to speak into which attributes they see you imitate most and which ones you need to work on.

IDEAS:

  • Forgive someone who hurt you and as far as it depends on you, be at peace with that person.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run the eighth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 17 sit-ups and 17 push-ups.