Hello CVC Family!
It’s April 1st. How welcomed it would be if we all woke up today and the Coronavirus was just a bad April fools joke. Unfortunately, it’s not. But we do have a window of opportunity to be proactive and to grow and encourage others while we shelter in place and live in a way that helps love and protect the most vulnerable in our community.
Starting today, April 1, I’m inviting you into CVC’s 30 Day Challenge. It’s simple and easy. If you participate, it can help you stay close to Christ, bring a daily growth goal to you, give you another touch point with our church family as you interact virtually, and God can use it to encourage others who are struggling or far from Christ as you share it.
Here are the basics of the 30 Day Challenge:
Jump into our current Bible reading plan for the next 30 days and read the Bible chapter that is scheduled for the day. We are going to mostly be in three books of the Bible traditionally known as “Wisdom Literature.” God has given us the wisdom literature, rich in Hebrew poetry, to help us grow in our understanding of how to apply God’s available wisdom to all areas of life, especially our relationship with Him and with others. The 30 day challenge will have you complete over three books of the Bible in your 30 days!
From the chapter you read, choose a verse that really stood out, convicted, encouraged, or impacted you in some way.
Using a journal, or another writing method or source that you like to use, write that Bible verse down along with any additional thoughts, commentary, or insights that you want to capture related to why that verse was meaningful to you.
Now, pray out of that verse, using the content of the passage as a template or catapult for your prayer time. To maximize your prayer experience, pray upward, downward, inward, then outward (taken from Daniel Henderson’s 4/4 prayer pattern).
- Upward (Reverence): Begin with a focus on God, not self. Start with God’s character and nature, “God You are…”
- Downward (response): What do we see in our character as a response to what we see in God’s character? These prayers tend to be prayers of confession and surrender, “God, I admit that I…”
- Inward (requests): As beloved children of God, what can we ask of our Heavenly Father that will glorify Him and be in alignment with His will? These are heartfelt requests often centering on that which impacts our relationships and resources – needs related to issues in our hearts, lives, families, church, nation, and world. “Father, I ask You to…” “Lord, I pray for…”
- Outward (Readiness) – Why are we praying? What’s the hope of our requests? So that some action, outcome, change, beneficial fruit will take place. We are reminded of the confidence we have through Christ and the spiritual resources God has given us to live this life and fight the battles we are in, especially the spiritual battle. “Father, I ask this SO THAT…”
We are living in days of unprecedented opportunity and need. We need to share the confidence we have in Christ and how His Word transforms, instructs, convicts, and transforms us. Each day, I’m encouraging you to share your verse and a thought related to it. You can post it on social media, text it to someone you think it can encourage, or share what you learned with those in your family, LifeGroup, neighborhood, workplace, or wherever else you have interaction with other people.
An example from Pastor Chad’s Day 1 of the 30 Day Challenge:
Proverbs 26:12 – Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (ESV)
Lord, You are eternally and perfectly wise. What I think I know doesn’t even come close to Your perfect wisdom. I am a mere man. My understanding is flawed and contaminated by my pride, my flesh, and my sin. I confess that I often see myself as wise in my own eyes and have been wrong and foolish more times than I can count. I ask that You please sift my thoughts with Your Spirit and reveal where my thoughts are foolish and replace them with your heavenly wisdom. Generously give me the wisdom that You promise me in James 1:5 so that I can walk in a way more pleasing to You, so that I can lead my family on a godly path, so that I can encourage my fellow Christian brothers and sisters, and so that I can guide my lost friends into a relationship with Jesus. Amen!
Read. Choose. Write. Pray. Share.
The 30 Day Challenge begins now!