Pathway’s 40 days of prayer campaign runs from Wednesday, February 14 to Saturday, March 31. Join us as we unite as a church in prayer. Our theme verse for the campaign is 2 Chronicles 7:14. Starting on Wednesday, February 14, join your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ as we all pray together at 7:14am and 7:14pm. Devotionals and prayer topics will be posted on FB and on our website on a regular basis. Be sure to let us know what’s on your mind and heart throughout these 40 days by using #PBCPRAY40 wherever you post!
We can invest in a great many things, and of course the best investments are those that have the greatest gain with the least amount of risk. Wouldn’t you be excited to invest in a sure thing that multiplies greatly? Have you ever thought tithing and giving as investing in God’s Kingdom? The way we use our money is a good indicator of our spiritual condition and maturity. Let that statement sync in. How are you using the resources that you have been given and the ability to earn income to build up God’s Kingdom? And are you doing it cheerfully?
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth to encourage them to invest in eternal rewards. His angle was not for Christians to give money out of fear or obligation, but rather out of a great expectation of how God would multiply it and use it help the needy, support ministers, and reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ. What more motivation do genuine believers need to give happily?
We live in a foodie world. We have speed eating competitions, apps designed for finding and ranking restaurants, and it is rare to go through social media without seeing a picture of some rare or impressive food. It can be challenging to maintain a healthy diet with the ubiquitousness of such good food in America. That is why fasting is even more relevant in our times. What can be more countercultural then denying yourself food and not sharing about it with anyone?
Jesus was very countercultural during His time, instructing His followers to fast and not brag about it or make yourself look worse than you really were while fasting in order to gain attention for yourself. Instead, His disciples were instructed to avoid self-attention while fasting so that our Heavenly Father would reward us for our genuine heart and modesty. Prayer and fasting often go together to unlock greater depths of intimacy with God, power for intercession and the rewards of spiritual blessings.
What has been on your mind a lot lately? Whether you’re thinking about that deadline at work, the event you’re excited for that is coming soon, or a relationship that needs attention, there is a high probability that what you openly express on that subject is merely the tip of the iceberg when compared with how much you actually thought about it. That is why our thinking pattern and introspection is so important to our health because our thoughts overflow into the words that we speak, the feelings we feel and the choices we make.
In the Hebrew language the “heart” was more than just your emotions, and it encompassed the entirety of our inner self—our desires, intentions and thoughts. The psalmist, King David, was praying that his external words AND his unspoken thoughts were pleasing to the Lord. As we go about our busy day, we need to take the time to meditate on God, His Word, and His activity all around us, and prayerfully invite His truth to influence our thoughts and make it healthy and pleasing to Him.
I am sure you are sick of hearing about “fake news”. However, we cannot deny how much information is being proliferated through social media, news outlets, and even by word of mouth that either comes from highly questionable sources or whose extreme bias is seemingly palpable. It is surprising how often we find others and even ourselves falling for these headlines and scams when if we simply had done a little more research into the matter it would have been easy to discern the truth from the lies.
The Berean Jews were praised as noble because when Paul shared the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, to them, they responded with eagerness to study the Bible and see for themselves if this news was accurate. Was Jesus really the Messiah/Christ that the Old Testament prophets of God had predicted would come to save them? What separated the Bereans from the Thessalonians was that they were willing to do the hard work of seeking out the truth. Do we have that same diligence and desire to prayerfully seek out the truth of the Bible?
Like all humans, you probably succumbed to temptation this past week. Whether it was losing your temper at someone, being dishonest to save face or hurt someone else, or giving into your addiction, you very likely ended up choosing something that you know was wrong and regret it. Why is it so hard at times to make the right choice and withstand temptation? How can we prevent falling into the same trap over and over again?
The day before Jesus was crucified, He spent the night praying with His disciples. He asked them to pray with Him because He knew they all needed that time of prayer in order to prepare them for the testing of their obedience that was to come. They all followed Peter’s fiery promise that they would be with Jesus to the death. Yet, when Jesus had asked them to pray with Him they could not even stay awake and they would all flee at Jesus’ arrest. Their intentions were good, but they were susceptible to their own human desires. We all give in to temptation, but Jesus exemplified overcoming it through prayer. Although Jesus is fully God, He is also fully human and was tempted as we are, but was perfectly sinless. If the Son of God prayed against temptation, how much more should we?
Have you ever been speechless or had writer’s block? There are times when the words won’t come to mind or come out as we want, even in prayer. Sometimes prayer can be difficult because we don’t know what to say to God. It is at these times that we can rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance in our weakness. In these instances I will literally ask the Holy Spirit to help give me the words to pray and to bring to mind people and topics to pray over.
Francis Chan describes the Holy Spirit as the “Forgotten God” because He can be ignored. He is the third person of the Trinity and plays a vital role in our lives as the one who empowers us to obey God, convicts us of sin, and fills us to guide and grow us from the inside. As we mature in prayer, let’s not forget the work of the Holy Spirit and our reliance on Him.
God loves you. What a simple, but profound truth. Have you ever wondered how much God loves you? Have you ever contemplated the dimensions of Christ’s love for you? How would our lives be different if we had a fuller understanding of His love? Paul prayed that the church at Ephesus would truly fathom the depths of God’s love. Attempting to grasp the love of God is like going to the beach with a bucket and filing it up with sea water—the bucket will be full, but a vast ocean would remain. Similarly, when we truly meditate on the love of Christ as revealed through Scripture we will be filled and satisfied with God, but also realize that this is an endless task. However, growing in maturity and affections for God means praying to return to the beach with a bigger bucket.