The End... or is it?

READ: Matthew 28:19-20

THINK: So you made it. You've endured a month of "torture" in order to grow closer to God by shutting out the things that pull your attention away from Him. So answer these questions:

  • What is one thing that has changed in you this past month?
  • What did you do, this past month, that you think you should continue?
When Jesus left the disciples, He presented them with a challenge... "Go and make disciples"... in other words, He said to continue loving others and loving God by going out and continuing what they had been learning for over 3 years.

Do you know what they did? They scattered. They all separated... they came back together a few weeks later and hid out in a room. They met in a small room and prayed. Now praying isn't bad. In fact, we need prayer... but one of the things I struggle with is this idea that we have to spend hours praying that God would use us instead of just going out and doing something. This is what the disciples did. They got together and got wrapped up in formula: We need 12 disciples so we need to vote on which of these guys we should add to replace Judas. Let's pray about it. Let's vote. Let's ask God what we should do next... on and on (see Acts 1-2). I think God gets a little tired of the disciples not doing what Jesus told them, and He sent the Holy Spirit to give them a holy shove, out the door, and into their world.

You see, just because this is the end of your fast, does not mean your spiritual journey has to wait for camp, mission trip, or next year's Media Fast... 

DO: Spend less than 5 minutes praying (that's right... less than 5). Ask God who He wants you to connect with. Who do you know, that needs Jesus? The first person that comes to your mind, pray for them, send them a text, go hang out with them... write them a post card... invite them to youth group... do whatever... but whatever you do, make it matter. Be a follower of Jesus and do what He would do... don't end your journey with a prayer and the remote control... do something!

Dependency Issues

I was thinking about it and I realized that many times we have a dependency issue... Let me explain:

What are dependent on? I know, food, air, water, sleep, shelter, ok... skip those. I'm talking about the other stuff... movies, TV shows, music, books, internet, cell-phones, etc. What are you really dependent on?

The problem with being dependent on things is that we try to act like we aren't dependent. For some reason we believe it shows weakness. So we claim, "I'm not influenced by that." "I don't HAVE to do this." But really, can you honestly say you aren't dependent on it if you can't stop listening to, reading, watching, whatever it is?

The truth is we have a dependency issue. We rely on things to "relieve our stress" or "make us feel good" or "help us relax"... but are those things really worth it? There are only so many things you can commit to. If you watch 3 hours of TV, what are you NOT doing? Your homework? Sleep? Eat? You can't watch TV spend time with God, talk to friends, do homework, and relax at the same time...

Use this devotional as an example... over the past 28 days, have you been at a loss of what to do? "Oh no, I'm bored. What do I do now?"

In youth groups and churches all across the United States, there are kids and adults who are dependent on the church to "help them grow spiritually". And on the average, an individual attends church for a total of 200 hours per year... at least with those who are consistent. WOW... do you really think you are going to grow with only 200 hours of time with God? We spend more time in the bathroom during the course of a year than we do at church... and sometimes we spend time in the bathroom at church!

Take a look at Psalm 119... what does David (the writer of the Psalm) rely or depend on? I know, they didn't have all the stuff we do today, but read it. There's massive spiritual growth because of what he is depending on... and back then they didn't have the Bible like we do now...

So just because the fast ends tomorrow, and you when aren't at church... what are you depending on? Maybe it's time to make some changes... I mean, after all... where has the past "dependencies" gotten you?

Squirrel Monkey Hopped Up on Mountain Dew

Remember when you first realized how much Jesus loved you? Remember after your first camp and you felt like you really loved Jesus? What happened to that feeling?

Remember the first time you really liked someone? Remember when you found out someone really liked you? For some of us, that may have not happened yet... and for others, it's happened more times than we can count... what happened to that feeling?

Feelings... nothing more than feelings. Isn't that how that song goes? Here's some hard facts about feelings (imagine Dwight Schrute from the Office talking):

FACT: Feelings are nothing more than mind tricks that cause you to believe something that may or may not be true

FACT: Feelings come and go faster than a squirrel moneky with his tail on fire hopped up on mountain dew (that's fast)

FACT: Feelings lie

Here's the truth. Right now, you are experiencing some feelings. And those feelings will change after you sleep, eat, or do something to get your mind off those feelings. Most of the decisions we make are based on our feelings. Which, when you think about it, is pretty stupid. What logical, half-way smart individual would base a decision off of something as unpredictable and quick-changing as feelings?

I'm not talking about emotions... those a different... emotions have to do with our reaction to events and circumstances... feelings are inward thoughts and/or desires that may nor may not be triggered by something else.

So today... notice your feelings. Write down the different feelings you experienced throughout the day. Then, get out your Bible and read Psalm 23... what is David "feeling" when he wrote this prayer?

Finally, write out your own prayer. Regardless of your feelings, what does God want you to do after March 30? What are some feelings you need to give up to God?


READ: HEBREWS 11:23-28, ROMANS 12:1-2 

RELATE: Life is full of choices, some small and some big. Some have few, and others many and lasting consequences. Some we make, and others are made for us. Some affect only me, and others affect many. Thank God for the right to choose. It is important that we make the right ones.

You know the story of Moses. He was a Hebrew baby reared by the daughter of the Pharaoh (king) of Egypt. He had everything a young man could want, while his own people suffered as slaves. When Moses was grown and able to decide for himself, he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated with the people of God rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin. Why? Because he regarded disgrace for Christ of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, and was looking ahead to his eternal reward. 

RESPOND: Like Moses, decide today to offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing, to God. Do not conform to the world around you, but be transformed by your new mind. Then you will know God's good, and acceptable, and perfect will for your life.

Make Christ king of your life, and let Him guide you in all your choices: what school to attend, career to follow, etc. He/she chooses best, who leaves the choice to Him.

Set Apart

Your Commitment
How is your commitment going?

It has been very hard to focus and stay on track! I know for me it is a lot easier to keep a commitment that everyone else is also keeping. There is synergy in numbers and when everyone else is doing the same thing is makes it easier to hold my word. How about you? But that's not really how life works, right? In the real world there are people all around me who are not keeping their word or have a different moral compass then I do. This years commitment has challenged me to remember that I am set apart for God. As God's child He called me to be different. He commands me to be light. He extorts me to be "holy" because he is holy. This literal means set apart from everyone else in the world. Followers of Jesus Christ are supposed to be different then the world around them.

What do you think?

How do you think this years commitment will help you in the future?

What has been most difficult?

Does your commitment set you apart?

-Andy Matzke

Deny Yourself


Read Matthew 10:37-39... replace the words "father', "mother", "son", "daughter" with whatever your favorite media choices are... your favorite TV show... favorite band... favorite type of movie... favorite book or writer... favorite video game

What do you do with this verse? Are you telling me that you would listen to, read, watch, or play whatever it is you like rather than grow closer to God? No wonder so many people can't find God... there are too many things that are in our eyes, ears, and minds that are not focused on God. Too many things that we love more than God... or at least our time with Him.

So today is about you making a choice. Jesus makes it clear. If you love anything else more than Him, you are going to lose out on what's most important to Him and what you really desire the most. Do you think your relationship with God would grow more if you gave up your favorite music band that has nothing to do with God, in order to grow in your realtionship with God? 

So today... write down what you hold higher than your relationship with God. I'll make it easy. What do you miss most this month so far? 

We are only 8 days into the fast... but I bet you are missing something....What if it's that very thing that is keeping you from growing closer to God? Would you give it up? 

I know... tough question. But one you need to wrestle with this month. How important is your relationship with God?

Dangerous Wonder

READ: John 10:10

THINK: A thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. We battle a thief every day. A thief wants to take what you have, with no regard as to how it will affect you or anyone else. I had a thief break into my car once and steal my ping pong paddle and sun glasses. Both were valuable to me. My sunglasses were kind of expensive. My ping pong paddle was a special one I had paid for and made, just for me. Both were replaceable... but I was still mad. Those were mine!

Satan (who Jesus is referring to in this passage) is a thief. He would love nothing better than to steal your hope, kill your witness, and destroy your reputation. He doesn't want you to have hope. He wants you depressed. He doesn't want you to be a witness of Jesus. He wants you to be like everyone else and ignore what God is doing in your life so that you don't share it. He doesn't want people to be a Christian... he wants them to avoid and distrust Christians.

But Jesus came to give us life... and give it to us abundantly. An abundant life is not a boring life. Some people think being a Christian is dull. But think about it... if God is holy... if God is faithful... and if you cannot see God, then putting your trust in Him is kinda crazy. Following His expectations of us is strange. It doesn't always make sense. But that's what faith is all about.

DO: I read this book called, Dangerous Wonder by Mike Yaconelli. It's one of my favorites. And in it, he talks about faith. He basically challenges us to have a child-like faith and trust that Jesus has an abundant life planned for us... we just have to trust Him. What is an area of your life that you are having a hard time trusting Jesus with? 

Today, connect with an adult who loves you and ask them to pray for you with this one area of trust. It may feel weird. It might be dangerous... but I wonder how God will change you when you trust Him and those He has put in your life to pray for you?

It's Time to Get Serious

Jonah 4

Jonah has had some amazing things happen to him... he survived "walking the plank"; he spent 3 days and nights in a giant fish; he told 120,000 people (who usually skinned people alive or impaled them on poles and left them to slowly die) that God was going to destroy them unless they changed their ways... and they did!; and now he is ticked. His favorite plant died. How could God take away his shade and let 120,000 evil people still live? God must not care...

At least that's what he feels. He even tells God that he has a right to be angry with God... what an idiot!

But what can we learn from Jonah? Ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. Am I keeping my faith to myself? You have people all around you, at school, in your neighborhood, at work, etc., that don't know Jesus. What's holding you back from sharing your faith?
  2. Am I keeping my friends to myself? Maybe you have some friends at church and some other friends at school... what can you do to connect those friends? Your friends at church are trying to grow closer to God... maybe they can be the catalyst to your friends (boyfriends/girlfriends included) beginning a relationship with God
  3. Am I keeping grace to myself? When your parents mess up, how do you respond? When you siblings do something that bugs you, how do you respond? When that kid at school that drives you crazy does something, again, for the hundredth time, how do you respond? When you mess up, how do you want others to respond? Remember, God's grace is limited to when you need it... everyone needs it.
  4. Am I keeping my spiritual journey to myself? We aren't sure who wrote the book of Jonah, but at some point Jonah shared his story with someone and they wrote it down (if he didn't). Read his story... he was a mess. People like him drive me crazy... but he owned it. Are you owning your own spiritual journey?

"God, what am i keeping to myself?" Take some time to share with God, the things you think you need to stop keeping to yourself? Ask Him to help you see who you can share you faith, your friends, your grace, and your spiritual journey with.

Ok... pretty easy one here... how about you take your faith, friends, grace, and journey seriously and follow through with what God is directing you to do?

Indescribable Pt. 4 & 5

Look at the creativity of God! This is an amazing God!

Part 4:

Part 5:

After watching this... respond below this post or on How does this make a difference in your view of God?

Indescribable Pt.3

As we go further into space, you will begin to not only see how big God is... but how significant you are in God's creation. Take a look at this video!

Indescribable Pt.2

Take a look at part 2... You are about to be blown away!


It's easy to get used to the idea of God being big. In fact, I would say that for most of us, if we have grown up in church, we have become a bit desensitized to the idea that God is indescribable. But when I listen to a guy like Louis Giglio, I can't help but be amazed at who God is...
We are on a SECULAR Media fast... not all media is bad. In fact, if you know where to look, and you make an effort, you can find some incredibly redeeming media that helps you focus even more on God. For our Devos, take a look at this video and then comment below this post or on I know you want to watch part 2, but come back tomorrow for part 2...

Live In Christ

So you thought this might be tough. Maybe you feel like you are dying. Maybe you feel like just giving in. The end may seem so far away. You might be running out of things to do. You may be losing sight of the real goal... so let's take a deep breath and review:
  • You are on a fast... not from media, but away from distractions and towards God.
  • This fast is supposed to last 30 days
  • During this time, you are challenged to spend time with God through reading His Word, praying, meditating, journaling, and discussion of your experience with your friends and family.
It's easy to lose focus. It's easy to get distracted.

READ: Philippians 1:21
RELATE: What does it mean "to live is Christ"? How is this fast like "dying"? How has Jesus death and resurrection impacted my life and choices? If it hasn't changed us, than what's the point?
RESPOND: Today, journal on and share your responses to these questions. What would your life, friendships, and media-influences look like if you took this verse seriously? Write it out in a note, fold it up, and place it in your Bible at Philippians 1:21... next time you turn there, you will be reminded of what you committed to.

Enjoy the day with your family. And stay strong! You're doing great!

Nutritional Supplements For 30 Day Media Fast

READ: Psalm 119:1-8  (Actually Ps. 119:1-176)
THINK:  What a great goal to go without something for thirty days!  A Media Fast!  Great idea and a great goal!  But let me give you a little hint: "When you go without something that you really like, you DESIRE IT EVEN MORE!"  UNLESS...???  Quite a few years ago in my High School days I would lose weight for wrestling.  Every week I had to lose between 10 -15 pounds to make the weight I was wrestling.  So I would go without food -- no hamburgers, no French fries, no fried chicken, no Pepsi, no cake, no mash potatoes, no desserts, no hotdogs, no pizza.  I wouldn't even chew gum (unless I would be sure to spit all the juice out) for fear I would swallow abd gain weight.  Ewww! GROSS!  Then it would be time to "weigh-in" for my weight class -- usually an hour or so before I was to wrestle.  And when I made weight, then I would go eat...ummm. NO!  I WOULD GORGE MYSELF EATING!  I needed to eat.
OKAY!  So here is my point.  You've made a commitment to go without secular media.  Good!  Are you plans to go back to the world's influences in its media attack?  Don't do it. Supplement what the world wants you to engorge in with a steady diet of God's Word, now.  Psalm 119 is a fantastic chapter all about the blessings and benefits of God's Word.  Yea, I know it is sooo long!  One hundred and seventy-six verses long -- 5 whole pages of Bible reading!  Ok, I know, got time now. Don't you.  You're not listening to your tunes anyway.
DO: I found that when I read and then the next day read Psalm 119 again, and then the next day read it again....I began to get charged with a greater desire for God's Word.  I discovered God really showing me His Word and really dealing with who I was and with what He wants me to do.  Take the Psalm 119.  BTW! Every verse (almost) is power-packed with a dramatic truth about God's Word, the Bible.  Bon Appetit!


READ:   "We need to hold on to our declaration of faith: We have a superior chief priest who has gone through the heavens. That person is Yeshua, the Son of God.  We have a chief priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he didn’t sin.  So we can go confidently to the throne of God’s kindness to receive mercy and find kindness, which will help us at the right time."
Hebrews 4:14-16

How often have you felt like you've failed in living out the Christian life as you had hoped?  You wanted to spend 15 minutes each day reading the bible, but another week has gone by, and you still haven’t come close to your goal.  Conclusion – you failed!
At another time, an unkind and untrue remark was made of your friend, and you said nothing – you failed again! Then again, you did not help an unpopular classmate with some homework, because your pride would not let you be seen with them – you failed!
At the end of one of your days, you realized that jealousy, lust, and lying had already connected with you, and you still had 6 hours to go – again, you failed!

All of these above sins were initiated by some sort of temptation.  You’ve been told the solution is to keep your eyes on Jesus.  Look to him, but what do you look for?  When you look for help in any area of your life, you look for someone who has been through the trial and temptation that you have experienced, and has come through it successfully.  That’s why we are encouraged to look to Jesus. Why?  Because, he was tempted in all things as we are. That’s why he can sympathize with each of us.  He’s been there – taken all the “shots” that Satan and others could throw at him, and yet did not fail.  He finished his earthly life with a perfect 10, though he had still experienced temptations.

The next time you’re aware of being tempted, look not to the Jesus quietly talking with his disciples, but to the Jesus who suffered untold vicious, and brutal agony on a cross to pay for that sin you would incur if yielding to that temptation.  He’s now your High Priest in heaven who understands what you are going through, and is waiting to hear you confess any sin that he will forgive and cleanse you of, and for which he has already paid the price!

Now that is not failure!

See also – I Cor. 10:13; I John 1:9

Morning Breath

So in light of being "silent" and finding quietness this week, I thought it would be good to try something a little strange. I was sitting in a staff worship time this morning and ran across something that I think could be an amazing experience...

READ: Gen. 2:4-7

RELATE: God breathed life... think about that. Did you know that the average person takes over 20,000 breaths per day? Experts say that we should get 99% of our energy from just our breath (not Monster's or caffeine). Breathing is amazing... without it, you would cease to exist. The first thing you do when you are born is breathe. The last thing you do when you die is your last breath.

What's even more amazing is that when you fast forward to Exodus and you read about Moses talking with God at the burning bush, God even calls Himself a name that you have to use your breath to say it (Yahweh or YHVH in Hebrew). What's interesting about this story is that God tells Moses to take off his shoes because he is on Holy ground. Think about this... Moses... a shepherd at this time had probably been by this bush dozens of times before this moment. It was just at this moment that he realized he was on Holy ground. It took God catching Moses' attention to realize that God was near... that God was with him.

So, could it be that even our breath is a reminder that God is always with us? Think about this... God... THE GOD... breathed into Adam. BREATHED (I would imagine that God has pretty fresh breath). And ever since that moment... everyone who has ever existed has breathed. This was so significant to the Hebrew people that they even named the Spirit of God a word that means "breath". Our physical breath is actually a picture of the Holy Spirit of God... inside of us! Amazing!

RESPOND: Take 30 seconds to consentrate on your breath. Notice how you breath in... then out... ok, start now..........................................................................

When you breath in, you are bringing oxygen in. Oxygen is necessary for our health. If it's polluted, we become less healthy. When you breath out, you are getting rid of carbon dioxide.... something your body doesn't need.

Think about that...
As you breath in think about what you need, right now, more than anything.
As you breath out, think about what you need to get rid of more than anything.

There is a lot of media that you have been taking in that is polluted... it's not healthy for your spirit... as you breath out, get rid of it. Throw it away. Delete it.

There is a lot of media your spirit needs to grow... healthy media... let's start with the Bible. Your soul needs it to grow. Are you breathing it in?

Take the quietness of today to think about your breath... focus on your breathing... notice that you are, right now, on Holy ground. Your breath is a picture of God... right there with you. You can't live without Him. Take you shoes off... pray... breathe.

A Cheesy Fairytale Devotional

by Allie Northcutt

Once upon a time there was a princess and a peasant boy. The princess and the peasant boy both lived in the same kingdom and both made the decision to do a 30 day folklore fast. The princess made an announcement to the entire kingdom that read: “I, Princess Pamelot, am on a 30 day fast from folklore. Please refrain folk dancing and other displays of folklore around me.” The peasant boy did not make a big announcement. Sometimes the townspeople would ask him, “Why hast thou chosen to abstain from the folklorist event of last eve?” And in reply the peasant boy would simply say, “Because I am fasting from what sometimes distracts me from God, so that I can try and focus on Him.”

Anything Sound Familiar?

Which character can you relate to, the princess or the peasant boy?

- Check out Matthew 6:16-18 (Try the Message version in addition to another version)

The bible is pretty straightforward sometimes, just like a fairytale, but the bible is more then just a nice story with a good moral at the end. It is the true living word of God!

-     Think about what it means to “not be obvious” while fasting today in your life.
-          How do you respond when someone brings up media? Are you embarrassed to say why you are fasting? Do you complain about fasting from media?
-          What are your motives for fasting?

- Check out James 1:22-25 (Try the Message version in addition to another version)

-          Think about some things you know the bible says. Think of one command the bible has that you know, but may conveniently forget. (For example, the command regarding fasting in Matthew 6:16-18?)

Medieval Adventure Challenge!

-          Keep a record of every time you notice that you are not fasting for God and are fasting for other reasons.
-          So what now? Just like in James 1:22-25, don’t just know what is right and not act. Do something!
-          Ideas for the princess: Come down off your high horse! Try not complaining or talking about fasting for at least one day, one week or for the rest of the 30-day media fast.
-          Ideas for the peasant boy: Think you got fasting all figured out? Check out other examples of fasting from the bible for inspiration and to see how you can improve.

Your Spiritual Journey

I picked this up from my brother. He wrote a blog thought that I think would be good to read and think about today...


Your Spiritual Journey

Your spiritual journey needs to be primarily about truth, NOT feelings! Let me expand...
When it comes to the truth in the Bible, avoid at all cost the mistake of concentrating on your feelings. Above all, avoid the terrible error of making them central. Many people make this mistake and are doomed to be unhappy because this is not God divine order for our spiritual journey. Truth first, then emotions will follow, but only if the truth is really believed (not just known). Many theologians/Christians know some truth, yet don't really believe because they don't know love, grace, wrath, and all the emotions that follow belief.

What we have in the Bible is Truth; it is not an emotional stimulus and it is as we apprehend and submit ourselves to the truth that feelings follow! When we focus first on truth, sooner or later feeling will follow. And they will be reliable feeling, because they're anchored in truth.

How do you feel about this or what do you think are the last questions that should be asked. The starting point is "do you believe this truth?" The starting place is choosing to believe the truth regardless of how we feel or if we thinks is fair. Otherwise, we end up actually shortchanging ourselves emotionally and experientially, since deep and profound feelings are the inevitable effects of Scripture rightly understood and believed.

As you read and meditate and think seriously about what's in your Bible, and believe and accept it, then ultimately you will indeed experience it, and you'll feel the effects of it. There's heart transforming truth in Scriptures, but you won't encounter it by first trying to feel it.

Knowing and wholeheartedly believing truth will always bring you, in time, to a trustworthy experience of the truth. But if you trust your feelings first and foremost, if you exalt your feelings, if you invest your feelings with final authority...they'll deposit you on an emotional roller coaster which will stunt our spiritual journey, make us shallow followers of Christ, and weak Christians.
How is your spiritual journey towards truth!
may God feel (emotionally) blessed.....

-Andy Matzke

What Do You Value?

"Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain." - John Piper (Don't Waste Your Life)
I read this quote and I began to think about this week. The week that Jesus died on the cross. Do I really value the cross? Do I see the value in it that Paul saw in it? 
READ: Galatians 6:14 (You can read the verses around in, but unless you know what it meant in Paul's time to be circumcised, you might get confused).
THINK: What does Paul mean by "boast except in the cross"? What does he mean when he says that the world has been crucified to him"? And "he to the world"?

  • As you are thinking about that, realize that the key is figuring out what it means to "boast" in something. Is boasting just limited to bragging? What are some things that you "boast" in without really thinking about it?
DISCUSS: Find some time to talk to your parents about this. Actually read this devotional to them and ask them what they think the word "boast" means.
LIVE: Then, as a family, sit and watch "The Passion", or go to the Good Friday Service together. And talk together about the significance of the cross... in what ways has Christ's death changed each of you?


Isaiah 58:6-8

Fasting is HARD! We have routines that include the thing we fast from. We enjoy that thing. (Maybe too much?) Everybody else is using/doing/eating/drinking that thing we are fasting from. We have to explain our fast - over and over. 

Maybe this year will be different. Maybe this year, while we are fasting FROM something (in our case, media), we can change our focus. It is so easy to put so much emphasis on what we CAN'T do, that we forget to see what we CAN do. 

So what can we do? What do we have time for? Here are some ideas that will hopefully get your creativity flowing:

Call your grandma
Play a game with a sibling (or do their hair, clean their room, etc.)
Go for a walk
Create something (paint, draw, sew, write...)
Find something encouraging to say to one person everyday
Memorize a Bible verse
Take a stand for your faith

Make this month a time to reflect on who Jesus really is and what he has for you. Fasting is not about you, but about God and his love and mercy.

Sometimes we just need to refocus.


READ: Romans 12:2

THINK: The Media Fast is a chance to test our faith during our mundane American lives. Christians around the world today are facing all too real persecution. We may see their walk in faith as monumentally more difficult compared to ours, but American Christians still face a very real temptation in the form of media. As you read Romans 12:2, think about how today's media can be causing you to conform to the world around you. Through the Media Fast, we have an awesome opportunity to remove ourselves from things that are distracting us. We are able to be "transformed by the renewing of our mind." Prayer is an amazing way to do this. We pray before meals and when something stressful or difficult is occurring in our lives. But do you take time to remove yourself from the chaos and just focus on God? Sitting down once a day and devoting your time to Christ is a perfect way to talk to our Almighty Savior and "discern what the will of God is."

CHALLENGE: Take at least 10 minutes out of your day to sit down and talk with God. Remove yourself from distractions, renew your mind, and reassess the will of God in your life. You may not get all the answers the first time... but the more you do this, the more likely you are to realize what God is trying to do in your life.


READ: Philippians 4:6-7 
…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

THINK: Many things in our life can make us worry or cause stress:  school work, responsibilities, certain relationships, or just the unknown on what will happen next.  At times of worry, we tend to rely only on ourselves and our own abilities to calm us down, to try to remove it, we work harder, we do things to fix it, or pretend it is not there and hope it will go away.  God’s word reminds us that we have an unbelievably powerful tool available to us to help us through the times of difficulty, worry and stress – God’s peace!   A peace that goes beyond anything that we can think of, understand, or do that will help the situation.  How we obtain this peace is it to bring our worries to God in prayer, and by doing that His Peace will “guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus”. 

Does this mean the problems you are dealing with will miraculously go away, or life becomes problem free?  No.  But it does give you a peace, and helps you through difficult circumstances.  By praying your worries to God, you release your burdens to Him, and rely on God to help you deal with your life circumstances and help you through times of worry.  Trust in God!

CHALLENGE: What are your biggest worries, or things in your life today that make you anxious? As Philippians 4:6-7 states, make those known to God in prayer.  Also, if you want someone to pray with you, share it with your small group leader.


Read Genesis 4:7  "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it." (NIV)

Read 1 Chronicles 29:17  "I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.  All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent."  (NIV)


For over five years I was in Commercial Real Estate, a viciously competitive business.  In this field of focus, the acquisition and disposition of investment properties, you only get paid when you close a deal.  The concept of "team mentality" isn't taught.

Temptation struck when the phone rang. It was a woman who owned a large apartment complex and who had been referred to me by a mutual acquaintance. She recently had a pricing evaluation done on her property and wanted a second opinion before deciding to sell. I knew that if I priced it aggressively, she would probably use me as her agent and the payoff would be great.

However, I immediately learned that another agent in my office had already completed the first pricing analysis. I had been sharing Christ with him during the past several months because he was in financial debt and looking of answers the world was not providing. I was now faced with a decision: I could undermine his efforts and take the listing myself or I could help him get the listing and get out of debt. My faith and integrity were being tested.

I thought about telling the woman I could get a higher price for the property, but the other agent had already priced it very aggressively,and his marketing proposal was excellent. I thought about co-listing the property with him, but he had put weeks of effort into getting the business. An honest evaluation would support his pricing conclusions. I also thought about informing the woman that the agent was younger and had less transactional experience, but in my heart I knew he would do an excellent job. Then I thought about Jesus Christ and what He would want me to do.

Fortunately, I decided to fix my heart on the things of God that day instead of taking immediate gratification. I honestly informed the woman that the agent was excellent, very capable, and that his pricing evaluation was accurate and aggressive. She decided to go with him.

A couple months later, the building transaction closed and the other agent was able to pay off all his debts. He told me after it was all done, "Nobody else in this office would have done that for me. I know you really live out your faith." He also invited me to lunch, and this gave me another opportunity to share the hope that is in me and to offer him a salvation that provides eternal treasures.

We all have a debt of sin to pay, but fortunately the "paid in full" sign was placed on a cross a long time ago. Any time we choose heavenly treasures over earthly ones on behalf of another, the Kingdom advances.

POINT TO PONDER: If we do not do what is right, sin is crouching at our door. It desires to have us, but we must master it.

1) Are you building up earthly possessions but compromising your faith in the process?

2) When God tests your heart, is He pleased with your integrity? Why or why not?

3) Today, will you choose heavenly treasures over earthly ones on behalf of another? Will you choose to advance the Kingdom?

New Day!

READ: Philippians 3:13
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…” (NLT).

THINK: Thank God, it’s a new day! You can start fresh. Maybe there are things you’d like to correct? Perhaps you were harsh with a friend yesterday, or did something that embarrassed the daylights out of you. Today you can correct this by asking God for forgiveness. Thinking about confessing to God is one thing, but doing it is tough. But that’s where to start. What happened yesterday or the day before has no hold on you once you bring it to God. Once He has forgiven, He does not hold it against you.
During your media fast you have an opportunity to make confession and receive forgiveness. You can forget the past and move on to new things. It’s easy to stay in the past and be upset or feel sorry for yourself. Anyone can do that, but winners forget the past and move forward to new and exciting things.

CHALLENGE: You may struggle with “Would-ah, Could-ah, or Should-ah,” but what will you do? That’s the question. Call on God, confess any sin, correct what you can, and then press on to see what God has for you today!