Sunday, November 14, 2010

The 7 Day Challenge

"...make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love." ~ 2 Peter 1:5-6

So, my fellow Countrysider's, were you as challenged as I was this morning after service? Did 2 Peter 1 reveal sin in your life, as it did me? I don't know about you, but WOW! What a great challenge! This passage talks about 7 things that we as Christians are to live, and how to live them. It was such an encouragement to me, as God revealed to me practical ways to live as Christ lived-- sometimes that seems like an impossible goal, but this passage has opened my eyes to 7 things that God wants to see in my life, thus, the 7 Day Challenge.

Each day I am going to focus on living out one of the 7 things listed in 2 Peter 1. But first, I want to look at the first three words of verse 5, listed above. Make every effort. This is not something to pass off as something 'good to do'. This is not something to do half-heartedly. Like we talked about in sunday school this morning, we CANNOT serve 2 masters. We cannot be involved in sin, and still receive the benefits of Christ. We must actively pursue Christ. This is no joke, this is Truth. This is who I want to be, and I'm going to strive to do it to the best of my ability. I challenge you to do the same, come alongside me and GROW in your relationship with Christ.

Note: Most of this is taken from Pastor Mike's sermon. I'm not taking credit for any of it :)

DAY 1 (monday): VIRTUE
Today, live with MORAL EXCELLENCE. See that your life stands out because of the change Christ has made in you. Be distinctive. Our lives are a reflection of GOD. Act like it today. Give God glory by the way you conduct yourself, the decisions you make, the words you speak. Do so with virtue, with excellence, with purity.

DAY 2 (tuesday): KNOWLEDGE
Today, focus on the Word. Know the Word. Understand the Word. Devote time today to spend reading and studying the scriptures. But don't stop there. Apply what the Lord taught you through His Word to Your life. Apply what you learn to the decisions you make by actively seeking God's will. Remember that God's will is perfect ALL the time.

DAY 3 (wednesday): SELF-CONTROL
Today, hold yourself in. Say NO to self, and YES to God. Control your passions and desires that are not godly. DON'T let them control you. Give your passions to the Holy Spirit's control. That is why the Holy Spirit was sent to the earth- to help us in our sanctification. Do NOT follow your heart and it's desires. The heart is desperately wicked. Instead, Guard and Guide your heart. DENY ungodliness and worldly lusts. Be disciplined. Be God's "Yes-man".

DAY 4 (thursday): PERSEVERANCE
Today, press through the tough times. Have endurance that NEVER quits, even though times get rough and don't go the way you want them to. View the disappointments of life in view of who God is, and the wonderful hope that we have in Christ, that the struggles we go through now, PALE in comparison to the future glory we will experience. Also remember all the suffering that Christ went through for us on the cross. Not only the physical pain of crucifixion, but the emotional and spiritual pain of being forsaken by the Father. Nothing we experience now compares to that. Remember this quote from "The Fellowship of the Unashamed": "I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still." Live for Christ with reckless abandon. Persevere for HIM.

DAY 5 (friday): GODLINESS
Today, live with reverence for God. Have a soft, plyable heart before God, not our usual stubborn and prideful heart. Worship God. Worship with a pure heart. Worship with a sincere heart. Worship with a genuine heart. Pursue God with a burning passion.Remember that God greatly dislikes the lukewarm Christian: "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16". God would rather you be hot or cold than lukewarm. Be on FIRE for God today. Stand firm for God. Be devout.

Today, put other's needs first, even when it is costly. The only way you can do this is if you are involved with other believers and know their needs. Be unified. Be involved. Show others that you CARE for them today. Do something out of your way, out of the ordinary, just to show somebody that you love them with Christ's love. Bear each other's burdens. ?Be quick to forgive others. Esteem others way higher than you esteem yourself. Do this by serving others. PRAY for someone today, really pray for their relationship with Christ.

DAY 7 (sunday): LOVE
Today, show strong, SACRIFICIAL love to somebody. Be so devoted to God that your love spills out and finds it's expression in a love for others. Show a love that is not limited in action. Go above and beyond how much you think you can love. God will expand your love for others, as your love for HIM increases. Focus on your love for God today, and watch how it spills out to everyone you meet. Share the gospel today- that is the GREATEST act of love you can do for an unbeliever. Step outside of yourself and your comfort zone to meet someone's needs, whether they are spiritual or physical. Be dedicated to a higher purpose than yourself today. Be dedicated to God. Have a love of selflessness.

I really and truly hope that you will apply these simple and practical truths to your life this week as I am doing. Please let me know if you decide to do this so we can encourage each other this week as we go through this together. Love you peoples!