By Brooke Holt, Adult Curriculum Specialist
I am one of those strange people who absolutely loves a good challenge. At least twice a year, I sign up for a challenge to work out six times a week, five workouts in the gym and one workout on my own. These are not easy workouts; they are specifically designed to challenge the participants physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Some days it is easy to make it to my workouts. Some days it is just not. In fact, this morning was one of those days I could have missed the workout for a hundred reasons. BUT, I have no margin in my schedule this week, so I awoke at 5:00 in the morning to make the 5:45am class. It was painful, but I did it. And you know what? I felt great after the class. There is something to be said about discipline and commitment.
The health industry is pushing people to learn new disciplines which strengthen and heal the body. Is the church encouraging its people to learn new disciplines which strengthen and heal the soul? There is something unique about a challenge, about accountability, about being pushed beyond what you would normally do on your own. There is also something special about community formed in a challenge.
This Lent, I challenge you to take on a 40 Day Lenten discipline! What would it look like for you to invite your church, your small group, your friends into a 40 Day Challenge with you? Bible Study Media understands the power of a Lenten study and has provided resources for you. Consider The Crucified Life. What does it mean to die to self in order to live to Christ? Or take on the challenge of Draw Near and learn what it means to live a life of worship. Each of these studies has 7 weeks of daily devotional readings, plus weekly small group questions and online video teachings.
The resurrection of Jesus takes on even greater meaning after 40 days of discipline and sacrifice. This Lent, I would love to support you in your own discipline, your own challenge. Let me help you find the right study for your church, your small group, or yourself.
I am at the end of my 40 day health challenge. I feel strong, accomplished, and awakened to new possibilities in my life. In fact, I am already thinking about my next challenge. While the process of transformation is not easy, it is so good. My ultimate desire is to look more like Jesus. In order to reach that goal, I need daily transformation!
What transformation does God want to do in you this Lent? My coaching hat is on, and I am ready to walk this challenge with you. 40 days of discipline really can change your life.
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We are thrilled to announce that the Bible Study Media app is now available for download in mobile app and smart TV stores!
The mobile app, available in the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore, is your source for on-the-go access to everything from Bible Study Media! Download the app to your smartphone or tablet, and use it for all of the following:
In addition, download our TV app on Apple TV and Roku in order to easily access all of the videos from our studies for your small group meetings.
Imagine for a moment the impact on your church if for 40 days every person in your congregation lived in alignment with God’s will in the pattern of Jesus’ call to pick up our cross and follow him. What if your people lived in powerful community with their small groups to discuss and pray over lives sacrificed to God? What if, as groups and individual people began to experience the power of God in their lives as they surrendered all to Jesus Christ?
By intentionally coordinating and aligning the elements of your Lenten season using The Crucified Life materials, you will make an environment for spiritual growth that will move your congregation from self to surrender.
By aligning the following three elements of participation, you will see the power of God working in your church because of the intentional focus on the heart of the Gospel and the grace offered in the cross of Jesus Christ:
By creating a singular Lenten focus on what it means to “pick up our cross” and follow Jesus in the way of the Crucified Life, the entire congregation is called to a Holy Lent together. This unified focus will burst forth in new life with the announcement of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday!
Have you set your New Year’s Resolutions? If so, how are you doing with them a few days into the new year? As I am making my resolutions for the year, these are the questions I am asking myself: Are my resolutions God’s resolutions? Do my desires for the year align with God’s desires for my year?
The health industry LOVES the New Year! Gyms are full; diets are started. Everyone has good intentions. From what I can tell, all these resolutions are all about me. Make me look better, make me feel better about myself, help me achieve my goals. Don’t get me wrong, I think health goals are very important. If we do not take care of these bodies that God has entrusted to us, how can we go about doing the work he has given us to do with energy, vitality, and joy? Health is important.
Scripture does address our need to care for the body, but even more important than the body is the spirit. In 1 Timothy 4:8, Paul writes: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” As we are making health goals, are we also making spiritual goals? What do those look like and how do they help us to truly grow in godliness?
If you are looking for tools to help in your spiritual training, you may want to consider taking on The Bible Challenge: https://thebiblechallenge.org. There are 4 readings for each day of the year. At the end of the year, you will find that you have gotten through the entire Bible. If you want to go deeper, there are daily devotionals that align with the daily readings and even Old Testament and New Testament study guides. Studying God’s Word is the greatest exercise we could ever do!
New Year’s resolutions can be powerful tools of transformation.
Are you making yours, keeping yours, or breaking yours? Ask yourself these questions: Are these your resolutions or God’s resolutions? Do your desires for the year align with God’s desires for your year?