What s Inside. develop an intimacy with God. identify your spiritual gifts. know your story

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3 We are each on a faith journey. One that takes many dips and turns as God calls us out of darkness and into His marvelous light. God is longing to have a deep and personal relationship with you and for you to take the next step in that relationship. Whatever your next step is we want to help equip you to take it, boldly stepping into the next chapter of your faith story. What s Inside develop an intimacy with God identify your spiritual gifts know your story

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5 01 DEVELOP AN INTIMACY WITH GOD We want you to THRIVE in your relationship with Christ. To develop an intimacy with Him that shapes how you see the world around you, and how you view yourself. Having this kind of relationship takes what all relationships do -- time, talking, and listening. It doesn t have to be an hour, or thirty minutes even, it just needs to be you engaging with God without distractions. Reading God s Word helps makes sense out of life. His truth illuminates a clear path ahead. One that doesn t shift, change, or have an exception clause. His love for us is poured out over those pages, allowing us to know our Creator. Throughout scripture, God lovingly teaches us to exchange our shame for freedom so that we might take hold of all that He has promised. But where do you start? We want to give you a 5 DAY CHALLENGE to help you discover new ways for you to spend time with God. Each day, you will explore a different way to seek out God in His Word and in prayer. At the end of the five days, we hope that you take the next 21 DAYS to start building a habit out of Bible study and prayer using one or several of the methods you try in the 5 DAY CHALLENGE. Now, find a spot where you can focus, set aside a specific time to meet with God, and leave behind any distractions. DEVELOP AN INTIMACY WITH GOD 03

6 DAY 1 Download the You Version app from the app store. It s free and it contains thousands of different Bible translations and free devotionals! Start by downloading the NIV & Message Bible versions on the You Version App. The NIV is the most commonly used version of scripture and the Message is a paraphrase version is written in a contemporary style that is helpful. Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17 first in the NIV version and then in the MSG version Write out the passage. You ll be amazed what God will reveal to you just by slowing down and taking time to actually write out what you are reading. What do you see in the verses you are reading? What words or phrases stick out to you? Who is the audience here? 5 DAY CHALLENGE 04

7 What is God saying to you today? How can you apply what you just read to your personal life? What changes do you need to make or actions do you need to take? Pray God s Word back to Him. If He has revealed something to you during this time in His Word, pray about it. If God has revealed some sin area in your life confess it. Write your prayer here. 5 DAY CHALLENGE 05

8 DAY 2 Go to YouTube and listen to Say the Word -- Hillsong United. Watch their lyric video so you can read and hear the lyrics of the song. Search YouTube for Say the Word Song Story Hillsong United and watch the story behind the song. Read these passages that inspired this song: Ezekiel 37:1-14, John 1:14, and Psalm 33:8-9 You can also see this song at gvbc.org/5daychallenge Listen to Say The Word again as you answer these questions: What do you think it sounded like when God spoke in Genesis 1:1 let there be light? If God can make dry bones come back to life what dry places in your life can he bring back to life? What areas do you need Him to revive? 5 DAY CHALLENGE 06

9 What promises has God given us throughout scripture that will remain? How does that change your outlook on today? As you listen and worship one last time, pray the words of this song back to God. Write down any that particularly spoke to you. 5 DAY CHALLENGE 07

10 DAY 3 Visit gvbc.org/5daychallenge and download Day three s wallpaper. Make it your phone lock screen or print it out and attach it to your mirror or steering wheel. Read it each time you look at it today. Read 1 Samuel 3 in either the NIV or Message Version How did this verse and its meaning change for you throughout the day? What did God reveal to you through it? Pray. Ask God to continue to hide His word in your heart. 5 DAY CHALLENGE 08

11 So Eli told Samuel, Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 1 Samuel 3:9 5 DAY CHALLENGE 09

12 DAY 4 Read Psalm 119:17-40 in the Message. Make a list or draw a picture of 3 ways or times you felt in awe of God (looking at the stars, swimming in the ocean, etc). Ask yourself, is this the same way you feel when you approach scripture? Why or why not? 5 DAY CHALLENGE 10

13 Can you describe or sketch a time when you were utterly struck by something you learned from scripture? Read back through the passage from Psalm 119. Underline or make a list of David s requests to God in these verses. Use those requests to form a prayer to the Lord, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of God s Word. 5 DAY CHALLENGE 11

14 DAY 5 You made it to day five. For the past four days, you have been interacting with scripture in a variety of ways to help you draw meaning and personal application. Our hope and prayer is that you have been able to hear from God these past four days. As you seek Him through reading His word, prayer, worship, etc. you are building an intimacy with Christ that will transform your relationship with Him. Allowing you to hear His voice and know His will more clearly. Now it s time to take the next step and make your time with the Lord a daily habit. We have created resources based on each method to get you started building a habit. The 21 DAY CHALLENGE gives you the opportunity to get in the word of God for 21 days to help you develop that habit of spending time with the Lord each day. Spend today prayerfully deciding which method you want make into a habit for 21 days. You can visit for all of the resources for each day. 21 DAY CHALLENGE 12

15 DAY 1 S.0.A.P. method If you liked DAY 1 the best than the SOAP method may be the best for you. SOAP stands for S-scripture, O-observation, A-application, and P-prayer. It s a simple way for you to look at any verse or passage of scripture and break it down so you can understand it and apply what you ve learned. If you liked DAY 1 the best then try applying the SOAP method to any devotional or book of the Bible for 21 days. DAY 2 worship If you connect with God through worship day 2 was probably your favorite. Words and music help us respond to God-- just look at David in the book of Psalms. The biblical truths behind songs and lyrics have a way of staying with us long after the song has ended. If day 2 was your favorite then check out the YouTube music playlist we created with 21 different worship songs and the biblical truths that inspired them. Check it out at gvbc.org/21daychallenge. 21 DAY CHALLENGE 13

16 DAY 3 scripture memory You may have had the best luck with day 3 scripture memory. Hiding God s Word in our heart is a way to resist temptation and lays a strong foundation of truth in our hearts. When we commit God s word to memory we are able to recall it and rely on it in difficult situations. Try memorizing 21 scripture verses over the next 21 days. We ve created helpful images you can print out or save on your phone. Visit gvbc.org/21daychallenge to download them all. DAY 4 creativity You may be a creative right-brained person and have preferred day 4. You enjoyed drawing connections and creating images to help you interpret God s word in a visual way. You may want to try Bible journaling where you paint, color, draw, or write in the margins of your Bible as God reveals things to you in scripture. You may want to also try a study that gives you room to creatively responded to God s word. Try one of the resources at gvbc.org/21daychallenge for 21 days. 21 DAY CHALLENGE 14

17 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27 SPIRITUAL GIFTS 15

18 Read: 02 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 SPIRITUAL GIFTS 1 Peter 4:10-11 We crave significance and purpose in our lives. Our human nature desires praise from others, for a sense of belonging and identity. The good news is God has given each of us a unique gift, or set of gifts, to find significance and purpose (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we not only find our identity as a child of God, but we can unleash our gifts to build up God s Church (Ephesians 4:12) Because God wants us to use our gifts to reach people who don t know Him, He will help each of us discover what those gifts are. We will find that God unleashes our gifts to their fullest potential when we use them in His service and out of passion rather than obligation (1 Peter 4:10-11). We might attempt to pursue our interests and our passions, but without God, our works will likely be uninspired and uninspiring. Our significance is found in playing even a small role in God s big story, not a big role in our small stories. To discover your spiritual gift start by praying and asking God to reveal it to you. Then ask yourself these questions: What am I passionate about? What moves my heart? What do I enjoy doing? The body of Christ needs your spiritual gift. If you haven t already, ask yourself the simple questions above. Find a place to use your spiritual gift and see how God uses what you have to do amazing things. SPIRITUAL GIFTS 16

19 Spiritual Gifts List Administration You are good at organizing multiple tasks, coordinating details and managing groups of people to accomplish a plan. Discernment You are able to distinguish, discern, judge, or appraise people and situations to determine if they are of God or not. Encouragement You uplift and encourage others. You notice the good in other people and bring it to their attention. Evangelism You have a passion for the lost and are able to overcome the normal fear of rejection to share the gospel with others. You have a heart to see others experience life change because of Jesus. Giving You are passionate about giving your time, money, and resources to help others. Wisdom You bring clarity to situations by applying truth from Scripture and put your godly knowledge and understanding to action. Obedience to the Lord s calling comes before your own desires. SPIRITUAL GIFTS 17

20 Hospitality You are passionate about making people feel comfortable and accepted. You create warm, welcoming environments for others, and may enjoy entertaining in your home. Leadership You see the big picture and are able to cast vision, influence others, and raise up new leaders. Mercy When someone is hurting, you listen with care, empathy, and concern. You do not give people what they may deserve because of your love for them in Christ. Serving You enjoy serving others from behind the scenes by giving of your time and resources so someone else might be blessed. Others are always first. Shepherding You enjoy leading others in God s Word and caring for their personal needs by nurturing and mending life issues. Teaching You study the Bible and share your knowledge with others that they might grow in their understanding. People enjoy hearing you teach or have affirmed your teaching. Your teaching also renders results. Faith You find it easy to trust God in all types of circumstances. SPIRITUAL GIFTS 18

21 03 KNOW YOUR STORY Knowing and sharing our story is a part of God's plan to use every follower of Jesus to change the world. Our biggest challenge is the false view that a powerful life-change story must involve deep sins, terrible hardships, and miraculous moments. The truth is that going from being dead in our sins to being alive in Christ is amazing enough. Heart change, not epic circumstances, make our stories powerful. JESUS IS THE HERO OF OUR STORIES The hero of your story is Jesus. He is the ultimate change-maker. Jesus is the one who transforms our circumstances, our choices and our responses. He is always either visibly at work in our lives or invisibly guiding events through His goodness. Without explaining how Jesus "fits in the picture," you don't have a testimony, only a biography. When we understand the Christian story in this way, we can see that our story isn't limited to the events that led us to make a decision to ask Jesus into our lives. We suddenly see that our lives contain many stories that are seeds of new faith -- for ourselves and for those around us, whether believers or not. KNOW YOUR STORY 19

22 UNLOCK THE POWER OF YOUR STORY Focus on one thing that's special. Choose what sticks out as special or remarkable. Perhaps it's your decision to ask Jesus into your life, your experience of a test of faith or a particular way God used you. Every significant experience leaves us with a "before" and "after" in our lives. Explaining how your life and heart was changed makes a great story every time. Point to Jesus. From beginning to end, the Bible is one big story about how God has been pursuing us from the beginning of time. He created the earth and since that day has been working to bring each of us into an eternal relationship with Him through his son Jesus. Ultimately, when we share our stories, all we're doing is sharing "living examples" of this larger story. Your story brings the Bible story to life for the people you know, whether your audience knows Jesus or not. Tell a friend. The best way to prepare to share your story is to write it down. Nothing forces us to think deeply and clearly about what Jesus has done for us like writing. KNOW YOUR STORY 20

23 As you're writing, imagine talking to a friend. Saying your words out loud will help you express your story in a way that's real, comfortable and short. When we talk to people in conversation, even in our own minds, we naturally are inclined to boil down our words to the essentials. And, by writing your story the way that you speak, you'll be ready to share it verbally when an opportunity arises. The most important thing is to remember that the power of your story is not in the words you choose or in the drama of the events you recount. The power is in expressing an authentic, personal account of how Jesus is alive and at work for you, in you, and through you. We don't need our stories to end neatly or wrap up with a nicely tied bow. We just need to allow people to connect with our hopes, fears and struggles, and help them see that Jesus cares. + KNOW YOUR STORY was adapted from Newspring Church KNOW YOUR STORY 21

24 USE THIS PAGE TO WRITE OUT YOUR STORY... KNOW YOUR STORY 22

25 KNOW YOUR STORY 23

26 KNOW YOUR STORY 24

27 KNOW YOUR STORY 25

28 GREEN VALLEY BAPTIST CHURCH

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