March 13, 2020
Take a moment and look back at your expectations for this week. How has God fulfilled those? Thank Him for how He’s come and moved. Are there areas where you may be feeling disappointment? Just because an expectation/prayer wasn’t completely fulfilled this week, it doesn’t mean He’s done moving. The breakthrough you were expecting could come next week, next month, and maybe even next year.
In 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Paul writes: “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” We are being ever-transformed, meaning there is no end or stopping point in our walk with Him. Instead, every day of our lives, Jesus will continue giving us more of his character. This could look like His peace, His love, His patience, or His righteousness. The point here is, there is always more of Jesus to be had. He is always transforming us to be more like him. Not just during spring break. Not just in college. It is a lifelong process, and it only gets better.
Take a moment and write down what God has done in you this week and this year. What have you learned?
Now, how can you take these things back to Athens? What you learn in this time should travel back to Athens with you. What do these things mean for you? What in your life changes based on what you’ve learned? What do you need to say goodbye to? Was there something different that you did this week that made it easier to relate to God? Do it back home. Think now about how you can practically use this new knowledge/truth/mindset/etc. back home. Ask Him to show you what areas of your life need to change. Ask God to give you His heart for your friends, family, hallmates, and roommates back home. Thank Him that He never stops loving us, transforming us, and moving through us.
God, I just pray that You will highlight where You have been this year and this week. I want to look back and know where You have been and know where You are. I just want more of You. I invite You to change my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
March 12, 2020
Sometimes it is really easy to put God in a box and confine Him to our own restrictions. Take the time to challenge yourself and ask the question “what is one thing that I still want to see God do?” You have just a few days left of spring break and a few weeks left of freshmen year. But He is so much greater than our time frame. He can heal with one breath so imagine what He can do in a few days or weeks.
Matthew 7:7-9 says “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Ask, seek, knock. When we ask for something, we are using our voice. When we seek something our we are using our vision. And when we knock on something we are using our bodies to physically do something. What is it that you are asking God to do in the rest of this week? What do you want to see Him do today? And how can you be apart of making that happen before you go home? We have a role in the asking, seeking, and knocking. Take a second to go to the edge of your comfort zone and take a step with Him. He says that everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and and to the who knocks the door will be opened. He isn’t a conditional God. He isn’t confined to our time limit. That isn’t who He is.
Take the time you have right now to figure out what that one thing is that you still want to see. It doesn’t matter how crazy big it is or how simple. It still matters. He still wants to do it. Sometimes it just takes us taking the first step. So if that is asking for it—sit and have quiet time with Him. If that is seeking it out—seek out that person you still want to get to know and be intentional. If that is knocking on the door for a new opportunity or something outside of your comfort zone—take that step. He will honor the risk that you take.
What is one thing that you have been too scared to do?
What is one thing that is out of your comfort zone?
Who is someone you still want to talk to?
What is a prayer you are too afraid to ask because you don’t want to look silly if it doesn’t happen?
What is something that hasn’t happened and you would be disappointed about if you had to leave for Athens right now?Take a risk. We can dwell all day on the question of “what if He doesn’t do it”, but what if He does? You will never know until you take the risk. The year isn’t over. God still has plenty of time and space to use you if you are willing. Take the rest of this time just to talk to Him. Thank Him for what He’s already done and ask Him what he still wants to do.
God, I believe that through You, I can be brave and I can be strong. Lord, will You show me ways I can step out of my comfort zone and give me the courage to do it? Thank You for Your love for me. I love You! Amen.
March 11, 2020
What do you think of when you hear “living on a mission”? Do you think of living in a third world country for extended periods of time? Do you think of spring break mission trips? Or do you think that maybe you’re exempt because you don’t feel that God has specifically “called” you to a different country?
Look up Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gives us some important direction. Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Here Jesus tells the disciples to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey the commands He gave them. A lot of people read this passage and assume Jesus is only talking about international missions, but that’s not quite the case. While international missions are important and definitely something people are called to, it’s not everyone’s life calling. This doesn’t mean that if we’re not leaving the country for the purpose of sharing the gospel, we don’t get to share the gospel. We are called to make disciples in our everyday communities. In our dorms, our workplaces, our families.
We are called to love and serve others at all times, not just while we’re on a mission trip. That means that what is happening during your spring break is just as important as if you were at Freshley, on campus or on a mission trip. We are always being transformed, meaning there’s no end or stopping point in our walk with Him. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says we are being transformed “from one degree of glory to another.” There is always more Jesus to be had. He is ready to use you in the advancement of His kingdom. Simply let Him! Take some time and write down some ways that you can live missionally back in Athens. What would it look like to love and serve those just steps outside your front door.
God, thank You that You are always on the move. Lord, I pray that you will show me what it looks like to be mission-minded in all aspects of my life. I want to know You, and I want others to know You. In Your name I pray, amen.
March 10, 2020
Look up Philippians 1:6. God is faithful! He never gives up on us, and He never stops working in our lives. Over the last few days, God has actively been working in and through your life. Some ways are more obvious than others, but the truth is that God is working. Today, we want to recognize the ways God is working and speaking around us. For us, that concept might be a little foreign. However, it starts with us choosing to be a little more aware of what God might be doing. You can notice God’s work in all things from conversations with your family to the way He speaks to you in your alone time. Remember, God is close and personal and He loves to speak to you. Sometimes we just need to open up our eyes and our ears to see the way He wants to communicate with us.
How has God revealed Himself throughout your freshman year?
What has God spoken to you on this during spring break so far?
Ask someone in your small group how they have seen/heard God so far during spring break. One of the best ways to learn about different aspects of God is through other people.
God partners with us to work and speak to others. Today, look for a way God wants to speak through you. This can look like encouraging someone in your family or talking to an old or new friend and making them feel loved and valued.
God, thank You that You are always moving. I pray that You will show me how You are moving in my life this week. I want to know You more, and I invite You to move in my life. I love You! Amen
March 9, 2020
How would you describe your relationship with God? If you were to be fully transparent with Him, what would you say? What is talking to Him like for you?
In relationship with God prayer is pretty important. Because in any relationship, communication is important. Regardless of your experience with prayer, it being wildly fun and fruitful in your life or it being a thing you do before meals and sleep, prayer is one of the best things we get to do with God. Prayer is simply talking to God. But the wild thing is that when we talk to God things actually happen. We understand Him more, we get closer to Him, a situation in our life changes, we get more understanding on a circumstance, and are more effective through it. God has called you to work with him in your life and you can do that largely through prayer. Look up Matthew 6:9-13 in your Bible. This is the model Jesus gave the disciples when He was teaching them how to pray. One of my favorite parts is that Jesus starts out by saying “Abba”, which is translated as “Father”. This shows that God’s position toward us is one of a Father, a dad. We can drop our defenses before Him and be fully honest with Him. We can be vulnerable with Him because we can trust that He is for us. This means that before anything else, prayer is about relationship with God. It can do amazing and wonderful things in your life but the best thing it can do is allow you to know Him more. Look up Matthew 7:7-11. Here we see that not only does prayer give us an avenue to be active in our relationship with God, but prayer is powerful and effective. When we ask God for things, He actually moves. Not because of any right word we say or any way we say it but because He is just a really good Father who gives us what we need. He even gives us more than what we need! He’s way better than you think.
Take this time to talk to God. Challenge the way you’ve always talked to Him, how things have always been and ask yourself a few questions.
• Are there areas of my life that I don’t really talk to God about?
• How can I invite Him fully into all areas of my life?
• Do I trust God enough to be fully honest with Him?
• Do I live like I have a say in my life/ do I live like someone who really is a co-labor with Christ?
After you’ve asked yourself these questions I challenge you to get real and honest with God and dream with him about what the rest of this week could look like. Be yourself with Him and tell Him what you’d like to see happen and how you would like to know Him more.
March 8, 2020
Starting all the way in Genesis we find out that we are supposed to live in community. It is easy to get wrapped up in our own lives but there are always people around us who we can enter into community with. Whether you are spending your week surrounded by people or are getting some good alone time, spring break can be a great time to evaluate what community has looked like for you this year and how you want it to look for you in the future.
A good question to ask ourselves is: “What does community look like?” It looks like being yourself. Loud or quiet, scared or excited, Type A personality or Type B personality, who you are is important to this trip. God created you with talents, capabilities, and specific qualities that only you can bring to the table. Yes, most of us are students and yes, most of us are between 18 to 20 years old, but not everybody had the family you had or went through that particular thing like you did. You get to share those things and believe that who you are is worth it to God, and also to everyone else who surrounds you. While we are in college, obviously we come to learn and study and build resumes — but we also come to receive what God has for us here. And a huge part of what He has for you is the people you know here in Athens, whether it’s through Freshley, class or other clubs.
Psalm 133 starts with “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Let us be reminded that being together in community looks like fun. It looks like laughing with each other, and it looks like enjoying being around each other. When you get back to Athens, what will it look like for you to live life with your people in community? When we do life with someone, they see parts of us that we usually don’t let strangers see. That may look like the messy sides of us that we don’t like sharing because we don’t know what people will think, or the crazy side of us that we haven’t seen in a long time because life has been hard recently. Wherever you are, this week would be a great week to just be completely present and completely yourself. You are only in college once, so take advantage of the time you have. At Freshley, sit by someone you don’t know or ask someone you do know a question about them. Ask God what you bring to the table? And then bring it to the table! Don’t overthink it. Who you are matters and the person next to you matters too. Whether you are complete opposite or twins—they are worth finding community in.
• Ask Him who He says you are, and write it down. Start to pray into those things.
• Pray that He would give you boldness to step outside of your comfort zone.
• Pray that you would have opportunity to get to know people you wouldn’t normally know.
• How do you want to see God move through community? Pray for that—no matter how big or how small.
• Pray that He would continue to reveal who He created you to be.
March 7, 2020
Do you ever have expectations of what you think God should do? I sure do. Whether or not we know it, we all have expectations of the way God is going to show up in our lives, even if we don’t realize it. For example, I expect God to provide for me when it comes to finances so I can have a place to live. While I was in school, I expected God to help me pass my classes. Even on a much smaller scale, I expect to be able eat a few meals every day, and even expect for the sun to come up morning. Now it’s spring break, and even now I expect God to show up in lots of different ways. I would bet that you have expectations of what is going to happen this week as well, and that is a good thing if you allow it to be.
Psalm 62:5 says, “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” Often times in the Bible, expectation and hope can be translated very similarly. According to this Psalm, our hope and expectation can actually come from God. It is very possible that the hopes and expectations that are in you are from God. The only problem that we run into sometimes, is that we limit the way God can move in our lives by our expectations. Expectations aren’t meant to limit God, but instead they are intended to invite you into a deeper relationship with Him. Healthy expectation is when you invite God into what you are wanting to see happen, but remain open to the fact that what He does might be different. In that case, you still get to receive whatever good things God has for you, even if they look differently than what you thought. This week there might be a few things that you want to see happen, and God is calling you to take a step toward making them happen, trusting that He will see them through to the end. It might be something simple like staying up late to talk with people and develop friendships. It might be something like being bolder like talking with high school friends who you haven’t talked to in months but God has laid them on your heart. Whatever it may be, take time to think about ways you can partner with what God wants to do in you and through you this week.
If you haven’t already, ask God what He wants to do in and through you this week. Write them down! I promise He wants to do great things, and he wants to partner with you to make them happen.
Thank God for being good. Thank Him that we can expect Good things and ask him to fill you with His thoughts on what He wants to do this week so you can partner with Him. Ask Him to move in power in your life, your friendships and your family.