Hey everybody it's that time to start thinking about January and Spiritual Emphasis Month. I think I have gone overboard with plans this time. Below is my "Manifesto" which needs to be refined and rewritten in a more pleasing format no doubt. Please head and comment to help me get this into a workable format and better hone this into something that is challenging but not overwhelming. I will enclose a link to download for those who would like to play their hand at editing.
January 1-31, 2016
Weekly scripture parts
Galatians 5:16–17 (NASB95)
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
Deuteronomy 10:12–13 (NASB95)
Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?
2 Corinthians 10:2–3 (NASB95)
I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,
Isaiah 40:30–31 (NASB95)
Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NASB95)
…for we walk by faith, not by sight—
Prayer Monday-Saturday 6-7 pm Sunday 5-6 pm
One Friday all night prayer service with Lupe Bernal
Need calendar for prayer sign ups
Practice Spiritual disciplines
Meditation (scripture parts) 10 minutes daily
Psalm 77:12 (NASB95)
I will meditate on all Your work And muse on Your deeds.
Psalm 119:15–16 (NASB95)
I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.
Psalm 145:5 (NASB95)
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
Christian meditation is overlooked quiet often. Many have surrendered it to eastern religion when in fact the patriarch in the Old Testament first practiced it. Whereas eastern meditation seek to empty the mind, Bible based meditation is to fill the mind.
Primarily we fill our mind with God’s works and deeds. This is done by appreciating Him by seeing Him at work in creation and in His blessings in our lives. What He has done for all and what he has done for you.
Next we meditate on precepts, statutes and word. For our purposes this is memorizing and mulling over scripture. Not just reading it, which is important, but making it stick in your head through intensely focusing on it and its application in our lives.
Lastly we meditate on God Himself. Who he is and what he has done. Personalize and internalize this step. What do you think about Him and His hand in your life? To help meditate on the attributes of God, here are two video links that will aid in your meditation. “Names of God”
Pray daily. If you already spend time in pray daily, then look for ways to extend your prayer time. Make a list, ask for prayer requests, and pray for others. Here are some things and ways we are told to pray for in the New Testament:
pray for enemies, pray in secret, pray an hour, pray that you avoid temptation, forgive other in prayer, ask and believe, pray for those who mistreat you, pray as the Lord prayed, Pray at all times and don’t lose heart, pray gathered together, lay on hands, pray to receive the Holy Spirit, pray continually, pray for those in prison, fast and pray, pray and sing praise, pray for all in attendance, pray for healing, pray in the Spirit, pray with understanding, pray to be perfected and complete, pray for enlightenment, pray for love, knowledge and discernment, pray for knowledge, wisdom and understanding, pray for opportunity, pray without ceasing, pray to be worthy of your calling, the spread of the gospel, with hands lifted up, to act honorable, if you are suffering then pray, have elders pray for you, pray in faith, pray earnestly and pray that we prosper and be in good health.
Scriptural models of prayer:
Hannah prayer, 1 Sam 1:1-18
Daniel’s Prayer of Confession, Daniel 9:1-19
Habakkuk Rejoices, Habakkuk 3
Jehoshaphat Prays for Deliverance: 2 Chronicles 20:5-12
The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13
Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer, John 17
Spend 30 minutes in God’s word daily. I suggest that you get an audio version of the Bible. When you get up each day turn it on and go about your morning routine. When you travel put a Bible CD in your player. You will find that if you listen while you do regular routines you will spend more than 30 minutes daily in the word. Last year I listened to the New Testament twice in one month doing this. Also it will inspire you to read portions that you have listen to for greater insight. Listed below is the order which we will read through January. Following the general guideline of 30 minutes daily it will take 37 days to go through the New Testament. If you wish to make it through in 31 days bump your time up to 40 minutes of reading or listening.
Mark, Philippians, Colossians, Titus, and 1 & 2 Peter
John, 1 & 2 Corinthians, 1 & 2 Timothy 1, 2 & 3 John and Revelation
Luke, Acts, Ephesians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, and Philemon
Mathew, Romans, Galatians, Hebrews, James and Jude.
January Reading List
Jan. 1 Mark 1-8
Jan. 2 Mark 9-16
Jan. 3 Philippians 1-4 and Colossians 1-4
Jan. 4 Titus 1-3 and I Peter 1-5 through II Peter 1-3
Jan. 5 John 1-5
Jan. 6 John 6-10
Jan. 7 John 11-16
Jan. 8 John 17-21 and I Corinthians 1-2
Jan. 9 I Corinthians 3- 16
Jan. 10 II Corinthians 1-13
Jan. 11 I Timothy 1-6 through 2 Timothy 1-4
Jan. 12 I John 1-5 through 2 John 1 through 3 John through Revelation 3
Jan. 13 Revelation 4-13
Jan. 14 Revelation 14-22
Jan. 15 Luke 1-7
Jan. 16 Luke 8-14
Jan. 17 Luke 15-20
Jan. 18 Luke 21-22
Jan. 19 Acts 1-7
Jan. 20 Acts 8-16
Jan. 21 Acts 17-23
Jan. 22 Acts 24-28 and Ephesians 1-2
Jan. 23 Ephesians 3-6 and I Thessalonians 1 through II Thessalonians 3
Jan. 24 Philemon 1 Matthew 1-7
Jan. 25 Matthew 8-13
Jan. 26 Matthew 14-20
Jan. 27 Matthew 21-25
Jan. 28 Matthew 26-28 and Romans 1-5
Jan. 29 Romans 6-16 and Galatians 1-4
Jan. 30 Galatians 5-6 and Hebrews 1-9
Jan. 31 Hebrews 10-13 and James 1-5 and Jude
Isaiah 58:1–12 is the scripture I consider to be the cornerstone of fasting.
1 “Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins. 2 “Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, As a nation that has done righteousness And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness of God. 3 ‘Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’ Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, And drive hard all your workers. 4 “Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high. 5 “Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD? 6 “Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke? 7 “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9 “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, 10 And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday. 11 “And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. 12 “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; And you will be called the repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.
Fasting is not a “look at me!” activity. You humble yourself, think of others and put what God considers righteous first. The heart of fasting is to deny your flesh and feed your spirit. Those who are physically able to fast should pick at least one day to abstain from food and engage in spiritual activity. If you are not sure if you are physically able to fast should check with their doctor.
If you are not sure an absolute fast is for you then do a modified fast. The Daniel Fast is one type of modified fasting. The short version is to abstain from meat, white flour and sugar. You eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and unleavened or whole wheat bread.
Another modified type of fasting is the Ezekiel Fast. During this fast you eat only unleavened and/or whole wheat bread and water. I suggest you use salsa or vinegar and oil to dip your bread. I choose to consume 1,000 calories per day when I perform this type of fast.
You can fast things other than food. Remember the heart of fasting is to deny the flesh and feed the spirit. If you give up something and replace it with a spiritual endeavor that is a type of fasting. An example might be if you watch the news every night and give that up and spend that time praying you are starving the flesh and feeding the spirit. Giving up something you desire for spiritual gain.
Ephesians 5:18–19 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
I want us to have a lifestyle of worship. Our life should be worship to the Lord. There are many aspects of worship but this month we are going to focus on the musical aspect of worship. Create a worship set and sing to the Lord in your devotional time. Singing to our savior should not be something we only do corporately and on Sundays. During Spiritual Emphasis Month enjoy and give joy singing to our heavenly father.
Romans 12:1–2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
This month involve yourself in ministry not for the sake of making your pastor happy but as a service to the Lord. When you offer up your body to the Lord to use it is for service to the body of Christ. Service done is worship, think of it that way and look for different opportunities to worship in spirit and in truth.
Matthew 14:23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.
Perhaps this is one of the hardest of spiritual disciplines. Find time to take a walk with the Lord. Practice finding lonely places to be with the Father. Spend time listening for the voice of the Spirit talking to you.