"You have said, 'Seek my face.' My heart says to you, 'Your face, Lord, do I seek.'" Psalm 27:8
Jan 1 - Jan 7
Back to the Basics
This week we’ll spend time breaking down the individual components of First15 by sharing God’s desire for each of them. The majority of First15 is dedicated to encountering God and learning about his character, but every now and then we will cover some teaching and tools that will help in pursuing God to greater depths. This week we will get back to the basics and learn some spiritual disciplines that will help us encounter him in deeper, more transformative ways.
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Who ever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:4-5
Jan 8 - Jan 14
Why Should I Spend Time With God?
Why should we spend time alone with God? Why is meeting with God in the secret place so important? Until we gain an understanding of the immense value and availability of encountering God, we will never consistently engage in this foundational, vital practice. As we discover God’s heart to meet with us in order that we might experience the depths of his love, I pray that your life would be marked by a new grace to consistently and powerfully encounter the living God.
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
Jan 15 - Jan 21
Longing for God
All of us have insatiable longings that can only be satisfied in communion with our heavenly Father. The longing to be enjoyed, fascinated, to gaze upon beauty, and to be someone great are driving forces within each of us. The longing to experience intimacy without shame, to be wholehearted, and to make a deep and lasting impact resound within each of us at the foundation of who we are. God created these longings knowing that they can only be fully satisfied in him—that they would be avenues to deeper relationship with him. As we look at each of these longings individually, I pray your heart would find its fulfillment in the loving nearness of your heavenly Father.
The titles and main concept for this week are all derived from The Seven Longings of the Human Heart by Mike Bickle and Deborah Hiebert.
Jan 22 - Jan 28
Stirring Your Affections
This week we’ll spend time stirring up our affections for God through the renewing of our minds. Your mind is the gateway to your affections. What you think is worthy of your affections is what will receive them. So, as we grow in our understanding of God’s overwhelming goodness we will naturally give him our hearts. May you be stirred by the unconditional love of your heavenly Father this week as his perfect nature is revealed to you in greater, more transformative ways.
"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." Romans 8:26-27
Jan 29 - Feb 4
Tilling the Soil of Your Heart
This week we’ll look at a vital spiritual practice to all those seeking to grow in God: tilling the soil of the heart. Jesus spoke in Matthew 13 of two different types of soil—hard and soft. God longs for us to till the soil of our hearts that we might be receptive to the seed of his word and bear fruit. May your heart become more responsive to the presence, will, and love of God this week as you cultivate good soil with the help of the Holy Spirit.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7