Day 1 – 3 Ways to Approach Your Next 40 Days

Day 1

Read
Matthew 28: 1-10

Reflect
Welcome to day 1 of Your Next 40 Days. It’s a spiritual journey for all of us!

For some of you it’s a first (welcome!). For others, this is part of an ongoing journey. Regardless of where you come from or where you’re at, we’re so glad you’re here!

So how exactly do you approach a spiritual journey?

Well, here are three options.

The first is to believe it’s something you should do. Like taking your medication or returning your email. Not really enjoyable, but needed.

A second is to approach it as something you want to do. Like getting to your favourite hobby, a dinner with great friends, or a trip somewhere you really want to go.

A third approach is to view the journey as something that God wants to do. Ever thought of it that way? That this is something God wants to do with you?

As you read through the account of Jesus’ resurrection in Matthew 28: 1-10, notice how personal it is. Jesus connects with people he knows and loves.

Ask yourself: what if you were one of them?

Because you are.

When Jesus came back, he came back for you.

Respond
Our responses over these 40 Days will be different, which is good news. There’s room for everyone on this journey. Even those who aren’t sure they believe.

Belong – Because you can belong before you believe.
What is like to be included even if you’re not sure? What does that say about God?

Believe – Because those who belong often start to believe.
What does it mean to you to be connecting with a personal God – someone you can know and who knows you?

Become – Because everyone who believes can become someone new.
What does it mean to you that God is still passionately interested in you – personally? How will you live differently today as a result?

Dear God, thank you that you want a relationship with each of us. Give us a desire to make our relationship with you as personal as you want to make it with us. Amen.


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14 Comments

  1. Trish says, April 1, 2013 at 6:32 am

    My relationship with God is like a friendship laced with fear. Some days, I feel really close to Him. The rest of the time He feels far away and I am scared He is mad and He’s going to punish me somehow or that I am not good enough to be His friend so why bother, or that He likes others better than me. Personal is scary for me.

    • Carey Nieuwhof says, April 1, 2013 at 7:40 am

      Trish…thanks for your honesty. And I promise you that you are no the only one who feels that way. I think it’s so great that you engaged on Day 1 of our journey. I’d encourage you to keep going…and take a small step every day. His final word for you is love. And if you can discover that, it will transform your life. By the way, we are dealing with “good enough” in Part 3 of the Afterlife series at Connexus Church. Stay tuned.

  2. Sonya says, April 1, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Thank you for creating an opportunity to journey in faith with you. I have been wanting to work on my relationship with God but not really knowing how to do that. I hadn’t really planned to attend chuch on Easter Sunday, however when I woke up I kept hearing a song in my head, “He is risen from the dead, He is Lord”. I got ready and attended the service. God is prompting me to spend time with him, not just at church but in reading His word. I look forward to the next 40 days!

    • Carey Nieuwhof says, April 1, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Sonya…well welcome to the journey. So glad you’ll be with us. Keep us posted on how it’s going!

  3. Doris says, April 1, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Looking forward to becoming everything God made me to be as I begin the 40 day spiritual journey.

  4. Melanie says, April 1, 2013 at 9:53 am

    I am so excited to start this 40 day journey! I belong to a church in Dothan, Alabama. I am ready God to see what the next 40 days and 40 years has in store for me. I just hit a mile stone. I celebrated my 40th birthday and then I saw this on Carey’s facebook page and wanted to join in. I guess I need to hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

    • Carey Nieuwhof says, April 1, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Melanie…Happy Birthday and welcome to the journey. So glad you’re with us. Are you part of Wiregrass Church? (Wiregrass and Connexus are both North Point Strategic Partner churches.) We love Wiregrass! Hope there are some powerful days ahead for you Melanie!

  5. Mike Walker says, April 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I believe and I’m looking forward to “becoming.” I’ve been on a bit of a spiritual journey for the last while and I’ve decided to add this 40 day journey to my “travels”. I will be baptized in 3 weeks at the Barrie campus, and as I approach it I find myself anxious and humbled by it all. I find myself going through some of the same issues as Trish above and worrying that I might not be able to live up to promises I’m making with myself or the expectations that God has of me. I’m so full of hope and curiosities of what this journey is leading to and ultimately what I will become. Please pray for me

    • Carey Nieuwhof says, April 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Mike…welcome! It’s so great to hear about your baptism coming up. That’s such a major step, and we’re so excited for you. The Gospel is so amazing, because it addresses so many of the fears we all face and feel. I hope this will be a rewarding journey for you. You’re taking some bold steps…and that’s incredible. I (Carey) will be praying for you, and so will our team.

  6. Tanya Mullings says, April 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Wow. That is a powerful prayer. Open to what God desires for me because He wants me.

    • Carey Nieuwhof says, April 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      It’s pretty mind blowing, isn’t it? Most religions are about our quest for God. Christianity is as much about God’s quest for us.

  7. Yvonne says, April 1, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I just read Matthew 28:1-10 and the idea that leapt out at me was that God had something waiting for the women who went looking for Jesus. They went expecting to find a closed tomb. That’s not what they found though. Imagine if we all go looking for Jesus these next 40 days. What kind of surprises will God have in store for us? I’m sure the women never expected to speak to an angel or to be told that they would soon see a dead man walking but that’s what happened. I think God still wants to do the extraordinary today for those who are looking for Him.

    • Carey Nieuwhof says, April 1, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      Such a great insight Yvonne. That’s exactly it!

  8. Doris says, April 2, 2013 at 7:23 am

    I agree, Yvonne! God has a perfect plan for everyone. But we have to seek it.

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