30-Day Devotional

Transit

Transit

Our 30 day Transit Devotional is all about moving closer to God and being transformed by the journey. We talk about how to read your Bible, how to pray, and how to deepen your relationship with God. Each day of the 30-day journey includes a movement section that talks about to do, to read, and to remember action steps.

Read Intro

Day 1

The Journey Begins

Have you ever wanted to be closer to God, but just weren’t sure how to get there? Have you ever thought that someone as flawed as you just might not be able to actually get close to God? Maybe you’ve wondered if getting close to God in a real and authentic way is even possible. Know this: God knew we would have all sorts of questions and concerns. He says:


When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. GOD’s Decree. I’ll turn things around for you.

Jeremiah 29:13-14 (MSG)


TRANSIT is all about us understanding how to move closer to God, and then actually doing it! God is omnipresent, which means He’s everywhere at the same time. So moving closer to God is about a spiritual, not a physical, journey. When you “find” God, you’re moving into a closer, more intimate relationship with Him. In the passage above, we see why this spiritual relocation is so important. God says, “When you really want to get close to Me, you can and you will. And when you do, everything about your life will change.” All of us—at some point during our lives—need God to turn things around for us. And He promises that’s exactly what He’ll do.


Notice the aforementioned passage says you’ll find God when you get “serious” about finding God. When we get serious about wanting to be close to God, He gets real serious about wanting to be close to us.


This applies to you today. No matter what your past looks like, no matter how close or how far from God you may feel today, God wants to be close to you. He wants to start turning things around for you TODAY!



Movement Day 1

TO DO

  • This is a good time to remind yourself of exactly how serious you are about pursuing God.

  • Ask God to help you stay focused and intentional about getting closer to Him.

  • Ask God to bring you closer to Him than you’ve ever been before.

  • Ask yourself about the potential roadblocks in your life. What in your life currently might keep you from moving closer to God? What will you do about those things if they exist?

  • Spend some time thinking about what you’d like God to “turn around” for you today. Talk to Him about it.


TO READ

MATTHEW 1 - Matthew is the first of four consecutive, eyewitness accounts of the life of Jesus. As you read through Matthew, think about the God you are moving closer to each day.


PROVERBS 1 - Proverbs was written by the wisest man to ever live. As you read through it chapter by chapter, it will give you practical life advice, which will propel you not only toward success in life, but toward an authentic connection with God as well.


TO REMEMBER

You ARE moving closer to God today!


Day 2

A Different Destination

Have you ever had one of those moments in life where you just knew things needed to change? Maybe you needed to make some major changes concerning your career, a relationship, or just life in general. The decisions we make during these moments of opportunity are crucial.


You might be reading TRANSIT because you recently decided your spiritual life needed to go in a new direction. If that’s the case, know that’s exactly what getting close to God is all about! God wants to connect with you in a life-altering way; not only will He change your “here and now,” but He’ll change your eternity.


For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (NIV)


John 3:16 speaks of God’s love for us. He does love you even with your flaws, doubts and problems. As the verse says, He loves you so much that He allowed His Son to die for you ... and when you put your trust in Him, He forgives all your sins and gives you the ability to enter heaven forever when you die. In other words, you are “saved” from eternal separation from God, and you are granted heaven forever the moment you commit your life to Christ.


Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:13 (NIV)


If you haven’t committed your life to Christ, do it today! Simply call out to God right now, ask Him to forgive you of your sins, tell Him as of today you are putting your faith in Him ... and your eternal destination is forever transformed!



Movement Day 2

TO DO

  • Take a few moments today and just thank God for giving you the opportunity for heaven forever.

  • Thank Him for all He has done for you.

  • Thank Him for allowing His Son to die for you.


TO READ

MATTHEW 2 & PROVERBS 2 - Write down one thought that made an impression on you today.


TO REMEMBER

You are changed forever because of your decision to follow Christ. Your life will never be the same!


Day 3

You Didn't Earn This Trip

Whether you’ve been pursuing God on some level for many years, or this journey is brand new to you, getting past yourself is something everyone has to do. At some point every follower of Jesus Christ must come to the realization that they simply aren’t good enough. We all deal with sin, we all make mistakes, and we all feel the guilt that accompanies these things.


For many of us, reading the Bible raises more questions than answers. And when we do actually understand what the Bible is saying, we’re pretty sure we aren’t living up to it all the way. The same thing happens at church. We look around and convince ourselves that everyone else is a better follower of Christ than we will ever be, and we may even wonder if we’re just kidding ourselves and if this journey toward God is even possible.


Sometimes it may feel as if the only thing you’re sure of is that you’re still making mistakes and are so far from perfect. None of those feelings is a shock to God, and you’re not alone in dealing with any or all of these mental roadblocks. What’s most important in the whirlwind of mind games is that you constantly remind yourself of the truth of the Word of God, and that is: you aren’t perfect, you will never be perfect, and you don’t have to be.


God loves and accepts you just the way you are, right here, right now! You haven’t earned God’s forgiveness and love, and you will never have to. You are saved by grace! If you’ve put your faith in Jesus Christ, you are on your way to heaven because of what He did for you, and not because of anything you have or have not done for Him. Your eternal destination is now different, and you didn’t do anything to earn this trip.


For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)


That word “grace” refers to the unmerited favor and eternal life that God gives us, even though we don’t deserve it. God makes it real clear to us that we are “saved” from going to hell and we get to go to heaven because we put our faith in Him. We don’t get to go to heaven because we earn it, because we’re good enough, or because we did enough good things. The flip side to this coin is we don’t lose heaven because we sinned earlier this week or had doubts or have occasional setbacks. We get heaven because after putting our trust in God, God chose to give us the free gift of eternal life with Him.


How amazing it is to have this free gift of eternal life with God! We don’t ever have to earn God’s love and forgiveness; we just get it, and because we do, one day we’ll be in heaven with God forever. That’s an amazing thing!



Movement Day 3

TO DO

Spend some time thinking about how your life is different because of God’s free gift of grace. Thank God for this grace, and thank Him for other blessings in your life that you have but you never had to earn.


TO READ

MATTHEW 3 & PROVERBS 3 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

Grace changes everything. When it comes to you and God, you NEVER, NEVER, NEVER have to earn His love, forgiveness, or acceptance; you just have it! You can’t lose His love or salvation because you have a bad day or a regretful week. You can’t undo your salvation experience because you made some mistakes. You didn’t earn salvation; in fact, you can’t earn it. It’s a free gift from God, and it’s all yours!


Day 4

The Rearview Mirror

As you begin making forward progress in this newfound relationship with God, you will be tempted to keep thinking about the things that are behind you. If you’re not careful, you’ll put so much emotional energy into looking back at past mistakes and failures that you’ll attempt to disqualify yourself from this new journey with God.


Sure, it’s good to be aware of what happened in the past. But too much focusing on the past will keep you from moving forward, and it’s what now lies ahead of you that is of most importance to you and God.


God wants to clean up whatever is in your past so that you can move forward in life. In your relationship with Him, He wants you to be guilt free. He has provided us with exactly what we all need, which is complete forgiveness of sin.


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 (NIV)


As we look in the rearview mirror of life, we will all see things we wish weren’t there. We’ve all made mistakes and have regrets about our pasts. God says if you simply ask for forgiveness, He will purify you from all unrighteousness. In other words, He’ll make you perfect in His sight. Not only will He forgive you of your sins, but He won’t bring them up again and remind you of what you’ve done.


He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

Psalm 103:12 (NLT)


When we repent, our sins are no longer a part of who we are. In God’s eyes the rearview mirror is completely clean, even if we don’t feel like it is. This is huge to understand, because sometimes, even though God has forgiven us, we hold onto guilt, and we don’t feel forgiven. Whether we feel forgiven or not, we are. The Word of God trumps our feelings. Allow yourself to be forgiven today. Allow the fact that you are forgiven to bring you peace today.



Movement Day 4

TO DO

  • Take some time to talk to God about your past, and ask for forgiveness if necessary.

  • Then give yourself permission to move on.

  • Today remind yourself often that you are forgiven of whatever has happened in the past, and now you can truly move forward with what God has for you in the future!


TO READ

MATTHEW 4 & PROVERBS 4 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

The past is behind you. God loves you just the way you are, right here, right now. God is proud of you today and proud of the progress you are making!


Day 5

Open Road Ahead

You’ve asked God to forgive you of your sins and be in your life. You’ve been given heaven forever, your past is behind you, and now it’s time to start looking ahead. It’s time to begin realizing that God has a very specific plan for you and for your future. This is where this trip gets good!


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)


This journey with God that you have begun is going to take you places you may never have dreamed of before. And none of it will be a surprise to God. For some of you, God is going to reignite a passion for a dream you once had. For others, things you’ve dreamed about in the past will become less important than they used to be, and new things will begin popping up on your radar. Whether God rekindles a past dream, or begins to give you completely new dreams, get ready. This is going to be a great ride.


Think about this: The God of the universe has a specific plan just for YOU. And because you’ve put your trust in Him, you’re now in a position to learn what that plan is and begin actually experiencing it!



Movement Day 5

TO DO

Begin asking God today to start showing you some of His plan for your future. Talk to God about some dreams you once had, or about your availability for Him to guide you down a completely new road. And then get ready to move!


TO READ

MATTHEW 5 & PROVERBS 5 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

Even if you don’t know what it is right now, God has a perfect plan for your life, and you are now on the way to experiencing it. Keep pursuing God, don’t give up, and He will begin showing you what that plan is when the timing is perfect.


Day 6

Route Guidance Enabled

More than 50 million Americans use the Global Positioning System (or GPS) when they travel. Whether it’s a permanent fixture in our dash, or just held in our hand, every time the route guidance takes over, the hope is that the GPS will take us in the right direction. We simply trust where the device is taking us and assume we’ll arrive at our desired destination. When you put your faith in God and started this journey to get closer to Him, you enabled a new route guidance system for your life. And you can now trust that God is taking you in a new direction, and it’s going to be nothing short of life altering.


Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)


When you put your faith in Jesus Christ, you became a different person headed in a different direction. You may already be sensing that. God is changing your heart, your mind, your passions, your emotions, and your focus in life. This is a good thing. He’s transforming you not only to become more like Christ, but to become the person who can experience the plan He has for you. God’s Spirit now lives in you, and because He does, the Spirit will push you closer to what the Bible calls the “fruits of the Spirit.”


But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)


These are characteristics most of us wish actually described our lives. And this is where God is taking you. You’re on the road toward things like love, joy and authentic peace from God. Keep going. Things are only getting better!



Movement Day 6

TO DO

  • Talk to God about those “fruits of the Spirit.”

  • Which one do you wish you had, but you don’t?

  • Ask God to help you get to where you want to go.


TO READ

MATTHEW 6 & PROVERBS 6 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

Regardless of how you feel from day to day, you are a brand-new person! Real love, real peace, and real joy are possible for you! This is not just church talk. This is the kind of life God is guiding you toward.


Day 7

Construction Zone

Ever feel like you only hit road construction when you are running late? Ever wonder why certain roads are eternally under construction? Most good road trips head into a construction zone at some point. We can expect similar encounters during the spiritual journey we’re on. There will be times when we are making great forward progress, and then there will be days when we feel like all movement has come to a screeching halt. Because of that, it’s good to always remember what the apostle Paul said:


He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 (NIV)


When you put your faith in God, you become a completely new person. But there will be days when you will feel like your old self again. During such times, remember that the Word of God trumps our feelings. Regardless of how you feel today, regardless of any mistakes you may or may not have made, regardless of what sort of mind games you may or may not have today, YOU ARE A NEW PERSON! God isn’t looking at the mistakes in the past; He’s looking at your future.


Just because you’ve been forgiven and granted eternal life in heaven, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be perfect from here on out. You’re a work in progress, and as long as you keep allowing God to be your focus, He’ll continue the work inside of you.


Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)


That word “transformed” refers to the fact that you are moving down new roads in your life today, and you are learning to leave the old ruts you’ve been traveling in for years. You’re changing! Your mind is being “renewed,” which tells you that it’s currently happening, but it is a process.


Maybe you’ve made some mistakes recently. Maybe you’ve felt unworthy of God’s love lately. Maybe you’ve already felt like your journey toward God has come to a screeching halt. If you haven’t; you might one day. And if you do, don’t forget that you’re not perfect yet and you’re not supposed to be. Yes, you are a new person; but you are still very much under construction. Allowing God to transform you is a process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. So be patient and continue to get close to God; and allow Him to continually get closer to you. He is working in your life, and He will finish what He’s started!



Movement Day 7

TO DO

  • Talk to God today about some areas in your life where you’d like to invite Him to begin transforming you. Are there some pieces of road that need to be torn up and rebuilt in your life today?

  • Ask God to help you remain patient as you encounter those times of construction in your life.


TO READ

MATTHEW 7 & PROVERBS 7 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

Rome was not built in a day. You’ve spent many years doing life a certain way, so give yourself some time to allow God to continue transforming you. You’re a work in progress; as long as you don’t give up, God promises to finish what He’s started in your life!


SPIRITUAL VEHICLES [staying in transit]


It’s time to hit the road. Over the next several days, you’ll be introduced to six spiritual vehicles that God has tailor-made for us. Each one is designed to take us closer to Him than we are right now. Whether this is a good reminder for you or completely new to you, this can be a life-altering journey. Being in transit toward God is like no other trip you will ever take. It will change your “here and now,” but it will also change your entire future. Let’s keep moving.

VEHICLE No. 1 [PRAYER]

Day 8

Prayer Changes Things

God please don’t let me get a ticket! Help me pass this test. Bring me a date! God, I married that date You got me, and now I really need help!


Every now and then we get desperate enough to throw up a prayer just in case it might actually change things. We’ve all done it. And guess what ... it does, our prayers change things!


Prayer not only takes us closer to God, but it really does change things in the here and now. In Exodus 17, God instructed Moses to go up on a mountain and lift his hands in prayer while Joshua was fighting a battle in the valley below.


So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Exodus 17:10-13 (NIV)


When Moses prayed, the Israelites began winning; when he stopped, they began losing. God was showing the Israelites then, and showing us today, that prayer really does change things. Prayer not only moves us closer to God, it changes things in our lives along the journey.



Movement Day 8

TO DO

  • Spend a few minutes today just talking to God in your own words about whatever is on your mind.

  • Ask God to start getting involved in certain areas of your life.

  • Ask God to begin changing things in your life today. Be specific.


TO READ

MATTHEW 8 & PROVERBS 8 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

God cares about EVERY area of your life. There is nothing too big or too small to talk to God about. As you start praying, start expecting things to change!


VEHICLE No. 1 [PRAYER]

Day 9

Prayer Changes You

Prayer changes things in your life. But, more importantly, it actually changes YOU. If you’ve tried praying much at all, you’ve probably realized that every time you ask God for something, you’re not guaranteed to get a “yes.” But EVERY time you pray, you are guaranteed peace. Real and authentic peace is a commodity that most people spend their entire lives trying to find, and God says each and every time you use this spiritual vehicle of PRAYER, that’s exactly what you’ll run into ... life-altering peace.


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)


See that? Every time you pray, you are guaranteed to experience God’s peace in your life, even during times when it makes no sense for you to have peace. That will change YOU from the inside out. You can’t be guaranteed to always get your way, and you can’t be guaranteed that things will always work out how you want them to, but you are guaranteed that through PRAYER you can experience a peace that passes understanding regardless of what circumstances you are facing. And that will change YOU!



Movement Day 9

TO DO

  • Talk to God about things that are causing you worry and stress today.

  • Ask God to begin taking away your anxiety and replacing it with real peace.

  • Spend some time thanking God for all the good things in your life as well today.


TO READ

MATTHEW 9 & PROVERBS 9 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

God can and will bring you through ANY situation you are facing today. Pray constantly about whatever is causing you worry. Remember to thank God for the good things in your life, and trust that God will bring you peace in the middle of it all!


VEHICLE No. 1 [PRAYER]

Day 10

Prayer Takes You Closer to God

PRAYER is a spiritual vehicle God designed to take you closer to Him than you’ve ever been before. Let’s take a moment and re-examine the passage we looked at on Day 9.


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)


PRAYER brings us peace because God guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. As you would expect, God has very carefully worded this message. He said that when you pray, He begins GUARDING your heart and mind.


Ask any Secret Service agent or professional bodyguard, and they will tell you that you can’t guard anyone from a distance. To be effective you have to be right up next to the person you’re guarding. God is showing us that not only does PRAYER bring peace, it brings us closer to Him. In fact, so close that He can guard us—up close and personally. Every time you pray, you’re closing the gap between you and God; you’re moving closer to Him, and He is moving closer to you.


Come near to God and he will come near to you.

James 4:8 (NIV)



Movement Day 10

TO DO

  • Talk to God about your journey toward Him over the past week. Do you feel close to Him today or distant? Be honest. If you don’t feel close, what do you need to do to get closer to Him?

  • Talk to God about what you are worried about, excited about, and wanting to accomplish this next week.

  • Ask God for a sense of peace today.

  • Ask God to come near to you as you are using this first spiritual vehicle, PRAYER.


TO READ

MATTHEW 10 & PROVERBS 10 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

You can talk to God in your own words, as if you were talking to a loved one or best friend. You can and should be brutally honest with God. And, remember, every time you talk with Him you ARE moving into a closer, life-altering relationship with Him!


VEHICLE No. 1 [PRAYER]

Day 11

How Do I Pray?

The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is one of the fastest production cars on the planet. It will go 267 miles per hour, and for the small price of $2.4 million, it can be yours. The Bugatti performs in a way few people on earth will ever experience. Put a 3-year-old in the driver’s seat, though, and a soccer mom in a minivan could outrun it. Why? Because the vehicle can only perform when the operator knows how to operate it.


Many people today avoid operating the PRAYER vehicle because they assume they don’t really know how it works and think it probably won’t perform the way it ought to due to their lack of ability or understanding. Ever sit down to talk to God, then stutter and mumble and give up because you don’t have a clue what to say or where to start? Ever feel like prayer is just too difficult for you to operate? Well if you have, you’re not alone. Jesus’ best friends had very similar struggles with operating this first spiritual vehicle.


One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”

Luke 11:1-4 (NIV)


First off, know that God is your Heavenly Father and you can talk to Him about anything, anytime, in any way you want to. But if, like the original followers of Christ, you want a little structure to your prayer life, then you can use the above passage as a kick-starter.


• Start by praising God and asking for His will to come into your life.
• Talk to God about what you want and need.
• Repent of your sins.
• Ask for forgiveness and guidance each day.


Before you know it, you’ve been talking to God about some life-altering things. Remember, God is your Heavenly Father, so you can talk to Him about anything and everything. But if you’re at a loss for words, this passage will help you get this vehicle out of the driveway and onto the road.


Collectors of rare cars often have daily drivers and Sunday strollers. Daily drivers get used all the time, but Sunday strollers are so nice that they only come out of the garage on special occasions and sunny Sunday afternoons. Unfortunately, many people today treat PRAYER like those Sunday strollers. It only gets used on the weekends for church, and on very rare occasions.


Simply put, that’s not good enough when it comes to prayer, not if you want to get top performance out of this vehicle. Prayer was given to us by God to be used on a daily basis.


Movement Day 11

TO DO

  • Praise and thank God for some of your blessings today.

  • Repent of sins if necessary.

  • Ask God to help you forgive others, guide you through your day, and avoid temptations today.

  • Talk to God about what you want and/or need today.

  • It’s time to get serious about making this type of talking to God a daily practice, so get out your calendar and put in a 10-minute block for daily PRAYER. This movement is essential for your spiritual forward progress!


TO READ

MATTHEW 11 & PROVERBS 11 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

The vehicle of prayer does not run on good intentions or wishful thinking. It is fueled by discipline. Decide today that prayer will be a daily practice, and put it in your calendar before you move forward. Set aside a time and place where you can spend some time each day talking to God. As prayer becomes a habit, you’ll quickly see that your relationship with God is headed in the right direction.


VEHICLE No. 1 [PRAYER]


Today concludes our daily thoughts about Vehicle No. 1: PRAYER.


Talking to God will change things in your life, it will change you, and it will take you closer to God than you may have ever been before. Start with a goal of talking to God for 10 minutes a day, and watch where this vehicle will take you!

VEHICLE No. 2 [THE BIBLE]

Day 12

The Owner's Manual

If your life were a vehicle, THE BIBLE would be your owner’s manual. The problem is, many people today spend about as much time reading the Bible as they do an owner’s manual ... that is; not much! When it comes to cars, most people think, I know how to drive this thing. I don’t need to read the manual.

 

Unfortunately, when it comes to our lives and the Bible, many people feel the same way. I know what I’m doing. I don’t need the manual. When it comes to life, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We all need the instructions!

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16 & 17 (NIV)


God says every word of the Bible comes directly from Him, and then He begins telling us how it will benefit us. He says it will equip you for everything He has planned for you to do. Earlier, we learned how God has a plan for each one of us. The Bible is how He plans on letting you in on that plan. And, remember, this 30-day devotional is all about you moving closer to God. Many would argue that THE BIBLE is the most important vehicle you’ll need during this journey.

 

Without time in the Word of God, you will never move closer to God. Like any relationship in life, communication is the essential piece. PRAYER is how we talk to God, and THE BIBLE is how He talks to us. Getting this second vehicle up and running will allow God to talk to you about your life today, your issues and struggles, your strengths and successes, and His amazing plan for your future.



Movement Day 12

TO DO

If you’ve been following the TO READ sections each day, you’ve already been reading two chapters a day, and now you see why doing this is so important. Keep it up.


If you haven’t, start today.


Get out your calendar and add a 10-minute block of reading THE BIBLE to your 10-minute block of PRAYER. This will soon become the most important 20 minutes of your day. Do not move forward until you schedule this out.


Start your reading with the simple phrase, “God, speak to me today from Your Word.”


TO READ

MATTHEW 12 & PROVERBS 12 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

Reading and thinking about the Word of God is not just a churchy thing to do. It is allowing the God of the universe to speak to you about your life. Until this becomes a part of your daily life, you won’t be able to move close to God at the rate you want to. A system that seems to work well for many people is to combine PRAYER time with THE BIBLE time on a daily basis. Start with 10 minutes in PRAYER and 10 minutes in THE BIBLE. Schedule it out today, and then hang on!


VEHICLE No. 2 [THE BIBLE]

Day 13

Turn on Your Headlights

Unless you have a death wish, you wouldn’t drive a vehicle at night without your headlights on—it’s just too dangerous. With no headlights at night, you can’t see the road, pedestrians, potholes, or upcoming turns.


God says that our lives are often like driving at night, and we need light on our path so we’ll know where to go and what to do next. The Bible is that very source of light we’re looking for.


Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Psalm 119:105 (NIV)


Opening up the Bible is like turning on the headlights for life. It allows God to illuminate your path and helps you navigate the twists and turns of everyday life. And let’s be honest, we need that! You have big decisions to make about your finances, your relationships, your education, your career, and much more. You need the God with the plan, the God with all the answers to help you know when to go right, when to go left, when to slow down, and when it’s safe to hit the gas on the open road. Time spent reading THE BIBLE gives God that chance to speak to you about the direction of your life.


Do you have a big decision to make?


Are you in the middle of a stressful situation?


TURN ON YOUR HEADLIGHTS! Every time you open up the Bible, you are inviting God to shed light on your situation and guide you toward the amazing future He has in store for you.



Movement Day 13

TO DO

  • Ask God to help you clear your mind and really speak to you through His Word today.

  • Talk to God about the areas in your life where you need guidance.


TO READ

MATTHEW 13 & PROVERBS 13 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

God’s not playing games with you. He wants to be involved in your life. He wants to guide you through tough times and difficult decisions. When you read His Word, you are not only giving God a chance to speak to you about your life today, but you’re moving closer to Him in the process. And, remember, that’s the goal!


VEHICLE No. 2 [THE BIBLE]

Day 14

Change the Oil

Have you ever learned the hard way that not changing the oil in your car ruins an engine? Oil keeps the metal surfaces in your engine from grinding together and tearing themselves apart. It also transfers heat, protects against silicon and acids, minimizes exposure to oxygen, and does a slew of other mechanical-sounding things that most of us know nothing about. According to carbibles.com, a good motor oil is the “lifeblood” of an engine that allows it to function properly under tremendous heat and pressure.


THE BIBLE is your lifeblood.


My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are LIFE to those who find them.

Proverbs 4:20-22 (NIV)


We live under tremendous “heat and pressure,” and we constantly need God’s Word to be the lifeblood that allows us to keep running smoothly. We need to be protected, reassured, guided, encouraged, inspired and equipped to handle the friction and stress we are up against on a daily basis. And these are exactly the kinds of things God’s Word can provide. Here are just a few of the things God has to say about THE BIBLE’S ability to change our lives today:


Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

John 8:31-32 (RSV)


Don’t stop reading this book of the Law, but day and night think of what it says, so you can be careful to do everything written in it; then you will prosper and succeed.

Joshua 1:8 (BECK)


It is not the flesh that gives a person life. It is the spirit that gives life. The words I told you are spirit, and so they give life.

John 6:63 (ICB)


The Scriptures were written to teach and encourage us by giving us hope.

Romans 15:4 (CEV)


For the word of God is full of living power.

Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)


Simply put, time spent in the Word of God will change your life today!



Movement Day 14

TO DO

  • Talk to God about the stressful areas of your life today.

  • Ask God to begin changing your life as you spend time in His Word.

  • Give Him permission to communicate with you today, and begin setting you free in ways you have never experienced before.


TO READ

MATTHEW 14 & PROVERBS 14 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

God loves you just the way you are, right here, right now. He has plans for your future, and He believes in your ability even if you don’t sometimes. Every time you spend time in the Bible, you are allowing God to change you, speak to you, and draw you closer to Him in the process. What a great journey!


VEHICLE No. 2 [THE BIBLE]

Day 15

Time for Takeoff

The Bible can be like the cockpit of an airplane. Most of us have looked inside one, but few of us think we could actually operate it. Where a cockpit has buttons, levers, lights, dials, and gauges, THE BIBLE has a New Testament, Old Testament, Gospels, epistles, prophets, etc. Operating the Bible without some sort of special training can feel as awkward as flying a plane without lessons. Many people today feel that “flying solo” with the Word of God should be reserved for experts like pastors, theologians, and those who have been highly trained to operate all those confusing “toggle switches.”


God says, “Nope!”


In yesterday’s travels, God instructed us to spend time in His Word. He wouldn’t ask that of us if we didn’t have what it takes. He not only wants us flying this thing, He expects us to do so regularly. And you can! In fact, if you’ve been following the daily TO READ section, you already have been.


Begin approaching the Bible with this phrase in mind:


READ IT, WRITE IT, DO IT.


READ IT: Let God speak to you about your life.


It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Matthew 4:4 (ESV)


WRITE IT: Simplify and identify exactly what God is saying to you today.


And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.”

Habakkuk 2:2 (ESV)


Do IT: Put God’s instructions into action ... today.


Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:17 (NIV)


Operating this vehicle isn’t nearly as difficult as it seems. Keep reading, or start today reading a chapter of Matthew and a chapter of Proverbs each day, and allow God to speak to you. As you come across something that seems to apply to you, or you get that little voice in your head that says, “Pay attention to that,” or “That’s for you,” assume that’s what God is saying to you today. Then write it down and ask God to help you begin living that out.


That’s it. READ IT, WRITE IT, DO IT, and you’re ready for takeoff!



Movement Day 15

TO DO

  • Find a quiet place where you can focus.

  • Ask God to speak to you as you read His Word.

  • Continue or start today with the TRANSIT reading plan with Matthew and Proverbs.

  • Write down one thing you think God may be communicating to you today.

  • Then ask God to help you DO what you wrote down.


TO READ

MATTHEW 15 & PROVERBS 15 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

This vehicle, THE BIBLE, is taking you closer to God every day you operate it. He’s talking to you, you’re responding to Him, and you’re building a relationship with the Creator of the universe. That’s a pretty amazing thing you’re doing right now!


VEHICLE No. 2 [THE BIBLE]


Today concludes our daily thoughts about Vehicle No. 2: THE BIBLE.


Daily reading God’s Word will change everything about your life. It will equip you for everything God has planned for you to do in the future, and will guide you as you head in that direction. Above all, time spent in God’s Word will allow you to move closer to God than you have ever been before, and that’s our ultimate goal. Keep it up; you are well on your way!

VEHICLE No. 3 [RELATIONSHIPS]

Day 16

Choose Your Crew Wisely

The Indianapolis 500, an event billed as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” is considered to be one of the most significant sporting events in the world. Cars go over 200 miles per hour, and the drivers of those cars experience g-forces equivalent to that of a space shuttle launching. People around the globe watch the race each year as drivers risk their lives for millions of dollars, a trip to victory lane, and prestige that only winning, money, and fame can provide.


But every winner of the race has had a pit crew working hard to make it happen. During a typical 500-mile race, a driver will make many stops to allow the crew to change tires, refuel the car and perform needed mechanical tweaks. Since the race can be won or lost by less than a second, whatever a pit crew does or doesn’t do during those stops can determine whether or not the driver wins or loses. The Bible says the same idea applies to our lives.


Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)


Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Proverbs 13:20 (ESV)


Your “crew” will oftentimes determine your success or failure in life. Those people closest to you will affect your relationship with God. Relationships are NOT neutral; they are taking you somewhere. Each relationship you have is taking you closer to God or dragging you farther from Him.


Spiritual Vehicle No. 3 is RELATIONSHIPS. Choosing the right people to rely on, spend time with, and do life with can take you closer to God faster than you ever imagined. The RIGHT relationships will build your faith and inspire you on this journey. The WRONG relationships will mock your decisions, question your faith, and tempt you to move farther from God than you are today. That’s the opposite of what you’re looking for! Choose your crew wisely because it can make or break the entire race.



Movement Day 16

TO DO

  • Examine the relationships in your life today.

  • Decide which ones will push you closer to God and which ones will pull you farther away.

  • Ask God to help you make wise decisions in this area.


TO READ

MATTHEW 16 & PROVERBS 16 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

As much as you might like to think it, NO relationship is neutral, and each one you have is taking you somewhere. Make sure those closest to you, those with a real voice in your life, are pushing you closer to God today.


VEHICLE No. 3 [RELATIONSHIPS]

Day 17

Pedaling as a Team

On July 1, 1903, 60 cyclists set off from Paris. After more than 2,400 km of cycling, at an average speed of 25.7 kmh, they returned on July 19 in a competition won by Maurice Garin of France. The Tour de France had been born!


Today this race is considered by many to be the greatest athletic test in the world. What’s amazing about this race is that hidden behind every great winner is a great team. If you study this race closely, you’ll see that it’s the sacrifice and hard work of an entire team that allows one man to win in the end. A recent Tour de France winner was quoted as saying, “The only part of this yellow jersey that belongs to me is the zipper.”


Whether it’s a world-class bike race, or just day-to-day living, you need a good team around you.


As you examine relationships in your life, know that they will either push you closer to God or pull you farther away from Him. This RELATIONSHIP vehicle is not to be taken lightly, as it has the ability to take you somewhere far more significant than into the Winner’s Circle in France. If you’ll allow it to, this vehicle will take you into a life-altering connection with God himself. For you to focus on this vehicle, you will no doubt have to start asking some tough questions.


Relationally, how do I know from whom I should be backing away?


How do I know who I should be pursuing a relationship with?


God’s Word will help you make these crucial decisions.


Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16 (NIV)


James, who was the half brother of Jesus, describes what a godly relationship should look like. It’s one where two people confess sins to each other, pray for each other, and push one another closer to a life-changing connection with God. Proverbs says it like this:


As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)


Godly relationships make each involved person better, sharper and more prepared to experience the kind of life that God has in store for each one of them. God wants this spiritual vehicle to propel you into an authentic and life-altering connection with Him, now it’s up to you whether you allow that to happen or not.



Movement Day 17

TO DO

  • Ask yourself these tough questions about your current relationships:

    • Is this someone I can confess sins to?

    • Do we pray together and for each other about these struggles in life?

    • Are my current relationships “sharpening” me?

  • Ask God to help you come to some groundbreaking conclusions today, and ask Him to help you to begin cultivating the types of relationships that will actually help you get to where you really want to go in life.


TO READ

MATTHEW 17 & PROVERBS 17 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

Your God-given future is at stake here. Your ability to establish a real relationship with God will be affected one way or the other by your other relationships. Make the tough relational calls now, so that you can reap the benefits later.


VEHICLE No. 3 [RELATIONSHIPS]

Day 18

The HOV Lane

Many major cities have an HOV lane, or a “High Occupancy Vehicle” lane. These are to be used only when traveling with a minimum of two people in the vehicle. These lanes allow those in transit to arrive at their desired destination much faster than they could if they’d been traveling alone. If singer Tom Cochrane is right, and life truly is a highway, then God’s plan for you is to be on the road toward a real relationship with Him, and He expects you to be using the HOV lane.


Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)


Simply put, we are better off doing life in close relationship with others. We are supposed to rely on those closest to us for many aspects of life. There is nothing heroic or admirable about doing life by yourself. We live in a world today where people want to believe “I don’t need anyone else’s help,” and “I can take care of this on my own.” People today say things like this with pride, and wear self-sufficiency as a badge of honor. That just isn’t God’s plan for any of us. We’re supposed to do life together.


As you can imagine, in order to carpool with someone on the highway, it helps if you are both heading in the same direction. The same holds true for your life today. It’s paramount that those you are doing life with are heading in the same spiritual direction as you are.


If you’re reading this now, odds are you want to be closer to God in a real and authentic way, a way that actually changes your life. Are those you are traveling with headed in the same direction? Are they desiring the same destination as you are? If not, it might be time to pull over and make some changes, have some honest conversations, and start traveling with like-minded people. Conversations like that won’t be easy, but if people really care about you and your desires, they’ll understand. It doesn’t mean you can’t ever talk or spend time together; but if someone is going in a different spiritual direction than you are, it probably does mean their time spent with you and the influence they have in your life need to be diminished.



Movement Day 18

TO DO

  • Spend some time talking to God today about what you’re thinking and feeling right now.

  • Ask God to guide you as you are traveling toward an authentic connection with Him.

  • Then ACT on whatever God is guiding you to do.


TO READ

MATTHEW 18 & PROVERBS 18 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

No relationship on earth is worth sacrificing your relationship with God for.


God never asks us to sacrifice anything that He’s not planning on replacing.


You are trusting God with your eternal life; you can trust Him with your relationships here and now.


VEHICLE No. 3 [RELATIONSHIPS]

Day 19

Fast Track

One of the biggest tourist attractions in the world is located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York. It’s technically called Grand Central Terminal, but you may know it as Grand Central Station. According to Guinness World Records, this is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms. And any of the 20-plus million visitors each year to New York can hop on one of the 44 platforms and choose from a variety of tracks to get to their desired destination.


Here’s the rub though—where you end up depends entirely on which train you choose at the beginning of the trip. Choose the wrong one and you’ll end up in the wrong place.


Choosing RELATIONSHIPS works the same way. First decide where you want to go, then choose the right relationships to get you there. If you want to move closer to God, then you have to start hanging out with people who are pursuing that goal too.


One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Proverbs 12:26 (ESV)


The track you decide to put yourself on today will have consequences, either good or bad.


Do not be deceived: God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Galatians 6:7 (NKJV)


If you want to grab a train leaving from Grand Central Station, you have to first go to Grand Central Station; those trains will never just come find you. If you want to build relationships with people who are pursuing God, you need to go to where those people are, not sit around and pray or hope they magically come to you. Get into a local church yesterday! Get online, ask around, but find a Bible-based church that you like and then go; go every time they open the doors. Get into a small group or on a sports team, start serving every weekend in the church, and in the community if they offer that. The very best way to find the relationships you are looking for is to go where they are, and that starts with the local church.



Movement Day 19

TO DO

  • Start researching churches today.

  • Ask God to help you as you actively seek out a local church.

  • Get into a small group, start serving, and reach out to other believers.


TO READ

MATTHEW 19 & PROVERBS 19 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

God wants to be close to you today. He wants to change your life today. Don’t allow the wrong relationships to derail you on this journey.


The temptation for all of us is to think the rules don’t apply to us or our friends. To think: he/she is such a good person; even if they won’t take me closer to God, they can still be a close friend or confidant. Or to believe that if we don’t change that relationship it won’t really affect us. It will. Vehicle No. 3 is not to be toyed with or ignored. RELATIONSHIPS will take us closer to God or farther away from Him. The choice is yours.


The relationships you form today will affect where you go tomorrow. There is just no way around the fact that the people closest to you will affect your future. Find a local church, get involved, and actively pursue Christian relationships. Make sure those closest to you are the kind of people who will pray for you, build your faith, hold you accountable to your new hopes and dreams, and ultimately take you closer to God than you are today.


VEHICLE No. 3 [RELATIONSHIPS]


Today concludes our daily thoughts about Vehicle No. 3: RELATIONSHIPS.


The right relationships will make or break your journey toward God. Doing life with other followers of Christ is going to change everything about your life today. It won’t come easily, and it’s probably going to cost you something, but the payoffs are through the roof. This vehicle will take you closer to God faster than you might have ever imagined. If, and only if, you allow it to.

VEHICLE No. 4 [SERVING]

Day 20

Last Place

Pretty much every vehicle ever invented has also been raced—either against other vehicles, or at the very least—against the clock. And as you would imagine, everybody wants to win. You won’t hear many car companies bragging about a vehicle that finished last in their latest series of tests. Not many airlines promote their “Slower Than Average” fleet. Why? Because travelers at every level want the fastest and most efficient means of travel possible. Nobody enters a race hoping for last place, which is what makes today’s Scripture so challenging.


Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Mark 9:35 (NIV)


God says that His kingdom works differently than the way most of the world works. While we live in a world that says, “What about me?” and “I’m going to get mine,” God flips that mentality completely upside down. He says, “If you want to be first in My Kingdom, if you want to be close to Me and experience the kind of life I have for you, it all starts with last place.” Winning with God happens when you put the needs of others above Your own needs. God continues to explain it like this:


And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Mark 10:42-45 (ESV)



Movement Day 20

TO DO

  • Spend some time examining your past or current definition of greatness and compare that to God’s definition.

  • Be honest with yourself. Do you look for ways that people can serve you, or for ways that you can serve other people?

  • Ask God to begin showing you people you can begin serving today.


TO READ

MATTHEW 20 & PROVERBS 20 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

This is about moving into a deeper relationship with God. Through SERVING, God is helping you learn to love the way He loves and to care the way He cares. As you show others the love of God through service, you’ll find that you start experiencing the love of God for yourself. God wants you to experience greatness in this lifetime, as well as real connection with Him. These things start by SERVING others.


VEHICLE No. 4 [SERVING]

Day 21

A Life That Matters

Everyone wants to live a life that matters. We want to be remembered as someone who made a difference in other people’s lives. We want to leave a positive legacy with our families, friends and children. As you may already know, it’s a sad day when you come to the realization that everything that has been driving your life has been selfish and eternally meaningless. From this point on, that doesn’t ever have to be you. As of right now, you can begin changing the fuel that drives you.


If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)


Love is a self-sacrificing surrender for the good of another person. Or more simply put, love is an action verb and it demands much of us. For instance, if the ultimate goal of your life is all about your own comfort, success and riches, you’re surely missing out on all that God has planned for you.


Not only do you miss the opportunity to really matter in someone else’s life, you also miss out on closeness with God. The apostle Paul reminds us of this as he talks about serving others in Acts:


In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Acts 20:35 (NIV)


Vehicle No. 4: SERVING allows us to experience blessings directly from God. This process of living out His instructions and Him rewarding us for those actions builds a connection between us and God in a way few other things can.



Movement Day 21

TO DO

  • Think about the people who have really made a difference in your life. Remind yourself of the ways these people have served you, sacrificed for you, and helped you in life. Now ask God to help you become more like those people so you too can make a difference in others’ lives by serving them.

  • Ask God to show you names and faces of people in your world you can begin serving this week.


TO READ

MATTHEW 21 & PROVERBS 21 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

Your choice to serve or not to serve others will affect how you are remembered in this life. Remember what really matters, what’s really important to you, and start acting on that thought immediately. God wants to be in close relationship with you today, and part of that process can be accelerated by showing real love to those around you.


VEHICLE No. 4 [SERVING]

Day 22

A Refreshing Ride

Many people today find relaxation in transportation. A cruise in a convertible on the highway, a motorcycle ride through the mountains, or just driving around the block 25 times for some peace and quiet can be extremely refreshing. (Ask any parent.) God says that serving is not only a vehicle that takes you toward greatness, but it also refreshes you on the way there.


A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)


People often make the mistake of thinking that this verse is talking only about financial generosity. This passage is addressing generosity that also includes our time, talents and nonfinancial resources. It’s really a verse about servanthood.


Every time you go out of your way to help someone in need, God says that you yourself will also be refreshed. That’s an amazing deal.


Are you feeling depressed, worried, or stressed? Help someone and feel the difference.


Feeling low on joy and peace? Find a way to help others and fill those depleted tanks up.


For many of us today, this can be an upside-down way of thinking. But God says when you most need refreshment, go serve someone else and watch what He’ll do for you in the process.



Movement Day 22

TO DO

  • Spend some time thanking God for the people who have sacrificed for you over the years.

  • Talk to God about your levels of peace and joy today.

  • Ask God to start refreshing you as you start serving others.


TO READ

MATTHEW 22 & PROVERBS 22 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

Serving people isn’t just God’s way of getting things accomplished, or finding solutions to problems of people in need. SERVING is a vehicle God has tailor-made for you. If you’ll get this one out on the open road, it will not only help others, but it will change you in the process. Remember, good intentions won’t change anything; it takes purposeful action on your part. Start serving someone around you on purpose!


VEHICLE No. 4 [SERVING]

Day 23

Not an Easy Task

It’s not all that difficult to serve the people we love. You know the kind of people: your kids, your mom and dad, or the guy at work you play hoops with or your best friend who thinks you can do no wrong. Serving those people is easy! But in order to get to the heart of what Jesus is asking you to do, when it comes to serving others, you must open the circles you serve in to include people who don’t deserve it, who can never pay you back, or who might not even think of saying, “Thank you.”


It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

John 13:1-5 (NIV)


Jesus knew Peter was about to deny Him publicly. He knew that Judas was in the process of betraying Him and handing Him over to the Roman officials to be beaten and murdered, yet He got down on His knees and washed their feet. He served the very people who were about to hurt Him worse than anyone ever had. And by doing so, He showed us how to serve!


When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

John 13:12-15 (NIV)


Sure, Jesus is God, but He is telling us to love and serve even those in our lives who might least deserve it. This kind of obedience will change other people’s lives, it will change our lives, and it will bring us closer to God in a real and tangible way.



Movement Day 23

TO DO

  • Ask God for the strength to begin loving and serving people in your world who don’t deserve it.

  • Talk to God about how you’re currently doing in this area, and ways that you might take it to a whole different level.

  • Ask God to allow you to experience His presence today as you invite Him into your thinking and your life today.


TO READ

MATTHEW 23 & PROVERBS 23 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

God wants you to experience something real and authentic with Him today. He has loved you and He died for you when you didn’t deserve it, and now you have the opportunity to demonstrate the same level of servitude to someone else.


VEHICLE No. 4 [SERVING]


Today concludes our daily thoughts about Vehicle No. 4: SERVING.


Look around your neighborhood, your family, your work, and your school. Ask God to show you on a daily basis ways you can get involved in helping others. Get involved at your local church. Serve in the church on the weekends, and get involved in projects where you can serve the community around your church. SERVING others will allow you to live a life that really matters, change others’ lives, and establish a life-altering connection with God. As a fairly well-known shoe company says, “Just do it!”

VEHICLE No. 5 [GIVING]

Day 24

It's a Heart Issue

Before we start talking about how to operate the GIVING vehicle, let’s start by talking about why. Let’s be honest—for many people, this is the one vehicle they’d like to avoid most. Maybe that’s where you are today. As soon as you saw that this vehicle was GIVING, you rolled your eyes and thought about skipping this one altogether.


No one would blame you. Money is one of our most prized possessions, and for many people it’s one of our biggest sources of security. Money brings us comfort and peace when we have it, and stress and worry when we don’t. So, why in the world would God want us to give some of it away?! Jesus begins addressing that exact question in Matthew 6.


For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:21 (NIV)


Jesus said that wherever our treasure goes, our heart will follow. We see this principle play out in many different areas of life. Take your life savings and put it into airline stock this week, and watch how your heart will follow your treasure. You will never be more interested in the airline industry! You’ll read articles, watch the news, investigate the stock trends; you may even find yourself praying for the success of the airline business. The point is that your heart will follow your money.


God knows this is how we are wired, and that is exactly why He said some of our treasures need to be rerouted to help build His kingdom.


Understand this: God doesn’t need our money or our hearts. God knows WE need Him to have our hearts. We need our hearts to go toward the things of God, because it’s then when we start living “life to the fullest;” it’s then we start getting closer to God and begin experiencing the kind of life we’ve been craving all along. This GIVING vehicle is not about God needing anything from us; it’s about US needing to get closer to God, and it begins with giving.


Like all six of these spiritual vehicles you are exploring, it will be your choice if you use the GIVING vehicle or not. God makes it very clear that it’s our choice, and the benefits for doing so are big. But so are the consequences if we neglect this vehicle.


No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Matthew 6:24 (NIV)


Learning to operate the GIVING vehicle is essential to you moving closer to God. It might be scary at first, but it will take you exactly where you are dying to go.



Movement Day 24

TO DO

  • Talk to God about where you are with this GIVING vehicle.

  • Ask God to help you prioritize your life and to see your relationship with Him as far more important than dollar bills.

  • Ask God to begin blessing your finances as you begin looking for ways to obey Him when it comes to your finances.


TO READ

MATTHEW 24 & PROVERBS 24 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

GIVING is all about us getting closer to God. As we obey His Word and honor Him with our finances, God not only blesses our finances in ways we never could have imagined, but it brings us into a closer relationship with Him. And that is well worth the price of admission.


VEHICLE No. 5 [GIVING]

Day 25

Test Drive

Theologian Martin Luther once said, “There are three conversions a person needs to experience: The conversion of the head, the conversion of the heart, and the conversion of the pocketbook.”


The Bible offers about 500 verses on prayer, fewer than 500 verses on faith, and more than 2,000 verses on money. God knew how much money would be tied to our hearts, and how much effort and discipline it would take for us to handle money God’s way. The Old Testament makes some serious comments on handling our money today.


“I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

Malachi 3:6-10 (NIV)


This is heavy stuff, and if the concept of tithing is brand new to you, you might be hyperventilating right now. Relax. The upside of all this is entirely to your benefit.


To “tithe” is to give 10 percent of your income back to God. In the New Testament of our Bibles we’re challenged to take this giving a step farther, and be willing to give it all, if God so asks. Since we live under grace today, the 10% giving amount is no longer a law issue, but a heart issue. There may come a time in your life where you designate far more than 10% of your finances to go back to God, but if you’re just starting this journey, the tithe (10%) is a great place to start.


When you read that you are to bring the tithe to the storehouse, that simply means you should give your tithe to your local church that you attend. Tithing is a simple but critical component of your faith. And God doesn’t mess around; He says, “Test Me in this.”


It’s as if God knew that taking this vehicle of GIVING out on the road— especially for the first time—was going to be difficult for us all. So He said just take it for a test drive, and watch what it will do! Someone once said God can do more with our 10 percent than we could ever do with 100 percent. You will find this to be true. When we tithe, we are acting in faith, obeying God with our finances, and He says, “Don’t worry, I’ll bless you in ways you can’t even imagine.”


Movement Day 25

TO DO

  • Pray today that God would give you the courage to begin trusting Him in this area of your life.

  • Get practical today. Add tithing into your budget and make changes in other areas if necessary so this can become a reality.

  • Tell at least one person about your decision to trust and obey God in this area, and ask them to hold you accountable.


TO READ

MATTHEW 25 & PROVERBS 25 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

You are trusting God with your eternal life. You can certainly trust Him with your finances too! God is so serious about this vehicle that He dares you to take it out for a test drive! And you’ve got to know this—when we get serious about trusting God with our money, He gets serious about bringing us closer to Him and blessing us like crazy! This is a very real thrill ride you’re about to take. Hold on!


VEHICLE No. 5 [GIVING]

Day 26

It's Really Just Giving Back

Freedom Park in South Africa is home to thousands of homeless individuals, most of whom are born with and/or are currently dying of AIDS. Every day people die in Freedom Park and leave children behind to fend for themselves. In many cases, preteen children are raising their younger siblings in this field because both parents have already passed away.


It’s a very sad reality, but it also provides an excellent conversation point. If you weren’t born in Freedom Park with AIDS, you did nothing to warrant that. In fact, you had nothing to do with what country you were born in, who your parents are, or what sort of opportunities you might have in this life. Think of that—you could have just as easily been born in Freedom Park, but most of you reading this probably weren’t! And it wasn’t because you earned your lot in life in any way, shape, or form. God says it this way:


You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.

Deuteronomy 8:17-18 (NIV)


God says, “Don’t kid yourself.” Every opportunity you have to produce wealth, and every ability you have to take advantage of such opportunities comes from Him. In other words, everything we have; we have because God gave it to us. When we can see our possessions and finances in this light, then giving God back a small percentage of what He already gave us isn’t that bad of a proposition. Again, it will be our choice to obey God or not, and we will be rewarded accordingly as Luke 16:10-12 reads:


Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

Luke 16:10-12 (NIV)


God tells each one of us if we will be obedient with our finances, and bring Him back a portion of what He’s given us, He’ll blow us away with the blessings that follow.


Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

Proverbs 3:9-10 (NIV)


And to be clear, God says to bring Him the “firstfruits.” He’s not looking for leftovers. God says, “I gave it all to you, so you’re really just giving Me back a small portion of what I gave you. And it should come off the top, not the bottom of your finances.” Driving the GIVING vehicle may be difficult for some of us at first, but according to God’s Word, this mode of spiritual transportation will take us closer to God, faster than we ever imagined!



Movement Day 26

TO DO

  • Ask God to begin giving you a spirit of generosity.

  • Talk to God about your fears or excitements when it comes to giving His way.

  • Ask God to help you sense His presence today, as you are trying to trust Him in some seemingly risky ways.


TO READ

MATTHEW 26 & PROVERBS 26 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

You can’t out-give God! He often follows up directives to give with promises of blessing for obedience. It may feel risky to start trusting God in this area, but get ready for some huge blessings as a result. God wants to have a real and authentic connection with you today, and this vehicle will help make that a reality!


VEHICLE No. 5 [GIVING]


Today concludes our daily thoughts about Vehicle No. 5: GIVING.


You might come up with a whole list of excuses why you can’t give God’s way at this point in your life. Stop it. It will never get easier. If you’re broke, you’ll say, “I can’t afford to give now. I need everything I have.” If you make a lot of money, you’ll say, “I can’t give that much; 10 percent of what I make is an awful lot. That doesn’t make sense.”


Trusting God with your money gets harder as you have more. There’s no time like the present; start trusting God today with your finances, and watch Him begin to do things in this area of your life that you never could have done on your own! This is a pivotal leg of your journey toward God. Don’t miss out on it!

VEHICLE No. 6 [SHARING]

Day 27

Guess What Happened to Me

Put two infants in a crib with one amazing rattling toy, and sharing is not what will happen! Sharing doesn’t come naturally to us; it’s a learned action. This is true of sharing our toys, our time, and definitely our story. The vehicle of SHARING is all about sharing your “God story” with someone else. The horsepower behind this vehicle may shock you! In Revelation 12:11, God is talking about how Satan tries to attack our lives and how he is defeated.


They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.

Revelation 12:11 (NIV)


The Word of God says that Satan wants to “kill, steal and destroy” our lives today (see John 10:10). God says that two things put Satan right back in his place—the blood of Jesus, which was shed when He died on the cross for you and me, and the power of our testimony.


Our “testimony” is simply the story of what our life was like before God, how we were introduced to God, and how our life has changed since we committed our life to Christ. When we share that story with others, it not only brings us closer to God, but has the ability to change other people’s lives as well.


This is demonstrated perfectly in the story of the woman who encountered Jesus at a well in Samaria. After speaking with Him, she ran back to her people and told them of Him.


Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

John 4:28-30 (NIV)


The woman simply told some others her story. She didn’t have a seminary degree. She wasn’t a pastor or a theologian. She didn’t know answers to difficult biblical questions. She just said, “Guess what happened to me!” And look what happened.


Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.

John 4:39-41 (NIV)


Watching those around her give their lives to God would change that woman forever. It would knit her heart closer to the heart of God, and it would change their lives for all of eternity. And this can and should be your story too!



Movement Day 27

TO DO

  • If you don’t have a “God story” yet, then today is the day! Ask God to forgive you of your sins and come into your life in a real and personal way. Today can be the first day of a brand new life with God.

  • If you’ve given your life to God already, then spend some time thanking Him for that today.

  • Ask God to begin showing you people in your own sphere of influence with whom you can share your testimony.


TO READ

MATTHEW 27 & PROVERBS 27 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

Sharing your story will not only change other people’s lives, it will bring you closer to God in a shocking fashion!


VEHICLE No. 6 [SHARING]

Day 28

First and Last

Vehicle No. 6: SHARING is not only a suggested spiritual vehicle, it’s a command from Jesus himself. Look at what He told His disciples in Matthew 4, the moment they began following Him.


As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

Matthew 4:18-19 (NIV)


Jesus said, “If you follow Me, you’ll reach out to lost people, period!” He could have promised the disciples many things if they’d follow Him. Notice that He didn’t say you’ll be more disciplined or spiritual, you’ll know the Bible better, or you’ll become great preachers. Nope, Jesus just said, “If you’re a follower of Me, you need to share your story with people who need to hear it.”


It’s interesting to note that the very first thing Jesus told His disciples was that they would reach out to lost people. It’s also the very last thing He told them before He left this world.


Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 28:19 (NIV)


The first thing Jesus told His followers, and the last thing He told them, was to make sure reaching out to lost people was an important part of their lives. SHARING your faith is what you do if you are a follower of Jesus Christ. Two entry-level methods of doing this are:


  1. Share your testimony. “I don’t know much, but I’ll tell you what happened to me.”

  2. Invite them to your local church. (This is tough to do if you still haven’t found one. If that’s you, keep searching!)


SHARING your faith with those you love will change your relationship with God, and it just might change the lives of people in your sphere of influence forever!



Movement Day 28

TO DO

  • Ask God to continue showing you people you can reach out to.

  • Ask God to give you the courage to actually begin SHARING with those around you.

  • Spend some time today just talking to God about whatever is on your mind. Ask Him to get involved in the details of your life and to help you sense His presence in your life today.


TO READ

MATTHEW 28 & PROVERBS 28 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

Your story is powerful, regardless of how you started following God. Your story will help other people experience God if and only if you decide to SHARE it. So start sharing.


VEHICLE No. 6 [SHARING]

Day 29

Get Dunked

One of the best ways of sharing your “God story” is by obeying God and getting publicly baptized. The word baptize comes from the Greek word baptizo, which means to be dunked or submerged in water. All through the New Testament we see people deciding to follow Jesus, and then immediately they were instructed to get baptized.


Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you.”

Acts 2:38 (NIV)


Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Acts 2:41 (NIV)


Simon himself believed and was baptized.

Acts 8:13 (NIV)


Baptism signifies the old you being washed away; when you come up out of the water, it represents the fact you are a new creation in Christ.


If you’ve put your faith in Jesus Christ, getting baptized is your first opportunity to be obedient. Baptism in the New Testament was always done by submersion in water, and it was always done publicly. Talk to someone at your local church about when and where you can be baptized. Tell those close to you about your decision to be baptized, and it will speak volumes to them about your relationship with God.


There are few acts of obedience that will bring you closer to God than being baptized. It will take you places you haven’t been spiritually, and it will allow you to share your faith with others in the process. It’s a win-win!



Movement Day 29

TO DO

  • Contact your local church, and ask them when and where you can get baptized. (If you don’t have a church you attend yet, that should be job 1.)

  • Spend some time thanking God that He’s transforming your life.


TO READ

PROVERBS 29 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

Getting baptized might be a little scary, but the benefits are through the roof! Go get baptized ASAP! It will change your connection with God, and affect those you care about on the way there!


VEHICLE No. 5 [GIVING]


Today concludes our daily thoughts about Vehicle No. 6: SHARING.


There are few things on this earth that will move you the way watching a loved one receive forgiveness from Jesus Christ will! This is a scary vehicle for all of us to start operating, but you can do this. It doesn’t have to be weird and out of place. You don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not, or to know things that you don’t know. It almost always starts with, “I’ll tell you what happened to me,” and then you just let God do the rest. Sharing your faith will change you, it will bring you closer to God, and it just might change somebody else’s eternity.

Day 30

Rubber Hits the Road

The fastest production car on the planet won’t do anybody any good until the rubber hits the road. The same thing can be said about the spiritual principles talked about in TRANSIT. Until the rubber hits the road, until these principles are actually put into practice, they won’t do you any good. After what many people refer to as the greatest speech ever given was recorded in Matthew 5-7, Jesus said this:


Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)


Jesus was telling everyone listening that, unless you act on what you’ve learned, you aren’t going to get anywhere. James, the half brother of Jesus put it like this:


Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

James 1:22-25 (NIV)


We’ve talked for 30 days about how to move closer to God, and now it’s time to make sure we’re actually doing that. Let’s get extremely practical and get these spiritual vehicles out on the road. Now that you’ve crossed the finish line, go back to the starting point of this book and read it again! Or pass it along to someone you care about who needs to start moving closer to God. Don’t consider yourself finished with this journey, but simply at the end of lap 1. You’ve got countless laps to go. As you’ll find, getting closer to God is a lifelong journey that will change you, change those around you, and will propel you into a real and authentic connection with God himself.



Movement Day 30

TO DO

Write down your plan of attack on the following items:


  1. When and where will you have a daily prayer time? Get it on the calendar.

  2. When and where will you daily spend time in the Bible? Get it on the calendar.

  3. Are there relationships you need to avoid or end? When and where will you begin to proactively cultivate Christ-centered relationships into your life?

  4. When, where and how will you begin serving others? Write it down.

  5. When, where and how will you start giving back to God? Write it down.

  6. With whom can you begin sharing your story and inviting to church? Are you signed up for your church’s next baptism?


TO READ

PROVERBS 30 - Write down one thought.


TO REMEMBER

This is a lifelong journey, and although you’ll never fully arrive until the day you die, as you continue to move closer to God, you’ll continue to experience the blessings of God along the way.


These six spiritual vehicles will never be outdated, and the importance of each will never diminish in your life. God wants to be closer to you. He wants to change your life along the way. He loves you just the way you are, right here, right now. And He has a specific plan for your life.


Now is not the time to stop pursuing God. Instead, it’s the time to put the pedal to the metal and put the six spiritual vehicles on the road every day of your life. Do so, and you can expect to have what Jesus calls, “the best possible life.” It’s one that is focused on constantly growing closer to God, and Him revealing more and more of himself to you.



STAYING IN TRANSIT TOWARD GOD


VEHICLE No. 1 [PRAYER]

Talk to God daily.


VEHICLE No. 2 [THE BIBLE]

Continue reading through the New Testament and reading a chapter in Proverbs a day. Branch out into the Old Testament and ask God to keep speaking to you every single day.


VEHICLE No. 3 [RELATIONSHIPS]

Constantly monitor your relationships and make sure they are pushing you closer to God.


VEHICLE No. 4 [SERVING]

Your local church is key here. Volunteer in and out of the church and keep looking for opportunities to use your blessings to bless others.


VEHICLE No. 5 [GIVING]

God will amaze you in so many areas of your life as you continue being a faithful giver to His kingdom.


VEHICLE No. 6 [SHARING]

As you attempt to share what God is doing in your life, He’ll use you in crazy ways to influence people all around you. And this process will change you!

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