True Worship – Day 10

Who and what we point at becomes primary

Today’s reading – Psalm 29, John 4:21-24

I have played my fair share of basketball over the years.  One particular time one of my teammates threw me a perfect pass that led to a layup for me.  I scored the points but without the perfect pass no basket would have happened. That is recorded as an assist.  I remember after that pass pointing and nodding to him as if to say, “that was all you.”   God loves it when we succeed and then point at Him as the one who made it happen.  Who is getting the credit in your life?  True worship is living all out for all the glory to go to our Father in heaven.

“We don’t live to get the credit, we live to give the glory.”

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:23-24

 

The only way we are going to be able to point in the right direction is if our life is guided by the Spirit of God.  This is an everyday continual alignment process.  When we think of worship in our culture most of our thinking goes towards a Sunday worship service, someone giving a sermon, or the music at an organized worship gathering.  But everything in our life everyday is to point to God and his work in our lives.  If we are to fully follow Jesus there will be pain, because there are probably activities in our lives that are not bringing glory and credit to God.  Is there anywhere in your life you are trying to get more credit?  Is there anything that doesn’t give him glory?  Is there clear evidence in your life you follow Christ.

 

Here are some transparent questions to meditate on today as you gauge who is getting the credit and the glory…

 

1. What is your source of strength? – Are you one who relies on yourself and do you consider yourself self-sufficient?  Do you pride yourself in being the underdog and rising up from nothing?    Has your own personal ambition worn you out?   

 

2. Who do you seek approval from? –  Does personal accomplishment and achievement drive you because of money, accolades or other people’s opinions.  Do you desire people to like you more than others so much that you would do anything, including hurting others, to gain their approval? Is there anyone you are jealous of?

 

3. Who or what are you afraid of? – Is there anyone you are trying to push down and keep from succeeding because you fear they may take your place?  Do you worry excessively about what someone might do and do you have a layer of mistrust for almost everyone.  Do you talk about others way too much.

 

If you missed the explanation of our 40 Day fasting and prayer, here is the Sunday message from 217church

Josh

The 40 Day Fasting Explanation

A season of fasting and prayer – Over the next 40 days leading up to our 9th anniversary, our church family will be in a season of fasting and prayer.  I invite you to come along with us and ask God for a transformation by the renewal of our minds.

A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

1. An Everyday Habit in the Word – Each day I will be sending out a short devotional based on some selected readings.  This begins through a simple prayer of asking God to renew us.

2. Continual Fasting  – A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

God has blessed us through incredibly unique circumstances over the last nine years as 217church.  We have baptized over 275 people and been given the unique calling to have a church planting and multiplication vision.  The past 18 months of ministry have led the pastors and elders to call us as a congregation to a season of prayer and fasting.  We want to use this time to understand the depth of God’s heart for us and the next steps he is calling us to.  I trust your heart will be open and God will bring us to a deeper understanding of what it means to “rebuild lives one person at a time.”

We believe God wants us to fast over a period of 40 days.  As a reminder, what you choose to fast is between you and Jesus. But you may want to include some natural encouragement and accountability over this 40 day period.  This may mean you are doing one of the following as an example:

  • Skipping a meal or a whole day of meals.
  • Eliminating something like sugar, coffee, or meat to remind you of your total dependence on God.
  • Encouraging one another in the church family as you pray together and sacrifice your physical sustenance for spiritual direction and focus.

What will God do? I am looking forward to see his direction.

Renewal is on the way – Join me along this process

 

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information, or watch a weekend message here.

Consistency – Day 9

Today’s reading – James 1:1-18, 1 Corinthians 15:56-58

I was running on Quakerbridge road today during rush hour and it was bumper to bumper traffic.  Over the course of about a mile I slowly but surely would pass cars plodding along at my 8:00 per mile pace. I started playing a game with this one particular BMW, he would pass me, then I would pass him.  This happened several times but eventually he got stuck and I smoked him.  Over the course of about a mile I won.  I ran a mile with my little shoes faster than he drove with his BMW 7 series.  I ran faster than a car today.  Why?  Consistency…

“Consistency is the catalyst for change.”

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain...”  1 Corinthians 15:58

 

What you are doing matters.  How is your race going?  There is a word that I love reading in the Bible – Steadfast.  219 times in the Bible we see a form of this word.  Most of the time the word is used to explain the nature of God.  Sixteen times in the New Testament we come across this verse and it mainly, in letters to the church, encourages us to mirror and model the steadfastness of Jesus in our faith and deeds.  In short, be consistent.  But consistency is hard.  It requires discipline.  Tonight at the dinner table the kids were going around saying what they were thankful for and Godfrey said,  “I am thankful for discipline because it teaches us how to learn and if you don’t have it you won’t learn.”  

 

Whoa!! Little man, where did you get such wisdom? I have no idea where it came from but he nailed it.  Steadfastness comes from the Spirit of God that enables us to have discipline.  This exceedingly pleases God.  May you be steadfast in your example to each other as the church as he renews us together during this time of prayer and fasting.

 

If you missed the explanation of our 40 Day fasting and prayer, here is the Sunday message from 217church

Josh

The 40 Day Fasting Explanation

A season of fasting and prayer – Over the next 40 days leading up to our 9th anniversary, our church family will be in a season of fasting and prayer.  I invite you to come along with us and ask God for a transformation by the renewal of our minds.

A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

1. An Everyday Habit in the Word – Each day I will be sending out a short devotional based on some selected readings.  This begins through a simple prayer of asking God to renew us.

2. Continual Fasting  – A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

God has blessed us through incredibly unique circumstances over the last nine years as 217church.  We have baptized over 275 people and been given the unique calling to have a church planting and multiplication vision.  The past 18 months of ministry have led the pastors and elders to call us as a congregation to a season of prayer and fasting.  We want to use this time to understand the depth of God’s heart for us and the next steps he is calling us to.  I trust your heart will be open and God will bring us to a deeper understanding of what it means to “rebuild lives one person at a time.”

We believe God wants us to fast over a period of 40 days.  As a reminder, what you choose to fast is between you and Jesus. But you may want to include some natural encouragement and accountability over this 40 day period.  This may mean you are doing one of the following as an example:

  • Skipping a meal or a whole day of meals.
  • Eliminating something like sugar, coffee, or meat to remind you of your total dependence on God.
  • Encouraging one another in the church family as you pray together and sacrifice your physical sustenance for spiritual direction and focus.

What will God do? I am looking forward to see his direction.

Renewal is on the way – Join me along this process

 

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information, or watch a weekend message here.

You Didn’t See This Coming – Day 8

Today’s reading – Acts 16:16-24

It’s late and you are tired.  You had a hard day and you would rather forget about it.  You feel like you have been beaten and the world has you bound in shackles in prison.  You just lost your job. You are a prisoner to your own pain.  You have a physical disease, a mountain of debt, an addiction and one step forward feels impossible.  You just need some sleep, everything is blurry. You are a prisoner of your own sin, your own doing.  Worse, you are a prisoner because of what someone else has gruesomely done to you.  It’s not fair and you wonder inside if anyone cares. It is all finally coming to a head, something has to give.

“and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened…”  Acts 16:26

 

Then out of nowhere comes this urge.   It’s unlike any impulse you have ever had.  It resonates deep within you.  It is a song from long ago your mother and father used to sing.  A song that you had once forgotten and you somehow recall all the words as if you have sung this song every day since the pain first began.  It is a song with a reminder that someone loves you. A song that speaks of something you haven’t lived in a lifetime.

It is not normal to sing at midnight.  It is quiet where you are.  People are sleeping, but you have to let this song out of you and activate your vocal chords. Your faith is too fragile to remain silent.  At first it is a slight hum, then a little louder and louder…then out of nowhere you break forth into song.

It heals, it refreshes, it soothes, it stirs, it wells up from deep within and emotions pour out.  You recall, you repent, and then somehow you regain trust in your Jesus.  It is your greatest moment of worship and you realize an earthquake just happened.  You are in rubble but no stronghold is left, no worldly monuments left standing.  The prison door is wide open. Your heart is open.  No addiction has you.  No words from the past bind you, your bond has been unfastened, the church is free.

Isn’t it time this happens to you…us?

Sing at midnight…You never know when God is about to pull off a miracle, our job is to keep singing.

 

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information, or watch a weekend message here.

Nowhere To Go But Up – Day 5

Today’s reading – Luke 10:17-20, 2 Corinthians 4:7-11

Transformation Circumstance  – I am at rock bottom

Today we look at the fourth circumstance of transformation almost all of us experience.  Have you been there?  That moment when you realize it has all fallen apart?  You feel like there is absolutely no hope at all and there is nowhere to go but up.   One of my mentors used to tell me, “you are either about ready to go into a difficult time, in a difficult time, or just coming out of one.”  Where are you?  This post today is for all of you who find yourselves sitting on the floor isolated, alone, head in your hands feeling like there is no way out and no way forward.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed but not driven to despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed.”  2 Corinthians 4:8-9

 

Take heart!  The hardest part about being at rock bottom is not knowing when it is going to end.  When we face the bottom we ask ourselves, does anyone care and when will this end?  I have the answer to the first question, but the answer to the second question is one that is a mystery and therein lies the challenge of life.  The answer to the first question is an identity question.  Often when we hit rock bottom, we forget our identity and can’t recall who we are.

 

Identity is a powerful thing.  At it’s core it defines our character and marks our soul like no other.  One time when Jesus was speaking with his disciples he gave them a powerful reminder about their identity.  He told them they had authority.  So many times when we lose the job, run out of money, our relationship ends in shambles, or our addiction gets the best of us, we lose ourselves.  What we lost was our identity.  Maybe you are reading this and you have forgotten who you are.  Remember no matter what you go through you are a child of the living God, He didn’t make a mistake with you and deliverance is on the way.  But first you have to get into your head that you aren’t abandoned, alone, and outcasted… You – Belong.

 

So let me give you these 4 reminders of who you are, even if you are at rock bottom, struck down but not destroyed.

 

1. You Are More Than a Conqueror – It mat not feel like it, but you are, scripture says it and it’s true. (Romans 8:38-39)

 

2. You Are Chosen –  God isn’t into randomness. He deliberately put you on this earth for a purpose and he has one for you.  No one said it would be easy to walk this life but he has chosen you. (Ephesians 1:5a)

 

3. You Are His Son / Daughter – This means you are a part of the family of God, and this means you need a church family.  If you don’t have one, you need to make it a priority.  Find a church that reminds you of who you are in Christ by allowing you to serve it with your whole life. (Ephesians 1:5b)

 

4. Nothing Can Stop Us – Even though the world may come against you, you have a heavenly father who loves you and is for you.  When Jesus hit rock bottom, he knew his father would raise him up to a greater mission of ministry.  You have the same heavenly father as Jesus does. Depend on his strong hands.  (Romans 8:31)

“Behold I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”  
Luke 10:19

One more thing, if you have recently come through a rock bottom experience, now is the time to throw a big party and celebrate the faithfulness of God!

 (Tomorrow I am taking the day off from writing and will be back with you Sunday for day 7)

Josh

The 40 Day Fasting Explanation

A season of fasting and prayer – Over the next 40 days leading up to our 9th anniversary, our church family will be in a season of fasting and prayer.  I invite you to come along with us and ask God for a transformation by the renewal of our minds.

A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

1. An Everyday Habit in the Word – Each day I will be sending out a short devotional based on some selected readings.  This begins through a simple prayer of asking God to renew us.

2. Continual Fasting  – A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

God has blessed us through incredibly unique circumstances over the last nine years as 217church.  We have baptized over 275 people and been given the unique calling to have a church planting and multiplication vision.  The past 18 months of ministry have led the pastors and elders to call us as a congregation to a season of prayer and fasting.  We want to use this time to understand the depth of God’s heart for us and the next steps he is calling us to.  I trust your heart will be open and God will bring us to a deeper understanding of what it means to “rebuild lives one person at a time.”

We believe God wants us to fast over a period of 40 days.  As a reminder, what you choose to fast is between you and Jesus. But you may want to include some natural encouragement and accountability over this 40 day period.  This may mean you are doing one of the following as an example:

  • Skipping a meal or a whole day of meals.
  • Eliminating something like sugar, coffee, or meat to remind you of your total dependence on God.
  • Encouraging one another in the church family as you pray together and sacrifice your physical sustenance for spiritual direction and focus.

What will God do? I am looking forward to see his direction.

Renewal is on the way – Join me along this process

 

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information, or watch a weekend message here.

This Isn’t Fair – Day 4

Today’s reading – Matthew 5:10-11, 2 Corinthians 4:7-11

Transformation Circumstance  – I didn’t do anything wrong

Today we look at the third circumstance of transformation almost all of us experience.  Probably the most confused I have ever been about my relationship with Jesus is when I feel like something isn’t fair. You keep the rules, you are following him with great passion and then BAM, something hard happens.  Maybe you feel like you deserve more, maybe you feel forgotten and passed over, it’s the worst.  Sometimes we are taken through experiences when it feels like God isn’t there, or even that He cares.  When things aren’t fair it causes us to ask, “where are you God?”

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed but not driven to despair, persecuted but not forsaken.”  2 Corinthians 4:8-9

 

When the hardest times come in life we can feel forgotten by God.  The word for forsaken in the passage literally means deserted and abandoned.  But here is the truth,  just because our circumstances leave us feeling a certain way it doesn’t mean God isn’t there.  The enemy may have you believing an illusion of isolation.  Our perception can lead to paralysis, but it just isn’t true.

 

When Jesus went to the cross and was enduring the most excruciating experience known to man at the time, he uttered the words, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) Could it be the reason that Jesus was willing to be absolutely forsaken by God, humiliated, left alone, left for dead with certain death, lonely, enduring one hundred percent despair, was so we would know he would NEVER, EVER do that to us?  Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for sin, and He was separated from God so we wouldn’t have to be!  Maybe you have always only thought of God as one who forgives sin through Jesus.  This is true, but have you ever truly contemplated and meditated on the nature of separation that Jesus endured so we never would have to?

 

Son or daughter of the living God, I know you are facing the most excruciating situation you ever have, but the truth above means HE WILL NEVER ABANDON YOU.  Believe this…

 

1. Your Isolation is an Illusion – The enemy will do anything and everything he can to get you to believe the lie that the Spirit isn’t with you. Jesus will never leave you and nothing can separate you from Him.  (Hebrews 13:5, Romans 8:38-39)

 

2. Your Loneliness is overshadowed by Love – Whenever you sense being isolated and alone remember the love poured out on the cross that overshadows your perceived loneliness.  (Psalm 91:1, Titus 3:5-6)

 

3. Your Struggle is for a Season –  Whatever you are facing, it will pass.  I’m not trying to minimize your struggle, but give it time, dive into his refining process.  He is protecting you, pruning you, and proving you…the morning is coming.  (Psalm 30:1-5)

 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  
Matthew 5:10

Josh

The 40 Day Fasting Explanation

A season of fasting and prayer – Over the next 40 days leading up to our 9th anniversary, our church family will be in a season of fasting and prayer.  I invite you to come along with us and ask God for a transformation by the renewal of our minds.

A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

1. An Everyday Habit in the Word – Each day I will be sending out a short devotional based on some selected readings.  This begins through a simple prayer of asking God to renew us.

2. Continual Fasting  – A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

God has blessed us through incredibly unique circumstances over the last nine years as 217church.  We have baptized over 275 people and been given the unique calling to have a church planting and multiplication vision.  The past 18 months of ministry have led the pastors and elders to call us as a congregation to a season of prayer and fasting.  We want to use this time to understand the depth of God’s heart for us and the next steps he is calling us to.  I trust your heart will be open and God will bring us to a deeper understanding of what it means to “rebuild lives one person at a time.”

We believe God wants us to fast over a period of 40 days.  As a reminder, what you choose to fast is between you and Jesus. But you may want to include some natural encouragement and accountability over this 40 day period.  This may mean you are doing one of the following as an example:

  • Skipping a meal or a whole day of meals.
  • Eliminating something like sugar, coffee, or meat to remind you of your total dependence on God.
  • Encouraging one another in the church family as you pray together and sacrifice your physical sustenance for spiritual direction and focus.

What will God do? I am looking forward to see his direction.

Renewal is on the way – Join me along this process

 

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information, or watch a weekend message here.

Help! I Don’t Know What To Do – Day 3

Today’s reading – 2 Corinthians 4:7-11, Psalm 90:12

Transformation Circumstance  – I don’t know what to do

Today we look at the second circumstance of transformation almost all of us experience.  Sometimes I just don’t know what to do.  It may be a job, marriage, or parenting decision.  Maybe you have prayed, consulted friends and wise people, but you just don’t know what to do. Depending on our different personalities and experiences some of us may be predisposed to indecision, but there is a way to deal with being perplexed.

 

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed but not driven to despair.”  2 Corinthians 4:8b

 

A wise mentor once told me, “It’s less about the decision you make and more about how you make the decision.”  When I heard that phrase about twenty-five years ago as a young man, it stopped me dead in my tracks.  It doesn’t diminish the importance of the decision but emphasizes how we get to our answers.  I had never stopped to think God may be trying to teach me how to make the decision not just testing me to see if I made the right decision.  As a matter of fact in certain cases there may not be a wrong answer.  I believe if we are willing to take our time and be more deliberate in our decision making, it keeps us from being despaired.  So what is a good decision making filter?

-Did you ask God? – I don’t mean to be captain obvious, but sometimes we say all the right things, make some plans and then ask God to bless our plans.  If you haven’t asked God, you might want to start there.

-Did you seek Godly counsel? – The bigger the decision the longer it will take and the more trusted voices you need to help you.  We tend to get ourselves into trouble when our impulses deceive us.  Remember we all have blind spots and you have to be humble enough to invite people in to see what you don’t see.  One perspective is never enough.  One person usually isn’t that good.

-Did you get a CLEAR answer/confirmation?  What is the rush? If you don’t know you don’t know – It’s ok…Sometimes no decision is the best decision.  Remember not now doesn’t necessarily mean not ever, it just means wait.  Therein lies the tension.  Not having the answer means we must wait on the Lord.  Could it be in your perplexed state you are being transformed because God is drawing you in to deeper dependence on him?  Maybe not having the answer and not making a decision is protecting you from an irresponsible action that could ruin you and those under your influence.

-Let Him do it – Maybe during this fast you need to ask God for confirmation, or maybe you need a supernatural intervention.  Last September I was growing frustrated by some circumstances and while I was on a run I heard God whisper in my ear, “let me do it.”  At first I didn’t like it, but as every day passes I am growing more trusting in the timing and sovereignty of God  #thinkdifferently

 

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom…”  
Psalm 90:12

Josh

The 40 Day Fasting Explanation

A season of fasting and prayer – Over the next 40 days leading up to our 9th anniversary, our church family will be in a season of fasting and prayer.  I invite you to come along with us and ask God for a transformation by the renewal of our minds.

A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

1. An Everyday Habit in the Word – Each day I will be sending out a short devotional based on some selected readings.  This begins through a simple prayer of asking God to renew us.

2. Continual Fasting  – A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

God has blessed us through incredibly unique circumstances over the last nine years as 217church.  We have baptized over 275 people and been given the unique calling to have a church planting and multiplication vision.  The past 18 months of ministry have led the pastors and elders to call us as a congregation to a season of prayer and fasting.  We want to use this time to understand the depth of God’s heart for us and the next steps he is calling us to.  I trust your heart will be open and God will bring us to a deeper understanding of what it means to “rebuild lives one person at a time.”

We believe God wants us to fast over a period of 40 days.  As a reminder, what you choose to fast is between you and Jesus. But you may want to include some natural encouragement and accountability over this 40 day period.  This may mean you are doing one of the following as an example:

  • Skipping a meal or a whole day of meals.
  • Eliminating something like sugar, coffee, or meat to remind you of your total dependence on God.
  • Encouraging one another in the church family as you pray together and sacrifice your physical sustenance for spiritual direction and focus.

What will God do? I am looking forward to see his direction.

Renewal is on the way – Join me along this process

 

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information, or watch a weekend message here.

Transformation Is Painful – Day 2

Today’s reading – 2 Corinthians 4:7-11

Transformation Circumstance  – I am in pain

Over the next four days of the fast we will look at four circumstances of transformation almost all of us experience.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I don’t want to know how hard transformation will be because I naturally will avoid the situation.  But sometimes it’s good to know what could happen because it helps us to be realistic about circumstances in life.

 

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed.”  2 Corinthians 4:8

 

How are you being afflicted right now?  What is happening in your life that is causing you your deepest pain?  Be assured this pain you are facing is not because God is angry at you, and sometimes the pain is not even your fault.  The pain comes from being a part of a broken system and a fallen world full of sin.  Even if the physical pain is your fault, things can change and you and ask God for forgiveness. Maybe it is physical pain, maybe it is emotional but remember who has the victory.  Remember that just as God is in the process of redeeming the world, he wants to use you to bring restoration to those around you.  As you walk forward and carry your pain with you, your deepest pain is the source of your greatest impact.  Find people in your life today you can bless and encourage because of your situation.  God must do something deep in you before he does something great through you.  It takes a disciplined person to think differently about their situation.  Adjust your perspective and give God the glory in every way through your situation.  #thinkdifferently

 

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”      
Romans 12:2

Josh

The 40 Day Fasting Explanation

A season of fasting and prayer – Over the next 40 days leading up to our 9th anniversary, our church family will be in a season of fasting and prayer.  I invite you to come along with us and ask God for a transformation by the renewal of our minds.

A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

1. An Everyday Habit in the Word – Each day I will be sending out a short devotional based on some selected readings.  This begins through a simple prayer of asking God to renew us.

2. Continual Fasting  – A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

God has blessed us through incredibly unique circumstances over the last nine years as 217church.  We have baptized over 275 people and been given the unique calling to have a church planting and multiplication vision.  The past 18 months of ministry have led the pastors and elders to call us as a congregation to a season of prayer and fasting.  We want to use this time to understand the depth of God’s heart for us and the next steps he is calling us to.  I trust your heart will be open and God will bring us to a deeper understanding of what it means to “rebuild lives one person at a time.”

We believe God wants us to fast over a period of 40 days.  As a reminder, what you choose to fast is between you and Jesus. But you may want to include some natural encouragement and accountability over this 40 day period.  This may mean you are doing one of the following as an example:

  • Skipping a meal or a whole day of meals.
  • Eliminating something like sugar, coffee, or meat to remind you of your total dependence on God.
  • Encouraging one another in the church family as you pray together and sacrifice your physical sustenance for spiritual direction and focus.

What will God do? I am looking forward to see his direction.

Renewal is on the way – Join me along this process

 

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information, or watch a weekend message here.

Uncork the New Vision – Day 1

How was the first week of your new year? For most of us I am sure not much has changed from the last week in 2018.  People are talking less and less about their new year’s plans, but a select few will push forward and make a transition capitalizing on a new year with fresh vision.

Fresh vision is an incredibly important part of our spiritual walk.  Jesus once gave an example of the difference between a new wineskin and an old wineskin.  If you try and put the new wine, (aka the new vision), in an old wineskin, (the old system) it will break wasting the new wine and all it has to offer.  The same goes for new vision in our lives.  If you try and put new vision in an old system, it doesn’t work.

But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”  Matthew 9:17

 

The mistake we often make is getting a new vision before we have a new wineskin.  While the new vision isn’t necessarily wrong, it never takes because we need a new wineskin, a renewal of our Spirit to place the new vision in.  So how do we get renewed?  It’s really not that complicated.  We need renewal of the mind.

 

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”      
Romans 12:2

So how does this happen?

A season of fasting and prayer – Over the next 40 days leading up to our 9th anniversary we will be in a season of fasting and prayer.  I invite you to come along with us and ask God for a transformation by the renewal of our minds.

A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

1. An Everyday Habit in the Word – Each day I will be sending out a short devotional based on some selected readings.  This begins through a simple prayer of asking God to renew us.

Today’s reading – Matthew 9:14-17, Romans 12:1-2

2. Continual Fasting  – A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church

God has blessed us through incredibly unique circumstances over the last nine years as 217church.  We have baptized over 275 people and been given the unique calling to have a church planting and multiplication vision.  The past 18 months of ministry have led the pastors and elders to call us as a congregation to a season of prayer and fasting.  We want to use this time to understand the depth of God’s heart for us and the next steps he is calling us to.  I trust your heart will be open and God will bring us to a deeper understanding of what it means to “rebuild lives one person at a time.”

We believe God wants us to fast over a period of 40 days.  As a reminder, what you choose to fast is between you and Jesus. But you may want to include some natural encouragement and accountability over this 40 day period.  This may mean you are doing one of the following as an example:

  • Skipping a meal or a whole day of meals.
  • Eliminating something like sugar, coffee, or meat to remind you of your total dependence on God.
  • Encouraging one another in the church family as you pray together and sacrifice your physical sustenance for spiritual direction and focus.

What will God do? I am looking forward to see his direction.

Renewal is on the way – Join me along this process

 

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information, or watch a weekend message here.