Day 30

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Day 30

Think.

How many times would you say you have come back to God already in your life?

Journal.

What can you foresee that might make it hard for you to continue living in a sense of closeness with God? What can you do to avoid straying from God (or at least straying so far from God) in the future?

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the confidence that I can live a brand-new life.

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Day 29

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Day 29

Think.

How do you think God has gifted and called you to serve others?

Journal.

Record some steps you could take to get involved in a form of serving where your joy intersects with the world’s needs.

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the confidence that I can live a brand-new life.

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Day 28

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Day 28

Think.

Have you ever been part of a small group of Jesus followers? If so, what was the experience like?

Journal.

How could you find a group of other Jesus followers with whom you could spend time, really get to know, and talk with honestly about your spiritual journey? How might it help in your ongoing desire to live at “home” with your Father? Write down a plan to participate in a small group.

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the confidence that I can live a brand-new life.

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Day 27

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Day 27

Think.

How do you feel about having a daily time of prayer and Bible reading?

Journal.

Journal about the obstacles that keep you from meeting with the Lord regularly in a time of personal devotions. If you were to get started (or restarted) with a time of Bible reading, reflection, and prayer, what time of day would be best for that? What place would be best? What Bible reading plan would you follow?

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the confidence that I can live a brand-new life.

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Day 26

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Day 26

Think.

What has been your experience with church and church people?

Journal.

What can you do to more fully participate in the church's activities and worship? 

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the confidence that I can live a brand-new life.

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Day 25

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Day 25

Think.

How is your life new and different now, compared to when you were feeling so distant from God?

Journal.

Write about the changes God has brought into your new life with him. Also write about the additional changes you hope or expect to see in your new life with the Father.

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the confidence that I can live a brand-new life.

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Day 24

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Day 24

Think.

Are you at the point of being able to say with conviction, “God loves me deeply after all”?

Journal.

Write about where you are in accepting God’s grace— not taking it for granted, but not denying it either. Explore in writing how receiving the overwhelming gift of being God’s child has given you spiritual freedom.

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the awareness that I am your unconditionally loved child.
Since … you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
— Colossians 3:1-4

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Day 23

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Day 23

Think.

What indications has God given you that you are now his child?

Journal.

Do you feel that God has spoken to you about his love for you? Has he given you freedom in areas where you once felt bound? Do you have a new peace that you can’t explain without God? Record any proof of your new identity in Jesus you have received. Return to this list later when you need encouragement.

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the awareness that I am your unconditionally loved child.

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Day 22

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Day 22

Think.

How does the way you view yourself compare with the way God views you?

Journal.

Writing from God’s perspective (just as you did yesterday), complete the phrase “[ Your Name Here], to me you are ________________.” (For example,

“Angela, to me you are a dearly loved child” or “Diego, to me you are holy and pure by my Spirit.”) Complete the phrase as many ways as you like, drawing on what you know of God’s nature from the Bible.

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the awareness that I am your unconditionally loved child.

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Day 21

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Day 21

Think.

What would help you realize that God has wiped your shame and guilt away, totally and permanently?

Journal.

Go back to the shame messages you wrote down yesterday. Now write what you think God might say to contradict these messages.

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the awareness that I am your unconditionally loved child.

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Day 20

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Day 20

Think.

How does shame linger in your spirit, even after you know you have been forgiven by God?

Journal.

Write down the messages shame whispers to you. Describe how these messages affect you.

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the awareness that I am your unconditionally loved child.

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Day 19

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Day 19

Think.

When you think about God’s welcome of you as his child, do you sometimes have the reaction “I don’t deserve this” because his grace seems incredible?

Journal.

Write about a time (or times) when you have felt that God’s grace toward you was too great to comprehend or accept. Explore in your journaling what might be the causes of this resistance to grace.

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the awareness that I am your unconditionally loved child.

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Day 18

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Day 18

Think.

Are you ready to follow Jesus as your way to come home to the heavenly Father?

Journal.

If you are ready to follow Jesus (or recommit to following him, if you’ve done it before), write out a prayer asking him to be your Leader and to show you the way home to God.

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the willingness to turn toward you for help.
I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge— that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
— Ephesians 3:14-19

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Day 17

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Day 17

Think.

When you hear that, in Jesus, God is with you and for you and even pursuing you, how do you react?

Journal.

Write a “pen portrait” of who you think Jesus is and what he means to you. Begin by writing, “To me, Jesus is __________________.”

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the willingness to turn toward you for help.

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Day 16

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Day 16

Think.

Which statement best describes your reaction to God’s grace?

  • “I don’t believe it.”
  • “I expect it!”
  • “I don’t expect it, but I believe it!”

Journal.

Identify your answer to the question above. Give the reason why you answered that way.

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the willingness to turn toward you for help.

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Day 15

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Day 15

Think.

Knowing all that you have done wrong in the past, how do you think God will receive you if you come home to him?

Journal.

Do you perceive God to be an angry judge, waiting to exact retribution for your sins? Is he a distant being who doesn’t really care about you? Is he an old softy who will let you off the hook with no consequences of any sort, regardless of what you’ve done? Or is he something else to you? How does your perception of him affect your readiness to take the step of repentance?

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the willingness to turn toward you for help.

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Day 14

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Day 14

Think.

One meaning of repentance is “to go back where you belong”*. Where do you belong?

Journal.

When you think about God, what does his role as Father mean to you? When you think about God’s presence, what does the term home say to you? Describe in writing your desire to go home to your heavenly Father. 

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the willingness to turn toward you for help.

*Repentance is about starting over and admitting, “I need help.” It is about turning away from our sin and return home to God.

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Day 13

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Day 13

Think.

What convinces you that you can’t start over in life in your own power alone?

Journal.

Describe the failures you’ve had in trying to start over in the past, or simply the inabilities you sense in yourself to fulfill the deepest longings of your heart. How are you crying out for help?

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the willingness to turn toward you for help.

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Day 12

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Day 12

Think.

Are you ready to start over?

Journal.

Describe how you feel about turning to God and seeing a real change in your circumstances at last.

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the possibility that with you I could start over again.
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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
— John 3:16-21

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Day 11

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Day 11

Think.

What do you think the turnaround of repentance* would mean for you?

Journal.

If you want a new start in life, what do you need to turn from? To whom would you turn? How would you go about making the radical turnaround of repentance? Write about these things.

Pray.

God, if you are real, make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the possibility that with you I could start over again.

*Repentance is not limited to emotions like contrition, guilt, and remorse. Repentance is more about action— it’s the starting over that happens as a result of those emotions. The thing is, we can feel bad and wish things were different and still not be repentant.

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