This year on the podcast, we’re challenging you to practically apply God’s Word to your everyday life!
Each month we’ll put forth a challenge that goes along with a theme for that month–a practical task or goal to help you grow deeper in your relationship with the Lord. Then, each week on the podcast, we’ll share verses and thoughts to help and encourage you in the challenge along the way. At the end of the month, join us for our Review Episode where we’ll share what we’ve been learning through the challenge!
For the last month of 2019, our next challenge is all about giving, as we remember the Greatest Gift of all time: the Savior of the World, wrapped in swaddling clothes that night so long ago in Bethlehem. This month we’re going to focus on serving others, and giving of ourselves in love, just as God gave of Himself in love to us!
Here’s this month’s challenge: each week of December, commit an act of loving service for someone. Maybe that’s caroling at a nursing home. Maybe that’s giving a gift to someone who isn’t expecting it. Maybe that’s helping a sibling with a project. If it’s out of love for the other person, it’s part of the challenge!
This month’s challenge is designed as a reminder of what God did for us in giving us the Gift of Salvation over 2000 years ago. As we enter this Christmas season, focus on loving others as God has loved us: sacrificially and unconditionally. Let’s share the Gift of Love with others this month!
For November, our new challenge may seem a little predictable for this month. But don’t let that stop you from going all out with it! As we read in Philippians 4:6, were called to be “careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” This month we’re going to focus on giving thanks to God for the things He’s done in our lives, and the incredible blessings He’s given us!
Here’s this month’s challenge, in two parts:
Make a list of 100 individual things you’re thankful for over the course of this month (download a printable list to fill out here).
Write a thank you note to someone who has done something for you recently.
This month’s challenge is in two parts because we want to focus on gratitude to God, and to others—both of which are important mindsets to cultivate. As with each of our challenges, the goal is not to be just “checking it off” to get it out of the way. So, listing off every element on the periodic table or every ingredient in your favorite dessert to count towards your 100 isn’t the idea! 🙂 Rather, take your time to truly thank God for each thing, and work in gratitude this month!
October 2019 - Be Still and Know
As we enter the month of October, our next challenge probably will seem a bit…simple. Yet, it’s perhaps one of the most important things we can do in life: learn to be still, and trust God, seeking Him for direction and guidance in our lives. And oddly enough, as we read in 1 Corinthians 1:27, “…God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;”. This month is going to be all about taking a step back from the noise and confusion around us and doing something simple, and something the world would call foolish: seeking to *know* the Lord!
So, here’s this month’s challenge: set aside some extra time each week to seek the Lord for direction, guidance, and fellowship.
For each one of us, exactly how we complete this challenge is going to look a little different. Maybe it’s getting up earlier in the morning to read God’s Word and pray. Perhaps it’s spending some time meditating on a verse or passage before bed. Maybe it’s taking an hour or two on the weekend to go outside, enjoy creation, and spend some time alone with God in the wonders He made. The point is to “be still,” and *know* God. Knowing means a relationship, and a relationship means spending time together.
This month especially, as always with our challenges, our goal is not to be just “checking it off” to get it out of the way. In fact, if you set some allotted time aside and you go over that, that’s a good thing! We hope you’ll join us this month as we seek to grow in our relationships with the Lord, seeking Him this month!
September 2019: Witnessing
For September, we’ll be switching gears a bit to a very different kind of challenge…one that will likely take us all out of our “comfort zones” a little! But that said, it’s something we’re all commanded to do: share the good news, the Gospel, with others!
So here’s this month’s Challenge: Look for opportunities to be a witness to others, and act on them!
Witnessing isn’t necessarily leading someone in the “sinners prayer”—it’s also sharing (through words *and* actions) the love of God with others in practical ways. Take this month as an opportunity to get in the habit of praying for the people you meet as you go about your everyday life, and ask God to give you a heart of love for them as He does, and for a chance to share that love. Then, be on the lookout for opportunities for answers to that prayer!
As always with our challenges, our goal with this challenge is to use it as a foundation for building a habit we don’t want to be just “checking it off” to get it out of the way—because of anything we can do, sharing what God has done in our lives with others is among the most important. Also, we didn’t set a specific number or any hard-fast goal for this month, because we absolutely have to rely on God’s leading in this area! We hope you’ll join us as we seek to share the good news of God’s love and salvation with others.
August 2019: Biblical Meditation
For the month of August, we’ve got an extra special challenge centered around another core principle of God’s Word. We’re going to be working on something we’re called to do in Psalm 1, where it says that a blessed man “delight[s] in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” We’re going to work on meditating on God’s Word, and seeking to make it truly part of our lives!
So, here’s our challenge for this month: Meditate on one new verse or passage of your choosing each week throughout August!
Some Suggestions for meditation:
- Don’t pick too long of a verse or passage–the point of meditation is to be able to consider the truths of God’s Word at a very small level.
- Don’t try to overwhelm yourself! Pick out your verse or passage and write it down on a 3×5 card–that way it’s easy to carry with you and think about throughout the day!
- Make a point to meditate on your verse or passage before going to bed
- Check and see if we have any VersePics for your verse–they exist to help you meditate on God’s Word!
As always, our goal with this challenge is to use it as a foundation for building a habit and discipline, not to be “checking it off” just to get it out of the way. Meditation in the Biblical sense doesn’t mean just “emptying your mind,” but rather filling it with God’s truth. We hope you’ll join us in this challenge as we seek to grow closer to the Lord this month by meditating on His Word!
July 2019: Journaling, Wisdom, and Instruction
As we head into July, we’ll be looking at a way to put into practice one of the most foundational principles in God’s Word: learning and applying the truth, especially from the “everyday lessons” we find all around us. As we’re encouraged by King Solomon in the book of Proverbs, we’re going to work on “Tak[ing] fast hold of instruction” as if our lives depend on it (Proverbs 4:13), and doing so by writing things down to help us remember (Proverbs 7:3).
So, here’s our challenge for this month: Write down something you’ve learned each day this month in a notebook or journal!
- Something that stood out to you in God’s Word
- A “life lesson” from an experience during the day
- A piece of wisdom or instruction (correction/reproof) you got from someone
- Some new fact or information (from school, research, etc.) from the day
We suggest you use a pocket-sized notebook to make it easier to write down things as you get the opportunity to—research shows this actually helps our brains remember better!
Also, for the very first time, this month’s challenge comes with a contest! Head on over to our contests page to find out how you could win one of two prize packs or our grand prize, including a subscription to Log and Jotter notebooks and a Fisher Space Pen!
As always, our goal with the challenge is not to simply “check it off,” but to use it as a springboard to learn the lessons God is teaching us through the everyday. And by learn, we’re talking about actually applying them, and seeking God’s guidance for how we need to change to become more like the men He’s called us to be. We’re looking forward to learning along with you as we seek the Lord together this month!
June 2019: Bible Memorization
For the month of June, we’re going to turn our attention to something that’s crucial in our Christian lives. Something that, to borrow from Psalm 119:105, is a “…lamp unto [our] feet and a light unto [our] path.” This month, we’re diving into Bible memorization, and “hiding God’s Word in our heart!”
Here’s our challenge for this month: Memorize a passage at least 15 verses in length by the end of June!
Some suggested passages:
- Matthew 5:1-16
- John 1:1-16
- John 15:1-15
- Any other passage you want that’s at least 15 verses long!
For this month, you’ll also want to be working with an accountability partner–a parent, sibling, or close friend–who can check you on your passage as you work on memorizing it. Let’s take this month as an opportunity to help each other “stay sharp,” hiding God’s Word in our heart, and above just being able to quote them, learning about and studying the passages we’re memorizing!
May 2019: Prayer
For the month of May, we’re going to be focusing on something very special: something that allows us to have an audience with the “Supreme Commander of the Universe.” It’s something that Jesus even did, as he said in Luke 22:42, “…not my will, but thine be done.” We’re talking about prayer, and learning to fellowship with God!
So, here’s our challenge for this month: Set aside at least 10 minutes a day for prayer every day this month!
Our goal this month is once again to avoid thinking about the challenge as something to just “check off,” but to look forward to an appointment of fellowship with God each day, in addition to talking to God “without ceasing” throughout the day (we’ll be discussing that too!). In fact, if you already have habit of prayer each day, take the challenge to the next level, and increase your normal time of fellowship with God by 10 minutes! We want to be encouraging you to make a habit of setting aside time to go before God’s Throne, interceding for others, and seeking God’s direction and guidance in every step of our lives. Join us on the podcast each week as we dig deeper into what God’s Word has to say about this incredible privilege of communing with our Heavenly Father in prayer!
April 2019: Easter and Sacrifice
- Fasting from desserts, snacks, or some other “non-essential” food
- Taking a break from social media
- Cutting out movies or other entertainment
March 2019: Fitness
- Set a new personal record (distance, time, reps, etc.) in an activity of your choice (running, lifting, etc.)
- Lose (or gain) a specific amount of weight by careful eating and exercise.
- Successfully start a fitness routine
February 2019: "Love Thy Neighbor"
For the month of February, we’re focusing on the “Second Greatest Commandment” from Mark 12:31, “…Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…” As we follow this command, we’re spreading the love of God to those around us–being an example of Jesus as we seek to follow Him!
Here’s this month’s challenge: Each week in February (so at least 4 times), commit an act of love that demonstrates selfless service without expecting anything in return.
Some examples to help you get started:
- Secretly doing a sibling’s chores
- Taking time to listen to someone who’s having a bad day–even if they’re “getting on your nerves”
- Writing a thank you note to someone who has had an impact on your life
- Buying a gift for someone special
The most important part of this challenge isn’t just “checking it off,” but putting some thought and effort into loving those around you (your neighbors): your siblings, family, friends, coworkers, and anyone you come in contact with! Listen in to the podcast throughout the month for encouragement in the challenge, including defining “who is my neighbor?,” loving our enemies, and more. As always, be sure and let us know how you’re doing with the challenge by emailing us or commenting here on the website, and you just might be included in the CMOW episode at the end of the month!
January 2019: Goal Setting
For the month of January, we’re focusing on goal setting in light of Luke 2:52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” This verse provides an excellent roadmap to see which areas in our lives we need to be growing in, no matter what our age is!
Here’s the challenge. Set a long-term goal for this year in each of these areas:
- Growing in wisdom (application of knowledge)
- Growing in stature (physical ability and maturity)
- Growing in “favor with God” (depth of relationship)
- Growing in “favor with man” (compassion, graciousness, and love)
Be sure to pray about this challenge and ask the Lord what areas He would have you to specifically focus on in the new year! Listen throughout the month for encouragement in setting goals and seeking the Lord in all that we do. As January progresses, let us know how you’re doing by emailing us or commenting on the website. If you get to us by January 24th, we’d love to share some of that feedback in our CMOW episode!