During the UNLEASH Series, we will provide five weekly personal studies – one for each week – that will coincide with the UNLEASH sermon series and LifeGroup Study Guides. These personal studies will help you assess your own life, look for and act upon applications you can draw from, and encourage you toward extended times of focused prayer.
Each devotion does not need to be done in one sitting. Rather, you can break it up into chunks and even spread it out through the week depending on your schedule and available time. We encourage you to spend about an hour, including the prayer time, on each devotional.
Spend about five or ten minutes praying the A-C-T-S acrostic…
- A – Adoration: tell God your love for him and his great worth
- C – Confession: confess sins and ask for His strength to turn away from those sins
- T – Thanksgiving: thank God for Jesus, what he has done in your life, the things he has given you
- S – Supplication: ask God for things.
Read through the book of Jonah once. As you read, capture some of your observations about Jonah’s heart toward God and toward others.
Jonah clearly heard God’s command to go to Nineveh and share God’s message. But, he turned away and did the opposite. We do the same thing. Is there anything in your life that you know God wants you to do or stop doing but have not obeyed? Why have you turned from God’s command? Is it because of fear, laziness, disbelief, insecurity, difficulty, or something else?
Jonah ran “away from the presence of the Lord.” When we run from God’s command, we run from God himself. But this is silly because there is nowhere that we can go from God’s presence (Psalm 139). But, we can run from experiencing God’s presence through the Holy Spirit. Sin dulls our senses to God’s love and faithfulness to us.
- On a scale of 1-10 (ten being highest), how much have you been experiencing God’s presence in the last month?
- Do you have any idea why this is the case, either positively or negatively? Spend some time right now in prayer asking God to show you how to experience God’s presence and power, and where you may be running from Him in your life in a way that is hindering your relationship with Him.
- Where have you been running from obedience to God in your personal life?
- Why have you been running?
For Jonah, it was a lot easier to believe about God than live for God. But, we can only live for God to the level that we know about God. Do you think you need to grow in biblical knowledge (knowing about God) or living for God (loving and obeying God)? What is one game-changing action step you can take starting today to help you grow in this area?
UNLEASH is about unleashing Cuyahoga Valley Churchto reach our neighbors, the nations, and the next generation. We want to do this by freeing the church of the financial burden of our debt so that we can maximize our resources better, especially toward the next generations, to also resource the translation of the Bible for the SOLI people, and to prepare to invest more significantly in Northeast Ohio through launching future campuses. When you think about these three purposes, what excites you the most?
- How have you been running from God when it comes to reaching your neighbors?
- How have you been running from God when it comes to reaching the nations?
- How have you been running from God when it comes to reaching the next generations?
Ultimately, UNLEASH is about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We respond because He gave of His life so that we could be forgiven and unleashed to love others. Slowly read through Isaiah 53. Thank God that he gave us Christ, who was willing to go through what He did on the cross. Write out why you are thankful for Christ.
Spend some extended time now praying. Confess the area you have been running from God and declare your repentance to Him and ask for the heart to obey. Pray also for the UNLEASH campaign and how God wants you to fully engage and participate these next two years.