WEEK 4 – Turning to family

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want… [to] not hide from relatives who need your help.” Isaiah 58:6a, 7b NLT

This week is about relationships with family; being truly engaged with your family, really sharing life (not just genes), and attitudes toward helping them.

Community Fast (“No eats”)

Giving up: Selfishness; Alive to: Love and Unity

Day 22: Sunday, March 22

Snack: 1 Timothy 5:8

Meal: 1 Timothy 4:8-5:8

Ask yourself: How is it going? Check in with your Fasting Buddy. Decide if you will change anything in your personal fast this week. Use today for rededication. Did you blow it last week? It’s a new day! Rededicate yourself to God today.

Action Challenge: This week is about Giving Up selfishness and becoming Alive To love and unity. Consider: what do I truly value? Look for ways this week to bless your family.  Make a purposeful effort to encourage, build up, and deepen your relationship with them.

Day 23: Monday, March 23

Snack: Genesis 50:15-21

Meal: Genesis 37 & 50:15-21

Ask yourself: Consider the relationships you have with your immediate and extended family. Is there warmth there? Animosity? Why do you think this is? Is there a way God may be calling you to be more healthy in your family relationships? Where is there Love and Respect lacking in these relationships (on your part – remember you cannot change anyone else).

Action Challenge: Take a concrete step today to repair a family relationship, or to intentionally bless someone in your family.

Day 24: Tuesday, March 24

Snack: Mark 10:6-9

Meal: Mark 10:1-16

Ask yourself: IF YOU ARE MARRIED: Have you approached your marriage as a partnership (or as becoming one)?  Have you given yourself over completely to your spouse with the knowledge that when he/she is blessed, you are blessed, and when he/she hurts, you hurt?

IF YOU ARE SINGLE: Who is your daily “family?” Who are you emotionally and physically close to? Maybe kids, parents, siblings, cousins, roommates, close friends… How much time and trust do you give your “family”? Is there an area of your personal, soul-life that you are hiding or withholding from these important relationships?

Action Challenge: Join with your spouse in prayer, unity, and purpose.  Live life with the mentality that “We are on the same team; let’s win together!”  Take this week to support your weaknesses and celebrate your strengths.

IF SINGLE: Be praying for your future spouse!

Day 25: Wednesday, March 25

Snack: Ephesians 5:21-25

Meal: Ephesians 5

Ask yourself: Have you truly given all of yourself to your spouse out of reverence to God? Wives: Have you submitted to him in love and support? Do you respond to him? Husbands: Have you loved your wife sacrificially, as Christ loves the Church?  Have you cared for her and created a safe place for her to be all she can be in Christ?

If Single: Read 1 Corinthians 7:32-35. Consider: are you treating your singleness as a gift, and using your freedom as a single person to be more available to the Lord? How might God desire to bless your time as a single person?

Action Challenge: Married: Make an effort today to put your spouse before yourself. Consider them, their needs, wants, and desires.  How can you blessing them today? Single: How can you especially devote yourself to God today, as you might spend extra time with a spouse? Try going on a “date” with God, intentionally seeking time to develop your relationship with Him.

Day 26: Thursday, March 26

Snack: Psalm 127:3-5

Meal: Psalm 127

Ask yourself: As the days slip by, have you STOPPED and taken time to consider your children?  Or have they become a routine?  Have you treated them as a heritage, a gift from the Lord?

Action Challenge: Take some time today and play/interact with your kids.  Do what they want to do. Listen to them as they share their day with you.  If your children are older, call them, arrange to spend time with them, and listen to them about their day. If you do not have kids, find someone in whom you can invest!

Day 27: Friday, March 27

Snack: Ephesians 6:1-4

Meal: Ephesians 6

Ask yourself: Have I honored my parents as I should?  If I am grown, do I call them? Do I spend time with them?  Do I consider their needs?  If I am young, do I obey them?  Honor them?  Make an effort to learn from them?

Action Challenge: Find a way to bless your parents today.  Bring a smile to their face!  OR Find an older man or woman who is lonely and honor them as your elder.  Bless them!

REFLECT: How has God spoken over the past weeks? What were your biggest moments of revelation?

Day 28: Saturday, March 28

Snack: Matthew 12:49-50

Meal: Matthew 12

Ask yourself: Do you see your church as family?  Or do you see them as just some people to hang out with on the weekend?  Have you undervalued the relationships you have with those who love Jesus as you do?

Action Challenge: Make the most of your opportunities at Church.  Get to know your Brothers and Sisters!  Take the time to set up meetings and fellowship. Attend a Care Group, Bible study, or other gathering to take advantage of this awesome treasure of a church family!

REFLECT: What is God calling you to as this Month of Dedication ends? Going forward, what healthy habits need to remain in place? Is there an area of your life that God has shown He wants to bring you greater freedom? How can you pursue this? What people need to be involved?