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2010 Constantly Seeking God Challenge – Day One!!

January 1, 2010

James 2:23-26 : And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.  Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Wow what a challenge for me to start the new year with:  ‘faith without works is dead’. If my faith, my walk with Jesus doesn’t include action, me being active with what I believe, such as caring for the poor, praying for the sick, then my faith is dead.  And the greek behind the word dead, is nekros, which can mean no longer devoted to or under the influence of something.  So when James says, ‘faith without works is dead’ what he is actually saying is that in being active in my faith, I am truly coming under the influence of Jesus and I am truly devoted and committed to God. If I am not active as a Christian then I am the opposite, not devoted and not under the influence of God.


This is the first entry of the year long 2010 Constantly Seeking God Challenge and what a reading to start with.  This is what it is all about: in constantly seeking God I will immerse myself in His Word, I will pray, I will confess my sin.  And all of this is so that I can even more come into God’s presence, under God’s influence.  And this amazing James passage tells me clearly that this is not about finding a comfortable chair in the God’s house and relaxing, but more about entering the house ready for action, ready to serve God He wills it.

And finding out God’s will for me life is top priority. The more I come into God’s presence through prayer, Bible reading and confession, the more I will understand God’s will.  And seeking God’s will and purpose for me isn’t just about what ministry I will do in 2010, but what God wants me to do right now.  I want more and more to relate to God in the immediate, to be relating to God right now and every moment of the day.  To be constantly in God’s presence.

So I am ready God!  Right now what do you want me to do?

I commit to making my faith active.  Praise God!!

God bless,

Rev Mark

To become part of the 2010 Constantly Seeking God Challenge, subscribe to this blog by clicking here.

PS If you want to leave a comment click on ‘Comments’ below and scroll down.

Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan

Each day I will post a portion to be read: Genesis Chapter 1-3


From → Uncategorized

  1. Lynn permalink

    This is going to really be a challenge for me. I always say that i’m going to spend time in prayer, and be serious about my relationship with God, but I always seem to fail. My hearts desire is to grow more with God, but I don’t do anything to make that happen. It’s as if I want the relationship with me and him to fall out the sky and into my lap without me putting forth the effort. Please keep me in your prayers that I can do this challenge cuz I know this will be a life changing experience..Thanks

    • Shannyn permalink

      Hi Lynn … God bless you!! Already you have yeilded yourself closer to our Lord simply by being open about your challenge!! That takes humility!! Praying for you.

      • Lynn permalink


      • Enrique Lopez permalink

        Hi, I feel the same way I know that it will be very chanllenging for me to get closer to my loard, I want that and I need him to be my everything in my live..I try to do so many things that at the end of the day are not important as my loard is.. I want to learn more about him and his word and be close to him every moment of my life, so I ask you to please pray for me as I will ask hem to help as well and I will pray that I could learn more of him so I could bring my family close to him as well..god bless you all thank you…

    • Stacie permalink

      Lynn I know exactly what you mean. I could have typed your words! This was clearly a message we needed to hear and make this change with ourselves. I’m praying for you, please pray for me as well. Thanks.

    • Dana permalink

      I will be in prayer for you because what you described is exactly what I have been doing. I am determined to make my relationship with Christ the most important part of my life in 2010.

    • Rae permalink

      Believe me, we need to pray for perseverance for all of us. This will be difficult and we will be challenged by satan; but, through prayer, we can succeed.

      • MaryMarthaKay permalink

        Agreeing with you Rae …. just the fact that we have all stated we will take this challenge for 2010 has stirred the enemy and he would love nothing more than to hinder each and every one of us from our daily reading. BUT we serve a mighty GOD and we are overcomers ! If I am hindered of one day’s reading I will prevail to read twice as much plus extra the next day ! God is our strength and we WIN IN 2010 !

        I bind the strongman in the name of JESUS’ …. I bind every hindering and delaying spirit that would oppose the will of GOD for each of us who have set ourselves to this 2010 Challenge! In JESUS’ name AMEN!

        In HIS love, Sharron Gray Atkinson

    • sheila permalink

      We all must remember in consistency lies the power of God. (Gloria Copeland) It is what we do with diligence that gives us the results that we desire. One thing that I would say to you is to first of all change your words and your confession from “I always seem to fail”, and “This is going to be a challenge for me”, to “I am apt to pray”, and “I look forward to spending time with God.”

    • Lynn, starting with this challenge is a step in the right direction. But do not simply read the challenge online or in the email; but open your Bible and read it directly a few times and meditate upon it in prayer. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you.

      Give one hour to God each day in His word. The epistle of James is a great place to start. Spend a few weeks ready this epistle. If you have a Bible with a good commentary ( you can further immerse yourself into the word. I like to read the entire epistle (if not long), then re-read each chapter with corresponding commentary. Then I read it again and meditate in prayer upon its meaning.

      It may seem like a lot, but God’s word is suppose to be fulfilling and enjoyed, so take your time on each topic.

    • WOW… Lynn, we must be sister of another mother… you took the words right out of my mouth…

      I desire this intimate relationship, yet, I don’t really put for the effort… like you I keep thinking it will fall out of the sky… I say I am going to spend daily time reading the Bible… heck I have who knows how many reading plans, I have 3 or 4 different bibles in fact… i do it for a week or so, then, I let other things take precedence…

      Lynn I will keep both of us in prayers that we see this through… I know it will bring great changes and insight…

      • Ade permalink

        I can relate to you so much. I am always in the same predicaments…until now..It has finally ended today

      • Fiona permalink

        A part of m is glad I am not the only one who has been going through the motions of wanting very much to commit entirely to the Lord but constantly allowing myself to be ditracted. I think we are all moving in the right direction, but it all depends on us, God is waiting for us to make a move towards Him and He is so ready to catch us and bear us up and strengthen each of us coz i just know He has amazing plans for all of us so we can be fruitful while we are on this earth……take courage everyone, we can all do it…let’s all set our hearts and minds to it and on purpose make the choice to get closer to God….May He bless you all. Amen

    • Janetta permalink

      Lynn, I have been just like you in some ways in the Past but I am Declaring No More for You and Me !!! We can pray and read God’s Word but to have Relationship with God is so much more than that. In the movie “Where the Red Fern Grows” the little boy states that we must “Meet God Half Way”….this is so very true…. Meeting God Half-Way means putting forth effort to get to know him and in turn he will help us to be a Blessing to others in the process. God Bless you on your journey this year!

    • Michael Cook permalink

      See here’s the funny thing about failure. Failure is when you quit. I mean you just throw in the towel and say mentally and physically, I can not and will not do this. I will not even try any more because I don’t want to do it and I am not going to do it. So many times what we mean is we fell, not we failed! So what do you do when you fall? Do you just lay there and say, “I quit! I am never going to try to walk again. I don’t want to and I am not going to!” NO, NO, NO!!! You may stay there for a second or two but you eventually GET BACK UP AND START AGAIN WHERE YOU FELL! So if you fall, guess what you and I need to do? Yep you said it! I hear you! All right now! That’s the way!

      • Michael,

        Your words are so affirming and ones that we all can include in our daily lives. They have changed my outlook already. Thanks so much.

    • Linda permalink

      Lynn your words echo my own experience exactly, I want to have a really close relationship with God but somehow I seem to fall at the first hurdle every time and although I often re-start with lots of enthusiasm and desire to make things different, I don’t seem able to sustain it for any length of time before I’m back being pulled away by all of life’s little challenges which, instead of taking them to God, I try to sort out myself… you’d think I’d have learned by now! But here I am at the beginning of another year eager to try and make it this time and really get deeper with God… I will be praying for you please pray for me too.

    • same here…i’ll be trying to follow this as much as possible…i need a closer relationship with the lord…step one is completed lynn ….identification of whats needed…my prayers are with you and with myself for a better understanding and better actions as a result of this challenge

    • tiffany permalink


      You just described me. I desire to be closer to God , and to do his will, and to grow in Christ, and yet I find myself doing nothing and going nowhere. You are also right that by following thru with this challenge, we are all taking a step in the right direction, and God will change our lives, and I’m ready for a change!

    • RWhitaker permalink

      Lynn…I totally understand where you are coming from. I am so anxious to get to know God and to have a relationship with Him but I, too, always seem to fail. I know that this is nothing but a trick of the enemy. He hear and know that we are all striving to get to know God and he’s trying to do any and everything to deter us from that. I’m here to tell you that the devil is a lie! I will not let him get the best of me and miss my blessing that God has for me. I WILL establish a relationship with God and I am looking forward to reading my Bible everyday of this year. Please keep me in your prayers and I will do the same thing for you. Be encouraged…

    • Rhonda permalink

      Lynn, I so feel the same way as you, as I strive to get closer in my relationship with our Lord, I always vow to read more of my bible on a daily basis but somehow I always fail….pray for me on this challenge as I will be praying for you!

    • Lynn permalink

      WOW Lynn; you could have been me writting the above comment! Please keep me in Prayer to fullfill this challenge and become a doer for for our Lord!
      Thank You to All whom Pray for me.

  2. Sister Pam OP permalink

    To separate faith and works is like separating lungs and breathing. Both are needed to support life. Faith without works is no faith at all, it’s dead. If faith is alive it moves mountains.

    • Shaxina permalink

      WOW…Sister Pam OP…
      powerful and very true!

    • MaryMarthaKay permalink

      AMEN Sister PAM ….. what an awesome word!
      And how do we get more faith ?
      “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the WORD OF GOD.” In the case of this 2010 challenge, our WORK is to READ the WORD DAILY to ourselves and it will grow our faith! AMEN! Praise GOD ! Sister Sharron Gray Atkinson

  3. Emma permalink

    I’ll have to start on January 2nd, as it’s now 11:11pm January 1st and the 1st email just came through for the 1st day! 🙂

  4. I am ,as well trying to be a better worker with Faith For God!I ask for Prayer for Strength against Satan that constantly puts obstacles in my way to hinder me from seeking My Father.Thank you and May God Bless.

  5. I want to focus on doing God’s will every second of every hour of every day, and to dedicate all of my positive actions to His praise. Happy New Year, everyone!

  6. Donna permalink

    Happy New Year!
    I am looking forward to consistently being in God’s Word for 2010.
    In 2009, I was unemployed for more than 6 mths, and if it weren’t for God’s Word, I would not have been able to manage my life daily. Once I got back to working, I am working 50-60 hours a week at all times of the day and night. My job is preventing me from attending church, (I was a greeter on the “First Impressions Team”) and I have found that I have not even opened my bible for over a month. What an opportunity to get back on track, with a huge support group around the world. Thanks! Please keep me in your prayers as well.
    God Bless

  7. This is what i need to do,keep in line with Gopd and what he wants.

  8. Ant Hall permalink

    thanks my brother. a great start 🙂

  9. Diane permalink

    Thank you for starting with this partiular passage. I am so lacking in my work and walk with God that this has challenged me to grow closer to Him thru his word each and every day. Let us as a people praise God and WORK to be more like our Father in heaven.

  10. I too, will commit myself to making my faith active!
    Living each day, seeking His will.
    Mold me and teach me, Lord.
    You are the only one that completes me…help me to learn to trust in you alone.
    I praise you God, for sending the Holy Spirit to fill me with your truths!

  11. Gail permalink

    I am going to attempt this,(reading the Bible in 1 yr) for the upteenth time in my life. I am 46 yrs old, and this is something I have wanted to accomplish for the last 20yrs. I must make this a priority, praying that in 2010 I will finally be able to say “I did it!” My goal is to make my relationship with God stronger and trusting his ways above all. I pray for all of us to be in the constant presence of God. Thank you Rev. Mark for sharing this, May God Bless you in this new year.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Hi Gail,
      How are you doing so far? Is the program still a priority? I pray that it is.
      If you need more encouragement, just say so.

  12. Becky permalink

    I want to draw closer to God in 2010. The world situation is so grave and I get depressed when I only look at it from a worldly perspective. I know God is in control and we are drawing closer to the “end times.” So I want to be close enough to hear His voice and follow what He tells me to do so that whatever may come, I will be ready.

  13. Lydia Reyes permalink

    I got up this morning and it was 7:08. Went into prayer then read the 3 first chapters of Genesis . Thank you Lord, I thought it was going to be difficult to put an hour and now I see I pass the hour limit. It may not be this way everyday but I was so looking forward to start and I pray that God would give us all the strength and vigor to continue on this wonderful journey. Happy New Year to all . God Bless

    • It will not be that way everyday. Soon, you will have to fight yourself to stop at only an hour!!

      Take your time with each topic so that you have ample time to study and meditate through prayer as to the knowledge of the word. Do not hesitate to read the same study over and over again.

      • Patsy Bond permalink

        Thank you for those words of wisdom.

  14. I received my first “Journey…” devotion, via email, today. I was extremely disappointed! I thought you were a strict KJV Christian. I had no further need to read on past the scripture. If you allow your mind to be polluted by perverse versions of the Bible which were taken from the wrong original text that was salvaged from the trash, then I am afraid your thoughts may be tainted as well. I understand others may strongly disagree with this post. That’s alright, but I will not be receiving follow-up comments either. I am a busy mother of 6 and have no time for satan’s versions of God’s Word, nor do I have time to argue about the matter.

    • Gidget permalink

      I agree with the KJV but I dont think you have to take such a hard stand. Feel free to only look at the address of the Scripture and look it up on your own. I dont like other versions due to like NIV missing scripture and taking the name of Christ out. But I believe that there are new believers that have learned from a NIV and have learned to read their bible everyday. I also think that once they are not baby Christians and they start to study the bible they need to get a NKJV. But I would say becareful putting down other types of bibles.

    • Edgar permalink

      Have faith. I’ve read the first 3 chapters of Genesis from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, and saw a better understanding that enables me to understand KJV much better. Don’t discredit other versions before reading and comparing them with a heart for God and a personal relationship built in His Son, Jesus Christ, that guides us all through His Spirit in this journey. The version someone chooses does not make them wrong, but often gives them a better understanding of the word of God. So have faith, Sarah, that God will manifest Himself to all through many different versions of the Bible as well as through the original text, and even yours.

      • Renee permalink

        I agree Edgar. I sometimes find it very hard to follow the KJV and am so glad they have other versions available to help me understand what is being said in the KJV. I know if there were no other versions I would probably not be as eager to further my walk with Christ because I would feel I wasn’t getting anything out of it because I didn’t understand. Many people that are just starting their walk with Christ sometimes need easier versions to understand the message that is intended. I am very excited about this new journey I am about to enter and will as well need lots of prayers to be able to win this challenge. God bless.

    • Although she stated she was not going to argue about the matter, I am lead to comment on it for others who will read it. For anyone to believe that the KJV is the ONLY VERSION of the Bible that should be read is extremely shallow. If you study history you will learn that King James decided what books would be placed in his version of the bible — therefore, there are other books written about God that are not in the KJV — for example the Jerusalem and Ethiopian Bibles have other texts not found in KJV. Therefore if she only wants to read the Bible from the original text she must learn, Latin,Greek, Hebrew — as many of the “original” texts are in these languages. Although she may never read this post, WE MUST PRAY FOR HER, she has 6 children whose outlook on life will be from a single story — there is danger in only looking, viewing and reacting to only 1 story. GOD’S chosen are a diverse, peculiar people — we have many different lives and experiences and stories — yet we all chose to follow Him. GOD IS DIVERSE — why then wouldn’t HIS word be diverse in structure — not content — in order to reach ALL OF HIS diverse children? God Bless.

      • Fiona permalink

        Brothers and Sisters, let’s not get bogged down with a spirit of religion, this is what our enemy wants, for us to argue amongst each other so that we are not really focusing on Gods word for us. For those who are not sure what to do, just get more than one translation of the Bible and read and compare their writings, Let the Holy spirit guide you through His word, you will soon find the one that works for you. Let’s all keep a spirit of peace and of love on this site… The Lord bless you all.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      If you prefer KJV, read that one. But, I must also say that I get the most value and perspective from reading the same scripture from various versions of the Bible.

  15. I love your messages and your desire for closeness and commitment to our God. I am concerned about the Reverend you place before your name. It would be good to run a study on the word revere and see who is to be revered from the word.
    Thank you,

  16. Carolyn Simmons permalink

    I go from book to book thinking that I am going to read all the answers so that I can travel on my journey. I am never fulfilled with those books. The Bible is never apart of these books. I am praying and want prayer for me that I will have insight to God’s Holy Word during this 2010. The Bible is the only word inspired by God. How old do I have to get to realize this truth. I have a question. Do we pick our one hour of reading from anything in the Bible or will we all be reading the same word? Forgive me if I seem stupid. I am hungry for God’s Word.

    • Edgar permalink

      Despite what you hear and read in the secular news media around the world, many people are hungry for the word of God and for His Kingdom on earth to come down. Don’t be discouraged or in despair, but have faith (as little as a mustard seed) and continue with reading His word to us through the Holy Bible. And don’t forget to talk to Him often through prayer as each day progresses through the new year.

  17. Hi! Like the first poster, this will really be a big challenge for me, because I always wanted to become closer with God but things just do go in that way. Please include me in your prayers as I’m struggling as a Christian. Thanks and God bless!

  18. marie permalink

    I thank God for using you as a vessel and journey deeper into Gods word. This had been my struggle for a long time but through my faith and actually making the effort it will no longer be my struggle and my relationship with God and understanding his word will grow. I pray this also Blesses my husband and he makes the time despite his crazy schedule. Thank you and God Bless

  19. Diane permalink

    Thank you for taking on this ministry! 2009 was a year of “change” and “blessings” for me and my family. My job was eliminated as a result of “reorganization”. We had just finished building a new home… SO, we talk about faith.. I’ve had that for many, many years in my Christian life.. But, like God’s Word states.. faith without works is dead! I have had to learn how to put my faith to work! And that my friends is tougher that what it sounds! Satan loves to put nasty thoughts into our minds and this became a daily sometime minute by minute conversation between me and God to get those thoughts out of my mind! I am so happy to report that God is Good and God is faithful… when we do our part He does MORE than His part! Praise God! With 2009 now behind us – we press on for 2010 and I am excited to see what God has planned for me!!

  20. I have always struggled with a church that does not walk the talk. It is one thing to say that you love God but another to put that love into action in the world. Jesus gave us two commandments: (1) To love the Lord, our God, with all we have and (2) to love others as we love ourselves. You cannot have one without the other but I find many people who claim to be children of God who fail to do the second one very well. They gossip and turn their back on those in need. Too often the Church, where people should find acceptance no matter who they are, often find hard hearted people. My prayer for the last 22 years has been that the people of God love as God would love, all the time. Thanks for the challenge. May this year be the year that the Church becomes the entity God created it to be, the ultimate source of love.

    • Fear no more my friend!

      The perfect and ultimate source of love is not the secular church at all but only the “Church” defined as the self-revelation of Christ in his perfect and transfigurative death on the cross. When you find the real one, you will not give the other another look! GBY!

  21. Darcy permalink

    Rev. Mark! Happy New Year!!! And thank you for the comments on James 2. Our bible translations differ (I have both the St. Joseph version of the New American Bible that I use but my Protestant New International Bible reads basically the same) a bit, as they do, but the basis of the scripture remains the same. My Catholic instruction teaches me that we are “saved by grace through faith working in love” and not by faith alone, as so many denominations teach. This is what I wanted to know from you as your faith background is different from mine. High Orthodox?

    The KJV (that I have) passage James 2:23-26 reads: “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

    I don’t see how that differs so vastly from your version, or mine — the context is still there, so am not sure why Sarah was disappointed if this is the scripture passage she is referring to. I realize there may be differences in our faith belief, and I have discussed this with my instructor at church, but your site is very uplifting and at least for me, will be another vehicle to bring more bible reading into my life. . . thank you again, and God bless you!

  22. Carolyn Simmons permalink

    Sorry Rev Mark, I looked just alittle further and I saw the reading for today the first day of the new year. Pray for me everybody. Happy New Year to you Rev Mark and everyone.

  23. Pam permalink

    I greatly benefited fro this first installment of the 2010 committment to.journey deeper!! The definition of dead works was eye opening. I could tell my response to the reading was sincere, not just mental agreement! I’m excited about growing deeper!

  24. I have over the years read the whole Bible,But without a system or plan.I will try to do this each day and put in practise what I read.I ask the Holy Spirit for better understand of what I read.God Bless us all

  25. Dave Yaeck permalink

    Hello Rev. Mark:

    I pray that I can stick to this in 2010. I want so much to be on fire for God, to know him like I have never known him before. I believe the key for me is being still and He will guide my steps. I look foward to this challenge and wait with anticipation of your daily guidelines.

    Please Pray for me that I can shed everything else, and rely totally on Him!

    Thank you!!

  26. Nancy Carrera permalink

    Rev Mark, Thanks for your insight. I pray that your ministry is used by God to awaken the sleeping giant: those Christians that are living nominal lives. My prayer for all of us that claim Jesus as our Savior be moved to know Him intimately in order for us to live our lives as a shining beacon to those who don’t know Him, that they might desire to know why we are different. We must be different in this culture: Yes, we must love others, but we must not tolerate the culture and it’s decline. We must always speak up for those who can not, and point out sin and its terrible consequences or we are complicit in those things. We must be IN the world but not OF it.
    And to the criticism about Bible translations: I thank God that there are reliable translations that I can understand. KJV sometimes is hard for me to read and I respect the Bible scholars that have poured their lives into other translations. ( Rom 14:1: “Acccept him whose faith is weak without passing judgement on disputable matters” )

    • I agree Nancy… w/o version of the word that may make it easier for others to comprehend, someone may just give up. I personally find KJV a bit hard to grasp and I am not an idiot or of satan. One thing I’ve found, for me anyhow… I have NIV version of a study bible a good friend gave me years ago… I downloaded an audible version of it also so I can read and listen at the same time… its really done wonders for me… I can get frustrated and lose the content of what I am reading if I get stuck on a name I can’t pronounce and there were some rather interesting names in the old testament of people, and places so reading along w/audio version has been wonderful…

  27. Edgar permalink

    I just wanted to say “Happy New Year” Rev. Mark as you embark on the greatest journey since salvation. May the Lord bless you this year as you guide many people through God’s word and to a better and deeper understanding into our own lives as we journey down the same path towards our true home. After all, the life we now lead in this earthly shell is merely a proving ground for our eternal souls simply by the choices we make which ultimately decides our fate for eternity.

    When we put our faith to work (regardless of how big or small it is) we begin to open our eyes to new possbilities never before seen in the darkness of sin. Jesus Christ is the Light that has illuminated every corner of the darkness we once lived in, and shows us the sin we were born into that we might confess our sins before God and be forgiven. Then, through the power of His Spirit and word, He equips us to continue the testimony of the gospel to all who seek His wisdom in this world.

    May God richly bless you in 2010, Rev. Mark, as you spread the Good News to a lost and dying generation today. Apart from God we are nothing, but with Him as the vine, all things are possible.

  28. Tharadjyne permalink

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! And i just want to say THANK YOU for that awesome word. I want to be in God’s presence continually. Therefore I must excerise my faith and allow it to grow. I do this by praying, reading the Bible, confessing my sin, and of course TAKING ACTION!! With each day God gives me many opprotunites to take action and it’s up to me to response. There is no time to waste!!

  29. David Rowan permalink

    Amen Brother this message could not have been better.
    I except the challenge Lord to strive to do better.

  30. i suggest you append the bible gateway link to the chapters you want us to read, so that those of us that have trouble, don’t have to get up out of their chairs with their cane, and get the Bible, then find our reading glasses etc etc, a Bible Gateway link would make the whole thing easier

    • MaryMarthaKay permalink

      Hi Elaine ….. this is the link to Bible Gateway for Scripture searches. You can select the Bible Version you want, and then select the Chapters noted in the daily challenge. Just open a new internet browser window for the Bible Searches and use a different window for the 2010 Challenge site. You won’t have to leave your chair at all. God Bless you in this 2010 Challenge.

  31. Philip permalink

    Well! That’s it. Let’s do it. One thing that would help all of us: if the “I” could diminish to the benefit of “we” as body of Christ. Many blessings on this difficult journey.


  32. Thank you Mark for a highly promising start of 2010! To “come under the influence of Jesus” or to have Him as the “author and finisher of one’s faith”, one has to know, through firsthand and personal vision, no less than His divine identity and authority (John 1: 47-51; 8: 21-28) as revealed at His perfect and transfigurative death on the cross –the Forum for baptism in the Holy Spirit (Ibid, 19: 30-37). Is this Scriptural? Absolutely! Mysterious? Definitely! The conclusive proof is in the experience: powerful and immediate life-transformation for the brokenhearted! HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

  33. Odessa permalink

    Happy New Year Rev Mark! I was waiting for this first post. I have been telling everyone about your posts and comments on God’s word. Since, I started reading the post I have a desire to read and understand more and more. Thank you for this ministry.

    “Faith without works” is dead. How can we claim to be following Christ and not work as he did? We must be diligent and commited to His ministry.

  34. Isabel permalink

    Happy New Year blessed ones!
    Mark, God bless you and all of you who desire to get closer to God and have taken this challenge! Thanks Lynn for sharing sharing your struggles so openly…When I read your comment, I felt as though I was the one speaking!!! I, too, will need your prayers! Just remember that no matter what, God’s love is greater than any of our failures and His Grace is sufficient for me (us)! 🙂

  35. Debbie permalink

    Thank you so much for doing this study, this is exactly what i need in my life..I just got the Chronolgical Bible , and i plan to use that one..God Bless you

  36. Pastor Mark, thank you. With the very first Scripture in James the Holy Spirit brought revelation knowledge. The next few days will be easy because I will not have gone back to work yet, but the challenge will come beginning Tuesday because the email won’t come until I will have left my house for work, but I will not pillow my head until I have spent my hour with the Lord in His Word.

    I must remember that I am in control of my time and I make the decision as to whether or not I will spend this time with the Lord. It’s about our Father giving us free will and so my job is to let Father God know that I value spending time with Him over anything else this world would offer. No condemnation…just a deep abiding love for the One who saved me and delivered me from death.

    2010 – the year of winning. By spending time in the Presence of the Lord, He will equip us to be able to help our family and friends who either don’t have a relationship with Him or who don’t know how to develop that relationship.

    You are all leaders and God will use each of us, who choose to yield ourselves to Him.

    May this be the first day of the best year of your lives.

  37. Davlyn permalink

    Glory be to God. I pray that everyone who is on a journey to become closer to God will see victory in this endeavor. I pray that God will bring each and everyone into a closer relationship with Him. I ask that God himself helps us to keep this commitment to grow closer to Him. Lord, I pray that you help me to keep You close and in my thoughts constantly seeking You for the answers that I need right now in my everyday life. I pray that I yield to Your answers for me and that I recognize what it is that You want me to do in this moment. Do not allow the enemy to steal your answers for me before I am able to act on each one. Lord, I ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

  38. David Obaseki permalink

    Thanks Rev. Mark, I know this is going to help my Spiritiual life this year.

  39. FELICIA permalink

    I’m so excited about this. I have been wanting a better relationsip with God, but always found excuses not to have one. This challenge gives me the structure and guidance that I need to stay committed. Ill be in prayer for all us so that we can stay focused.

  40. Christian permalink

    I too would like to thank you Pastor Mark for your gentle, but strong Scriptural guidance in this the new year. After reading the posted comments I feel so blessed to be among these brothers and sisters in Christ who love Him as I do. May our Beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ, bless you all abundantly this year to always be in His presence, glorify Him and bless the pre-Christians the Lord brings across our paths in 2010. Peace.
    Matthew 24:35, 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.

  41. Kim permalink

    I am so excited to start this journey with God and reading and studying His Word! I have made it a top priority to do so and I am including my husband and our three boys in this process as well. Thank you Rev. Mark for helping us walk this day and everyday in God’s Word, I pray that my husband’s faith will be strenghtend as we read and studying His Word. I love you Lord, I love you so very much and I am thankful for all you have done, will do, and are doing in my life right now! I am so happy and excited to be in the Truth, help me to stay on this journey with You and to be a blessing to others and to love them with unconditional love like the love You have so freely given to us, I could scream and shout for joy right now, I am totally in love with God!!!!

  42. Jen permalink

    This will definitely keep me motivated & accountable. I need God’s direction this year!

  43. tim evans permalink

    thank you rev. mark and happy new year to all. in my prayer time this morning the word commitment kept coming to mind and when i read your e-mail there it is again. i too have always desired to immerse myself in God’s word and be a doer of it but i know now that i have lacked the commitment to do so. pray that i will carry on with this journey with you for i know each of us will be blessed. i pray for a greater commitment to follow our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. thank you all.

  44. Daniel permalink

    Wow. Amazing. Thank you and keep em coming! I already feel closer to God.

  45. Deborah permalink

    Happy New Year, God Bless you Rev. Mark what a wonderful way to start off the year. I’m excited and in expectation as we seek the more of God. Thank you

  46. jaunita bosley permalink

    this is really good,i think this will keep me more mindfull to keep pressing on,&to read more daily. &prayer for each other,i want to draw closer,& be more of a servant to our lord & saviuor.thanks

  47. Hi my name is Gina and I want to go on this journey with everyone too. I know that this is going to be a challenge for me too. I find myself getting into the word and feeling at peace with myself, but I also tend to stray away and I know the problem is #1 I am not asking for forgiveness like I should and not reading the word like I should. It scares me because I know the way and I recieved the Lord as my saviour when I was in the 12th grade and now I am 49 and I have been straddling the fence for quite sometimes. Right now I am unemployed and I had to let my kids stay with their father which bothers me simply because they have been with me from birth until now. I know all things happen for a reason and I feel that what I am going through right now is only going to make me strong for whatever God has in store for me. So please pray for me and mine. I want to really stick with this, because right now I need the LORD more than ever in my life.

  48. angelaposeyarnold permalink

    Thank you Reverend for this challenge. I look forward to delving into God’s Word with you in 2010.
    I am a Christian Inspirational Writer and author. As a founding member of Sonrise Writer’s Group I would live to invite all of you to subscribe to our free monthly e-mag, Hopefully this will provide monthly encouragement for you all as well.
    Working for Jesus is the best job in the world!!! I want to move up, be promoted, and continue my journey with Him in love, joy and peace. This is going to be a great year in Him.
    Angela Posey-Arnold

  49. dorthy porter permalink

    Acts 13:47 …’I have made you a light for the Gentiles,that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.I chose this verse last night at our church service.Commitment to the challange you have set before me is what my heart desires ,to do Gods will for my life.I am ready to meet all challanges God puts in my life.

  50. Thank you… it is so nice to have scripture to enjoy made so available …Blessings

  51. Myra permalink

    Good morning everyone, I came across the constantly seeking God challenge when i was on facebook. I have been thru a lot of trials in the last year and I know that it is time for me to get to know God on a more personal level. I am not a totally bad person but I do have my faults more than anything i need to familiarize myself with the bible an start to live by the laws within. I have 2 children and i am a single parent. I am in college now trying to obtain my bachelors in education I am unemployed and trying really hard to keep things afloat right now. My goals for the up coming months are to learn how to pray because I do but I am not sure if there is a proper way of doing so and I am also not sure if I am praying affectively. There have been many days when I questioned is God really looking after me because I feel so empty inside. I love God I just want to be able to feel the closeness that I have heard others speak of. In December my financial aid disbursement check was stolen out of my mailbox and I was not able to pay my rent or any other bills and I could not do anything for my children this Christmas and I know that it is not about the gifts but the pain and hurt that I sawthere face chrushed me. I cried and asked why me. Im just searching.for answers and hopefully I will be able to find them here thru fellowship and studying my bible. I am asking those who read this to pray for me and my family. And I will do the same for you all thank you and may God bless you and keep you.

    • CHEER UP! “The Kingdom of heaven belongs to you” (Jesus Christ). There is more in the “Be-attitudes” (Matt. 5: 3-12). For your prayer, put the opening line in the model prayer: “OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN” (Ibid, 6: 9-13) into operation by making absolutely sure that you are BORN AGAIN of the Spirit at the POINT OF CHANGE in Christ’s perfect and transfigurative death on the cross (check it out) from “born of the flesh” to “born in the Spirit” (John 3: 1-21; 6: 62-64; 19: 30-37). You do not ever need to do anything more than give thanks to the LORD. Isn’t that a good deal? GBY!

  52. John Kanyotu permalink

    Happy New Year Brothers and Sisters In Christ Jesus. Love, Care For and Encourage Each Other as I find that you are doing here in this forum. As I proceed with this challenge cum opportunity to deepen my walk with Jesus, it gives me JOY to be in such a Fellowship as we are just right here in the one mind, the one heart and the one Spirit. God Bless Us All In 2010. Thank You Rev Mark.

  53. Robin permalink

    Growing closer to God is my desire too… However, trying to figure out what God’s will is for my life can be frustrating…. Many people, including myself, have thought they knew God’s will for their life and were wrong. And when you find out that you are wrong…it hurts real bad and can affect your relationship and trust with God, and God had nothing to do with it.

    I hope to one day just love God because God loves me…no strings attached…but this is hard.

    • Yes! It is hard unless we know the LORD, firsthand and personally, as expected, without any preconceptions! By the grace of God, the CROSS (without any theology) is for us what the burning but unconsumed BUSH (without sandals) was for Moses: benchmark and climax of God’s self-revelation as self-sufficient life/fire –two holy grounds, respectively! (Ex.3: 1-15; John 8: 21-28; 19: 30-37).

      Therefore, let us keep “looking at him whom they pierced”!

  54. Suzanna permalink

    Thank you.Mark!

  55. Looking forward to this challenge and journey with everyone of you wonderful people on hear God Bless You and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

  56. Joel Tibbets permalink

    Rev. Mark, thank you for being in tune with God’s heart on this challenge! When I first saw this opportunity to grow, I immediately felt God’s prompting to take it! I have struggled with consistently allowing God to pour out his presence on me for years. Through the years, I have learned how much of a heart issue a relationship with God really is. The only times where I really felt God changing my heart was when I was immersed in his presence and seeking him daily! We will only find success in this challenge through HIM! So everyone, please remember me in prayer, that all of us would remain humble and continuously seeking God’s strength and not relying on our own, that we would be quick to listen and slow to speak, and that through this challenge we would all learn more of God’s will for our lives!! I am pumped to see the growth our Dad has planned for us! God bless!

  57. Sandy permalink

    I want to take that challenge too!! I tried many times but I usually failed! But I know this time it’s different because I have a promise from God that this year is the year of GROWTH AND FRUITS with Him.. and I know I can do all things with the name of Jesus MY LORD!
    thank you Rev. Mark!

  58. Charlene permalink

    Thank you, Rev. Mark for this challenge. This past year has seen its’ problems and reflecting now, I wonder if they would not have seen so extraordinary had I stayed in the word.

    Happy New Year!

  59. Thank you Rev. Mark! Happy New Year too! My email can’t be opened for some reason so I have another account which is Send comments on my post to that if you can. I read the above comments and was lifted up by some and troubled by the one about the translation. We need to pray for her. I am thankful for this site. I feel kind of the way Lynn did. I get up early in the morning for work. I am so sleepy headed I stumble around to get dressed. Let’s say I am not a morning person. I forget to pray and spend time in the word. I have so many duties when I get home I often fall asleep and another day has gone by without spending time with God. This makes me feel terrible. I on go to church on Wednesday nights and this gives me time to reflect but often I just seem to be going through the motions of the day. I do love bible study and sharing with others. Pray that I will have a renewed spirit and strength towards the Lord. I need this. I know need to spend more time. Help me fit in this time. I need more energy a better sleep. I have a sleeping disorder so I don’t get restful sleep. Praise God for this site. May God richly bless all who are involved!

    • What you need is the seed of “Christ in you”, i.e., firsthand and personal knowledge of who Jesus is; to sprout, grow and bear fruit without any hard work and sweat on your part (Mark 4: 26-29).

      In spiritual poverty, keep praying for His self-revelation to you, as sovereign LORD, in His perfect and transfigurative death on the cross (John 8: 21-28; 19: 30-37). He will do it. GBY!

  60. Pete Vela permalink

    I’m on board for this challenge. God has been good to me.

  61. Thanks, Rev. Mark! So I am telling u that I used my sk pager that give me limited verson depend blogs can enter to website or not. I really am starving to read God’s words. I am trying to improve a christain person than plms thru it. But my faith almost fell apart thru holy spirits cuz of darkness try to attack my mind. I resist myself to submit it. It’s too hard for me. I want u to pray for me thru my struggles. Thanks again! Happy new year in 2010.

  62. Joanne permalink

    Hi my brothers and sisters in Christ,I wish you a Blessing Happy New Year.I’m from France and I really want to involve myself into this wonderful Journey.I want to be closer with my LORD and his book!I want to be changed as a GOD soldier.Thanks so much to have created this website that will change numerous lives accross the world.GOD bless all of you!

  63. Diane W permalink

    To God be the Glory….yes, this will be a challenge for me yet I am ready. This year is definately a year of changes in my heart for a deeper relationship with Our Lord. He has done so much for me so I will die for him so that He can live in me. That is so fantastic and know that He is there waiting and wanting to have that deep relationship. Nothing but nothing compares to that. Yes, To God Be The Glory…:)

    • The real challenge is nothing less than the “offence of the cross” (God’s wisdom and power-vs-suffering and shame) which, in Simon’s case, was a persistent bone in the throat for an extended time, including three denials and 40-day rehabilitation (Matt. 16: 13-28; 17: 1-13; 26: 47-56, 69-75; Acts 1: 1-5), before emergence in a radical change as Cephas, i.e., Peter meaning “a rock” (John 1: 40-42; Acts 2).

  64. Lola permalink

    One of my greatest hopes is to become a worshipper of God. To think about him everyday and walk with him from day to day. Yet even though I am considered to be a people person, I find that one of the hardest things to do in my life is witness. Mostly because I still have doubts about my own faith. I feel like I am hypocritical if I’m witnessing, but yet haven’t fully understood the grace f God. I pray that this year be the year that that fear is no linger with me and I am able to witness to many.

    • Your objectives in life are highly commendable! You will be surprised to find guidelines on REAL FAITH and WITNESSING included in the very first day of screening of disciples by Jesus Christ (John 1: 35-51). Two points come into view for close follow-up. They are:

      1) HEARSAY EVIDENCE (even the words of Jesus), leading to make-believe, is not acceptable; and

      2) Real faith is based on seeing the radical, HARD EVIDENCE (in the making) of seeing the all-time vision of the divine identity and authority of Jesus Christ (vv. 50-51) in His perfect and transfigurative death on the cross (Ibid, 8: 21-28; 14: 15-21; 19: 30-37).

      Only such “sacred faith” can stand the test of time and witnessing! We are called upon to be such exclusive witnesses! GBY!

  65. GODFRED permalink

    first of all i thank God for making it possible for us to be united and be enlighten about certain things of God. i pray that as we go through the journey the holy spirit grant us divine strenght to do as expected of us. it is true that faith without works is true.remeber the blind man whom jesus healed with the sand and water if he had not faith and did not walk to the river to wash his face do you think he would have been healed? BIG NO.therefore we need to know that we need to act and not to sit if we want the impossible to happen in our life. he said in James 4:8 draw near to me and i will draw near to you your action first before his.stay tuned at his frequency and stay blessed

  66. Carl permalink

    I finished 2009 with a lot of sadness. To the point of making myself sick. The month of December I really took stock of my situation as it pertains to my faith, family, professional and personal life. I have decided to stop going to my present church which means withdrawing from the faith-based fraternal organizations which I have been a part of for the last twelve years. The 2010 Constantly Seeking God Challenge is exactly what I need right now. I may loose a lot of friends but, with the help of God and prayers of devoted Christians like you I will grow in all of the areas I have taken stock of. My family and I have started to attend a regional campus of a Maga-Church in the North West Suburbs of Chicago, IL. I know that this is the right step for us. I want to thank you for your prayers. Happy New Year to us all. Special Thank to Rev. Mark for starting this challenge now.

  67. 3:50 p.m. Jan 1st Missouri time What a blessing to get the year started out right. Thank you so much Mark for sharing this lesson with us. I traveled home from our daughter’s in Tulsa, Oklahoma today. Absolutely beautiful cool winter day with bright sunshine. The Lord God is sooooo good to us!

  68. Philip permalink

    Wow Mark!!! What a way to enter 2010 with! I personally have so much trouble when reading the bible and its all to do with time – i just dont have any! This is a perfect way to read my bible, coz I’m on facebook all the time lol. Thanks again Mark. Praise God and God Bless you x

  69. Jorge permalink

    Pastor Mark Brown,

    Consider putting together these 365 devotional notes in the form of a book or an electronic resource

    May the LORD continue workingin this blog and its participants

    Glory, praise and honor to HIM.


  70. Jan permalink

    After reading this studyette on James the thought came to me that people are under one influence or another, drugs, alcohol or some other evil), what we watch, read or even the music we listen to. Sometimes it is another person or our past, etc. Since we are going to be under some kind of influence; why not as a Christian, be under the influence of our Creator and fulfill the purpose we were destined for.
    Appreciate your obedience, and the catalyst of great things in God that are to come from it.

    • MaryMarthaKay permalink

      AMEN Jan ! We surely need to be under the influence of GOD’s WORD …. you cannot OD on God’s WORD !

  71. April Alcaide permalink

    Thanks so much, this is going to really help me get where I want & need to be… closer to God, Awesome!!!

  72. Michele permalink

    Hello everyone! I pray for each of you a happy and blessed new day and new year. This journey will only bring about His will if we allow Him to fulfill his purpose in our life. I have read most everyone’s comments today and know that allowing the Lord to have His will in my life which I have surrendered to Him, I can only be led astray by my own choices…free will. I will be reading daily from the NIV bible I received form my sister shortly after being baptized in 2004. I pray that my relationship with the Lord is strenghened and that He would shape me into the child of god that He desires me to be. May God bless each and everyone of you and give Mark Brown the insight to reveal His teachings. I lift up brother Mark and his family to our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you Mark for the invitation to be on this journey with you. Your sister in Christ, Michele
    Your sister in Christ, Michele

  73. I have decided to take on this challenge of reading the entire bible in one year.
    I call it a challenge, because I am single, with all the responsibilities of 2 jobs, a house and all that goes with it. I go to church on Sunays, and a bible study of the Psalms on Wednesday. Many times, when I do read the bible, I can’t concentrate on it. I will make an honest attemp to meet this challenge.
    I had a friend named Chery Burns who died in 2002. She was confined to a wheelchair, & pretty much her home, due to cerebral palsy. For a number of years, she read that bible of hers completly through. When she completed it, she would call everyone, and with pride report that she had did it again.
    Cheryl, I’ll be doing this in your memory. Lord, do I miss you. Lord, several times she spoke of all the running she would do, once she got rid of the crutches and the wheelchair. Lord, Give her room.

  74. Jennifer permalink

    I’m ready for the challenge – I’ve signed up – NOW WHAT? the very first comment on here describes me as well – I always want to dedicate more time for prayer n being alone w god – it jus seems that the days pass me and by the time its over my body over powers me n I’m sleep. this will b gud for me!!

  75. Michael Cook permalink

    Okay reading is completed. Most difficult piece for me seems to be the praying and the confession of sin. I don’t know why that is so hard for me to do. But I know I need to develop this muscle if I am going to be one of God’s Mighty Men!

    Lord, I don’t know why I have such a hard time getting into prayer. It’s as though there was something blocking me from meeting you there. Jesus please remove the sin from my life that would stop me from having true fellowship with you! I know you are my advocate, and will plead my case before the Father. And you already have done this for me. Lord I resist being “religous”. I don’t want anything to do with religion. I want to know you as you know me! I understand my heart can be deceitful. So Jesus give me a pure heart. Wash me inside and make me a fit vessel for your Holy presence.

    As I read through the first 3 chapters of Genesis, my observations were about the sovereignty of God. All the creation was of His doing. He didn’t need, nor did He ask for my help! He worked! We are a described as New Creations in 2 Corinthians 5:17 and in Galatians 6:15. John 1:13 says “which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God! So God Himself is the Creator.

    God I pray that you will finish the work that you have started in me. I submit to your workmanship! And I know you will because you are faithful! You will never let me go! I am forever in your hands. No man can pluck me out of your hand! Nothing can separate me from your love for me!

    I give you thanks oh Great and Mighty one. Father you are the holy God! In your presence I come with Praise and thanks giving in my heart! I love you for loving me! Glory, Glory! You get the glory!



      The solution to the problems mentioned by Michael Cook lies in the fully untapped, close parallels between the two “last days”, namely:

      1) The “6th day” in which the “first Adam” was created out of moist ground; completed with God’s “life-giving breath” (the Spirit) made sustainable through the “tree of life” (Gen. 1: 26- 2:25); and

      2) The “last day” of the “second Adam” (Christ) made firsthand and personally knowable as sovereign LORD (“I Am Who I Am”), i.e., self-sufficient life, in His once-and-for-all, perfect and transfigurative death on the cross complete with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit from His pierced side. (John 8: 21-28; 10: 37-38; 14: 15-21; 16: 5-15; 19: 30-37 based on the promise in Ex. 3: 1-15)

      It is worth checking out Scripturally and experientially! It works miracles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  76. Bobby permalink

    But good works without faith also will not get you into the Kingdom of Heaven. You MUST have both.
    Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are like filthy rags.”

    • I believe there is a fine point between FAITH and WORKS that I have also missed most of my life. Works-producing faith is one based exclusively on “Christ in us” but not of our unclean and filthy selves. (There is much more on demand.)

  77. no price should be too great to pay in order to know HIM,for this is eternal life.

    • Before you “stand on holy ground”, leave behind all your preconceptions and check out the perfect and transfigurative death of Jesus Christ on the cross defining Him as LORD over death and life ( GBY!

  78. Audret permalink

    Thank you. I am thristing for God am glad that I saw this as it will assist in the quenching of my thrist

    • To quench our thirst forever, let us try the “life-giving water” Jesus Christ gives, i.e., the Holy Spirit still pouring out from His pierced side on the cross of perfect and transfigurative death. There is no substitute at all (John 4: 10-15; 7: 37-39; 19: 30-37).

  79. Tim permalink

    Hi pastor Mark I want to grow close to the LORD .. THANK YOU FOR your Bible study Tim

  80. Melanie permalink

    Happy New Year all of you. Thank you for doing this, Rev. Mark. I too have in the past failed to read the Bible as much as I felt I should, so am looking forward to this Bible Study. I desire to do God’s will in my life; please pray for me.

  81. Rochelle Itsnotaboutme Hairston permalink

    I can’t even express how blessed I feel right now! I am so excited that you started w/ this exact scripture!! I was studying this last week!!! Thank you so much for this oppurtunity to journey deeper into the Word of GOD w/ you!! GOD Bless you and the rest of the Body of Christ as we take this journey w/ you! To GOD be all the Glory, Honor and Praise!!

  82. omar permalink

    great way to start the year!

  83. DWhit permalink

    I too, am one of many whom will be challenged with the idea of follow through. However, I think that we all need to start somewhere and this is as good as any. I don’t believe that we are participating in this walk by accident. I also feel that faith is something we need in order to live this thing called life and what better way to put it into practice than by doing. Our greatest teacher of this skill came down to show us how it (faith) is to be utilized and left us to finish in his absence. We can “do All things in Christ.”
    Thanks Rev. Mark for a great start!

  84. Patsy Bond permalink

    Day 1 completed…….Amen

  85. Mona permalink

    Mark, once again, you are awesome! Thank you for being a useful vessel for the Lord. I just finished reading my Bible through once again and I will start again today; following your website postings. This will be great to do it at the same time others around the world are–knowing we are all ón the same page’ so to speak. God is good!


    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear Anna, I am sorry to hear that you are lonely. Life is difficult. I hope and pray that we all will be helpful to you in sharing your journey through the Bible and through life. Your presence and participation is a gift to us. Thank you

  87. Isarah Decker permalink

    So, my year is actually starting with a fast, including media (ouch) but mostly internet. So, I will be commiting to an hour a day in the bible, even though I won’t be able to read to emails, I’ll catch up on that after 21 days. So you may not know me, but keep me in your prayers!!

  88. THELMA MAY SEDDON permalink

    Just what I need a boost to get the New Year off right and to truly do what Jesus wanted us to be Fishers of Men and not to just sit back and hopefully someone else will do it. Thanks for getting me started. May the Lord truly bless each one that follow thru with this for I don’t think we will regret it. PRAISE THE LORD

  89. Sharon permalink

    Thank you Rev. Mark. I too have dedicated myself to growing closer to Christ through works by faith. Remembering that it is to bring glory to Him always and not to ourselves as well. We must always remember who we are doing the works for and that it is unto Him be the glory. It is very easy to get caught in the trap of how good we are for doing things as well. When someone tries to tell you what a good person you are, pray, pray and then pray again and always give the glory to God, for it is very easy for the enemy to try and turn our good works into bad. As I have read the Bible through a number of times (I am disabled and reading the word is a joy to me) I have dedicated myself this year to studying it more thoroughly. I am trying to read it more inductively and am using the smaller books of the NT as my guide to begin this, i.e. Titus, Philemon, James, etc. Also, I am trying to memorize more verses as the Lord leads me as well. This is a particularly hard task as my memory seems to be getting shorter with age, lol.

    Can I make one comment to the newer Warriors (as I like to call those of us engaged in battle against the dark forces)? Someone earlier in this blog stated making a commitment of an hour a day to the Lord. I used to do that, then I asked the Lord a question about the verse to pray without ceasing, and what does that mean. As scripture is the living word of God it might mean something different to others but to me it means I pray as I breathe. I talk to God all the time. It’s like a non-stop conversation. He’s always with me. I read the word when He tells me to (I carry a purse or back-pack sized Bible with me usually) and it I don’t have one I do when I get home. This is not to say I am some holier than thou, pious individual, I look like a normal, wheelchair bound lady and I don’t go around talking to myself. Sorry for the length of this, but it reminded me of something Joyce Meyer had said, we are all on a different journey and God leads us on different paths, perhaps for some it’s an hour a day, for most it is, but for some it’s a min. here and there. I’m sorry for the length but I know I felt very condemned when I felt I had to do an hour a day and just couldn’t and then heard Joyce Meyer’s comment, it freed me and the Lord helped me realize I probably give him more time in my various minutes anyway. God Bless You. I love your teaching.

  90. are u a pastor?

  91. I’m glad to know I’m on this journey with others. Helps me to not feel alone and to realize that others are seeking Him as well.

    Fellowship of Seeking God…what a great company to be journeying with!

    • Doesn’t a journey in company of others border on travelling on “the easy road and through the wide gate”? (Matt. 7: 13-14) I am afraid this one is for each one to do it on his/her own!

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Think of this a pilgrimage, traveling together to come into the presence of God.

  92. michael crider permalink

    “Father, we thank you for Your love for us.
    We thank you for sending Jesus to die in our place.
    Today, we accept Your superabundant grace for us this coming year.
    May Your free favors profusely abound in our lives, and may Your blessings overflow into the lives of those around us.
    We love You, and accept Your blessings for us with an open and grateful heart.
    In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
    Im looking forward to going through 2010 in this journey with God.
    Im on Facebook under the name Mike Crider…

  93. lia permalink

    I agree with Sharon. I have a very personal relationship with God, and I talk to him constantly. He is with me always. Receiving the email everyday will remind me to make specific time to meditate and read God’s word and for this I am thankful. I need prayer and guidance and I thank those that will pray for me.

  94. Loved it. God im ready 4 action.
    Thank u Mark. may God Bless u

  95. Pam K. permalink

    I am glad that I joined this challenge. Like the very first comment stated, I too, want a closer walk with the Lord. I pray on my way to work that I won’t stumble and fall but then I get to work and 30 minutes later I am gossiping just like everyone else and I have prayed that I wouldn’t. I seem to never read my Bible (NKJV) and sometimes I even fall asleep when I lay down to pray or my mind wanders during prayer to other things. HELP. I am a Christian but a weak one. I love my Lord and want to lift Him up not let Him down like I do. Keep me in your prayers.

  96. Peggy permalink

    It also helps me to know that I am not alone on this path to get closer to the Father! I just want to remind everyone that while it is true that “faith without works is dead”, works is not how we achieve salvation; it is through works that we receive crowns to cast at Jesus’s feet at the Great White throne. Salvation is a gift! Given freely by the Father for all who ask for it, repent and believe !!!
    Gjod bless you all and pray for my physical healing for fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis, emotional health and financial blessing!! God Bless, Peggy

  97. Jennifer permalink

    I’m so very excited about this! I’ve always struggled with reading the Bible and praying. Thank you so much for listening to God and sharing your enthusiasm and love for God with us.

  98. Babsie permalink

    The wonder of God’s Grace, always amazes me! A God so wonderful and Almighty, is using us mere mortals, to be used as instruments to live our faith and therefore also growing closer to Him. How can anyone refuse then to do the works that God has planned for us? Only, if we do not grow in Him, we wil become empty vesels and not be able to hear what God says to us. Thank you Lord, for using others to encourage us all, to seek You more and yearning for a deeper journey in faith together with deads. Bless everyone that are involved with this message for 2010 !

  99. Kathy Coppage permalink

    I’ve always felt that I was a work in progress when it comes to my relationship with God and understanding the Bible. I feel this is truly a blessing to have been led here to partake in this journey to the most high. I too have been wanting to strengthen my faith, have peace in my life, be devoted and committed to God. I would start off on the right path but easily be misled by the ways of the world. I am now ready, committed and dedicated to receive the gift of truly coming under the influence of Jesus. Thank You for giving me that chance!!

  100. Bea permalink

    My relationship with God is so important to all of my relationships. From my relationship with my parents to my relationship with my siblings and friends. If I dont take my relationship with my Lord seriously how can I have a nurturing relationship with others. I want to make a commitment to my Lord because he is always there for me. Please pray for me and I will pray for all of you that we all put our best foot forward towards our relationship and walk with the the Lord.

  101. Steve P Orozco permalink

    I never cease to be amazed when I read about the creation of the heavens and the earth. It is mind boggling just to think about as it defies the logic of our limited minds. Reading about the Fall of Man is just as tragic. Sometimes I think what would have happened had Adam and Eve not fallen, but that is mere human speculation. I am glad He has offered us a way out through Jesus Christ. Satan is relentless in his pursuit of causing mankind to fall, but we can be comforted in knowing that Jesus Christ died for us on the Cross and that we are being made holy and blameless through His perfect blood sacrifice. Thank you Lord Jesus. 🙂

    • The parallels between, on the one hand, ADAM & EVE, who were made from the moist ground/flesh, reborn from God’s “life-giving breath” (the Spirit) made sustainable by the “tree of life”; and, on the other hand, US, who are “born of the flesh”, with a real chance of being “born of the Spirit” by what happened on the “cross of Christ” merge into one line! In any case, the scale of our disobedience is far greater than theirs! Woe unto us!

  102. Connie Lovingood permalink

    “Faith without works is dead” is truly a powerful statement that needs expansion. What is meant here is that we can have faith in Christ as our savior, but it does us no good without us taking action to be more like Christ. As Rev. Brown put it, If my faith, my walk with Jesus doesn’t include action, me being active with what I believe, such as caring for the poor, praying for the sick, then my faith is dead. I cannot word it better. We need to whole-heartedly, in the faith of Christ, take action to be active in helping those who are in need. Not because it is what we are supposed to do, but because our heart and souls leads us to do so.
    According to my Biblical commentary, justification has two parts: for James, faith is not just a ‘saving faith’ as Paul’s faith. Faith, according to Paul, is justified with salvation alone. However, James takes it further, with a ‘faith that works’. This is awesome!. . This means that we need to have a Christ filled spirit when we help others (do our works), not do them with the mind frame that I need to do these things because it will get me into heaven. We need to focus on God’s plan, which he presents time and time again throughout the Bible.
    My New Years resolution is to become closer to God with daily Bible study. Not just reading it through in a year, but study what is meant by each and every word that God has to say to me. I pray that as I read and study the Bible each day that God will let me know what he wants me to learn and what I am to do that day to “keep my faith alive”. What actions can I take, as each day progresses that will glorify God. Not my humanistic self-centered wants in life, but God’s will for me in His plan for my life.

  103. “Faith in Christ as savior without Christ likeness” is make-believe (not real) but far from Biblical faith!

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