February 2023

Dear Pinedale Family, I’m always excited for a new year, but somehow the turn of the calendar to 2023 has awakened a new level of anticipation in me. The past few years have been challenging, to say the least. We have walked together through a worldwide pandemic, social unrest and two incredibly contentious elections. All the while, we have continued to worship and pray with all our might for God to move in a fresh way through our culture.

I believe that prayer is being answered before our eyes. The turmoil of the past three years has created brand-new opportunities to share the Gospel. Many people who have been discipled by social media are craving connection. Many people who have been discipled by the media are craving truth. Many people who have been discipled by the voice of a rapidly changing culture are craving to understand their true identity. And here we are, the Church of Jesus Christ, shining light in the darkness.

Put simply, I believe we have some defining years ahead of us. I believe that God is doing something new, and my prayer for you and for me is that God will give us eyes to see it so we can join Him! We are the Church of Jesus Christ, put on this earth for just such a time as this, and we have work to do!

This study is all about understanding that calling. It’s a reminder of who and what the Church is called to be — our born identity. The more we understand the name and authority and strength and purpose God has given us, the more equipped we will be to call the people in our lives back to real hope, real meaning, real joy, real security and real love.

For the next 40 days, devote yourself to daily prayer, devotion and reflection. Each day, commit to spending 15-20 minutes with this book, reading the daily devotion and the Scripture that goes with it, and praying about what you have learned. As usual, along the way, we will gather regularly to encourage one another and support one another, so commit, also, to being present with your group each weeknight. We pray that by Day 40, we will all be prepared to move forward with a new perspective of God and new energy for doing His work.

You are holding in your hands a powerful opportunity. Seize it! Allow God to speak to you during the next 40 days, and you can bet you will be different when you reach the last page.