God created the world out of nothing in 6 days. With Noah, it took God 40 days to wipe the slate clean and begin again. Maybe the lesson there is that sometimes it’s easier to start from scratch. But in the 40 days of the flood God cleared out the clutter of a failed first attempt so that he could begin again with something new (Gen 7:12).
Jesus took 40 days in the wilderness to prepare himself for his ministry; to fight his demons; to make sure his motives were pure; to get his priorities in line; and to make sure he had the strength and fortitude to make it all the way to the empty tomb (Matt 4:1-2).
In 40 days the Israelites found someone to slay their giant. David stood up to Goliath, a king was born, and a royal line established that would eventually bear fruit in Bethlehem (1 Sam 17:16, Luke 2:4).
In 40 days with God, Moses carved out the Ten Commandments (Ex 34:28-29).
For 40 days after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples, started the church and began a kingdom building process that continues to this day (Acts 1:3).
What can you do in 40 days? We’re about to find out.
40 Days in the Word begins Feb. 2nd. For 40 days, small groups of Wieucans will meet all over Atlanta. We’ll study the Bible together. We’ll eat together. We’ll get to know one another better. And we’ll build relationships that will help us become more like Christ so that our community looks more like God’s kingdom.
Several of our church leaders have made this experiment possible by agreeing to open up their homes and host these six-week small groups. They’re making a difference in the life of our church by agreeing to step out in faith and try something new.
Wieuca hasn’t had much experience with in home Bible study groups. While other churches have had great success with in home groups, this is something new for us. It takes courage to be the first to sign up for something when we don’t know exactly how it will work or what the end result will be. But rest assured this won’t be the first 40 day experiment with an uncertain outcome. Just ask Noah or Moses or David or Jesus.
I hope you’ll be part of what we’re doing over the next six weeks. We have 40 Days groups for teenagers; young adult 40 Days groups for both men and women; and six host sites scattered all over North Atlanta open to anyone who’d like to participate. Space is limited, so you’ll need to sign up for one of these host sites quickly.
You can contact Matt Sapp to join a group or sign up in your Covenant Group this Sunday. Each group will meet for the first time at 4 PM on February 2nd.
Or, if you’d prefer, it’s still not too late to grab a few friends and form your own group. We’ll provide all the materials and direction you need to have a great six-week experience! Contact Matt Sapp at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your group and receive 40 Days materials.
As part of our 40 Days experiment, you’ll be part of a group that lives out Wieuca’s mission of loving God, connecting people and changing lives. We’re setting the bar high. Community building and life transformation aren’t easy. But God can do a lot in 40 days.