This devotional was written by various members of the congregation . There is a devotion for each day of Lent, instead of posting daily, i will post a week at a time. Our prayer is that you will read , study, and apply to your own life.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Joel 2:12 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
As I stand looking across the landscape I see thick darkness rolling in across the land. Every day there is a fresh assault on what used to be the foundations of our culture. One by one they have crumbled into piles of rubble. The country now teeters on the edge of a precipice.
Who is responsible for this? I am. I have failed to live in humility before my God. I have failed to pray without ceasing. My sin is a reproach on me and my country. The remedy is simple: turn to God with all my heart – seek Him with weeping, mourning and fasting; for man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Prayer: Oh my Father in heaven, how I have sinned before you! I have stood by without protest as that which was built in your name has been torn apart in the pursuit of progress. Help me my Lord and Savior! Fill me with your Word rather than bread and tasty morsels. Teach me to dine on your Truth in Jesus’ name. AMEN
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
Christ died for us to save us from our sins. All He asks of us is to abide in Him so He can show us a pathway for a spiritual (Christian) life.
Prayer: Lord, shower us with your grace. AMEN
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Revelation 14:12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.
If there’s one thing we can never go over enough in my house, it’s obedience. Twenty-plus times a day I have to remind my kids to actually do what they are told. I get so frustrated when I have told them over and over, “Don’t touch this! Stay out of there! Stop making that noise!” and they continue to do it… Even immediately after I ask them, so I know they know they shouldn’t be doing what they are doing. How often must God think of us that way? We know what he has asked of us. His commands may even be fresh on our minds and yet we still disobey. My kids disobey because they think they know better than I do. When we realize that we will never know better than the Almighty God, then we can truly obey Him.
Prayer: Almighty God, please help me to know my place. Help me to keep Your commands as I patiently wait for Your return. AMEN
Thursday, March 13, 2014
2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
Today’s Scripture verse speaks of two different kinds of sorrow for our actions; Godly sorrow and worldly sorrow. What does that mean?
Worldly sorrow is when we have wronged our brother and offer a half-hearted apology. Maybe we don’t think we were wrong but because of circumstances we feel we ought to keep the peace. Sometimes apologies can be coerced; perhaps by family circumstances or a situation at work where apologizing seems the prudent thing to do, regardless of who was at fault. You say “I’m sorry”, whether or not you really are and that’s the end of the matter.
Godly sorrow, as Paul points out, is genuine sorrow for an action. We not only feel compelled to apologize to those who we’ve hurt but to God as well. The words “I’m sorry” don’t become an ending but a beginning. As Paul writes, that Godly sorrow brings repentance and a corresponding change in behavior. The words are matched by deeds which will make us more Christ-like and draw us closer to our Lord.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me realize that “I’m sorry” is more than saying the words, but showing it in deeds. AMEN
Friday, March 14, 2014
Psalms 33: 20-22 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.
God pays attention to those who call on him. Whether God offers escape from trouble or help in times of trouble we can be certain that he always hears and acts on behalf of those who love him.
Prayer: Oh God, make me a more willing servant, and a cleaner vessel. Protect me from danger and help me to be bold in sharing my love for you with others. AMEN
Saturday, March 15, 2014
John 11:35 Jesus wept.
The shortest Scripture verse in the Bible is also one of the most poignant. In the two words it contains, it lays the groundwork for understanding that Christ was fully human. The words are these: “Jesus wept.”
Jesus knew what He was about to do. He knew Lazarus had been dead for days and He knew that Lazarus would live again, yet the One who had power to restore his life was so moved by the grief felt by Mary and Martha that he cried.
As the Easter story unfolds, we read in Scripture of the savage beating our Lord suffered at the hands of men before being so cruelly being hung on the cross. He knows our pain, our struggles, our joys, triumphs and tragedies. He understands our grief. As we reflect on this, let us never forget that the One who intercedes for us with our Heavenly Father understands exactly what we’re going through.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, always help me remember that you understand my feelings because Jesus felt the same emotions as we do. Let that knowledge bring joy when I’m happy and peace when life is hard. AMEN
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Acts 13:3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
Fasting seems to be a lost art in much of Christendom. It’s scary to think of going without something for a period of time, even when head knowledge says that it’s what God wants us to do. But fasting from anything allows us to spend time with God, seeking his will, seeking his guidance, and ultimately being more in tune with what God sees as right. It’s not a fad diet.
Let me point out that fasting without prayer is generally not worth the effort. Since fasting is generally associated with food (the early church certainly wasn’t going to fast from video games or Oprah!), let’s put it in that context: fasting without prayer is nothing more than a pseudo-spiritual diet, a lose-weight-quick scheme. I’d like to be considered an expert on fasting, but I don’t always hear very well. After one fast, the only conclusion I could come to was that the ministry God was calling me to was anything BUT preaching. Of course the next day, someone called asking me to come to his pulpit and preach, and then the Seminary put me on a list of people available when churches needed someone to fill in.
But this verse says more than ‘fast’, it says more than ‘Lay hands on those I have called’. This is a vibrant reminder that in many cases the church needs to publicly stand firm behind those that God has called. It’s a call to greater fellowship, to affirmation and encouragement. It’s God’s way of saying ‘I have called this man or woman, and now I want you to fast also and seek my will. I want the church to understand why this person was called to this task. I want the church to understand and act on that understanding’.
In the same way that we might be called to fast to be able to hear God’s will for our own lives, the church might be called to a corporate fast, a time of reflection, a season of prayer so that as a body we can learn to listen to God, and in doing so hear his vision for the mission he has called the local body to.
Prayer: Holy of Holies, during this Lenten season, help us to slow down and learn to listen for your voice. Help us to take a break from all that keeps us from being able to hear your call on our lives, both as individuals and as a body known as a congregation –a local church- which is part of your Church. AMEN