Monday, March 27, 2017

LENT 2017 Lenten Activities + Prayers - Day 24

[READ + MEDITATE]

Today we will continue our consideration of Galatians 5:22-23, the Apostle Paul’s list of the “Fruit of Spirit.” These fruits are not only attributes for us to prize and prioritize as important, this fruit also describes what God is like. For this list of fruits are some the very character traits of God that we are called to emulate as image-bearers (Gen. 1:26).

The third fruit is PEACE. The Greek word used for peace in this passage is eirēnē and it can be used as a benediction or as a salutation of blessing; but it can also be used as description of something tranquil, good, and harmonious.

A very important component of the Christian message is that God speaks peace into the messiness of our lives (a benediction of peace) and brings peace into our existence (heals our fragmented and broken relationships, with him and with others). Take some time today to ponder God’s peace. Ask him to help you receive his peace and to become a mechanism of his peace for others.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

LENT 2017 Lenten Activities + Prayers - Day 23

[READ + MEDITATE]

Once again, consider Galatians 5:22-23, the Apostle Paul’s list of the “Fruit of Spirit.” These fruits are not only attributes for us to prize and prioritize as important, this fruit also describes what God is like. For this list of fruits are some the very character traits of God that we are called to emulate as image-bearers (Gen. 1:26).

The second fruit is JOY. The Greek word used for joy here is chara and it can be described as gladness, joyfulness, and rejoicing.

A common misconception of God is that he is always disgruntled and upset. Take time today to consider that our God is a joyful God, watching us with joyfulness and gladness rather than constant finger-wagging. And rejoice.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

LENT 2017 - Lenten Activities + Prayers - 3rd Sunday

[MEDITATE + CELEBRATE]

Consider Galatians 5:22-23, the Apostle Paul’s list of the “Fruit of Spirit.” These fruits are not only attributes for us to prize and prioritize as important, this fruit also describes what God is like. For this list of fruits are some the very character traits of God that we are called to emulate as his image-bearers (Gen. 1:26).

The first fruit is LOVE. The Greek word used for love here is agapē and it can be described as love, generosity, kindly concern, and devotedness.

Take time today to consider how you have experienced God as generous, concerned, and devoted. And let's worship him today by loving him and one another. And let us be grateful, for our King is love.

Friday, March 24, 2017

LENT 2017 - Lenten Activities + Prayers - Day 22

[READ + MEDITATE]


As much as it is within your control, go the day without TV, radio, Internet, social media, cell phone apps, etc. Take a day to unplug, rest in simplicity and focus on these words from Psalm 80: “Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.”

LENT 2017 Lenten Activities + Prayers - Day 21

[READ + MEDITATE]

“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.” ~ Ephesians 2:4-5

For some Christians, sin and death weave so familiar a narrative that we’ve become numb to their sting. For others of us, the wages of sin and our subsequent spiritual death weigh so heavily that we refuse to accept God’s gracious mercy. The balance in which God calls us to rest is certainly dissatisfied with both extremes.

Take some time today to rest in the grace of God. Take some time listen to God’s declaration of  “YES!” spoken over you through the Gospel of Jesus. Take some time consider grace’s invitation to resits sinful living and to repentant from self-centeredness.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

LENT 2017 Lenten Activities + Prayers - Day 20

[GIVE]

Hebrews 3:13 stresses the importance of keeping each other accountable through community.

Reach out and encourage someone you know today.


LENT 2017 Lenten Activities + Prayers - Day 19

[PRAY]

In a short treatise concerning prayer, Martin Luther taught the discipline of praying the Ten Commandments. Today, as a practice in devotion and discipleship, reflect upon and pray this prayer based on the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17):

Almighty and Everlasting God. You alone are God, there is no other. You have revealed yourself to us in many ways, through your creation, scripture and the prophets, and through your Son Jesus Christ.

You have also revealed yourself to us by name, so that we can call out to you in faith, hope, and love. Help us to always remember that you are with us.

Help us to keep the Sabbath, that we may gather in your name and give praise and thanks to you for all you have given us, our families, homes, and our health. Help us to share these gifts with all those in need.

We give thanks to you for our parents, our leaders, and all who are placed in authority by your hand. We ask that you provide them with wisdom and patience, and the ability to make sound decisions, governing according to your will.

Living God, we ask you to help us protect all life, being mindful not to harm others through our actions, or our words.

Bless us in our relationships, helping spouses to remain true to one another and live in the fullness of their love.

We ask that you give us the power to resist the temptation to take what is not ours, and to help us protect that which belongs to our neighbor.

Help us to speak well of our neighbors, protecting their reputation and standing in the community.

Help us to understand the fullness of your blessings, so that we do not desire those things that belong to our neighbor. Rather, give us the power to protect their possessions and to help them remain loyal to their husbands, wives and families.

Into your hands we commend ourselves all for whom we pray, trusting in your goodness and mercy, through your Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit; one God now and forever.

Amen.

Monday, March 20, 2017

LENT 2017 Lenten Activities + Prayers - Day 18

[Pray]

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

LENT 2017 Lenten Activities + Prayers - Day 17

[READ + MEDITATE]

Read Jeremiah 7:21-27.

“Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people.”
What does this simple yet profound truth mean for you in this season of your life?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

LENT 2017 Lenten Activities + Prayers - 3rd Sunday

[CELEBRATE]

“When life is all about me, I am blinded from the reality of my complete dependence upon my Creator. The noise of arrogance and anxiety deafens the call to lean on the everlasting arms. We are designed by God to be doubly dependent. First, directly upon God, and second, indirectly upon God through those people God brings into our lives. Our existence is to be one of interconnection, not isolation.” ~ Karen Sloan

Let’s come to church today with grateful hearts. Grateful that we have a community of fellow followers to worship, grow, and fellowship with. And may our gratitude cause us to experience even more interconnectedness as we are used of God to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).