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3/20/2019
 
Today’s Lenten devotion is based on John 5:36-39 where we hear Jesus speaking, “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish-- the very works that I am doing-- testify that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
The Jews of Jesus time rejected Jesus. They wanted him to prove that he was who he said he was. Jesus first told them about John the Baptist. John was sent by God to point out the Messiah, as their Scriptures told them he would. Second, Jesus pointed out the works that he did. No one could do those things unless he was of God. Third, Jesus pointed to their scriptures where even Moses had written about him.
 
While these things were important proofs, no one can see the connection without faith. In the end, faith always ends up with the question, “Do I or do I not want to believe Jesus is my Savior.” What is your answer?
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, you know I want to believe in you while at the same time I have doubts. So while I am sentenced to die, I know that your death and resurrection has made my death into the door to eternal life with you. Thank you for that wonderful undeserved gift. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 
3/19/2019
Today’s Lenten devotion is based on John 5:26, “For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.”
John explains things differently than the other gospel writers. They describe one event after the other in their gospels shortly and concisely. He focused especially on Jesus relationship with the Father. John understood Jesus’ deepest ideas and thoughts. This understanding casts a different light on the works of Jesus. Thus when John writes about life, he is not talking of just earthly life but eternal life. That is John’s message to us today.
 
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, I thank you because you have shown me the way I can cross from death to life and know that I will be declared free of condemnation for the sake of Jesus. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 

3/17/2019  

Today’s Lenten devotion is based on John 5:14 where we hear Jesus tell the man he had earlier healed, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you."

What does that mean? It sounds like Jesus is telling the man that sinning causes problems. In one sense not treating your body correctly has resulted in heart disease, lung problems, and other such problems.

What Jesus meant is that Jesus wants to save the man from something worse than the paralysis that he had suffered from, eternal separation from God. Jesus healed the man’s body restoring him to good health plus by telling him to quit sinning put him on the road to know his Savior.

Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, you are all powerful and capable of everything. This is my greatest comfort. It fills my heart with joy knowing that everything is in your hands. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 
3/15/2019
Today’s Lenten devotion is based on Matthew 6:13, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Many people find the next-to-last petition of the Lord’s Prayer very difficult. It appears that God deliberately leads people into temptation. Temptations can bring a person closer to God. Unfortunately, they can, and quite often do, lead us away from God. It is important to understand the word for elsewhere in God’s Word we read that tempts no one. The Greek word that is translated “temptation” also means “trial”. So we should understand the words as saying, “Lead us in such a way that we are not tempted.”
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, I am constantly set up one with temptations. Help me to overcome them by leading me in your way, so though I am tempted I do not fall into sin. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
 

3/13/19

Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 17:19-20 where we hear Jesus response to the disciples' question of why they could not cast out a demon, “Becuase of your little faith,”  Jesus is speaking of a special level of faith. That is what is needed to do what the disciples had failed to do. That level of faith cannot be confused with saving faith. It is a special gift of the Holy Spirit. We must not test God concerning our faith.  For testing God goes farther and expecting more from God than he expects us to do. Instead, we should cry out to God as the father of the demon-possessed son did, “I believe. Help me in my unbelief.”

Please join me in praying the prayer for today.  Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things seen, and unseen,  you know how much I struggle in distinguishing my own plans from your plans.  Help me to be more attentive to your Word, so that as my faith grows I can better understand your will in my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

3/12/19


Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 4:7 where we hear Jesus’ response to Satan after Satan offered him a shortcut to getting people to follow him. Jesus said to him, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”  I find it interesting that Jesus told Satan that He was also Satan’s God. In other words, God has final authority over Satan.

God knows what he wants.  He knows the end. He is Lord over all things.  He, therefore, has boundaries. There are things he keeps for himself.  His thoughts are far beyond ours and we cannot change them. That is why Jesus refrained from doing things that in our minds he should have done, for if he had more people would have believed in him.

Many congregations today, I am afraid to have forgotten why Jesus came to this earth.  They have forgotten that they are now the hands, the feet, the mouth of Jesus whose only purpose was to make people right before God.  He knew that he had to stay on message. We, as Christians need to stay on message also, for we alone have Jesus’ message of salvation.  Everything we do for others is to point people to Jesus.

Please join me in praying the prayer for today.  Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things seen, and unseen,  help me to love you so much that your message of salvation is in everything I do.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

3/11/19

Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 16:23, where we hear Jesus say to Peter, “Get behind me Satan.”  

This event happened shortly after Jesus encounter with Satan.  We are told that Satan left Jesus after he failed to get him to sin. He was going to wait for another chance to get Jesus to sin.  Peter who had just moments before called Jesus his Lord, now would tell Jesus that he was not going to die as Jesus had told them. Peter had Jesus best interest in mind.  But in saying what he did he was acting as an agent of Satan, thus the reason for Jesus called him Satan.

This event recorded for us in God’s Word provides for us a warning in our behavior and belief.  We have to watch for Satan’s activity in our lives, for he can and will use our best intentions for his purpose to separate people from God. The foremost question we should ask in our daily lives, no matter how rational to us, or beneficial, or profitable, or even how loving it might appear, does it match God’s clear eternal will as it is stated in the Bible.

Please join me in praying the prayer for today.  Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things seen, and unseen,  help me through your Word recognize that left to my own reasoning that I cannot live my life according to your holy Word.  Forgive me for Jesus’ sake for believing that my will could even come close to your will. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.


Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 16:23, where we hear Jesus say to Peter, “Get behind me Satan.”  


This event happened shortly after Jesus encounter with Satan.  We are told that Satan left Jesus after he failed to get him to sin. He was going to wait for another chance to get Jesus to sin.  Peter who had just moments before called Jesus his Lord, now would tell Jesus that he was not going to die as Jesus had told them. Peter had Jesus best interest in mind.  But in saying what he did he was acting as an agent of Satan, thus the reason for Jesus called him Satan.


This event recorded for us in God’s Word provides for us a warning in our behavior and belief.  We have to watch for Satan’s activity in our lives, for he can and will use our best intentions for his purpose to separate people from God. The foremost question we should ask in our daily lives, no matter how rational to us, or beneficial, or profitable, or even how loving it might appear, does it match God’s clear eternal will as it is stated in the Bible.


Please join me in praying the prayer for today.  Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things seen, and unseen,  help me through your Word recognize that left to my own reasoning that I cannot live my life according to your holy Word.  Forgive me for Jesus’ sake for believing that my will could even come close to your will. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

3/8/2019
Today’s Lenten devotion is based on the gardener's reply to the owner of the vineyard when he was told to cut down the Fig tree that was not producing figs. Luke 13;8, “Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.”
Jesus is speaking of himself here. He is like the gardener. He prayed that the owner (God) of the fig tree (Isreal)would leave the tree alone for a period of time. During this time he would give the tree all it needed to be a fruitful tree. When Jesus went to Jerusalem, it was to make one last attempt to give them all they needed to become productive. Jesus saw the danger in the way the people were going and he is doing his best to prevent them from being cut off from God.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, I thank you for interceding on my behalf before God the Father. Help me to produce good fruit in my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
3/7/2019
Today’s Lenten devotion is based on Mark 10:45. “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Power, authorities, and officials are important parts of the kingdoms of the world. It is entirely different in Christ’s kingdom. Those who serve are the most important there. The Lord of the kingdom, the Son of Man, had himself come to earth not to be served, but to serve. We as followers of Jesus are also to serve others for in doing so we show Jesus’ love to others.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, I know from your Word that I am to serve others, yet I repeatedly fail at doing so. Forgive me and help to understand that serving others is not a burden but a joy for in doing so I honor you, my Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
3/6/2019
Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. During this time of Lent, we are to spend time in acknowledging the sin in our life, especially our lack of forgiveness toward others.
Please join me in the following confession of sins:
O Almighty God, merciful Father. I am indeed a poor miserable sinner before you. I confess onto you all my sins which I have committed toward others, for in doing so I have sinned against you and justly deserve your eternal punishment. I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent of them. I pray that out of your boundless mercy and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of your beloved son Jesus Christ to be merciful to me, a poor sinful being.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, forgive me, Father the sins I have committed, for in doing so I have sinned against you. Help me act in ways that bring glory to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 

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