Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lent Devotional Week 7

Lent Devotional Week 7

Day 35: PRAYER
“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
In this verse, Paul is encouraging the Thessalonians to
continually posture their hearts toward God in prayer as
a daily rhythm of life. When we pray without ceasing, it
results in: 1. Confidence: Believing that God is ALWAYS
near, waiting and ready to listen and teach at any time 2.
Dependence and Humility: Prayer crushes pride. Prayer
says that I can do nothing on my own. Prayer says we
need God throughout the day. 3. Joy: Because of what
Jesus has done for me on the cross, I can confidently
and continually approach the throne of God in prayer.
We don’t have to pray. We get to pray! What rhythm of
your daily life could you incorporate prayer into (when
you wake up, your daily commute, walking to grab lunch,
before you God to bed)?


Day 36: COMPASSION
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your
throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you...
For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our
horn is exalted.” Psalm 89:14,17
As an expression of the joy of being in communion
with God–pursuing our righteousness only in light of
our sanctification in light of His steadfast love and
faithfulness–these words communicate that God has
the very best plans for His people because He seeks
to glorify himself. We reflect His love and faithfulness
by being compassionate and reminding others of God’s
character. In doing so, we fervently strive towards other’s
sanctification and God’s glory.


Day 37: PRAYER
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:41
Jesus had just had his last passover meal with his
disciples, and is now in the garden at Gethsemane
praying. The disciples missed the severity of what Jesus
knew was about to occur, with his arrest drawing near,
and so they fell asleep. Jesus returns from praying, and
since they were not compelled to pray by his distress, he
instructed them to pray for themselves, that they would
not fall into temptation. When things seem to be going
well, it’s easy to get comfortable. This is a dangerous
place to be. If we aren’t praying for the power of the
Spirit of Christ in us, then we are walking into those
temptations with the strength of our flesh, and “the flesh
is weak.” As Paul admonished the Corinthians “Therefore
let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he
fall” “Take heed,” “Watch and pray.” We are weak, but
he is strong!


Day 38: FASTING
“Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, ‘Why
do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do
not fast?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the weddings
guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away
from them, and then they will fast. “ Matthew 9:14-15
Let our fasting be driven by our heart’s deep hunger
for Jesus. Let our fasting be an act of joyful & awe-full
worship, done unto our beautiful God and Savior. Let our
fasting accompany prayers for our Lord’s return, for His
Kingdom to come and for His name to be exalted in all
glory forever.


Day 39: COMPASSION
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness,
and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has
a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the
Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And
above all these put on love, which binds everything
together in perfect harmony.” Col. 3:12-14
As those who are chosen by the God of the Universe, our
heart’s response is to show empathy for those suffering,
to put the needs of others ahead of our own, & constantly
extending forgiveness as we have been forgiven. This
begins with love. When we dwell on the truth that we
were chosen and made holy, not of our own design or
effort, we are moved to compassion toward others,
recognizing their needs rather than their shortcomings.


Day 40: PRAYER
Matthew 26:39 “And going a little farther he fell on his
face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible,
let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will,
but as you will.”
Jesus shows us much in a simple prayer. We are invited
to pray to God as a Father with our best interests in mind.
This frees us to pray like Jesus that we would desire the
will of God the Father over our own will in this life. Let
us pray that we would love God, the things He loves, and
His will for our life; that He would banish all fear and
discontentment from us and free us to embrace His wi
ll.

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