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Lenten Devotional

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Judges 15:14 – 20 ...14When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him. And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily so that the ropes that were on his arms were as flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds dropped from his hands… ...18Then he became very thirsty, and he called to the Lord and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” Did you see two very different ways Samson was lead by the Lord in this passage? When Samson was bound and helpless, the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon Samson without prompting. The Lord saved Samson by melting away his bindings, so Samson could follow the Lord’s intended purpose: to start the deliverance of the people from the Philistines. (We are told this in Judges 13:5.) Shortly after this, Samson called out to the Lord because he was thirsty and feared he would die of thirst. ...

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

2 Cor 5:16-17 (The Message) Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! We have white plastic snack trays; you’ve probably seen similar ones. The trays fold flat when not in use and lock in the table position when needed. They’ve provided good, steady service over the years, and they bear the stains of wings and chili to prove it. The trays are nothing special to look at, just a flat white plastic surface reinforced with square plastic beams underneath. The tray legs are nicked and peeling paint in a few spots, another sign of their usefulness over the years. But one morning, as I came down the stairs past their usual spot, ...

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

When my children were much younger I would give them only as much direction or explanation as I felt they could handle. Information was given in age-appropriate intervals. They also learned from their own personal experiences. Every lesson was a pearl…a gift toward becoming a self-reliant, confident adult. So many of these lessons were taught and learned at the bus stop. Getting across the street to the bus is best done by walking slowly and avoiding being whacked by the arm that the bus driver extends to protect you! Which did happen. It is best not to over pack your backpack because the first step into the bus is a high one and you could loose your balance. Which also happened. Being aware of your surroundings is an important bus stop lesson. Because when you are carrying a field hockey stick down the aisle to the back seat of the bus… others could be affected. That was also the lesson on how the things you do have lasting effects on others. (Y ...

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Monday, April 7, 2014

1 John 3:1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! Even though the technology was available 17 years ago, my husband and I wanted to be surprised with our little bundle of joy. Although we didn’t mind either way, I was so relieved when I had a son. I didn’t want to be bothered with pink dresses, princesses, hair, makeup, and everything else that goes along with little girls. My son was definitely all boy – played in the dirt, tried out for every sport there was, and loved his trucks. I watched him go through all his firsts and loved every minute. We had our “Mommy & Matt” days when we would do something special just he and I. As he got older though, I worried about what would we have in common and would we “like” each other very much as he got older, especially those awesome middle school and high school years. I thought back to how I was as a teenager and shudde ...

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Romans 8:14-16 (NASB) 14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. Imagine that you are at a very important and mandatory meeting. You have just been given a Sharpie and one of those sticky name badges that proclaims: Hello My Name Is… How do you complete the sentence? How do you fill in the blank? Think carefully before you write, because your badge must be legible, and your entire future depends on how you complete the badge. There are no extra name badges. Everyone receives only one, and there is no white out. Who are you?  Most of us are faced with this question of identity at least once in our lives, possibly even more often as we change and grow. Life’s experiences change us, someti ...

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Psalm 43:3-4 3O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your dwelling places. 4Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God.  I like to meander when I go places. Especially when there are a lot of pretty things to look at. It is the very reason my husband hides when I say, “Let’s go shopping.” Meandering can be enjoyable, but when I’ve lost my way because I am not paying attention, or buying things that I really don’t need instead of enjoying the moment and experience, then I’ve taken my eyes off the One who can truly lead me. Lead me Lord, Lead me into righteousness.... Stopping to ask God to show me the way, or pausing before I make a purchase to ask, “Want or need?” (and ultimately realizing and being grateful that God takes care of our needs), that is truly accepting God’s importance in my life.  Dear God,  H ...

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Exodus 19:8 We will do everything the Lord has said. I don’t follow directions well. Give me instructions for a craft, and by the time I’m done, I guarantee that I’ll have made a few creative adjustments to the final product. Give me directions to a place I’ve never been, and I guarantee that I’ll get lost at least twice on the way there. Give me strict instructions on how to follow God, and I guarantee that I’ll end up worshiping a golden calf. Oh. Wait. That was the Israelites. But the Israelites and I aren’t so different. We both have problems with following directions. In Exodus 19, God has Moses ask the Israelites to make a covenant with Him, and the people respond, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” They promised to give God their complete and total obedience, yet only 13 chapters later, that complete and total obedience to the Lord is gone. Instead, a golden calf stands in its place. Perhaps Aaron says it best in Exodus 32:22 when he sa ...

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Psalm 119:33-36 (The Message) God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me – my whole life one long, obedient response. Guide me down the road of your commandments; I love traveling this freeway! Give me a bent for your words of wisdom, and not for piling up loot. Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way. One day a few years ago, when I was reflecting on priorities in my life and my family, I heard a song called “Lead Me” by Sanctus Real. It was one of those moments of clarity and emotion that don’t come often enough, mostly because I don’t give the time for them to occur. I actually cried. Am I giving enough of my time to those who need it most? God has placed 5 people in my life and entrusted me to care for them, to raise them knowing His love through me. The song is about a husband and father, busy in today’s world, working to support his family, p ...

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Luke 11:1 Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…” Firefighters. Police officers. Trauma teams. HazMat specialists. We know them collectively as “first responders.” They are the brave, dedicated individuals called to the scenes of accidents and crimes, the first ones asked to bring help and order to places of incredible chaos and devastating pain. First responders are often highly trained and skilled professionals who have practiced and drilled so that when called upon, they can react automatically to do what needs to be done without being distracted by personal discomfort or fear. God calls each believer to be a first responder – but not that same kind of first responder. God calls every believer to be a spiritual first responder. In the spiritual realm, our first response should be prayer. Paul mentions this calling in many of his letters in the New Testament, repeatedly ur ...

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Psalm 43:3-4 3O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your dwelling places. 4Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God. Once again I am surrounded by Christmas decorations as I think about a Lenten devotional. Soon we will celebrate the visit of the magi to the child, Jesus. They were led, led by a star as they traveled many miles to see the newborn who was the King of the Jews. (Mathew 2:1-2) Generations earlier, God had led His people out of bondage in Egypt. That time He led them with a cloud by day and a fire by night for forty years as they wandered through the desert. (Exodus 13:17-22) God is in the business of leading people. If only we will not just let Him lead us, but actively seek to be led by Him.  Years ago there was a daytime TV drama called The Guiding Light. I always thought it would be inspiration ...

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