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Devotionals

Lenten Devotion – And forgive those who trespass against us.

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Lenten Devotion – And forgive those who trespass against us.

Thursday, April 6 Scripture: Matthew 26:14-30 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him. (Matthew 26:14-16) Jesus, we know, suffered the ultimate unfaithfulness when he was betrayed for money by Judas. We know the story. By the time we reach adulthood most have experienced some form of unfaithfulness. The childhood friend who told your...

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Lenten Devotion – Two Kinds of Betrayal

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Lenten Devotion – Two Kinds of Betrayal

Wednesday, April 5 Scripture: Matthew 26:14-30 The setting: the book of Matthew, particularly this chapter, is filled with little gems and big ideas that say a lot about our Christian religion, many that have become a part of Western culture. This section of Matthew introduces the account of the part of the betrayal, that leads to the crucifixion of Jesus; betrayal to the chief priests by Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, and then it goes on to set up the Passover, in this case the initial meal commemorating the freedom from Egyptian slavery...

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Lenten Devotion – The Tipping Point

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Lenten Devotion – The Tipping Point

Tuesday, April 4 Scripture: Matthew 26:14-30 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him. (Matthew 26:14-16) Have you ever done something you knew was wrong? Looking back, have you figured out what led you to that moment? What was your tipping point? In the gospel of Matthew, the story of Judas betraying Jesus is preceded by the story of...

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Lenten Devotion – Two Sides of Betrayal

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Lenten Devotion – Two Sides of Betrayal

Monday, April 3 Scripture: Matthew 26:14-30 Passover focuses on sacrifice which requires preparation. Jesus told Peter and John, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us.” The two did so – finding a man carrying a jar of water leading to the owner’s guest room where the twelve could eat the Passover meal. At the meal’s conclusion Jesus tells his group that the one who betrays him is with him. “Who?” eleven of them wondered. Betrayal is such a dastardly deed. Who would betray any of us? Most people have probably experienced...

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Lenten Devotion – Go to Dark Gethsemane

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Lenten Devotion – Go to Dark Gethsemane

Sunday, April 2 Go to Dark Gethsemane Chalice Hymnal No. 196 After singing in a choir for many, many years (since childhood), I have often listened to and heeded the words of music sung. So as I sing this hymn of suffering, pondering its meaning, it gives definite meaning and direction. First, the words say we must “go”! Where? To a place of great suffering: Gethsemane, outside of Jerusalem. These words written in the middle 1800s give a word picture of Gethsemane: • Dark Gethsemane • Wormwood and gall • Judgment hall • Bitter...

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Lenten Devotion – It’s Ok to Ask

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Lenten Devotion – It’s Ok to Ask

Saturday, April 1 Scripture: John 11:30-45 Living faithfully as followers of Christ requires us to have a certain level of confidence beyond our own abilities. Mary knew that she could do nothing more for her beloved brother Lazarus, who had fallen asleep in death. At first her pain caused her to snap at Jesus telling him, “If only you had been here, my brother would still be alive.” However, Jesus understood her pain and had compassion for Mary. His love for his deceased friend and compassion for a grieving sister led him to act; Jesus...

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Lenten Devotion – Find Your Own Solution

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Lenten Devotion – Find Your Own Solution

Friday, March 31 Scripture: John 11:30-45 Death is an everyday occurrence, and becomes more personal as we ourselves become older. Three old friends on our Christmas letter list died before we wrote the Christmas letter this year. They were not like Lazarus, in the prime of his life; they were old. Mary and Martha had faith in Jesus, and felt that the only reason that Lazarus had not been saved from death was simply that Jesus was not there in his time of need. The Jews who were at the house to console the sisters felt that Jesus should have...

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Lenten Devotion – Degrees of Faith

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Lenten Devotion – Degrees of Faith

Thursday, March 30 Scripture: John 11:30-45 In the last weeks of my mother’s life, she asked me a question that elicited a harshly phrased response: “No, you don’t get to question your faith in Christ after a lifetime of believing in God’s plan for salvation!” I am ashamed and so regret how I responded to her doubt in the face of death. All I could think about was how she always shared her strong belief in God’s gift to us in Christ Jesus and didn’t think about how we have different degrees of faith throughout our lives and most...

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Lenten Devotion – Joy Comes in the Morning

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Lenten Devotion – Joy Comes in the Morning

Wednesday, March 29 Scripture: John 11:30-45 “Joy comes in the morning,” scripture assures us. As Christians we strive to live that way, but with all aspects of our Christian walk, it can be difficult when we are faced with a challenge. The gospel author John writes a powerful story of resurrection. It reminds us that darkness is never final and that the Light and power of God’s unconditional love are forever with us. Jesus taught us so beautifully when he said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” The “many mansions” of God’s...

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Lenten Devotion – Are You There, God?

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Lenten Devotion – Are You There, God?

Tuesday, March 28 Scripture: John 11:30-45 Jesus went to see Mary and Martha after hearing that their brother and his friend Lazarus had died. While sharing in the grief of the family, Jesus had to hear Mary say to him that her brother would have lived, if only Jesus had been there. The sadness of losing someone you love is hard to bear. Words are hard to find during these times. So, what could Jesus say to Mary? Jesus also grieved for his friend. Having Jesus come and perform the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead by calling him out of...

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