Lent devotional 31
The word respect has lost it’s meaning in the world. When I was a kid respect was something show to adults by defult, but was earned on the playground. You didn’t simply walk up to another kid in a strange hat and go ‘I respect you for wearing that hat.’ It’s rediculous. Yet that is what we hear. Someone once posted to someone else that they respected them because they made their dog wear clothes. That’s silly people. You don’t respect someone for that. I can tell you that I respect other people’s pets, whether they be dogs, cats or horses, I have learned from pain that you treat them appropriately because your friend’s german shepherd might not be a hug lover like your poodle mix back home is. That again is a different type of respect. That is a respect of boundries and to caution until you know where you stand. You can see a person in full cosplay in the mall and feel a sense pleasure at the fact that they chose to be themselves and stand out, but you don’t respect them for it. Respect is a feeling toward someone’s achievements not their choices. You can respect a doctor for being good at his job, you don’t respect him for wearing pink flamingo socks, you can smile at that and appreciate it, but it’s not something to respect. In this disillusion of respect we have lost the true ability to respect God. We flash a peace sign and say we respect someone but do we understand the awe behind true respect? Do we understand why we respect our God?
Ask yourself what causes you to respect God?
Is it like respecting the boundries of a wild animal? No because God wants us close to Him.
Is it like respecting a soldier for fighting for their country? That can definiately be an aspect of it. God does fight for us. But let’s go deeper, more personal.
Is it like respecting your father? There we go. We respect God for His strong loving protection, we respect Him for His sacrificial attitude towards us as His people, we respect Him for His goodness, for His wonders, for who He is. We respect Him because He is so much greater then we are, yet He comes down to our level and cares for us. We respect because He is God our Father. Father’s should be men you can look up to and respect, they should be there for us when we need them, they should care for us and provide for us. God does all of that. And He is infinate God, His position warrants Him respect. Ultimately, He is God and He is good and for that I will always respect Him.
Lent devotional 27
When Jesus died on the cross He didn’t just take away our fear and pain, but He gave us complete freedom from it. Fear is not from God, He says that His perfect love casts out all fear. That does not mean that you will never feel fear again, it means that Jesus’ power gives you the authority to pray against your fear and have it cast away. In Jesus name I stand against this fear I am feeling! Then if the fear comes back ask Jesus to cast it out again. The devil uses fear to drive us down and keep us from God’s goals in our lives. We must stand against this fear in the name of Jesus and refuse to permit it to overwhelm us. Jesus is there, standing guard, call on His name and believe that your fear will be cast out by His holy and glorious power!
In Jesus name I stand against fear and trembling of anything earthly. I stand in the power of almighty God! Fear has no hold on me because Jesus is the one who holds me. Amen!
Lent devotional 26
I’m not faithless, just paranoid of being lost- Flyleaf
We become afraid, even paraniod of being left behind or lost.
But the Jesus who mourned in the garden, suffered in the flogger’s hands and died on the cross will never leave us behind. He died so we would never be lost. Jesus came for us, He found us, He goes after the one and never gives up until you are found. Feeling lost does not make you faithless, it makes you human. It’s easy to feel like you have lost your way when things are spinning and you can’t focus. They say you should work on you and that will help you help others, I’m not sure that that is true, but how do you work on you when you can’t find you? Life gets messy. The world is crazy and it get’s inside your head and causes stress. Things fall apart, people fail you, things pack on top of themselves and you feel like Atlas holding up the world. But the world is not yours to hold, that’s God’s job. The mess and crazy all around you is not your’s to deal with. The pile of things for you to do is not yours to bear alone. God arms me with strength, and He makes my path perfect Psalm 18:34
You are not lost just because you are spinning, God always knows where you are. He doesn’t need to find you again because He never lost you even if you have lost focus of Him.
There are days when I picture the angel taking care of my dog. I know he’s there because of the times I pray, ‘God protect my pal from himself,’ and then later that day see him do something that causes me to hold my breath in horror as I wait to see if he survives. Only a loving God would bother to protect my unstable Jack Russell because He knows how much he means to me.
Today I imagined Pal’s angel sitting him down for a talk that went like this:
Angel: “okay, let’s do this one more time. You do not chase the skunks.’
Pal: “okay! I chase skunks!”
Angel: “no, you do not chase the skunks.”
Pal: “yep, chase skunks. Got it.”
Angel rubs his forehead: “no, you do NOT chase the skunks! You leave the skunks alone! Skunks carry disease.”
Pal, horrified: “I can’t leave the skunks alone! Then they will be lonely!”
Angel groans but refuses to give up and tries again. This could go on forever so we’ll move on.
How like my crazy little dog are we at times?
God sits us down and says that there is something we are about to do or are presently doing that we should avoid because it’s dangerous. Maybe not physically, but it might be spiritually dangerous. Then we miss what He is saying and keep going, we keep chasing whatever it is that we are after no matter how bad it might be. He tries again to stop us and save us from ourselves, and again we miss it and keep going. Then when we finally understand that God is saying to stay away from that thing we are chasing we become defensive and argue with Him that we know best. But our loving God refuses to give up on us, even if that means He has to step in and save us last minute because we wouldn’t listen to Him. He is such a loving Father. He always strives to keep us from harm, and then we chase the skunk and get sprayed He loves us enough to clean us up and heal our injuries and to continue to protect us, even from ourselves.
Lent devotional 24
What do you do my friends when you are afraid?
Brother Andrew has said, ‘you have been spiritually mature in faith for a long time, act like it.’
Do we trust God when something that brings us fear takes ahold of us? Or do we try to fix it ourselves?
When we are afraid or something goes wrong we need to give it to God, then we need to trust Him with it. I feel like we are in a tug-of-war with God and our lives are the ropes. We let God have one end and then we yank as hard as we can from the other end and try to pull God over to our side or else to simply pull the rope itself out of God’s hands. Then we dance around like we have won something because we have done it all on our own.
But to have true peace we must hand our fears and troubles over to God and then let GO. Only once we have let go can we experience the rewards of faith and can see what happens when thungs are done the King’s way.
Lent devotional 23
To love them with your whole heart.
We feel these days that to love them is to accept them, all of them, as they are in that moment. That is true in a sense but not in a whole. As Christians it is always a struggle to accept the whole of the person but to also fight against their sin. We forget that if we accept the sin and not simply the sinner then we aren’t truly loving them. To accept our whole selves and to accept our own sin is not truly loving ourselves either. There is the great truth that we all have a darkness to us, but when we claim that we love our darkness as part of ourselves we are hurting ourselves. When we claim that we love someone else’s darkness as part of themselves then we are condeming them to forever be trapped by that darkness. Our sin is not who we are, it is not part of us. Like a big chain holding down a wolf, that chain is not part of that animal, that free spirit, it is simply attached to him or her. Once someone loves the wolf enough to say, ‘that doesn’t belong on you, let me help you take it off,’ and the wolf is set free from it’s bonds it can finally return to the trees and run the way it was meant to run. These chains are not part of us, our sins are not part of us, we cannot lie down and simply accept them in ourselves and in others, we must stand up against sin and scream ‘no more!’ ‘No longer will this sin hold me down!’ ‘I want to be free!’
You are not defined by your chains. You are meant to be free.
Seek a good Church with a pastor you trust and can come to with your sin, seek good Christian people who will help you. I don’t mean as someone to confess to, I mean as people to pray with you. Trust me, they have sins too that they are fighting, you are not alone.
Jesus I love you, I love that you love me and fight against my sin becasue you want me to be free. Thank you that you are not condeming me when you condem my sin, but that you are saving me. Let me trust in you and your truth. Guide me to fellow Christ followers so that I might find people who will pray with me and fight with me.
Lent devotional 21
Day of tears
‘Today is my day to sorrow’, thought the tiny flower growing beside a rock. ‘Last night a great trouble came over me as a man, or something more than a man, sat by my side and wept. His tears were so great that when they splashed upon me I felt sick and my roots were weakened. I tried to reach out to the man, but I am just a flower and cannot draw attention to myself like a bird can with her song. He cried and screamed and begged and pleaded, but no peace came to this man. I hoped that He would look at me and I could make Him smile. He left and then returned, even sadder when He came back. All I could do was sit with Him. Then I sensed a resolve in His being and He went to stand once more. He stumbled and His hands landed near me. I tried to be radiant to bring Him comfort, finally He saw me, He smiled very gently, then He rose to His feet. “Thank you my radiant flower.” He said, then He left.
I feel that something great and tragic happened that night. Today I feel as though a friend is calling out for mercy. Today I feel sad. But being a flower, I know that tomorrow will bring new joy and hope.’
Lent devotional 20
Jesus is devine
I can feel you all around me, thickening the air I’m breathing, holding on to what I’m feeling – savoring This heart that’s healed.-Flyleaf
The only way He can heal our Brokenness is if He is God. If He had been just a man and had died for the lives of his friends it still would have been amazing; but He died as God, for people who loved him, and for people who hated him. The only reason we are saved is because Jesus is divine. This reminds me of something Sherry Yuki said about the king who was her friend, whom she served in as a herbalist in his castle, ‘I shouldn’t even be permitted around a man of his station, the only reason I am permitted to go anywhere near him is because his authority puts him above reproach.’
The only reason we can go anywhere near God is because he chooses to permit us to be with Him, and because His authority makes it so no one can question Him. But because He lets us come to Him as God and He came to us as man we forget that He is divine, that He is God. When it came to the deity of Jesus no one ever said, ‘look! Jesus is God! Get that through your heads!’ Instead the disciples just naturally spoke of Jesus as God. In Revelation chapter 5, you hear about the Lion of Judah, then you look and see this Lamb who had been slaughtered, this signifies that Jesus- who is coming back- was just as powerful when He was dying on the cross as He is as a returning King. Jesus has the position of the first born, but God did not create Him. All things were created by Him and for Him. Jesus is one with God. Some say Jesus was simply an angel or a prophet but the Bible tells us that angels report to Jesus, nations are dust and will fade away, only Jesus matters. The Living Creatures sing ‘Holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ then the elders fall down before Jesus. The exact same worship that they gave God in chapter 4 of Revelation, they give Jesus in chapter 5. Jesus is consistently reminding us that He is God, because if He isn’t God then we are not forgiven. Oh yes, we would be forgiven by Him as a man, but unless He is God also that forgiveness can’t save us. But He IS God, so we are saved. Jesus Is God, don’t believe anyone who tells you different, and don’t forget that He loves us and welcomes us, but He is still the devine creator, the Author of life, the Alpha and Omega, the Key, the Door, the Blood, the Lion, the Lamb, the Shepherd and the returning King. He is God! Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.
Lent devotional 19
No one is coming to save you. Just give in.
The devil has a consistant lie that he tells people, ‘you are alone and no one, no one at all, is coming for you.’
You see he wants to destroy us. That’s his whole purpose, and it’s easier to get people to give in if they believe that they are alone. People stop fighting, Christians give up, sometimes holding on to your own faith takes all the strength you have.
Being hated, rediculed, rejected, thrown away, criticized, beaten, just because you are a Christian makes you wonder if it’s worth it. The pain grows with every comment in your youtube chat feed, everytime your Christian post is blocked as pornographic material on a gaming site’s wall, everytime people stop being polite to you in the grocery store because of your ‘God is Love’ T-shirt, and then the devil whispers, ‘you’re alone. There is no God here. No one is coming to save you. Just give in. Cooperate. Become one of us and this will all go away.’
He’s good at what he does.
But Jesus is worth fighting for. Even if your only proof is the pounding in your heart that says ‘I have hope.’
Don’t forget, someone is coming for you. Someone is dropping in with an army to rescue you away from your tormentors. Jesus is coming to save you. If Jesus isn’t real then there is no point to anything, but He is real, we know He is, we’ve met Him, we’ve called on His name and seen Him answer. In the end Jesus takes us home. The devil wants to barrage our minds with hate and despair until it infects our souls, but we know the truth, and the truth is that Jesus saves.
Sometimes you need to step back and take a break, let your mind rest from the constant banging from the infected on the doors of youe safe house. You are cured and that causes them to hate, because they see the death inside them more clearly when they see how someone who is alive acts. You can share the cure with them, but they don’t always want it, sometimes all they want is for you to be infected too.
When you need to rest and can’t take anymore then just close your eyes and speak Jesus. I once read a wall hanging that said something along the lines of, ‘ask God for patience with the small sorrows, and for courage with the big ones, then close your eyes and go to sleep because God is awake.’ I forget who wrote this but it is so good. When you need a break just give it to God and take a break.
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 NIV
Lent devotional 18
I will speak Jesus and the devil will flee because he knows that name and what it means for him.
Darkness is inevitable, there will always be darkness in this world because it is dying. People cling desperately to things that don’t matter, trying to make it feel like they aren’t about to be consumed. But there is a name the darkness knows and flees from. Speak Jesus. The devil will lie to you. He will try to make you feel lost, left behind, confused, worthless. Speak Jesus. He will show you that you are found, accepted, loved, wanted, valued. Jesus is coming back to take us home. The darkness of this world will not haunt us in the presence of Jesus. Where Jesus is there is no fear. He is light. Brilliant light. When this world dies we won’t be with it. Imagine seeing Jesus coming and picking us up in his arms and laughing and smiling, holding us close and saying, ‘come on precious, let’s go home.’
Jesus drives away darkness, present darkness and eternal darkness.