Lenten Devotional 2019 - Christ Lutheran imagine Jesus would say, ¢â‚¬“Check your motives¢â‚¬â€Œ ¢â‚¬“Be real¢â‚¬â€Œ

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  • Lenten Devotional – 2019

    Written by and for the members and

    friends of Christ Lutheran Church

    Wednesdays, March 6 – April 10: 5 PM Soup & Sandwiches

    Wednesdays, March 6 – April 10: 6:30 PM Lenten Services

    Palm Sunday – April 14: 8 AM and 10 AM services

    Thursday, April 18: 6:30 PM Maundy Thursday service

    Friday, April 19: 6:30 PM Good Friday service

    Easter Sunday – April 21: 8 AM and 10 AM services

  • “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to seen by others; for then you have no reward from your father in heaven”. So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. (Matthew 6:1-2) The word translated here as “hypocrite” is a term taken from the stage and refers to actors. We should be clear. There is nothing wrong with acting, when you are doing it as part of a play. But when we act a part in everyday life – praying to appear pious, giving charity or helping out to appear thoughtful – then there is deceitfulness to our actions, an insincerity to our lives that betrays the actions we're undertaking. So if we were to boil all this down to just few words, we'd imagine Jesus would say, “Check your motives” “Be real”. In all you do or say, be real. Anything else is a sham and you've already receive your shallow reward.” Prayer: Dear God, in faith and life and in all our dealings with others, help us to be real and true just as we help others are real with us. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Submitted by: Pastor Nirmala

    Wednesday, March 6, 2019 Read: Matthew 6:1–6

  • Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was falsely accused of

    speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God. At his

    trial, Stephen was given an opportunity to answer the charges as

    documented in Acts 7. Stephen had a two-fold purpose when

    referencing Moses and the burning bush. First of all, because

    Stephen was accused of speaking against the holiness of the

    temple building itself, he reminded the court that God didn’t

    confine Himself to a building. After all, Moses had seen the bush

    burning, was intrigued as to why the bush burned but did not

    burn out, and went to investigate. When Moses got close

    enough, God told Moses to “Take off the sandals from your feet,

    for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Verse 33)

    In Moses’ time, this practice of removing one’s shoes was an

    accepted token of reverence. God’s determination that the

    burning bush was His holy place proved God’s holy temple was

    wherever God designated it to be.

    Secondly, Stephen reminded those at his trial that God’s people

    had rejected Moses as their ruler and deliverer, and also now

    many years later, they had just rejected and crucified Jesus.

    Stephen’s ultimate message was that the Jewish people had a

    habit of rejecting those whom God sent to lead His people. And

    at the end of the trial, God’s people again rejected the person He

    had sent when they stoned Stephen.

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to remember that God’s

    holiness can be found outside the church as well as inside.

    Also, we thank you for those in leadership positions here at

    Christ Lutheran, especially Pastor Steve and Pastor Nirmala.

    Continue to bless their work as they encourage us to be strong

    disciples of faith!

    Submitted by: Martha Gehrking

    Thursday, March 7, 2019 Read: Acts 7:30–34

  • My, what a beautiful Psalm. Immediately we get a jolt of confidence with the words that those “who abide in the shadow of the Almighty will say to the Lord “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.”” This is reassurance, and a wonderful reminder to all of us just who needs to be in charge of our lives….it’s not us! If that isn’t enough, in verses 9 and 10 he gives us some more to chew on “Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.” Again, a reminder of who’s in charge, but even more a reminder to us not to worry, as we are in good, strong hands. Now stress and subsequently, worry seemingly comes to us all, whether it’s my 8 year old who sees a cat running across the road on a cold, snowy day and worries about its well-being, or my 13 year old daughter, undergoing multiple changes both physically and emotionally as she navigates junior high, or my 15 year old son who recently (and nervously) asked a wonderful young lady to the homecoming dance (she said “yes”). We all have stress, and I think that is how God forges us into who we are. And then there are us adults, right? Whether it’s work things, family things, or other things….we are all busy, but who’s in charge? We are all on different journeys, and each has its own path. This Psalm tells me, ‘Son, you are never alone, allow Me to be your guide, trust in Me, give your worries to Me’. The rest of the Psalm gives us assurances that God is always with us, and we need to trust in Him, and ends again with a bang “With long life I will satisfy them (all of us who believe), and show them my salvation.” That reminds me of lyrics from a song written by Bart Millard of Mercy Me “I can only imagine when that day comes, and I find myself standing in the Son, I can only imagine…” Trust in the Lord, for He is good. Submitted by: Matt Petersen

    Friday, March 8, 2019 Read: Psalm 91:1–2, 9–16

  • Timing is important. All the experiences listed in these verses are appropriate at certain times. We as human flesh have a desire to know why these times are happening and when they will pass. We can find ourselves doubting, questioning and sometimes resenting God's timing. This can lead to us distancing ourselves from our faith. I often refer to these dark times as the "wilderness" and find that instead of doubting I need to reach deeper with prayer, praise and practice.

    We practice in a sport when we want to become better. There is practice in faith. By trusting God's plans as our coach, trusting in His timing and by finding peace through discovery, acceptance and appreciation. The word is your "ball" per se. The more you dribble or the more you read the more comfortable it becomes in your hand and in your life, it becomes second nature. When God put you in a tough game, you will know what to do because you have practiced and trust your abilities in knowing you will accomplish what is set forth before you and feel a sense of satisfaction in the strength you obtained through the season.

    A few things our family has found that work is for us is each night at the supper table we say our meal prayer and then we go around the table and list our "pit and peak" of our days. We often say a quote or mantra we learned while watching the movie "God's Not Dead" and that is "God is Good ALL THE TIME; and all the time GOD IS GOOD". Finally, we acknowledge that God makes no mistakes and that can be toughest one to practice and we practice it by doing the above day after day. We can't lean on our own understanding; we can acknowledge the situation and how hard it is, we can feel the pain that comes with it and mourn the loss that occurs and we can hurt when trust or hatred is shown. We should be present in those feelings because those are a part of what He is using to grow us.

    God is offering us wisdom in this scripture "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens" our God is sovereign. Our activities in this world are meaningful as we rely on His wisdom, His timing and His goodness. Submitted by: Christina Zabel

    Saturday, March 9, 2019 Read: Ecclesiastes 3:1–8

  • “Temptations and Grace” My mother-in-law had a funny picture in her house that said something like this- “So far today I haven’t gossiped, lied, gone off my diet or hurt anyone but I’m going to get out of bed now Lord, so I’m going to need your help.” That picture always made me laugh because sometimes things are funnier when they are so true! How are our New Year’s resolutions going? Temptations are very much present in our lives each day. No matter where temptation comes from, whether our sinful selves, the world, or the devil himself, we know that at its heart, sin is about wanting to do things our way, to have things on our terms, to put ourselves in control of what is right and wrong, to doubt and question God’s Word. Without Christ, temptations, sin and death win. God sent His son into our world full of temptations. Jesus resisted all temptations and paid our debt in full, freeing us from the sins of all our lapses and relapses into temptation. God’s love for us helps us to keep getting out of bed and trying to do our best to share God’s love with others and resist temptations with His help. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 Prayer: Thank you Lord for loving me, for saving me, and for helping me through every moment of my days. Amen.

    Submitted by: Kaia Long

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