Lenten Devotional Guide

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Valley Christian Center's 2013 Denten Devotional Guide

Text of Lenten Devotional Guide

  • P assingS toryon thesacrifice

  • There is a great evangelist in all of us that needs to be awakened!

    1 Peter 3:15 states that we are to Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have.

    I firmly believe that the hearts of many believers today are willing to take Peter up on this challenge, yet many of us feel ill-prepared or unequipped to take on such a task. We may say to ourselves, What if I say the wrong thing? or What if someone asks me a question that I dont know the answer to? These are common fears that may hinder us from Passing on the Story of Jesus to a spiritually starving world. Hitting even closer to home, this internal chatter can talk us out of sharing our faith with beloved family members, or even close friends that are desperately in need of a savior.

    This Easter season, we will be equipping ourselves in how to share the Gospel in 5 simple words:

    Love, Evil, Sacrifice, Choice, and PurposeAs we embark on this journey together, I trust that the Holy Spirit will be preparing many divine appointments in which we are granted the opportunity to share the love and story of Jesus!

    I encourage you to make a firm commitment to spend time in this devotional book daily, and to meditate on the principles and practices that will be presented each Sunday morning.

    My hope is that you will be encouraged, enthused, and equipped to Pass on the Story.

    Pastor Jimi Merrell

  • Definition: A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

    1 John 4:9-10This is how God showed his love among us:

    He sent his one and only Son into the world

    that we might live through him.

    This is love:

    not that we loved God,

    but that he loved us

    and sent his Son

    as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

    lovesall people

    GOD

    DIG DEEPER | Luke 15

    God has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic,

    most inexorable sense. C. S. Lewis

    EvangelismTipKeep the salvation message simple.

  • Todays Focus: EvilMark 7:21-23

    For from within, out of mens hearts, come evil thoughts,

    sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice,

    deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

    All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.

    Definition: Morally wrong or bad;

    immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil life.

    Self is the root, the tree, and the branches of all evils of our fallen state. William Law

    theevilin me,

    my sin nature, separates me from God

    EvangelismTipValue the life and

    experiences of others.

    DAY 1 | Ash Wednesday, February 13

    DIG DEEPER | Romans 1-3

  • Todays Focus: Sacrifice John 3:16-17

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only

    Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish

    but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son

    into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world

    through him.

    Definition: The surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.

    Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us,

    we have to see it as something done by us. John R. W. Stott

    diedso we could be reconciled to

    God

    JesUsDAY 2 | Thursday, February 14

    EvangelismTipGive the gift of focus by listening intently.DIG DEEPER | John 19

  • Definition: The right, power,

    or opportunity to choose.

    Now just think a moment and answer the question, what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ? D. L. Moody

    DAY 3 | Friday, February 15

    Todays Focus: Choice

    EvangelismTipMaking the most of every opportunity may include

    knowing when to stop talking.

    John 3:36

    Whoever believes in the Son

    has eternal life, but whoever rejects

    the Son will not see life, for Gods wrath remains on him.

    Jesus sacrifice

    has theopportunity

    to accept

    or reject

    mankind

    DIG DEEPER | Act 2:36-4:41

  • Definition: The reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.

    God has created me to do him some definite service; he has committed some work to me

    which he has not committed to another. I have my mission - I never may know it in this life,

    but I shall be told it in the next. John Henry Newman

    DAY 4 | Saturday, February 16

    Todays Focus: Purpose

    EvangelismTipRemember to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit

    ephesians 2:10

    For we are Gods workmanship,

    created in Christ Jesus to do good works,

    which God prepared in advance

    for us to do.purposeThrough God, we havefor life

    DIG DEEPER | Jeremiah 29:11-13

  • february 17Sunday,

    Why is it sohard to share?

  • EvangelismTipAsk God to highlight people

    that He is already drawing to Himself.

    God Has all The answersThis fear is certainly easy to understand

    we want to have answers when asked about our faith. If we rely on God for the answers we need not be afraid.

    God even knows the questions we will be asked before a word is uttered!

    When you need answers, remember the words of David in Psalm 34, I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. (verse 4)

    There was a time Daniel urgently needed an answer. King Nebuchadnezzar demanded an interpretation to a troubling dream;

    but he would not disclose the dream itself. The penalty for not knowing the dream was to be cut into pieces!

    Daniel pleaded to God for mercy and God graciously answered, giving Daniel the details to the dream.

    When you need answers, ask God, and remember to praise him, just as Daniel did: I thank and praise you you have made known to me what we asked of you,

    you have made known to us the dream of the king. (Daniel 2:23)

    ScoTT VaN DuSSeN

    Todays Focus: Why is it so hard to share?

    Thought to PonderIf we only rely on ourselves, we will be faced with questions we cant answer.Wont you rely on God for the answers?

    I want to share but...what if i am asked

    a question for which i dont know the answer?

    DAY 5 | Monday, February 18

    that VCC takes to the streets of San Francisco every two weeks to reach the homeless with the love and message of Jesus Christ?D

    ID y

    ou k

    now

    DIG DEEPER Joshua 1

  • DAY 6 | Tuesday, February 19

    EvangelismTipRemember that being

    strong and courageous is not a license to be rude and pushy.

    Who calls You religious?Jesus Freak. The blond young man said the phrase so nonchalantly. How do you know? I asked, concealing insecurities. My sister attends your school. She says everyone calls you that. I thought you knew. He paused. Dont you carry your Bible with you everyday? Yes, I had. apparently, taboo at public high school.

    Im embarrassed to be a Christian because of you! Piercing words from my best friend since ninth grade. You should stop talking about God so much. Stop bringing Jesus into every class discussion. Her penetrating glare said, Youre making me look like a fanatic!

    High school was not the smoothest time in my life. I questioned my commitment to God, my religiosity. Was I acting too religious? Was I pushing people away from God, instead of to Him? Was He being glorified, or had I become a Pharisee showing off my faith with fake piety? These labels, intended to stop me, actually made me do some soul-searching. I was a person of faith, and it showed. When friends went through difficult times, they asked me to pray.

    as Daniel and elijah, and Ruth before them, walked the unsure path of being labeled for their unpopular faith, I no longer fear being called religious by men. Rather, I fear being called religious by christ, as the Pharisees were. I pray that God gives me the wisdom to remain genuine in my faith, regardless of the labels people give me. That my sincere trust in the one true God would be evident, not showy, but that I could, walk humbly with (my) God. aNGela BRuGGemaN

    Todays Focus: Why is it so hard to share?

    Thought to PonderJames 1:27 | Pure religion that God accepts. Does it bother you to be called religious? If so, why?

    I want to share but...what if they call me religious?

    Daniel 6 | micah 6:8 | matthew 23:13

    that VCC can be found engaging locals in spiritual conversation every third Friday night at the Hacienda Starbucks?

    DID

    you

    know

    DIG DEEPER Daniel 3

  • DAY 7 | Wednesday, February 20

    EvangelismTipPray for open doors within

    your own sphere of influence.

    We all Have a fear Of Being rejectedWhen we think of sharing our faith,

    we think of colossians 4:3-6: And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message,

    so that we may proclaim, the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.

    Be wise in the way that you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

    Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

    In all that we do, we have to be mindful of how we are behaving. Whether it is with friends, at school, work or at sporting events,

    we need to show our love and kindness, so that others may be receptive to our story in our christian faith.

    We are fearful of sharing christ with others because they might reject us. We need to remind ourselves to be purposeful

    in our sharing and let the Holy Spirit change peoples hearts. FloYD &