Lenten Devotional Readings 2014
Rise and Shine…
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and
Christ will shine on you.”
DuPage AME Church
4300 Yackley Avenue † Lisle, IL 60532 † 630-969-9800 † WWW.DUPAGEAMEC.ORG
Rev. Dr. James F. Miller, Senior Pastor † Rev. Lana Parks Miller, Executive Pastor
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I greet you with Jesus’ Joy during this Lenten Season!
With each turn of the calendar year we are ready to face the New Year with a
big list of resolutions. Lose ten pounds (or 25), do a juice fast, go back to
school, clean the silverware drawer, watch less television, read more, travel
often, the list goes on and on. Now, fast-forward to today, how far have you
gotten? Have you accomplished what you set out to conquer this year?
Whether you have or haven’t conquered your new year’s resolutions, fear not
because it doesn’t matter! Yes, I said it; it doesn’t matter if your resolve lasted
one day or one month, God is not interested in the ten pounds you lost (or
didn’t) or the juice fast you stuck to (or the cheeseburger you ate instead). He
wants to know you, to spend time with you!
This Lenten season we should resolve to renew our relationships with God in
His way and time, not ours. We need to allow ourselves this time for Jesus to
create a clean heart with a right spirit in us. We need to spend time in prayer,
meditation, reading the Bible, and most importantly, listening to what God is
asking of us or saying to us.
To the many members of our great church family that have taken the time to
share their reflections in this devotional, I say…”Thank you for your
willingness and faithfulness to share and witness!” My prayer is that these
readings will bless, encourage and draw each of us nearer to the Cross during
this Lenten season so that we might “Rise and Shine” anew! To God be the
In God’s Service,
Rev. Marland Brazier
Rev. Marland Brazier
Christian Education Director
DuPage AME Church
March 5, 2014
Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that
leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; Because strait is
the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that
find it. Matthew 7:13 & 14
As we prepare for the Lenten season, we are reminded of Romans 12:1, 2
where scripture tells us “…we must present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
and acceptable unto God which is our reasonable service.” This means taking
on the character of God in all things; not that of the flesh, i.e., showing love and
compassion one to another for God is love. The body is the temple of God, and
as good stewards of God’s temple we must live a healthy life style, and keep
our focus on Godly things because we have been set apart from the world. We
have entered in at the strait gate; therefore, we are in the world, but not of the
world. Know God’s word, study it daily, pray daily, and fast. Give God your
reasonable service through praise, worship, and serving others. “Be not
conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Oh merciful God, forgive us of our sins that we will delight in the things of God
and listen to your voice as you speak to us. Direct us in your ways Oh God, be
merciful unto us, and bless us, and cause your face to shine upon us. In Jesus’
Name, I pray. Amen.
March 6, 2014
And he was withdrawn from them (his disciples) about a stone’s cast, and
kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup
from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done. Luke 22:41, 42
When we approach the Lenten season, our minds immediately fast forward to
the crucifixion of Christ and what He suffered for our sins. It is a time for us to
atone for our sins and prepare our hearts for His death and Resurrection.
Jesus prayed to His father to remove the bitter cup from which he had to
drink, i.e. the cup of death on the cross. There are many times in our lives
when we too pray to our Father to remove circumstances from our lives such
as illnesses, loss of loved ones, loss of a job, and many other challenges and
adversities that confront us in this life. We must always pray like Jesus in the
will of God. God does not always give us exactly what we request of Him, but
be assured that if we are in His will, He will always give us the strength and
ability to endure what is before us. You ask, how shall I know that I am in His
will? You are in His will when you receive Him as Lord and Saviour, and live
according to His instruction. Just as Jesus died for our sins and rose on the
third day, our circumstances have a purpose and we too will come forth in His
glory. I am often reminded of Job 13:15, who suffered much loss, and his
conviction was “Though he slay me, yet will I trust I him…”
Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us of our sins today, and grant us thy peace in
all things, and we shall forever give you the praise, glory, and honor. In Jesus’
Name, I pray. Amen.
March 7, 2014
Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage; And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait,
I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:14
But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up
with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not
faint. Isaiah 40:31
Waiting is contrary to our nature. We want it NOW! Slowing down our daily
lives can cause a Suddenly to happen in… “The Waiting.” How would you
know a Suddenly is happening? Peace shows up, Clarity emerges and Grace
calls forth Mercy as Mercy passes the baton to Strength! Do you have need of
a Suddenly in your life? Well if so, it usually only happens in… “The Waiting!”
Lord, teach me how to embrace “The Waiting” in my life where busyness
comes to a halt and an attentive quietness propels me into a Suddenly. Then
anticipation will breed expectation and in …”The Waiting,” I now will gain
momentum as I prioritize my life for your purpose. In Jesus’ Name, I pray.
March 8, 2014
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Praise God from whom all blessing flow! A few years ago I was diagnosed with one of the
most dreaded diseases known to mankind, the “Big C”…cancer. Although a lot of people diagnosed
have beat cancer, some are still in the battle and others have succumbed to its deadly effect on the
body and passed on.
When the doctors approached me with sad faces and the bad news of my diagnosis, I first felt a
spirit of fear, shock, and numbness. The cancer was in a place in my body where the survival rate
was pretty low and not many survived long. The Spirit of God inside of me said, “Don’t you be sad
and act as a person with no hope! You know who I am, I am your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!” Jesus
did not give me a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind! Jesus has given us power to
tread over serpents, scorpions and all the power of the enemy; and nothing by any means shall
The Spirit then said to me, “Tell everyone that you tell about your condition to start by thanking and
praising God for your healing!” After receiving the news, the first person I called was my husband.
During our conversation, I could tell by his voice that he was in shock and fear had come upon him.
Thanks to God and the Holy Spirit, I was able to calm him down by telling him what the Spirit of God
had told me. I said to him, “Honey, it will be all right; just start thanking and praising God for my
As the family gathered around me that weekend to hear the news, I also shared with them what the
Spirit had spoken to me and we had a glorious time in the Jesus thanking and praising Him for what
he was about to do in my life! After going through chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, seven
years later I am still here! I thank and praise God for what He has done, what He is doing and
looking forward, with great expectation, to what He is going to do with my life. I have come this far
by faith, leaning and depending on God for my future. For God said in His word it is our faith in
Jesus and what He can perform in our lives that makes us whole.
God is no ‘respecter of persons’. What God has done for me, He will do for you; God loves us all. He
wants us to cast our cares on Him because He loves us. Put your faith in Jesus and start thanking
and praising God for what He has done, is doing and is going to do in your life!
Gracious Lord, touch all of us who are going through difficult times. Help us to know that we can
lean and depend on You for help. Help us to know that it is our faith in You that will make us whole.
Help us to know that we can begin by thanking and praising You for what You are about to do in our
lives. Help us to remember that prayer is the key, but faith unlocks the door! In Jesus’ name I pray.
In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.
March 10, 2014
Intercessory Prayer Ministry