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Lent devo online Lent devo online Document Transcript

  • Lent DevotionalWe are inviting our church family to a season ofpreparation as we look ahead to Easter. This devotionalwas written to be a part of your personal preparation.Beginning March 9th, we invite you to enter into a dailyjourney as we seek God’s heart and reflect on whatJesus’ death and resurrection have accomplished for us.Each day is written in first person, as though Jesus isspeaking personally to you. The scripture references listedat the bottom give you an opportunity for further reading,if you so choose. You may want to have a pen with you towrite down any thoughts you have. We encourage you totake time to listen to other things Jesus may want to sayto you each day.In addition to using this devotional, we encourage you topray about whether there are other ways you can preparefor Easter. You may want to give something up (i.e. fastfrom something), or you may want to add something (i.e.special time for prayer, serving others, etc).As we enter into this season of preparation, our prayer isthat He will continue to till the soil of our hearts so that wecan receive Him more fully.—Salem Alliance Church Staff
  • The History of LentLent is a period of prayer and fasting leading up to Easter.Historians can trace the origins of Lent back to within200 years of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It began verysimply as a two-day fast on the Friday and Saturday beforeEaster. As time passed, different Christian traditions addeddays to its length.Today the traditional Lenten fast is observed for 40days, beginning on a Wednesday, and lasts through theThursday before Easter. Sundays are typically excludedfrom the Lenten fasting restrictions and are not numberedin the traditional “40 days” of Lent, although they are stillpart of the Lenten season. Sundays are typically excludedbecause Sunday is always a day to celebrate Jesus’resurrection.The purpose of Lent is to be a time of preparation forEaster. In most Christian traditions, Lent is a season offasting, self-denial, prayer, repentance and simplicity—areflection of Jesus’ 40 day fast in the wilderness beforeHis ministry began (see Luke 4). Lenten disciplines areintended to ultimately transform our entire person: body,soul and spirit and help us become more like Christ.
  • March 9By My sacrifice, I have made it possible for you to enter intoMy presence. The curtain that separated you from being ableto enter into My presence has been torn. So then, come in!Approach Me, draw near, set aside time to be with Me. Youcan come just as you are with an honest heart, without fixingyour problems first. Come with confidence in My goodnessand love. I know there are a lot of other good things youcould be doing with your time, even things I have called youto. I rejoice when you choose to spend time with Me overthese other good things, even if you only have a few minutes.It’s OK to ask Me to help you make time for Me in your day.Hebrews 10:19-23; Matthew 27:51
  • March 10I am ready to help whenever you need anything. In your timeof need, I have abundant grace and mercy for you. BecauseI lived on earth as a human being, I truly know what yourlife is like. I can sympathize with weakness, hardships andtemptation. So in those moments when you need help, cryout to Me, for I know what you are experiencing. I want thisto give you confidence. Today, approach the throne of gracewith confidence, knowing that the One you are appealing tois full of grace, sees exactly where you’re at and cares deeplyabout you.Hebrews 4:14-16
  • March 11I personally gave My own life—My own body—and took all ofyour sins upon Myself so that you could be completely freedfrom sin and freed to live for righteousness. My woundsbrought you healing and wholeness—you have already beenhealed and made whole because My victory over sin anddeath is complete. It is finished. Where do you need Myhealing touch today? Receive the restoration and wholenessthat I long for you to have now.1 Peter 2:24
  • March 12When I came to live on earth, I came with specific purposesin mind. I came to share the good news with the poor, toheal the brokenhearted, to announce freedom and releasefrom darkness for those being held captive, to comfort allwho mourn, to care for the needs of those grieving andto give people beauty and joy. Today, do you need goodnews? Are you crying out for healing? Are you looking forfreedom and release from darkness? Could you use comfort,care or joy? Whatever it is that you need today, invite Me tocome and meet you just where you are. Invite My presenceto come and do more than you can ask or imagine in yoursituation.Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:16-21; Ephesians 3:20
  • March 13Sometimes you receive forgiveness from Me based on yourdefinition of forgiveness...and you tend to remember yoursins and re-live them over and over in your mind. This is notwhat I do. I generously, abundantly give out love, grace andcompassion to all who call on Me. I freely give you a freshstart every time you need one. It grieves Me when you gothrough life carrying burdens that you don’t need to carry.Are there burdens or guilt that you have been carrying?Today, allow Me to take your burdens from you. Today, walkin the fullness of My forgiveness.Psalm 51; Psalm 130
  • March 14Have you ever looked at the definition of hope? It includesphrases like these: to want or expect something to happen,especially something that seems possible or likely;anticipation; confident desire; source of success; trust. Ihave called you to this kind of hope. I am calling you to putyour hope in Me. Hope gives you light in darkness. Hopehelps to restore your joy. Hope is a powerful force as yougo throughout your day. Today, take My hope with you intoevery circumstance that you face. Carry it with you. Make ityour anchor. I want you to overflow with hope, to overflowwith the expectation that I will be with you, to overflow withtrust in My provision for you.Ephesians 1:18; Romans 15:13
  • March 15For the rest of your life on earth, difficult, sad, frustrating anddiscouraging things will come your way. Whether life is easyor hard, I want you to walk in the courage and confidencethat I give you. After all, I have overcome the world! Thedevil has been disempowered. All authority in heaven andon earth is Mine and you are in My care. No weapon formedagainst you can prosper. Today, receive encouragementfrom this. Receive confidence from Me to walk through yourday in My victory.John 16:33; Matthew 28:18; Isaiah 54:17
  • March 16My sacrifice on the cross is the ultimate definition of love.This is how I love you: My love is patient and kind. Out oflove for you, I am not easily angered and I do not keep trackof wrongdoings. My love rejoices in the truth. My love alwaysprotects you, always trusts in you, always hopes in you. Mylove always perseveres. My love for you never fails, neverchanges, never fades. My love led Me to give up My life foryou, to sacrifice everything for you…not because you deserveit, but just because I love you. Rest in My love today. Findfreedom and hope in My love today.1 John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10
  • March 17Sometimes you beat yourself up and give yourself a reallyhard time for your mistakes. You want to follow Me, youwant to make the right decisions...and sometimes you makea decision that you aren’t proud of. Sometimes it’s hard todo and say what you want to, and you find yourself doing orsaying things that you really didn’t want to. I have watchedyou struggle with this, and I want you to remember that I seeyour heart. I see your desire to follow Me and to live a lifethat honors Me. You can go ahead and stop trying to findyour own solution to this problem of doing what you don’treally want to do—I took it upon Myself to be the solutionwhen I conquered sin. I came to release you from the controlof sin. Rest, knowing that it isn’t up to you to save yourself.Rest, knowing that I am aware of your true desires to followMe and honor Me. Today, invite Me to help you live a lifethat points others to Me. Invite Me to lead you through yourday and guide you in all your decisions.Romans 7:15-25
  • March 18Sometimes you think it’s up to you to make yourselfacceptable in My sight—you take it upon yourself to gainapproval in My eyes. But this isn’t up to you. I freed youfrom this duty when I offered Myself as a sacrifice on thecross. You, therefore, no longer have to work to becomerighteous. The sacrifice I love to see in you is a humble andbroken spirit and acknowledgement of your need for Mycleansing work in your life—you honor My sacrifice when youdo this. Today, offer up the sacrifice of a humble heart inneed of a Savior, and receive freedom from working for yourrighteousness.Hebrews 9:11-15; Psalm 51:17
  • March 19When I died and rose again, you were raised with Me. Itmight be hard to believe, but you have already died and arealready seated with Me in heaven. I want your life to reflectthe fact that you are currently seated with Me in heavenlyplaces. I want your thoughts to reflect this. If you focus onearthly things, you will live as though you are seated on earthand not with Me. Instead, ask Me to help you keep yourmind occupied with an eternal perspective. Ask Me to helpyou approach challenges, hardships and anxiety from Myperspective.Colossians 3:1-3
  • March 20I am your light and your salvation. Because of Me you havenothing to fear. Even when you feel like you have an armyattacking you, you actually have no reason to fear. It soundscrazy, but you can be calm and confident even when warhas broken out against you. You are kept safe by Me in Mydwelling place where I hide you and keep you out of reachfrom your enemies. So when you feel like you’re underattack, come and find rest in My presence, and I’ll keep yousafe. When you call, I will hear your voice. When you seekMe, you will find Me. I will not turn you away. Believe that youwill see My goodness on the earth. As you go about yourday, watch for My goodness. Keep your eyes open for Myresponse to your call.Psalm 27
  • March 21Did you know that in Me you are a new creation? With Meyou got a fresh start—everything old is gone because Iredeemed your entire life. Being a new creation means youaren’t limited by this world. Being a new creation means youaren’t limited by sin. Being a new creation means you haveMy Spirit living in you, empowering you and guiding you allday long. What’s more, I haven’t stopped doing new things. Iam still at work, creating and starting new things. As you gothroughout your day, keep your eyes and ears open for thenew things that I am at work on in you and around you.2 Corinthians 5:17; Isaiah 43:19; Lamentations 3:22-23
  • March 22There are two sides in every battle. In the battle of thisuniverse, the winner has already been determined…Me. Theeven better news is that I’m on your side. I am sharing Myvictory with you. You may have an enemy, but if I am foryou, who can be against you? The end of the story has beendecided. Keep that in mind as you go throughout your day.You are on the winning team!Romans 8:31-34
  • March 23From before the foundation of the world, I knew that I wouldcome to earth and live and die as a human being in order toredeem and rescue you. I purchased you with My blood sothat you could belong to Me. I have redeemed your life andgiven you a guarantee that you will spend all of eternity withMe. As you go throughout your day, remember two things: Igave Myself for you; you belong to Me.1 Peter 1:18-21
  • March 24You have been given fullness in Me: completeness,abundance, filled to capacity, holding as much as possible,with nothing missing… This isn’t a future state you will live in.This is for here and now—fullness in Me. Sometimes you feelempty. When you do, remember that you have been given(notice it’s past tense) fullness in Me, and then ask Me tocome and fill you again. I love it when you ask for this andwhen you believe that I am able to fill you up to overflowing.Colossians 2:9-12
  • March 25I am praying for you as I sit at the right hand of My Father.Right now. I see you. And I am praying for you. I liveto intercede for you—to pray on your behalf. As you gothroughout your day, I hope you’ll remember that I’m thinkingof you each moment of your day.Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25
  • March 26Even before you were born, even before you knew Me, MyFather and I loved you. Because of Our great love for you,We rescued you and gave you a new life—you were madealive with Me when I was resurrected. Even before you knewMe, you were made alive with Me! This isn’t your own doing—it is freely given to you as a gift. This way no one can bragthat they earned it. Saving you is all My work—you just haveto trust Me and let Me do it. What do you need to trust Mewith today?Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-9
  • March 27I am your Shepherd—I love being your Shepherd. I lovebeing responsible for caring for and guiding you. With Meas your Shepherd, you have everything that you need. Youeither have it already, or I will provide you with it as youneed it. I have rest for you, peace I want to give to you…Iwant to bring restoration to your soul. Where do you needrestoration today? Invite Me to come into the broken, hurtingand hopeless areas of your life so that I can repair, rebuildand re-establish you. Don’t try to do this on your own. It is farmore productive for you to allow Me to be the Repairer andRestorer in your life.Psalm 23; John 10:11-18
  • March 28In life you will go through ups and downs. Some days aregood, some days are hard, some days are ordinary. Somedays you feel like you are following Me better than otherdays. Today what I want you to remember is that none ofthis affects My love for you. My love for you is the baselinefoundation of your life. So regardless of how your day goes,My love for you is constant. Maybe you can’t see it, but it isall around you and it is unchanging. You don’t have to workat it—you actually can’t work at it; it is just available for youto have. My love doesn’t increase or decrease. Believe in Mylove. Rely on My love. Walk in My love today.Romans 8:35-39
  • March 29The same power that raised Me from the dead is available toyou in the Holy Spirit. In fact, the same power that conqueredthe grave lives inside of you—because you have the HolySpirit in you. Linger with that fact today. How can your daybe different based on My incomparably great power being inyou? How can you rely on My power and strength today?Ephesians 1:18-22
  • March 30You were once alienated from Me because of sin, but bygiving Myself completely at the cross and dying for you, Ireconciled you to Me. I can now present you to My Father asholy and faultless in His sight. Sometimes you have a hardtime believing this—that you are currently holy in My Father’seyes, right now, just as you are. I have paid for your sins(past, present and future), so He doesn’t see your sin—Hejust sees you. You are quick to remember your sins and notforget them, to re-live the shame and guilt. When you do this,it’s as if you doubt the complete and total victory I won foryou on the cross. Today, receive this as My gift to you—youare holy.Colossians 1:21-22; Hebrews 10:10; Galatians 2:20b
  • March 31I want to free you from all fear, worry and anxiety. And Ihave the solution—My love. My perfect love drives out allfear. What are you worrying about today? What is causinganxiety? I care about the details of your life more than youdo. Invite My perfect love into these situations today, andthen leave the rest to Me.1 John 4:18
  • April 1In your life, there are hard circumstances, painfulexperiences and things that make you want to give up. Thesesituations can distract and discourage you. Sometimes youwork really hard to respond to these situations with the rightattitude. Instead, invite Me to shape your response. Ask Meto help you in the midst of the difficulties. Let Me give youthe ability to have a hopeful attitude. Let Me create patiencewithin you. Ask Me to bring encouragement and joy. It’s OKto need Me for these things. Today, regardless of how yourday goes, take time throughout the day to invite Me in, toinvite Me to shape your responses to the events of the day.Hebrews 12:2-3
  • April 2I came to earth and lived among you so that through My life,death and resurrection you could have and enjoy life—full,abundant life. I’m not talking about your life in heaven for therest of eternity. I’m talking about your life lived on the earth. Iwant you to have and enjoy full, abundant life on earth. Thisis possible as you walk with Me...as you spend time in Mypresence...as you stay connected to Me. Remember that Mydefinition of fullness and abundance may not be the sameas yours. Spend time today in My presence, and allow Me tobless you with the abundant life I have for you.John 10:10
  • April 3Find rest in Me alone. I am your Rock, your Salvation, yourFortress—you are safe, secure and protected. Find rest in Mealone. Your hope comes from Me. Trust in Me at all times.Lean and rely on Me. Be confident in Me. Whatever is onyour mind, I want you to share all of your thoughts with Me. Iknow what you are thinking, but I love it when you choose tomake Me a part of your day.Psalm 62
  • April 4I came in love. I came with love. I came for love. I cameto love. I came so that those who believe in and followMe can have eternal life instead of living in darkness anddestruction—because I love you too much to let you continuein darkness. It’s all about love. When I think of you, I thinkof love. I don’t look at what you refer to as your faults,weaknesses or failures. I don’t see those things. Rather,I look at you with compassion, understanding and love.Remember My affection toward you as you journey throughthis day.John 3:16-17
  • April 5Before you even knew Me I died for you. Before you knewMe I forgave all of your sins, took them away and nailedthem to the cross. Now that you know Me, you get to walk inwholeness and freedom as one who is alive with Me. Are youcarrying around the burden of your sin and shame? If youare, today I want you to imagine Me taking those things withMe to the cross over 2,000 years ago. It was all nailed to thecross with Me.Colossians 2:13-15
  • April 6I am living in you. Say it again to yourself, slowly, “Jesus isliving in me”. As you live your life on earth, I am inviting youto live by faith in Me as I live in you. Not faith in yourself, butfaith in Me. Not your own faith, but the faith that I give you.Think about what kind of effect it would have on your dayif you remembered that I am living in you, empowering youwith faith in each moment. I love it when you rely on Me forthe things that I want to give you.Galatians 2:20; Romans 12:2
  • April 7As you live your day-to-day life, you tend to think that thehard parts of life are just the way it goes—that it’s part of“living in a fallen world”. But, the reality is that My victoryover death means you don’t have to live in resignationto this. Difficulties will come, yes, but you can live from adifferent perspective.While you may be physically living on earth, when I wasresurrected you were raised up with Me and seated withMe, in Me, in the heavenly realms. You are actually currentlyseated in heaven with Me, in Me. Try experiencing your dayas though you are seated with Me, in Me, in the heavenlyrealms. Experience challenges and difficulties knowing thatin all things I am working for your good, that My unfailinglove for you never changes.Walk in My victory and My authority—for I have given you Myauthority.Ephesians 2:6; Romans 8:28; Philippians 2:13
  • April 8I have many desires for you today! I want to strengthen youwith power through My Spirit in your inner being, to enableyou to do what you cannot do on your own. I want to dwellin your heart, to be present with you always. I want you to berooted and established in My love, so that everything you doand say is motivated by My love in you. I want you to havecomplete and total understanding of how BIG My love is foryou, to experience My love for you. With your own sense ofunderstanding, you are actually incapable of understandingMy love…you need My help to understand it. As you dounderstand it more and more, you will experience a greaterdegree of fullness and abundance in Me. You will experiencemore of My Presence with you. These are My desires for youtoday. Your part in this is to give permission for Me to comeand accomplish each one in you. Will you do that today?Ephesians 3:16-19
  • April 9When I rose from the dead, I defeated death and openedup the door for you to not be defeated by death. I made itpossible for you to spend eternity in heaven with Me. Youalso have an inheritance in Me that can never be taken fromyou nor will it go away—this inheritance is reserved in heavenfor you. I want these truths to be a source of great andwonderful hope for you. I also want you to start enjoying yourinheritance now, to walk in My presence, to walk in hope, towalk with confidence in Me.1 Peter 1:3-5
  • April 10I am your Helper. I watch over you and as long as you areleaning on Me I will not let you stumble. I guard you everymoment of every day without ever sleeping. My eyes areattentive to your every move, My ears to your every word. Iam guarding and protecting you, watching out for you nowand always. Where do you need My help today? How canyou rely on Me today?Psalm 121
  • April 11I surrendered My life for you before you even had a chanceto prove that you deserved it. The point isn’t whether youare good enough, and it isn’t about attaining some level ofrighteousness—it has nothing to do with what you do or don’tdo. It has everything to do with who you are as My Beloved—it is based on My love for you that I chose to surrender Mylife. Today, rest in the fact that you cannot earn My goodopinion of you.Romans 5:6-8
  • April 12Sin had separated you from Me. But I didn’t want to spendeternity apart from you, so I came and restored you to rightrelationship with Me. You were created to be with Me forever.Today, walk in My love. Walk in restored relationship with Me.Remember that you were created to be with Me.Romans 5:9-10
  • April 13When I rose from death after being crucified, I not onlyconquered death, but I conquered sin. Death doesn’t havethe last word anymore—and neither does sin. You haveaccess to the power that conquered sin. And I want youto rely on this power and receive confidence to walk in thepower of My Spirit, free from sin. You are not a slave to sinanymore. Today, celebrate that you are alive and free in Me!Romans 6:4-11
  • April 14Good news! Those who follow Me have been set free! Youhave been freed from carrying the weight of your sin, freedfrom the punishment that you deserved. I took all the guiltand shame for you so that you could walk in freedom. So,take a deep breath. Breathe out the stress and anxiety youfeel. And go forward in your day in complete freedom in Me.Romans 8:1-3
  • April 15I want everyone to come to know Me as their Lord andSavior, to come to a knowledge of the truth about who I am. Iwant everyone to understand that I gave Myself as a ransomfor all of humanity. I offered Myself in exchange for everyhuman that will ever live on the earth, to purchase freedomfor everyone. As you walk in freedom, you will experienceMy peace, My victory, My presence. Think about the day thatyou have ahead of you. How can you walk in My peace, Myvictory and My presence today?1 Timothy 2:4-6
  • April 16My body was given for you. My blood was poured out foryou. I had you in mind. My sacrifice was for you. Sometimesit’s hard for you to believe that My sacrifice was for you, thatI was willing to give up everything just for you. If you hadbeen the only one on planet earth, I still would have cometo give My life for you. As you go about your day, rememberthat I had you in mind—and I still have you in mind.Luke 22:7-20
  • April 17When you sign up for My benefits plan, the rewards I havefor you are unbeatable. You get all your sins forgiven, all yourdiseases healed, your life saved and redeemed, a crown ofMy love and compassion, an abundance of My goodnessand a renewal of your youth. And that’s not all. I amcompassionate and gracious, slow to anger and aboundingin love. I don’t stay angry very long, and I don’t hold grudges.I won’t ever treat you as your sins deserve, and I won’tmake you pay for the things you do wrong. Do you see howhigh the heavens are? That’s how much I love you—it’s anunfathomable amount, isn’t it? I removed your sins fromyou, to the degree that the east is far from the west—it’s anunimaginable distance, isn’t it? Perhaps the greatest benefit?I know you. My love is with you. I am with you always. Today,I want you to more fully realize all of the benefits that I havefor you. Receive the benefits I have for you. All you have todo is sign up. I’ll take care of the rest.Psalm 103
  • April 18Part of My purpose in coming to live on the earth was to giveyou an example of how to do life—how to love, how to serve,how to enjoy community with others, how to forgive. I alsowant you to use Me as your example of how to approachlife—what was important and what wasn’t, how to interact withpeople around you, how to face hardships. I know this canbe challenging, and some days it feels impossible. That’swhy I sent My Spirit to live within you, to empower you tofollow Me. Today, how can you rely on My Spirit to enableyou to follow My example?Philippians 2:5-8
  • April 19I chose to come to the earth in human likeness, to personallyidentify and connect with you while I lived on earth. I lived asa real person. I took on human nature. I was hungry, thirstyand tired. I experienced sadness, grief, pain and suffering.I experienced joy, laughter, community and love. As youexperience life today, remember that not only have I walkedin your shoes and know what you are going through, but I amalso with you in the journey.Philippians 2:5-8
  • April 20I chose to set aside all of the wonders of heaven to cometo earth as a servant, to lay down My life. I didn’t come forMe—I came for you. I didn’t set about to make a great namefor Myself or to fulfill My personal agenda. Instead, I gave itall up for others, for you.Philippians 2:5-8
  • April 21I chose not to cling to My nature as God, and insteadwillingly made Myself nothing so that I could come to rescueyou. I set aside all privileges as God and became human. Ichose to let go, to give up, to surrender. All for you. BecauseI love you and know how much you needed a Savior.Philippians 2:5-8
  • April 22At last, the day arrived. If there had been another way toaccomplish the same victory over sin and death, I wouldhave taken it. But I did what I needed to do—humble Myselfand die a selfless, obedient death. I knew what I had cometo do—to die for you and for all of humanity, to rescue you bydying in your place.Philippians 2:5-8
  • April 23Because of My obedience to fulfill the purpose for which Ihad come—dying in your place—I was honored by My Father.Now, everything that has ever been created or will be createdwill one day bow in worship before Me and acknowledge thatI am Lord. When that happens, My Father will receive all theglory. How can your life glorify My Father today?Philippians 2:9-11; Isaiah 53:12
  • April 24With My blood I purchased you and others from every tribe,language, people and nation. For the rest of eternity, you willjoin the song that is already being sung: Worthy is the Lamb,who was slain. You were created to worship Me. You are yourtruest self when you join in with the rest of creation to sing thissong.Revelation 5:6-13
  • HOLY WEEK AT SALEM ALLIANCEThe Way of the CrossJourney through the significant moments of Jesus’ last week on earth.There will be reflective stations set up in Cedar Hall.April 18-22Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 8:00 am – 7:00 pmWednesday, Friday: 8:00 am – 8:30 pmGood FridayFriday, April 22, 6:00 pm and 7:30 pmEaster WeekendSaturday, April 23, 5:00 pm and 6:30 pmSunday, April 24, 7:45 am, 9:00 am, 10:15 am and 11:30 am 555 Gaines St NE Salem OR 97301 www.salemalliance.org