Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 03-03-23

Intro: During this Lenten season, every devotional will begin with a quote from C.S. Lewis (author and theologian), followed by two readings: 1) A passage from the Psalter and 2) a writing from one of the Old Testament prophets or New Testament authors. We will look at both passages as a whole through the fulfilling work and wisdom of Christ—Truth.

The mixed genre [historical/poetic/prophetic] literary fragments of myths [true stories] contained in Scripture help us think about the world, Creator God, and his relationship with different biblical characters, so we can gain greater knowledge and understanding about God, evil, human choice, and how He has throughout time been working to bring salvation through Christ.

The value of the myth is that it takes all the things we know and
restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden
by ‘the veil of familiarity.” (C.S. Lewis; On Stories)

In our passage from the Psalter today, David praises God for His wonderful love and care of the godly; those who love Him wholeheartedly, obey His commands, and place their trust in Him. Will fearing evil ever be a proper response for the children of God? Through Scripture’s many stories, we know the answer is “no.” We were created to dwell in God’s presence; then, He delivers us from evil. As we pray and ask for help, God covers us [like a refuge of protection] with his love, because perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Fear may rise up and try to rob us of our Gift of shalom, but we can face every fear with the knowledge of God’s powerful goodness revealed in His written Word. We must take our focus off fear [refuse to feed it] and fix our faith on the power of our God’s life and love being released through us.

Psalm 34:1-8, 14 NLT
I will praise the Lord at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
let us exalt his name together.
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace [shalom], and work to maintain it.

In our passage today from the gospel of John, God’s Word or Voice—Christ—is the Source of spiritual Life; he is the Light [Truth] that drives the encroaching and hostile darkness and evil away from God’s children. Sometimes we may feel powerless to address the challenging circumstances in our lives, but when we go to Scripture, we are assured that God is with us and loves us. If the Spirit of God lives in us and nothing can separate us from God’s love, then overwhelming victory against evil is ours through Christ (Ro 8:35-37). You are a story of victory…

John 1:1-5, 10-14 NLT
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.

10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

Prayer: Father, thank you for all the generational stories, biblical characters, and lessons we can learn in your Word that teach us more about you, your nature and plans for your children, the world around us, and human hearts. Scripture reveals truth to us about your faithfulness through so many unique people and their stories. Help us to cast down every fear that tries to rob us. Holy Spirit make us strong and keep us focused in a righteous direction. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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