Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 03-27-24

Lenten Series: In Need of The Helper

Lent is a liturgical observance and season of reflection; not a biblical mandate. It is simply a time to remind ourselves and appreciate the abundant grace of Christ’s saving work on the cross. It is a time to press in deeper in submission to Christ’s authority as we prepare our hearts to celebrate, with exceedingly great joy, the resurrection that awaits every believer and follower.

In our Lenten daily devotionals, we will focus on our spiritual needs and desires and how the Helper is our Gift for strength and success if we will bow in greater submission to the authority of our King and the terms of His Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit.

Reflection: The Miraculous

Digging for Truth: Ideas can come to us from every direction: The Lord of Truth, this sinful world, our rebellious flesh, or Satan the liar. The latter is always trying to find a host who will listen and obey his lies. We must never forget Satan was a liar from the beginning; Jesus called him the father of lies (John 8:44). He is a pro at twisting the word of God in order to get people to listen and become sympathetic to his cause of selfishness. Satan twisted and restated the word of God in the Garden and we know he was very convincing; so much so it blurred the Truth of what is good and what is evil for as long as the world remains.

On this Wednesday of Holy Week, we are going to reflect on Judas’ plan to betray Jesus—an idea Satan placed in Judas’ heart. As Jesus began to share about his death, he knew Judas was the instrument Satan would be able to use. Jesus knew Judas was stealing money from the disciples shared resources (John 12:6). Maybe Judas thought he could make more money from what he “borrowed” from his fellow disciples. After all, Judas along with the other disciples heard Jesus teach about the bags of silver given to the three servants; five bags to one, two bags to another, and one bag to the last servant (Matthew 25:14-30). At the very least, Judas knew how to selfishly fend for himself before he met Jesus, so if necessary he could do it again.

Judas, as well as many others, wanted Jesus to be the Messiah who would overthrow Rome, but it was beginning to look like that was never going to happen. Satan placed the idea into Judas’ soul to take matters into his own hands. Maybe if Jesus faced more pressure, he would take more aggressive action. “Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus” (Matthew 26:14-16).

Grace for the Heart: The greatest miracle the world would ever experience was about to happen and Judas found himself on the wrong side of faith. He was so focused on worldly ways, he did not realize Satan came to harvest his soul. All the miracles the disciples witnessed; things that were impossible in human strength and power, did not convince Judas that Jesus would be victorious in bringing forth his Kingdom no matter how he chose to do it.

If acting religious had the ability to bring us redeeming power, Jesus would not have needed to die. No matter how much piety we practice in our flesh, it will not make us godly in heart. We need the blood of Jesus to cover us and the Helper who developes us in righteousness and gives us spiritual eyesight! Those who are led by the Spirit are the sons and daughters of God (Romans 8:14).

2 Timothy 3:5a NLT They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.

Matthew 28:18 NLT Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.

Challenge: We must sort our ideas very carefully, because our minds can be Satan’s playground. God’s ways are not our ways; we think in earthbound ideas and God is supernatural. As well, we must allow the Word of God to cleanse us from unrighteous desires, because our flesh will put up a fight to get its way. Therefore, we must ask the Helper to reveal Truth to us about the ideas that float through our souls. Jesus—the Living Word—has all authority and the Helper empowers the Word. We have been saved to live the resurrected life!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for helping us understand your miracles are made of the supernatural substance of heaven and we must gain a higher perspective to comprehend your plan. Judas could not see it, because he cared more about himself and the power of the world; but Jesus could see it all and still love the sinner. Despite our sinful inclinations, please help us to discern good from evil, Lord, because we desire to live with you as our King. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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