Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 3-14-19

March 14, 2019

Philippians 3:7-12 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Today is the eighth day of our 40-Day Lenten Series, “Praying for a Kingdom Heart.”  Lent should be a time of prayerful reflection, repentance, and restoration as we draw closer to the heart of God.  A Kingdom heart knows the only way to live is found in the resurrecting power of the LORD.  According to Scripture, daily God sets before us life and prosperity, as well as death and disaster. Then, he calls us to make a choice between the two.  If we choose life, he commands us to love the LORD our God, walk in his ways, keep his commandments, so we can increase and enjoy his blessings (Due 30:15-16). So, if we know the Lord is our resurrection and he brings a life with priceless spiritual blessings, why are we slow to choose real life over a lifeless existence pursuing worthless worldly pleasures and treasures?  I believe the answer lies in the struggle. 

The enemy of your soul is Satan and his spirit of sin that is found in the world and human flesh. Sin struggles against Christ’s righteousness. Sin leads a war that tries to keep you from the throne of God and the restoration Christ alone can bring. Jesus conquered sin, but now you and I need to overcome sin by surrendering to the work of the resurrected Christ. Many people exist, but how many are actually walking in the ways of God and enjoying the abundant life Christ offers? I don’t know about the hearts of others, but I am responsible for my heart and will answer for my choices about life.  Believers in Christ are destined for heaven, and resurrection power is given by the Holy Spirit so we can identify and face the struggle, throw off sin in Christ’s authority, and turn to wear the blessings of God that leads to love and Kingdom life.

In our passage today, the Apostle Paul teaches about this life Christ offers.  If you want a Kingdom heart, the love of Christ must take ahold of you and be the life you choose.  Don’t hate the struggle. Use your faith, run toward the goal, and make the choice, today.  

During Lent, we will be using the acronym P.R.A.Y. as we pray for a Kingdom Heart.  P=praise, R=repent, A=ask, and Y=yield.  May God bless you as you spend time in God’s Word and in prayer today.

Philippians 3:7-12

7 But Christ has shown me that what I once thought was valuable is worthless. 8 Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ 9 and to know that I belong to him. I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ. 10 All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life. I want to suffer and die as he did, 11 so that somehow I also may be raised to life.

Running toward the Goal

12 I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, I praise you for bringing me the ability to know and experience the resurrecting power of Christ.  I repent for the times I have allowed sin to have power; it was your purpose that I would use that power to serve you and your Kingdom.  I ask for forgiveness and mercy; take ahold of me Jesus and save me to live in your blessings.  I yield to your way.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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