Daily Lenten Devotional from Pastor Mary 02-23-23

Intro: At Connect2Christ Church, Lent is a time of prayer—a 40 day journey (not including Sundays) where we acknowledge and praise God for his merciful love that restores us in the Truth—Christ. During Lent, we will reflect on the Truth for our lives found in God’s Word, be willing to repent from our sin against the Truth, renew our commitment to be lead by the Spirit of Truth, and invite the Lord to revive us by his love and grace to grow in the Truth.

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 is a Person.

“The greater the sin, the greater the mercy: the deeper the death,
the brighter the rebirth” (C.S. Lewis, Miracles).

In our passage from the Psalms today, God offers a choice between two paths for human life: A righteous path built on obedience to God’s Word and a wicked path built on sin and the desires of human flesh. God’s love and mercy for us is great; therefore, he wants us to flourish and prosper in every area of our lives.

Psalm 1:1-3 NLT
Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.

In our passage from the Apostle Paul and his letter to the Romans, we are reminded the whole of creation has been affected by Adam’s fall into sin leaving humanity spiritually barren and unable to bear righteous fruit. We are also reminded of God’s promise—found in Christ—to lead us out of sin and into blessing. The Holy Spirit is our Helper who will cause us to prosper and produce the fruit of righteousness. Therefore, we must follow the powerful God-life of the Spirit every day into greater growth and victory.

Romans 8:22-27 VOICE
22 For we know that all creation groans in unison with birthing pains up until now. 23 And there is more; it’s not just creation—all of us are groaning together too. Though we have already tasted the firstfruits of the Spirit, we are longing for the total redemption of our bodies that comes when our adoption as children of God is complete— 24 for we have been saved in this hope and for this future. But hope does not involve what we already have or see. For who goes around hoping for what he already has? 25 But if we wait expectantly for things we have never seen, then we hope with true perseverance and eager anticipation.

26 A similar thing happens when we pray. We are weak and do not know how to pray, so the Spirit steps in and articulates prayers for us with groaning too profound for words. 27 Don’t you know that He who pursues and explores the human heart intimately knows the Spirit’s mind because He pleads to God for His saints to align their lives with the will of God?

Christ Quote: “Those people who are listening to Me, those people who hear what I say and live according to My teachings—you are like a wise man who built his house on a rock, on a firm foundation” (Mat 7:24).

Prayer: Lord, help us to put to death the desires of our flesh that are not aligned with your will for our lives. Holy Spirit, thank you for praying for us and helping us walk each day in newness of life on your path of righteousness. Revive and restore us through the power of your love as we place our hope for total redemption in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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