Lenten Devotion 03.26.2014

March 26 – Wednesday
Fasting Item(s): Sugars, Desserts, & Candy.
Today’s Scripture: Psalm 45:4-7 “In your majesty, ride out to victory, defending truth, humility, and justice.  Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds!  Your arrows are sharp, piercing your enemies’ hearts.  The nations fall beneath your feet.  Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.  You rule with a scepter of justice.  You love justice and hate evil.  Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.” NLT
Question: Have you ever done something so evil, that you didn’t know you were capable of doing?
Devotion: The local and national news are both good at showing us the evil in the world and we are all about shaking our fist at that evil, but we aren’t so good at seeing the evil in our own lives.  And even if we recognize the evil in our lives, we aren’t willing to display it in an unfavorable light – we aren’t willing to let others in on our little secret.  I just recently ignored an obvious call on my heart to help a man in need.  This man was walking alongside the road (M-50), near where I live, with a gas can in his hand.  To add another level of understanding in that call on my heart, this person was nearly 300 pounds and had a limp, probably identifying that his knees were under some severe pain.  As I came closer to this man, all of these details were clear to me and the opportunity for me to help was present.  So what did I do?  I thought to myself that someone would stop by and give him a ride, so I kept on driving.  I looked in my rearview mirror thinking that this person’s ride would appear any minute now and then I would feel better about myself.  I drove another quarter mile down the road, still able to see him walking, but with no ride.  I proceeded to justify in my mind and with God that it couldn’t be me that would give him a ride.  I turned down Eaton Green, taking one last glance at someone with an obvious need.  As I drove down to my final destination, my decision to NOT do the right thing began to haunt me.  I saw an evil side to myself that I had never seen before.  I’ve driven past many a gas less people, without even a hint of remorse, but this time was different.  This time it made a lasting impression.  I repented to God and to the others I have placed my accountability to and shared my sin with them.  I woke the next morning after the incident and was still feeling the guilt of inaction.  I again asked for the complete and perfect forgiveness that can only come from Jesus and have now an understanding and peace in that forgiveness.  However, I am reminded of the evil that lurks inside my heart and my willingness to give into it.  Have you ever been convicted of the evil in your heart?  Some have had to go to prison before they are convicted and change, while others are mindful of their depravity.  Each day is an opportunity to reconcile God’s creation back to Him and I encourage all His children to look for ways in which we can make things better.  It could be as simple as giving someone a ride to the gas station or pulling them out of the ditch or praying for them in their time of need.  I want to leave this thought with a deep and encouraging Word from God.  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.  For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?  Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matthew 5:43-48 NLT  The standard has been set for us and praise be to God that He sent Jesus to save us from our imperfect display of His love.  May you be reminded of the evil in your heart, call it out and act in accordance with God’s will in your daily life.  May our eyes be opened to the many opportunities that God places right before us and may our excuses to not serve His people lessen and lessen.  
Prayer focus: Kids and Parents pray for your friends and children in other countries who may not know Jesus.

Here’s the free Lent Calendar to follow along the path God is calling us to. Take others on the journey with you, but not in a “look at us” sort of way. This is a humble journey to be endured with the help of God.

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