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2/3/21 Day 12

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TODAY'S VERSE: 2/3/21 Day 12 Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the LORD’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob. Psalm 24:3-6 TODAY'S DEVOTION: Will you ascend, or climb, the mountain of the Lord today? In biblical times people physically walked uphill into Jerusalem to worship at the temple. More importantly, they ascended into the presence of God. Their time of inclination presented each person with two opportunities 1) a time of introspection/confession of their own (un)worthiness to enter God’s presence, 2) a time of recognition/request of God’s great mercy, holiness, and righteousness. The Psalm tells us that only those with clean hands and pure hearts may enter God’s presence. The requirement doesn’t leave any wiggle room

1/3/21 Day 11

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TODAY'S VERSE: 1/3/21 Day 11 “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people.  You are a kingdom of priests.  God’s holy nation, his very own possession.  This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”  1 Peter 2:9   TODAY'S DEVOTION: People often base their self-concept on their accomplishments or possessions. But our relationship with Christ is far more important than our jobs, successes, wealth, stuff or knowledge. We have been chosen by God as his very own, and we have been called to represent him to others. Remember that your value comes from being one of God’s children, not from what you can achieve or own. You have worth because of what God does, not because of what you do. We are a “royal priesthood.”  Every member is a minister and every part of the body is needed to make the body of Christ function well. There are no insignificant parts in the Body. Every person in the body of Chr

27/2/21 Day 10

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TODAY'S VERSE: 27/2/21 Day 10 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. - Hebrews 10:24-25   TODAY'S DEVOTION: Growing up, especially as a Lutheran pastor’s kid, the season of Lent meant one thing—Wednesday night soup suppers. I’m not sure why that’s one of the top memories that I still remember, given that at the time I wasn’t a huge fan! When you’re a teenager, going to the church basement to have soup with people twice your age wasn’t the primary definition of fun. Yet there’s a reason I remember those nights to this day—it was a picture of the church as family. We ate together, taking turns serving the meal, shared stories, and then worshipped together. We used the season of Lent to gather weekly—because that’s what family does—we keep showing up no matter what. This season of Lent, I w

26/2/21 Day 9

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TODAY'S VERSE: 26/2/21 Day 9 “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:3-5   TODAY'S DEVOTION: I love a lot of things about Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus.  One of those things is that Paul doesn’t find himself needing to clean up a mess, and so he is free to simply remind the believers of how incredibly blessed they are to have a God who loves so abundantly and generously. Of course, reading this letter 2000 years later the same is true of us and so we are invited to read these words and understand that we too have been given every spiritual blessing because

25/2/21 Day 8

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TODAY'S VERSE: 25/2/21 Day 8 Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said. “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. 31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”They were now on the way up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were filled with awe, and the people following behind were overwhelmed with fear. Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus once more began to describe everything that was about to happen to him.” - Mark 10:28-32   TODAY'S DEVOTION: Jesus does a lot of walking in M

24/2/21 Day 7

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TODAY'S VERSE: 24/2/21 Day 7 “And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” - Mark 6:5   TODAY'S DEVOTION: I’ve always said you can tell a lot by someone’s posture.  Take a look around you next time you are surrounded by people. Body language can tell you a lot about what’s on someone's mind. Take students in a classroom for example. When a teacher engages kindergartners who have just come in from recess, what kind of posture do you envision? I envision urgently reaching for the sky as they raise their hands. Compare this with a sophomore English class and I’m guessing you’d agree, it will probably be much different. Our posture (physical and otherwise) says a lot about us, and it’s pretty evident when we look at Jesus’ ministry. In Mark 6, Jesus has rolled back into his hometown and their posture isn’t good. People seem to be fixated on the Jesus they grew up with, not the o

23/2/21 Day 6

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TODAY'S VERSE: 23/2/21 Day 6 “The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.” - Mark 1:13-14   TODAY'S DEVOTION: For 40 days we fast, pray, and prepare for the pain and grief of Good Friday, but also the joy and glory of Easter. For 40 days, Jesus also fasted, prayed and prepared. What does it mean that the Holy Spirit compelled Jesus toward something so painful, lonely, and dangerous — life-threatening, if we are being honest about it? Suffering goes hand in hand with doubt. The Spirit’s compulsion into the wilderness comes just as Jesus’ ministry is ramping up; immediately after his big entrance comes retreat. What? He has buzz, he has momentum; the time to strike is while the iron is hot, right? Does it ever feel that the Holy Spirit is pulling you against sense, wisdom, convention, and knowledge? Does the Spirit ever pull you against even yourse