“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb…”In her grief, Mary is at the tomb. She is there early, in darkness. The resurrection light dawns on her before many others. Jesus speaks powerfully into her life, because she is there, at the tomb, on the first day, early, in the darkness. Where are you these days in your life? Do you seek the Lord in the high places, in the exuberant celebrations, in the noise? Sometime we find him by the tomb places. He is risen! Resurrect us Lord!
“Put to death whatever in you is earthly…clothe yourselves with…” Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent in the Christian Calendar. Often I have heard people ask, “What are you giving up for Lent.” Often Lent is seen as sacrifice and giving up. Historically, Lent is giving up that which hinders our relationship with God and taking up (“clothe yourselves”), that which aids our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Why is putting off and putting on both important in spiritual growth? What will you do to aid your relationship with God? Lord Jesus, draw me closer. Amen.
“While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’” Following Jesus is often such a romantic, ethereal ideal in our minds. For Stephen, it meant following the Lord, even in his passion, death, and his response to his enemies. Do I really want to follow Jesus? How do I prepare to follow in the tough circumstances during the times of normal life and ministry? Teach me what it means to follow Jesus in everything. Amen.
|“Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” The goal of salvation in Christ is a transformed life; freedom from sin and freedom to live for God. In what areas are you still struggling with sin? Are there temptations to which Christian leaders are most vulnerable? Raise us to the righteous life that is our in Christ Jesus. Amen.|
“but he refused to be comforted…” When Joseph’s brother’s sold him to Egypt and led Jacob to believe he was dead, he refused to be comforted. He would “grieve until he joined his son in the grave.” All of us experience loss. Leaders are not exempt from loss. What loss(es) have you experienced recently? How is it influencing your relationships, your family and your work? Do you find comfort in God? How is He bringing comfort to you these days? – Comfort your people O Lord, strengthen them to endure through the many losses of life.