Lent Devotions 2009: Tuesday 31st March

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us – for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’ – ” Galatians 3:13

What is the curse of the Law? Does this mean that God’s Law is bad? Absolutely not! God’s Law is perfect, holy, and just. It instructs us on what God wants and how to please Him. The curse comes because, while it tells us what God wants, it does not give us the power to do it. We clearly know what we should, and should not, do, but we are absolutely unable to live according to it. And the penalty for breaking God’s Law is eternal death.

That’s where Jesus comes in. Being truly human, He had to live under the Law just like we do. However, Jesus never gave into temptation or broke God’s Law. He was spotless in observing God’s commandments. He had no penalty to pay. But then amazing grace kicks in. The only human who ever perfectly kept God’s precepts volunteered to take our curse, for breaking the Law, upon Himself. And being true God, He suffered the penalty (eternal damnation) in our place. Becoming accursed by hanging on the tree, Jesus became our substitute. He got our punishment, while we get His righteousness. God no longer sees us as cursed lawbreakers, but as His beloved children. We no longer have to keep God’s Law; Jesus did it for us. And it is precisely that fact which means that we want to keep His Law now. And that changes the curse into a blessing.

Gracious Lord Jesus, thank You for becoming a curse for me, so that You can now use me as a blessing to others. Amen.

Lent Devotions 2009: Monday 30th March

“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

The power of sin is broken by Jesus dying on the cross and taking the sins of Man on His shoulders. He has taken our sins upon Himself and has suffered the punishment that we should have suffered.
Through His death we are healed and we await His coming again when we will be brought to everlasting salvation in His Kingdom.

Dear Jesus we thank You with all our heart that You came down to earth to die on the cross and bear our sins on our behalf. We long for the time You come again and take us to Your Kingdom in the knowledge that we will have everlasting salvation with You . Amen

Lent Devotions 2009: Saturday 28th March

“For You, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon You.”
Psalm 86:5

Our God is a loving God, a forgiving God, who listens to our prayers and watches over all that we do. God’s love for us is unconditional and unlike any one love that we can comprehend. A parent loves their child, a wife loves her husband, and a friend loves a friend. All these are examples that we can relate to, understand or may have experienced.

God’s shows His love for us through Jesus Christ. Jesus came down to earth and died for our sins. God then raised Him from death, to life, demonstrating His power over death and His love for us all. This love would last eternally, as payment for our sins, through what Jesus had done.

So when we pray sincerely, respectfully and repentantly, we acknowledge the wrong we have done. Because God is a forgiving God, He relieves us from the burden that sin puts on us, and gives forgiveness through Jesus.

All gifts from God are blessings bestowed on us. They are full of God’s love, because God is Love and His mercy endures forever.

For these many blessings we thank and praise You, Lord God. Amen.

Lent Devotions 2009: Friday 27th March

“Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
he is the King of glory!”
Psalm 24:9-10

We all know what a kingdom is. All the people who have a king or queen are part of a kingdom. The Lord Jesus is a king so all those who belong to Him are part of His kingdom. How do we know if we belong to His kingdom? If we believe He died for us and are sorry for what we have done wrong, then we belong to Him.

When we pray, “Thy Kingdom Come”, we are asking that everyone will hear about the Lord Jesus and worship and obey Him.

Jesus told us a lot about His kingdom.

Jesus said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field, but in the night, his enemy came and sowed weeds in with the wheat. When the wheat began to grow, the weeds grew as well. His servants came to the man and said, ‘Where have all the weeds come from?’ He replied, ‘An enemy has done this.’ They asked, ‘Will we go and pull them out?’ ‘No’ said the man, ‘You might accidentally pull up the good wheat with them. Let them grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the reapers to gather together, first the weeds and burn them and put the wheat in my barn.’”
The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man planted in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it is grown it is the biggest of all the herbs – it is like a tree and the birds come and sit in the branches.

The kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea. When the net was full the fishermen brought it to the shore and sat down. They put the good fish into pots, but threw the bad away.
God’s kingdom is very special. Not everyone will belong to it, but if we believe in the Lord Jesus, we are part of the kingdom.

Thank You, Lord God, for making it possible for us sinners to be part of Your kingdom. Please help us to appreciate this gift more and more. Amen.

Lent Devotions 2009: Thursday 26th March

“Our God comes; He does not keep silence;
before Him is a devouring fire,
around Him a mighty tempest.”
Psalm 50:3

In 1972 Francis Schaeffer wrote the classic book He is There And He Is Not Silent. Schaeffer uses philosophical argument to demonstrate that God speaks to us through our metaphysical, moral, and intellectual needs. God is trying to communicate with us, but we are too uninterested to listen.
The Bible is full of examples of God speaking to us. God spoke creation into being by His Word. He called Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses to lead and deliver His people Israel. He spoke words of judgement and comfort to His people through the prophets. But finally He spoke to us through His Son Jesus Christ, the true Word of God.

But people today often say that they wish God would speak to them, either to give them guidance or answers as they face life’s problems. Unfortunately these folks are often so busy trying to look for God’s guidance in the wrong places that they fail to hear His Word where He promises to speak to them. God still speaks to us today through His means of grace. God speaks directly to us through His Word. Open it up, read it, and see if it doesn’t speak right into your life. God spoke directly to you when you were baptised, as He placed His name upon you to make you His child. You are His beloved child in whom He is well pleased. God speaks directly to you each time you are at the Communion rail, “take and eat … take and drink this is My blood given and shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.” Are you listening?

Lord, close our mouths and open our ears so that we may hear You speaking to us through Your means of grace. Amen.