Lenten Study 2021

Sunday, April 4, 2021 – Easter Sunday

He is Risen!  What a wonderful and glorious day the Lord has made!  You have come to the end of our study and the Gospel of John.  We are so glad that you joined us on their Lenten journey through these 40 days.  We have been blessed as we have walked with you.  We hope to see you today at Easter services.  Sunrise at 7am and then Easter Celebration Services at 9am and 10:30am, outside.  He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed! 

Read: John 20-21

So What Activity:   Attend Easter Services

Blessings,

Lenten Study 2021

Thursday, April 1, 2021 – Holy Week

Hello everyone!  Today we find ourselves back with Jesus and the disciples at the Passover meal.  We know this as the Last Supper.  I say in the video that I never would have had myself do this day if I had known I was going to preach on this just two weeks ago, I am kind of tapped out on foot washing.  I do however have a few things to say in my video about the whole idea of the first being last and the whole idea of having the heart of a servant.  I also think for good measure I will link my sermon just in case you didn’t get a chance to see it.  The whole service is wonderful, but my message starts at, 27:16, if you just want to watch that.  Hope to see you today at the prayer stations.  They start at 9am and will be open until 4pm. 

Read: John 13:1-20

Sermon starts at 27:16

Questions to Consider:

  1. What does it look like in your life to put other first? 
  2. Have you done the foot washing mental activity (from my sermon) of putting people you have a difficult time loving in imaginary chairs and symbolically washing their feet?  If you have not, why?  If you did what did you learn? 

So What Activity:  Watch The Chosen Season 2 Trailer and figure out how you are going to watch the Season 2 primer on Easter Sunday at 8pm.  Either on the App, Facebook or YouTube. 

Blessings,

Lenten Study 2021

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 – Holy Week

Jesus is right at the end of his time with his disciples, and he wants them to remain in him and to remain in sacrificial love with each other. I love the metaphor of the vine and the pruning that he uses to start off this discourse. I especially like the comparison of the Father as the gardener. The gardener’s intention is the wellbeing of the vine and the gardener will do whatever it takes to help the vine grow and produce. Then, Jesus moves on to speak about “remaining” and “abiding.” These two words essentially describe what we are called to be as disciples—People who abide in Jesus. Finally, Jesus issues a new commandment to “love one another.” Jesus re-emphasized that there’s no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Jesus also makes a claim in this paragraph that we can ask the Father what we need in Jesus’ name and it will be given to us, followed with a final, “Love one Another.” I wonder if Jesus wanted us to ask the Father to help us love one another, because this loving one another is hard. Pastor Kristyne talked about it on her sermon just a couple of Sundays ago, Love is hard. Yet, as disciples, we can ask the Father in Jesus’ name to help us truly love one another. Today, if there is someone that you are having difficulty with, just say a short prayer and ask the Father to show you how to love that person, in Jesus’ name. 

Read: John 15:1-17

Questions to Consider:

  1. What are some of the things you do in order to “remain” or “abide” in Jesus?
  2. Is there someone that you have struggle to “love” in the last few days? Can you open your heart to the Father and share your struggle with Him asking that he would clear a path for you to learn how to love?

So What Activity:   Today, prepare your heart for celebrating Holly Week. Mark in your calendar to reserve a time to go through the prayer stations at Lake Deaton UMC either tomorrow or Friday morning.

Blessings, 

Lenten Study 2021

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 – Holy Week

As we continue in Holy Week and our flashback of the Gospel of John today we find ourselves back with Nicodemus and Jesus.  A while back some wonderful people in our church family encouraged me to watch The Chosen.  If you have not watched it yet, well, you really should.  Season 1 is wonderful and I hear that season 2, episode 1 will be releasing on Easter Sunday, with one episode per week after that.  So today, there is no video from me, just a video snip-it from the Chosen, one of my favorites, when Jesus and Nicodemus meet for their late night chat.  Enjoy. 

Read: John 3:1-21

So What Activity:   Watch all of season 1 of The Chosen.  You can watch it on YouTube, PureFlix or on The Chosen App. 

Blessings,

Lenten Study 2021, Uncategorized

Monday, March 29, 2021- Holy Week

Here we are, entering into Holy Week, and as we enter into this week we will find ourselves going back over the story from the beginning. To understand the events of the cross we have to understand that, “the Word became human and made his home amount us” (John 1:14). At the core of the Gospel is that God came to walk with humanity. That God lived through everything you and I live through, he experienced everything that we experience, but he did it in a perfect way. The first Adam choose the path that ultimately led to spiritual death whereas the second Adam, walked the path that led to physical death, but to abundant life. The second Adam also broke the chains of death that keep us from life, so that we too can now experience full and abundant life.

Read: John 1:1-18

Questions to Consider:

  1. What does it mean for us that through Jesus we have received one gracious blessing after another? (Vs. 16)
  2. What does it mean to you that the Word gave life to everything that was created? 

So What Activity:   As you begin this Holy Week, take time to read through this passage slowly three times. The first time you read through focus on the whole narrative of the story being shared. Then for the second time listen for anything that God puts on your heart, a line or a phrase that sticks out and write it down. Finally for the last time look for a word that sticks out and write that word down. Then spend time in prayer praising God for what he is showing you as you begin this Holy Week.

Blessings, 

Lenten Study 2021

Sunday, March 28, 2021 – Palm Sunday

Happy Sunday!  What a special day today is, you got a devotion in your inbox!  Plus it is Palm Sunday!  Praise God!  Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD!  Hail to the King of Israel! 

We are in the home stretch of Lent!  Easter is nearly here!  It is officially Holy Week!  We have a lot going on at the church near the end of this week and we hope you come out to join in with us. 

You will also notice that until Friday we are going to flashback with some of our text to passages we have already read.  We are going this because we want you to be reading the Holy Week story during Holy Week and the Gospel of John has had us in Holy week for a while now. 

Finally, this Saturday you will not receive a devotion, just like yesterday.  But you will receive one last one on Easter Sunday. 

Read: John 12:12-19

Questions to Consider:

  1. What does it mean that Jesus is the Prince of Peace? 
  2. What do you think it would have been like to be in the crowd on the actual Palm Sunday? 

So What Activity:  

  • Make a plan on how you are going to attend our Holy Week activities. 
  • Pray about who you are going to invite to Easter services.  Invite them! 

Blessings,

Lenten Study 2021

Friday, March 26, 2021 – Prayer

John, chapter 17, has often been called the Great Priestly Prayer. It is Jesus’ last recorded prayer before he is arrested and tried. In this prayer you will see that Jesus brings all the important lessons that he has been focusing on over the past three chapters together and lifts them to the father. He also prays for the new movement that is being launched by his death and resurrection. As you read, listen with an open heart to the prayer Jesus is making, not just for his Apostles, but for all who will become a disciple—even to this day. This is a prayer Jesus is praying for you as well as for those first followers 2,000 years ago. 

Read: John 17:1-26

Questions to Consider:

  1. How do we receive eternal life?  (Vs. 1-5)
  2. Who is Jesus praying for in this Priestly Prayer? (Vs. 9 and 20)
  3. What does Jesus want for his followers? 

So What Activity: Re-write this prayer from your own perspective as a 21st century disciple of Christ.   

Blessings, 

Lenten Study 2021

Thursday, March 25, 2021 – Sorrow Turned to Joy

Reading these last few chapters of John is like being able to enter into a deeply personal time between Jesus and his disciples. Imagine the scene: Jesus is speaking, and his voice is a little broken because what he is saying is hard… “In a little while you will not see me…” The disciples, men and women, sit around quietly, trying hard to understand. The remnants of a meal remain on the table. They sit comfortably around the room. But their hearts are heavy. They feel that something hard is approaching and yet they don’t fully understand. Then Jesus talks about a woman going through the pain of labor and delivery, yet there’s joy when the baby is born. They understand that. They have seen that many times, pain and joy experienced at the same time. If you and I were sitting right there with Jesus, what would we understand? 

We are aware of the many sorrows we face today. Maybe the sorrow of a world in chaos, a world filled with violence, poverty, hunger, and pain. Maybe the sorrow of the loss of a loved one, the sorrow of loneliness, or financial distress. Maybe even a little closer to home: the sorrow of a diagnosis we’re still trying to wrap our minds around, or a broken relationship, even that of a child gone astray (the list could go on and on)… and we wonder, how could that sorrow ever turn to joy. Are Jesus’ words relevant to our world today?

What if that situation we are in is pregnant with a possibility of unexplainable joy ahead? Today, we may not understand our circumstances and we may not be able to change them. However, let’s not miss the possibility of a transformational joy that can invade our every corner through the power of the Holy Spirit! Amen!

Read: John 16:16-33

Questions to Consider:

  1. If you were sitting in that room with Jesus, what question would you ask of him?
  2. Do you know someone who is going through a time of “sorrow?” How can you send joy their way?

So What Activity:   Next time you are sharing a meal with someone, today, tomorrow or next week, pay attention to their words. There might be some unexpected joy in the words they are sharing with you.

Blessings, 

Lenten Study 2021

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 – Work of the Holy Spirit

There are two big things happening in this passage. Jesus is telling the disciples that they will experience persecution (and that the persecution will come from people who think they are doing the will of God). Also, Jesus is announcing the coming of the Holy Spirit. For a long time when I would read through this whole section of John, from chapter 14 through 17, with its long discourse and prayer between Jesus and the disciples, I would look at it as a long list of various last things Jesus wanted to say to the disciples. Kind of like a long list of, “oh and let me tell you this other thing,” and “Oh and there’s the other thing I want to tell you as well,” etc. etc.

I have come to realize that Jesus is very purposefully leading the disciples through a process of preparation leading up to this announcement of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is preparing this small band of soon-to-be discouraged followers to become a movement that is going to change the world and he wants them to be well informed to the hardships of this new movement, but also to the power that they will have soon through the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

As you read through the passage today, ask yourself if you are ready to give it all for the advancing of the Kingdom of Christ.

Read: John 16:1-15

Questions to Consider:

  1. Why has Jesus been sharing with the disciples all the things he has been sharing? (Vs. 1-4)
  2. What does Jesus promise to give his followers? (Vs. 7-15)
  3. What does Jesus describe is the work of the Holy Spirit?

So What Activity:  Spend some time today examining your own relationship with the Holy Spirit. Journal your thoughts and spend time in prayer, either praising God for the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life or possibly asking God to reveal Himself through the Holy Spirit more in your life.

Blessings,