Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Saturday – Easter Wk7

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. We would also love to have you join us for worship this week! Click here to discover our location & service times! You can reap the most benefit from this journey by joining a small group and by inviting others to join us!

Our Scripture readings for Saturday of Week 7 of the Easter season can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. Is your heart steadfast?  Is your soul awake?  About what or who do you sing?  What do you do to exalt the Lord?  (see Psalm 108:1-2, 5)
  2. What does Ezekiel mean by the phrase “heart of stone?”  What is meant by “heart of flesh?”  Do you want a new heart and new spirit with?  Is it possible for God’s Spirit to help you want to obey God?  (see Ezekiel 36:26-27)
  3. How is salvation like a helmet?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/veridiano3/9937858206/in/photostream/
    “Take the helmet of salvation…” – Ephesians 6:17a

    How is the Word of God like a sword?  What is the relationship between the Word and the Spirit?  How can we pray in the Spirit?  What does it mean to pray at all times?  (see Ephesians 6:17-18)

  4. What two examples of faith do you see in Matthew 9:18-26?  What is Jesus’ response to each?  What does Jesus’ response tell us about who He is?
  5. Why should everyone on earth be in awe of the Lord?  (see Psalm 33:8-9)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Tuesday – Easter Wk7

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. We would also love to have you join us for worship this week! Click here to discover our location & service times! You can reap the most benefit from this journey by joining a small group and by inviting others to join us!

Our Scripture readings for Tuesday of Week 7 of the Easter season can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. How is one to respond to a King?  What does it mean to “Extol the Lord our God”?  Are you doing that?  Choose today to “worship at his footstool.”  (see Psalm 99:1, 5)
  2. Has God ever given you clear direction when you needed to make a decision?  What was the significance of Samuel using anointing oil on David?  (see 1 Samuel 16:12-13)
  3. Do you need to be strengthened in your inner being by the power of God’s Spirit?  How would it change your life if Christ were to “dwell in your heart” in response to your faith in Him?  (see Ephesians 3:16-17)
  4. Are you actively following Jesus or did you give Him an excuse to avoid doing so?  Why did Jesus have no fear of the storm?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/35409814@N00/6017120838/
    “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?” – The disciples in Matthew 8:27

    How do you answer the disciples’ question, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”  (see Matthew 8:18-27)

  5. What is your response to the Psalmist’s statement that “the Lord will not forsake His people”?  What or who is your stronghold?  To whom do you go to find a refuge?  (see Psalm 94:14-15, 22)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Monday – Easter Wk7

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. We would also love to have you join us for worship this week! Click here to discover our location & service times! You can reap the most benefit from this journey by joining a small group and by inviting others to join us!

Our Scripture readings for Monday of Week 7 of the Easter season can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. About what do you sing?  Have you told anyone about how God has been faithful to you?  What would you say?  (see Psalm 89:1-2)
  2. What do you think about day and night?  What if you thought about what God has said to us?  Are you encouraged to hear that God is with you wherever you go?  (see Joshua 1:8-9)
  3. To whom does God want you to share the boundless riches of Christ?  How is the church to show the wisdom of God?
    Cropped image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/26760446@N04/3421130982/in/photostream/
    “The centurion replied, ‘Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.'” – Matthew 8:8

    How can we have access to God?  (see Ephesians 3:8, 10-12)

  4. Why did the centurion believe Jesus could heal his servant without actually going to visit him?  How has Jesus brought healing to your body or spirit?  (see Matthew 8:5-17)
  5. What is significant about the fact that the Lord’s love is steadfast?  What difference does it make to you that the Lord’s love is steadfast?   (see Psalm 89:19, 24, 28)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Saturday – Easter Wk5

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. We would also love to have you join us for worship this week! Click here to discover our location & service times! You can reap the most benefit from this journey by joining a small group and by inviting others to join us!

Our Scripture readings for Saturday of Week 5 of the Easter season can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. What does it mean to you to know that God will someday “rise up to…save all the oppressed of the earth”?  (see Psalm 76:7-9)
  2. Why did the Lord have Moses establish an annual “Day of Atonement”?  For whose benefit was it established?  (see Leviticus 23:26-28)
  3. Do your spiritual leaders have confidence in your obedience?  To what is your heart directed?  Are you focused on the love of God and the steadfastness of Christ?  Why or why not?  (see 2 Thessalonians 3:4-5)
  4. Why is the road to life so much harder to find than the road to destruction?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/34039290@N06/9264037052/
    “…every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” – Jesus in Matthew 7:17

    What kind of “tree” are you?  What kind of “fruit” do you bear?  Who will enter the kingdom of heaven?  (see Matthew 7:13-21)

  5. Have you seen the “goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”?  How long are you willing to “wait for the Lord”?  Are you able to find strength and courage while waiting?  How did David find the strength and courage to wait on the Lord?  (see Psalm 27:13-14)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Tuesday – Easter Wk5

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. We would also love to have you join us for worship this week! Click here to discover our location & service times! You can reap the most benefit from this journey by joining a small group and by inviting others to join us!

Our Scripture readings for Tuesday of Week 5 of the Easter season can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

https://www.flickr.com/photos/44452897@N05/9193204146/
“Sing to God, sing praises to his name.” – Psalm 68:4
  1. Is your soul able to wait in silence on God?  What is implied by saying that “power belongs to God”?  What kind of power do you need for your life?  Is it significant to you that God’s love is steadfast?  Why or why not?  (see Psalm 62:1-2, 11-12)
  2. Do you know what it is like to be clean before the Lord “from all your sins?”  If not, do you want to experience it?  If you do, ask God for His forgiveness and cleansing! (see Leviticus 16:30-31)
  3. What does it say about God that He has NOT destined us for wrath, but rather for obtaining salvation?  What does it say about our destiny that whether we are awake (alive) or asleep (dead) we will LIVE with Jesus?  (see 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10)
  4. Does God need to be persuaded when we pray?  If God knows what we need before we ask, why are we told to ask?  Do you pray about the things Jesus does (worship, God’s rule, His will on earth, our provisions, forgiveness for ourselves & others, spiritual strength & rescue)?  (see Matthew 6:7-15)
  5. Why is song an appropriate response to God?  What is God’s sanctuary?  Have you received God’s power and strength?  (see Psalm 68:4, 35)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Monday – Easter Wk5

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. We would also love to have you join us for worship this week! Click here to discover our location & service times! You can reap the most benefit from this journey by joining a small group and by inviting others to join us!

Our Scripture readings for Monday of Week 5 of the Easter season can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. How is God fulfilling His purpose for you?  How has the Lord sent salvation from heaven for you?  Tell someone about God’s steadfast love and faithfulness today!  (see Psalm 57:2-3)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/7209856668/
    “…with the sound of God’s trumpet…” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16
  2. Why the law of Moses call for animal sacrifices?  What does “atonement” mean?  Do you need atonement?  Why or why not?  (see Leviticus 16:6, 18-19)
  3. What question do you think Paul was trying to answer when he wrote these verses? Why is it significant that the “dead in Christ” will rise “first?”  How will we know the Lord has returned?  Are you ready?  If not, what would you need to do to get ready?  (see 1 Thessalonians 4:14, 16)
  4. Why does God not reward good works done in order to be seen by others?  (see Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18)
  5. Do you rejoice in the Lord?  How do you take refuge in Him? Are you upright in heart?  (see Psalm 64:10)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Thursday – Easter Wk4

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. We would also love to have you join us for worship this week! Click here to discover our location & service times! You can reap the most benefit from this journey by joining a small group and by inviting others to join us!

Our Scripture readings for Thursday of Week 4 of the Easter season can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. For what could you offer the Lord thanksgiving?  Make a list!  What do you need to do today to “go the right way?”  (see Psalm 50:14, 23)
  2. What quality of the Lord listed in Exodus 34:6-7 is most important to you right now?  Why?IMG_6348
  3. What is the difference between “a human word” and “God’s word?”   Is God’s word at work in you?  What difference would it make if you asked God to put His word to work in you?  (see 1 Thessalonians 2:13)
  4. Are all your relationships in good shape, or are you “at odds” with anyone?  According to Jesus, how does a broken relationship with someone affect your relationship with God?  (see Matthew 5:21-26)
  5. Why should God receive glory instead of us?  How could you “bless the Lord” today?  (see Psalm 115:1, 18)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Sunday – Easter Wk3

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. We would also love to have you join us for worship this week! Click here to discover our location & service times! You can reap the most benefit from this journey by joining a small group and by inviting others to join us!

Our Scripture readings for Sunday of Week 3 of the Easter season can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. Why were the disciples startled and terrified?  How did Jesus prove to the disciples that He was really alive?  Can you think of any predictions of the Old Testament that Jesus fulfilled?  Consider asking Jesus to open your mind to understand the Scripture.  Have you repented of your sins?  Have you received Christ’s forgiveness for your sins?  (see Luke 24:36-48)
  2. By whose power was the crippled man able to walk?  How did Jesus receive glory?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/8767316@N08/3003000577/
    “Why do you wonder at this…as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk?”

    Why did the people have Jesus crucified and a murderer released?  How powerful is faith in Jesus?  What do you need to do if you want your sins wiped out? (see Acts 3:12-19)

  3. What answer are you seeking from God?  Why would someone “love vain words and seek after lies?”  Are you faithful?  What do you do when you are feeling disturbed? What sacrifices are “right”?  How has the Lord brought you gladness?  Does trust in the Lord help you sleep in peace?  (see Psalm 4)
  4. What does it mean to you to be a child of God?  What will it be like to “be like him” when we “see him as he is”?  Do you have hope that you will see him?  Are you purifying yourself in preparation for that day?  What does John mean when he says that “sin is lawlessness”?  Has Jesus taken away your sins?  Are you abiding in him?  (see 1 John 3:1-7)
  5. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Friday – Lent Wk6

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. We would also love to have you join us for worship this week! Click here to discover our location & service times! You can reap the most benefit from this journey by joining a small group and by inviting others to join us!

Our Scripture readings for Friday of Week 6 of Lent, Good Friday, can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. What reasons do you have to glorify the Lord?  Have you ever felt despised?  What does it mean to you to know that the Lord does not despise or abhor you or hide his face from you?  (see Psalm 22:23-24)
  2. What or who gives you hope?  What does the Lord’s steadfast love mean to you?  What does it mean to you to know that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning?  What does it mean to say that the Lord’s faithfulness is great?  (see Lamentations 3:19, 21-23, 31)"new every morning"
  3. What futile ways have you been tempted to follow?  How do some try to “ransom” themselves with perishable things?  How is Christ like a lamb without defect or blemish?  (see 1 Peter 1:18-19)
  4. Are you willing to follow Jesus?  What did that mean for Peter?  In your opinion, why did Peter deny Jesus?  (see John 13:36-38)
  5. Do you wait patiently for the Lord?  Why or why not?  Is it okay to want God to help you quickly, without delay?  How has God helped you or delivered you?  (see Psalm 40:1, 13, 17)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) –Thursday – Lent Wk4

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. We would also love to have you join us for worship this week! Click here to discover our location & service times! You can reap the most benefit from this journey by joining a small group and by inviting others to join us!

Our Scripture readings for Thursday of Week 4 of Lent can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. How do you most often praise God?  How do you seek God?  (see Psalm 69:30-32, 35)
  2. Why is it significant that the new king of Egypt didn’t know Joseph?  What was the outcome of that “ignorance?”  (see Exodus 1:8, 22)
  3. How is the church like a body, according to Paul?  How is it possible for people from many different backgrounds to become “one body”?  (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
  4. Who do you say Jesus is?  Why does Peter rebuke Jesus?  Why does Jesus rebuke Peter?  Are you following Jesus?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/21314760@N00/566255156/
    “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”- Jesus (Mark 8:34)

    What does it mean to take up your cross?  Are you willing to lose your life for the sake of Jesus?  (see Mark 8:27-9:1)

  5. Do you desire God most of all?  If you could only have one thing/person, what or who would it be?  If God is the One who will be there for you when everything else fails, what should your response be to Him?  (see Psalm 73:25-26)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) –Monday – Lent Wk4

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. We would also love to have you join us for worship this week! Click here to discover our location & service times! You can reap the most benefit from this journey by joining a small group and by inviting others to join us!

Our Scripture readings for Monday of Week 4 of Lent can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. Of what do you sing?  Where do you see the Lord’s love in your life?  How is the Lord’s strength evident in your life?  How has the Lord revealed His faithfulness to you?  (see Psalm 89:1, 13-14)
  2. How has the Lord blessed you?  Has the Lord been a shepherd to you?  If so, how?  How have you seen the blessings of heaven in your life?  (see Genesis 49:22, 24-26)
  3. What does it mean to do everything for the glory of God?  Why should we avoid giving offense to others?  What was Paul’s motivation for his actions?  Are you a Christ-imitator?  (see 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1)
  4. Why do you think Jesus went to the region of Tyre?  Why did Jesus respond to the woman’s request?  Why did Jesus take the deaf man aside in private to heal him? Why didn’t Jesus seek publicity for the healing?  (see Mark 7:24-37)
  5. https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhann/6126192102/in/photostream/
    “Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord.” – Psalm 89:5

    How do the heavens praise the wonders of the Lord?  How can we praise the Lord’s faithfulness when we assemble together?  (see Psalm 89:5-6, 8)

  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

 

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Ashes to Fire (A) – Monday Easter-Week 7

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday.  We would love to have you join us for worship today!  Click here to discover our location & service times!

Our Scripture readings for the Monday of Easter Week 7 can be read here.  Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions.  Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne” – Ethan in Psalm 89:14
Why are righteousness and justice the foundation for leadership? Why does the Psalmist identify “steadfast love and faithfulness” as key qualities of the Lord? Do you walk in the Lord’s presence? (see Psalm 89:14-15)

What does it mean for Ezekiel to say that “the hand of the Lord was upon [him]”? Have you ever sensed the Lord’s hand on you? How did you respond? (see Ezekiel 3:22-24)

Have you ever been tempted to believe that God had overlooked your work and love you showed in serving Him? Why or why not? How does diligence help you “realize the full assurance of hope to the very end”? Do you have the “full assurance of hope” now? If not, how might you receive it? (see Hebrews 6:10-11)

Why did the village not receive Jesus? Why didn’t Jesus follow His disciples’ advice? What hindered people from following Jesus? (How many people do you think Jesus had to call before He got 12 to say, “Yes”?) Is there anything hindering you from following Jesus fully? (see Luke 9:51-62)

Could God consider you a “faithful one”? Why or why not? Do you claim God as your Father? Is God the source of your salvation? Are you able to live out “steadfast love” for God? What does that look like? Are you living in covenant with God? What does that mean? (see Psalm 89:19, 26, 28)

Ashes to Fire (A) – Thursday Easter-Week 4

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. We would also love to have you join us for worship this week! Click here to discover our location & service times!

Our Scripture readings for Thursday of the Easter Season, Week 4, can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

“The mighty one, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.” – Psalm 50:1

How have you heard the Lord speaking to you?  What is implied by the Psalmist’s saying that that God “summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting”?  (see Psalm 50:1-2)

Which of the qualities of God that Moses discovered are most meaningful to you?  Why?  How have you seen these qualities of God in your life?  (see Exodus 34:6-7)

Why is baptism described as a burial?  How does faith raise us from this burial?  Why does Paul say that we were “dead in trespasses”?  What is the impact of having our trespasses forgiven by God?  (see Colossians 2:12-14)

Is there a “log” in your eye?  What kind of fruit is your life producing?  Upon what kind of foundation are you building?  (see Luke 6:39-49)

What or who is the fortress or refuge for your life?  From where does your strength come?  Do you sing praises to God?  If so, why?  (see Psalm 59:16-17)

Ashes to Fire (A) – Monday Easter-Week 4

Thank you for joining us on a spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. We would also love to have you join us for worship this week! Click here to discover our location & service times!

Our Scripture readings for Monday of the Easter Season, Week 4, can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

How have you seen the Lord’s grace in your life?  Have you experienced healing?  How important is integrity to you?  Is having God’s presence in your life important to you? (see Psalm 41:4, 12)

“I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted because of their number.” – Genesis 32:12

Why does Jacob feel that he is unworthy of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness?  Why does God promise to do good to him?  Why does God promise to make his offspring like the sand of the sea? (see Genesis 32:9-10, 12)

Enduring patiently with joy…How does Paul say that is possible?  What kind of power would you have to have to endure suffering while giving thanks to God?  How does knowing that you have an inheritance with the saints help you endure?  (see Colossians 1:11-12)

What was Jesus’ attitude toward the Sabbath?  What was the Pharisees’ attitude toward the Sabbath?  What is your understanding of what Sabbath is meant to be?  If the Sabbath is to be used to do good and to save lives, how could you make that happen on the Christian Sabbath, Sunday?  (see Luke 6:1-11)

What stories have others told you about what God has done in their lives?  Where do you need God’s help in your life today?   (see Psalm 44:1, 26)

Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Easter Wk7 Saturday

Consider the following questions as you meditate on the Bible passages for today (Click here to read today’s Bible passages).

Read Psalm 11:4, 7. Does the fact that the Lord’s “gaze examines humankind” make you affirmed or frightened? Why?

Sunrise Kaho'olawe Hawaii
“For you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.” – Malachi 4:2

Read Malachi 4:2, 5. How does a calf act when released from its stall? What does that picture say to you about the joy God is promising?  How has the “sun of righteousness” brought healing to you?

Read Acts 28:30-31. What would you do if you were placed on house arrest? What does Paul do in that circumstance?

Read John 21:20-25. Do you compare yourself to others? What do Jesus’ words challenge us to do when we are tempted to focus on God’s plan for others? Consider reading one chapter of the Gospel of John each day next week and look in each chapter to see if you can find one or both of the purposes (listed in today’s passage) John says are behind his writing of the Gospel.

Meditate on Psalm 33:1, 21-22. What is a practical application-action which you could build into your life from the Psalmist’s words, “Praise befits the upright”? How does someone who hopes in the Lord live and think?

Photo:  Creative Commons License Justin De La Ornellas via Compfight

Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Easter Wk7 Wednesday

Consider the following questions as you meditate on the Bible passages for today (Click here to read today’s Bible passages).

Read Psalm 68:32, 35.  What does it mean to say that God is “Awesome…in his sanctuary?”  When have you received power and strength from God?

Read Malachi 3:6, 7.  What is your response to the fact that the Lord does not change?  How do you respond to change in your life?  According to this passage, what does it take for God to return to you?

Watching his flock
“Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock…” Acts 20:28

Read Acts 20:27-28.  Are you fulfilling God’s purpose?  How could you help care for the people around you?

Read John 17:11-19.  Why does Jesus want you to be protected from the evil one?  Why does Jesus leave His disciples in the world?  What is your response to the fact that Jesus prayed for the sanctification of His disciples?  Are you willing to let Jesus sanctify you?

Read Psalm 119:129-130, 135.  How can we “unfold” God’s words?  Have you discovered, like the Psalmist did, that God’s “decrees are wonderful?”  Are you willing to learn His statutes?  What will you do to learn them?

Photo:   Christina via Compfight

Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk5 Wednesday

Consider the following questions as you meditate on the Bible passages for today (see the link to the passages below).

Why was David glad to have the opportunity to go to the house of the Lord?  Why would he pray for the peace of Jerusalem?  Read Psalm 122:1, 6-7, 9.

What does God do to save Judah?  Read Zechariah 10:6 and consider what God has done so that you might be saved.

How did God make it clear that He accepted Gentiles as well as Jews?  Have you asked God to give you His Holy Spirit, and to cleanse your heart?  Do you have faith that He will if you ask?  Meditate on Acts 15:8-9.

"I am the Vine"
“He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.” John 15:2

Are you willing to be cleansed by the Word so that you can be more fruitful?  What does it mean to abide in the Vine (Jesus)?  What fruit do you see being produced in your life?  Read John 15:1-8 several times.

What does it mean to say that the Lord’s word is “firmly fixed in heaven?”  What difference does it make to you to know that the Lord’s faithfulness endures to all generations?  Consider what Psalm 119:89-90, 93 tell us about the Lord.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk4 Thursday

Consider the following questions as you meditate on the Bible passages for today (see the link to the passages below.)

Why should we declare the Lord’s faithfulness to our generation? …or to the last generation?  …or to the next generation?  What does the Psalmist mean by saying that the Lord’s “steadfast love is established forever?”  Meditate on Psalm 89:1-2.

Thank you to W.J. Bill Harrison
“There shall be a sowing of peace; the vine shall yield its fruit…” – Zechariah 8:12

What does the phrase “a sowing of peace” mean?  Why does God want our “hands [to] be strong?”  Read Zechariah 8:12-13.

What qualities do you think it would take to be a person “after [God’s] heart?”  Are you a person who will carry out all God’s wishes?  What difference would it make to your descendants if you were?  Consider the example of David, who was not perfect, but who, because of his repentant spirit, was forgiven.  Read Acts 13:22-23.

Is it a Judas-betrayal to act as if we are better than our Master, or as if we know better than He does?  What are the implications of accepting Jesus’ messengers?  Meditate on the words of Jesus in John 13:16-20.

If I asked you for a reason to praise the Lord, what reason would you give?  Why do you think the Psalmist says the name of the Lord is to be praised from dawn to dusk?  Read Psalm 113:1-3.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk4 Wednesday

Consider the following questions as you meditate on the Bible passages for today (see the link to the passages below).

Why do we ask God to bless us or be gracious to us?  Why does the Psalmist desire God’s grace and blessings?  How are you using God’s blessings to share God’s saving power among all nations?  Read Psalm 67:1-2, 7.

Would your city be called “the faithful city?”  Why or why not?  What would it take to make it so?  What if you started by choosing to be God’s faithful person?  Meditate on Zechariah 8:3, 8.

Prayer
“Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” – Acts 13:3

How long has it been since you were “worshipping the Lord and fasting?”  How long has it been since the Holy Spirit gave you clear direction for fulfilling His mission?  Are you praying for the Lord’s guidance?  Is it possible that worship and fasting help our “spiritual ears” be more aware of God’s voice?  Read Acts 13:1-3 and consider what might help you tune in to God’s message.  (Then do it!)

According to Jesus’ words in John 12:44-50 how closely connected are He and the Father?  How important are Jesus’ words?  Why are they that important?  Meditate on John 12:44-50.

How valuable is your life?  How valuable is your soul?  Who would pay that price to save you?  Consider your answers as you read Psalm 49:7-8, 15.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk4 Tuesday

Consider the following questions as you meditate on the Bible passages for today (see the link to the passages below).

Why did the Psalmist say that God loved the “gates of Zion?”  Why is Jerusalem called the “city of God?”  What does this say about God’s love for humanity and His desire to have a relationship with us?  Read Psalm 87:1-2.

Why is fairness in your decisions important?  Why do you want to be treated with kindness and mercy?  Are you oppressing widows, orphans, aliens, the poor or anyone?  Are you planning evil toward anyone?  If so, what changes do you need to make?  Consider the implications of Zechariah 7:9-10.

Where do you see the grace of God around you?  Whom are you exhorting to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion?  Are you full of the Holy Spirit and faith?  Who is one person you could bring to the Lord?  (Start first by bringing them to the Lord in prayer!)  Read Acts 11:23-24.

Why does the good shepherd lay down his life for his sheep?  Why does the hired hand run away when threatened?  Are you listening to the Good Shepherd’s voice?  Meditate on the words of John 10:11-18.

the journey home
“Your name, O God, like your praise, reaches to the ends of the earth.” – Psalm 48:10

What has God’s steadfast love meant to you?  How could you help God’s name reach the ends of the earth?  How do you respond to knowing that God’s right hand is filled with victory?  How will you praise God today?  Ponder the words of Psalm 48:9-10, and 48:1.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk3 Friday

Consider the following questions as you meditate on the Bible passages for today (see the link to the passages below).

Why should nations & peoples praise the Lord?  How have you seen the Lord’s steadfast love and faithfulness in your life?  Worship the Lord as you read Psalm 117.

Have you ever tried to count all the things that the Lord has done for you?  Have you ever told your family members the things that the Lord has done for you?  Consider writing down some of the significant ways the Lord has blessed you.  Read Isaiah 63:7.

How do you explain Saul/Paul’s rapid transformation:  from persecuting the followers of Jesus to proclaiming Jesus as the Son of God?  Have you seen a change in the direction of your life?  Think about the implications of Acts 9:19-20.

“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.” Jesus in John 6:56

What does Jesus mean by telling his listeners to “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood?”  Was Jesus advocating cannibalism?  If not, what did He mean?  Is there any connection with His later institution of the Last Supper?  What does it mean to have Jesus live within us?  Meditate on John 6:52-59.

How has God fulfilled His promises to you?  List at least 3 that come to mind that have brought you joy.  Consider offering God praise today through a song or make up your own music to sing Psalm 105:42-43, 45.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk3 Monday

Consider the following questions as you meditate on the Bible passages for today (see the link to the passages below).

What way have you chosen? What do you set before you? To what do you cling? What path are you running? Meditate on these questions as you read Psalm 119:30-32.

Why should you seek the Lord today? Is there anything you need to forsake? What are the implications of Isaiah’s promise that God will “abundantly pardon” those who return to Him? Read Isaiah 55:6-7.

Stoning of the ProtomartyrWhat was the source of the grace and power that Stephen shared? What do you think Stephen looked like when he was addressing the council? Read Acts 6:8-10, 15 and consider praying for grace and power sufficient to fulfill God’s purpose for you.

To what lengths do you go to seek Jesus? Are you seeking Jesus or what He can give you? For what kind of food are you working? Have you believed in the One whom God has sent? Meditate on John 6:22-29.

What is a “wonderful deed” that the Lord has done for you? With whom could you share what He did for you? Read Psalm 9:1-2.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Ashes to Fire – Lent Wk5 Friday

Consider the following questions as you meditate on the Bible passages for today (see the link to the passages below).

Why do you call upon the Lord?  Are you facing distress today?  What does the Psalmist testify is the Lord’s response when we call upon Him?  Read Psalm 18:3, 6.

Durham Church HDR
“Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
Let your good spirit lead me
on a level path.” – Psalm 143:10

What is the difference between a test and a temptation?  How has the Lord delivered you?  Consider the words of Jeremiah 20:12-13.

How does your faith strengthen and help you?  How do the stories of the heroes of faith affect your faith?  Meditate on the words of Hebrews 11:32-34.

Consider the implications of Jesus’ words, “I am God’s Son.”  Many of the Jews of Jesus’ day refused to believe Jesus’ claim.  What is your response?  Think about what Jesus said in John 10:31-42.

Do you know what God’s will is for you?  Consider praying the Psalmist’s prayer found in Psalm 143:9-10.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Ashes to Fire – Lent Wk5 Wednesday

Consider the following questions as you meditate on the Bible passages for today (see the link to the passages below).

Walking Out From Gimli
“Blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation” – Psalm 18:46

What does it mean for the Psalmist David to say that the Lord is his rock?  Why did David extol the Lord?  Has the Lord been your rock?  Will you extol Him?  Meditate on Psalm 18:46, 48-49.

What were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego willing to do to remain faithful to the Lord?  What were they not willing to do?  What was Nebuchadnezzar’s response to their faith and God’s miraculous response?  Read Daniel 3:28 (and all of Chapter 3 if you have time!).

Why is faith important?  Are you living out your faith in God?  What are you doing to “diligently seek Him?”  Read Hebrews 11:6.

What are the implications of Jesus’ words: “everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin”?  What are the implications of Jesus’ words: “if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”  Are you a slave to sin or are you free?  Do you have faith that Jesus could actually set you free from sin?  Pray about Jesus’ words found in John 8:31-42.

Do you fear (reverence) the Lord and walk in His ways?  What is promised to those who do?  Consider the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 128:1-2, 4.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Ashes to Fire – Lent Wk4 Wednesday

Consider the following questions as you meditate on the Bible passages for today (see the link to the passages below).

When have you experienced the grace, mercy, compassion and patience of God?  (Is it possible that some folk aren’t aware of these qualities of God because they are so common they are like the air surrounding us?) Read Psalm 145:8-9, 20.

The Morning BellsHave you ever experienced a setting in which it seemed that the very heavens and earth were celebrating?  Is it possible for a mother to forget her child?  What does this passage tell us about the possibility of God’s forgetting us?  Meditate on Isaiah 49:13, 15-16.

What does it mean to “contend for the faith?”  Consider Jude 1:3.

Do you have eternal life? (John 5:24)  Which resurrection will you experience? Whose will (or purposes) are you pursuing?  See John 5:17-30.

Is it important to you to know that God is faithful and righteous?  Why?  Does it help you to know that God’s promise is “well tried?”  Why?  Meditate on Psalm 119:137-138, 140

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Ashes to Fire – Lent Wk3 Friday

Consider the following questions as you meditate on the Bible passages for today (see the link to the passages below).

ListenHow well do you listen?  How well do you listen to God?  Are you walking in His ways?  Think about the Psalmist’s words recorded in Psalm 81:8, 13.

Why did Israel “stumble?”  How can we make sure we are walking in the ways of the Lord?  Meditate on Hosea 14:1, 9.

About what are you tempted to boast?  What does it mean to say that the “world has been crucified to me, and I to the world?”  Can you say that?  Pray about Galatians 6:14.

Do you love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?  What does this mean in practical terms?  What does “loving your neighbor” look like?  Ask God to deepen your understanding of Mark 12:28-34.

How often do you give thanks to the Lord and sing praises to the name of the Most High?  Do you declare his steadfast love and faithfulness daily?  Listen to the Psalmist’s heart in Psalm 92:1-2, 4.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Ashes to Fire – Lent Wk3 Thursday

Consider the following questions as you meditate on the Bible passages for today (see the link to the passages below).

What does it mean to “harden your hearts?”  How can we avoid a hard heart?  Read Psalm 95:6-8.

Direct Rice Seeding
“if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life” – Galatians 6:8b

Why does God call us to walk a certain way?  Find the answer in Jeremiah 7:23-24.

What does it mean to “sow to the Spirit?”  How can we avoid growing weary in doing good?  Think about Galatians 6:8-9.

What is implied by the fact that Jesus was able to cast out demons?  Read and consider Luke 11:14-23.

In what area do you need the Lord’s protection?  What are the practical implications in your life of the fact that the Lord is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness?”  Meditate on Psalm 86:14-15.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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