Ashes to Fire (Year B) – Pentecost Sunday

Thank you for joining us on this spiritual journey from “Ashes to Fire,” from Ash Wednesday to today, 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!  If you have benefited from this journey, we would love to hear from you.  Feel free to post in the comments below!  Feel free to explore the resources on our site, and continue to grow spiritually every day!

Our Scripture readings for Pentecost Sunday 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. Who is the Advocate of whom Jesus spoke?  About what were Jesus’ disciples to witness?  What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives?  …in our world?  (see John 15:26-27; 16:4-15)IMG_6348
  2. Why was there wind and fire on the Day of Pentecost?  How many different native languages were represented in the audience on the Day of Pentecost?  How did they each hear the apostles speaking their own language?  About what did they speak?  Have you asked God to pour out His Spirit on you?  (see Acts 2:1-21)
  3. What works of the Lord create wonder in you?  How has the Lord provided for you?  Are your meditations pleasing to God?  (see Psalm 104:24-34)
  4. In what way(s) do you see the need for the redemption of our bodies?   For what do you hope?  How does the Holy Spirit help you in your weakness?  What does it mean to you to hear that the Holy Spirit prays for you?  (see Romans 8:22-27)
  5. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Sunday – 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 Sunday 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. Are you keeping (obeying) God’s word?  Do you believe that God sent Jesus?  What does it mean for us to be one with fellow believers as Jesus and the Father are one?  Has Jesus’ joy been made complete in you?  Do you belong to the world or to Jesus?  Do you believe God can protect you from the evil one?  Have you been sanctified?  (see John 17:6-19)
  2. How was David able to predict the betrayal of the Messiah years before it happened?  How does evidence of the fulfillment of prophecy affect your faith?  (see Acts 1:15-17)
  3. Are you happy?  Do you delight in the law of the Lord?  Do you incorporate meditation on God’s word into your life?  Is your life fruitful?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/60892750@N00/6248877139/
    “They are like trees
    planted by streams of water,
    which yield their fruit in its season,
    and their leaves do not wither.” – Psalm 1:3

    What does it truly mean to prosper?  Which path have you chosen?  (see Psalm 1)

  4. Do you believe the testimony of God concerning his Son?  Do you have life?  Do you believe in the name of the Son of God? (see 1 John 5:9-13)
  5. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Sunday – Easter 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 Sunday of Week 6 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. Do you keep Jesus commands?  What does Jesus promise if you do?  What is Jesus’ example of the greatest love?  How can you demonstrate your friendship with Jesus?  Are you bearing lasting fruit?  (see John 15:9-17)
  2. Why were the Jewish believers astonished that the Holy Spirit had been given to the Gentiles?  Has the Holy Spirit been poured out on you?  (see Acts 10:44-48)
  3. If you wrote a new song to praise God, what is a general idea of what it would say?  Have you witnessed God’s victory in your life?  If so, how?  Do you make a joyful noise to the Lord?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/25356245@N04/5107029349/
    “let the hills sing together for joy
    at the presence of the Lord” – Psalm 98:8-9

    How does the world around you offer praise to God?  (see Psalm 98)

  4. Is John saying that if you love God, you will love His family, the church?  Why or why not?  (Expanded Study question:  What is Jesus’ attitude toward the church?)  Who will win the victory, God’s children or the world?  How do you know?  (see 1 John 5:1-6)
  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) -Sunday – 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 Sunday 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 the Lord pruning you?  Have you chosen to abide in Jesus?  What does that mean?  Are you bearing fruit for Jesus?  https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeanetteb1/3459522414/in/photostream/What happens to those who choose not to abide in Jesus?  Are you bringing glory to the Father?  (see John 15:1-8)
  2. How did Philip know to go talk to the Ethiopian?  Why does Philip tell him about Jesus?  Have you told anyone about Jesus?  Are you willing to be led by the Spirit to reach those who need to hear about Jesus?  (see Acts 8:26-40)
  3. Do you share your praise for God with a congregation of others?  Are you fulfilling any promises you have made to God?  Have you chosen to live for God?  What role will you have in telling the next generation about how God has brought deliverance?  (see Psalm 22:25-31)
  4. Why should we love one another?  How do we see God’s love revealed?  How do we know that God is living in us?  Why are love and fear mutually exclusive?  Why is it impossible to love God and hate one’s brothers or sisters at the same time? (see 1 John 4:7-21)
  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) -Sunday – 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 Sunday 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. What makes Jesus good as a shepherd?  Do you listen to Jesus’ voice?  What is the significance of Jesus’ saying that no one takes His life from Him, but rather He lays it down of His own accord?  (see John 10:11-18)
  2. Why was the high-priestly family questioning Peter and John?  How was it possible for the crippled beggar to be healed?  Why were the Jewish leaders upset?  What do you learn from this event?  (see Acts 4:5-12)
  3. What does it mean for the Lord to be your shepherd?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/waitingfortheword/5698079783/in/photostream/
    “He makes me lie down in green pastures;
    he leads me beside still waters” – Psalm 23:2

    What green pastures has He offered you?  How does the Lord restore your soul?  How does the Lord comfort you in dark valleys?  How have you seen God’s goodness and mercy in your life?  (see Psalm 23)

  4. What is the best picture of what God’s love is?  How should we respond to that kind of divine love?  What does it mean to love not just in word, but in truth and action?  Do you believe in Jesus?  What does it mean to obey the command to “love one another?”  (see 1 John 3:16-24)
  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) -Saturday – Easter Wk2

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 2 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 has the Lord helped you?  How has the Lord answered you?  In what or whom do you take pride?  (see Psalm 20:6-7)
  2. https://www.flickr.com/photos/35409814@N00/3356399744/Why did the Lord ask Moses to take his staff with him?  Why did the Lord ask Moses to strike the rock?  What has God asked you to do with what you have?  (see Exodus 17:5-6)
  3. Does God share His word through public speakers?  How can we serve with God’s strength?  Is God glorified in all things in your life?  Will Jesus Christ receive glory though your life?  If so, how?   (see 1 Peter 4:11)
  4. Why was Jesus going to be leaving His disciples?  Did the disciples’ pain turn to joy?  When?  What does it mean to ask in Jesus’ name?  Is your joy complete?  How can we know for sure that the Father loves us?  Do you have peace in Jesus?  What persecution have you experienced for the sake of Christ?  (see John 16:16-33)
  5. Are you confident that the Lord hears your voice and your supplications?  Have you decided to call on the Lord as long as you live?  (see Psalm 116:1-2, 5)
  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) -Friday – Easter Wk2

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 2 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. If you could schedule an appointment to sit down and talk to God, what would you say to Him?  (You can do this, you know!  A daily devotional time is a personal appointment with God!)  How have you seen the Lord’s protection in your life?  (see Psalm 17:6, 8, 15)
  2. Why did they keep a sample of the manna?  Do you think you would have liked the taste?  (see Exodus 16:31-32)
  3. What does it mean to sanctify Christ as Lord in your heart?  Are you ready to answer anyone who asks you why you have hope?  (see 1 Peter 3:15)
  4. Why did Jesus warn His disciples about opposition?  Why were the disciples sorrowful?  Why did Jesus say it was better for Him to leave?  Is the world wrong in its understanding of sin, righteousness and judgment?  If so, how?  Have you asked the Holy Spirit to guide you into all the truth?  (see John 16:1-15)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/23797059@N02/3461089982/
    “Lift up your hands to the holy place,
    and bless the Lord.” – Psalm 134:2
  5. Do you bless the Lord?  Do you lift up your hands to praise the Lord?  Why or why not?  (see Psalm 134:1-2)
  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 Wk2

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 2 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 do you think some of David’s favorite descriptions for God are “Rock,” “Fortress,” “Deliverer”?  What are your favorite words to use to describe God?  (see Psalm 18:2-3)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/60482402@N00/382892451/
    “The Lord is my rock, my fortress” – David in Psalm 18:2
  2. Why did the Lord give the Israelites manna to eat?  What does this tell you about God?  (see Exodus 16:14-15)
  3. How can we inherit a blessing?  Which of the qualities that Peter lists is the easiest for you?  Which is the hardest to live out?  Why? (see 1 Peter 3:8, 9)
  4. How did Jesus show His love for you?  How can you show that kind of love to others?  Does the world hate you?  Why or why not?  Why does identifying certain behaviors as sinful often prompt a response of hatred?  What is your testimony about Jesus?  (see John 15:12-27)
  5. What do you think it meant to David to talk about God as “a rock?”  How has God offered you strength?  (see Psalm 18:31-32, 50)
  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) -Wednesday – Easter Wk2

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 Wednesday of Week 2 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 the Psalmist’s life dependent upon the Lord’s bounty?  In what way is your life dependent upon the Lord’s bounty?  Consider praying for insight into God’s law as you read His Word today. (see Psalm 119:17-18)
  2. How were the people of Israel able to avoid the diseases that the Egyptians suffered?  Have you experienced healing from the Lord?  (see Exodus 15:26)
  3. What does it mean to return to the shepherd and guardian of your soul?  Have you done so?   How can you be free from sins?  Once freed from sins, how are we to live?  (see 1 Peter 2:24-25)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/79834099@N00/3560449190/
    “Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” – Jesus in John 15:4b
  4. Is there anything in your life that hinders your ability to bear fruit for God?  What areas of your life need to be pruned?  What are you doing to abide in Christ daily?  Are you abiding in His love?  Are you being disobedient to God in any area of your life?  If so, what should you do?  Are you living with divine joy?  (see John 15:1-11)
  5. What answer do you need from God?  Are you trusting in His steadfast love even as you wait for the answer?  (see Psalm 13:3, 5)
  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 Wk2

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 2 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. When do you talk to the Lord?  Do you take refuge in the Lord?  How have you seen the Lord bless and cover the righteous?  (see Psalm 5:3, 8, 11-12)

    "O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch." - Psalm 5:3
    “O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.” – Psalm 5:3
  2. Why do you sing to the Lord, if you do?  If God is “majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, doing wonders,” is He worthy of songs of praise?   What examples have you seen of the Lord leading people in His steadfast love?  (see Exodus 15:1, 4, 11, 13)
  3. What does it mean to prepare your mind for action?  Are you self-disciplined?  Upon what is your hope set?  What does it mean to be holy “in all your conduct”?  (see 1 Peter 1:13, 15)
  4. How have you seen Jesus reveal Himself to you (He has promised to do so to those who love Him and keep His commandments)?  Is your life a “home” for Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit?  What is the Holy Spirit teaching you these days?  Is your heart troubled, fearful, or at peace?  (see John 14:18-31)
  5. Does knowing that the Lord’s eyes see us bring you comfort or fear?  Why?  Do you want to see His face?  Why or why not? (see Psalm 11:4, 7)
  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 Wk2

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 2 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 has God made the nations the heritage of His Son?  How have the ends of the earth become the possession of Christ?  (see Psalm 2:7-8)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/35468158048@N01/4217038025/
    “I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.” – Psalm 2:8
  2. Why was the crossing of the sea such a pivotal moment for the Hebrew nation?  (see Exodus 14:21-22, 30-31)
  3. How is new birth possible?  Have you received this new birth?  How does Peter describe the inheritance that is waiting in heaven for you?  (see 1 Peter 1:3-4)
  4. What is the way to heaven?  How do we know what God the Father is like?  Have you invited the Spirit of Jesus to live in you?  (see John 14:1-17)
  5. What is the significance of saying that God is your shield?  What does it mean to be “upright in heart”?  Are you upright in heart?  What thanksgiving do you owe to the Lord?  (see Psalm 7:10, 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) -Sunday – Easter Wk2

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 2 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 did the resurrected Jesus say, “Peace be with you,” twice to His assembled disciples?  Why did He show them His hands and His side?
    "...he showed them his hands" - John 20:20
    “…he showed them his hands” – John 20:20

    What does it mean for Jesus to send His disciples as His Father had sent Him?  What does that mean for you?  How are you and Thomas alike?  How are you different?  Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God?  (see John 20:19-31)

  2. What was the basis of the unity the early Christians enjoyed?  Why did their testimony about Jesus have great power?  How did the early church care for the needs of its members?  (see Acts 4:32-35)
  3. Is it possible for a family to “live together in unity”?  If so, how?  How is family unity like the anointing oil at the ordination of Aaron?  (see Psalm 133)
  4. How important is the testimony of an eyewitness, of multiple eyewitnesses?  What is your response to the witness of the disciples?  What are the implications of saying that “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all”?  Have you confessed your sins to God?  What has He promised to do in response?  Do you believe John’s implication in 2:1 that it is possible NOT to sin?  Have you asked Christ’s atonement to be applied to your sins?  (see 1 John 1:1-2:2)
  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) – Easter Sunday

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 Easter Sunday 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 was it so hard for the disciples to believe that Jesus had been resurrected? 20130330-184520.jpg How would you have responded if you had been there?  Why didn’t Mary Magdalene recognize Jesus?  Is it possible that we have missed seeing Jesus show up in unexpected times and places?  (see John 20:1-18)
  2. Have you received forgiveness of your sins through believing in Jesus?  How important is it to you to know that there were eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus?  (see Acts 10:34-43)
  3. How do you know that God’s “steadfast love endures forever”?  Why is it appropriate to “sing glad songs of victory” today?  Why does the Psalmist say that “the stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone”?  Why did the Lord make this day?  (see Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24)
  4. What message is of “first importance” to Paul?  What difference does it make that Jesus appeared after His resurrection to more than 500 people at once?  Why did Paul work hard to proclaim this message?  (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-11)
  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) –Sunday – Lent 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 Sunday of Week 5 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. Why did the Greeks want to see Jesus?  How did Philip arrange the meeting?  Whom do you know who needs to see Jesus for who He is?  How could you help them become friends with Jesus?  Why did Jesus not ask to be delivered from death? (see John 12:20-33)
  2. How was the new covenant different?  What does it mean for God’s law to be written on our hearts?  (see Jeremiah 31:31-34)
  3. Do you believe that David’s confession and request for forgiveness was genuine?  Why?  Have you offered God a genuine confession of your sins?  What does it mean to “desire truth in the inward being”?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/41152621@N02/11474010354/
    “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” – David (Psalm 51:7b)

    Why does David compare purity to the whiteness of snow?  Are you confident that God has blotted out all your iniquities?  Has God given you a clean heart and a new & right spirit?  (see Psalm 51:1-12)

  4. What does it imply to say that Christ was appointed a high priest forever?  What does it imply to say that Christ is the Son of God?  If Christ is the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him, what should your response be to Him?  (see Hebrews 5:5-10)
  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) –Sunday – 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 Sunday 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. Why do you think John 3:16 has become probably the most famous scripture verse ever?  Why did God send his Son into the world?  What are the implications of believing in Jesus?…of not believing in Jesus?  What does it mean to love “light” rather than “darkness?”  (see John 3:14-21)
  2. https://www.flickr.com/photos/35409814@N00/13712831275/Why did the Israelites complain?  How did the people react to the plague of serpents?  What did Moses do?  Why did Moses make a bronze serpent? (see Numbers 21:4-9)
  3. For what do you give thanks to the Lord?  Why might it be important for the redeemed to “say so?”  Does sin bring affliction?  Have you seen the Lord save you from distress?  (see Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22)
  4. How can someone who is dead in their sins be made alive?  What does it mean to say that salvation is a gift by grace through faith?  What good works has God prepared for you to do?  (see Ephesians 2:1-10)
  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) – Sunday – Lent 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 today! 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 2 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. Why did Jesus run the moneychangers and the sellers of animals out of the Temple?  (cf. Matthew 21:13, Mark 11:17, Luke 19:46)  What did Jesus mean by the words, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up?”  (see John 2:13-22)
  2. Why did the Lord give His people these 10 “words” or commandments?  Which commandments are focused on our relationship with God Himself?  Which commandments are focused on our relationships with others?  Which of the 10 is the hardest for you to follow?  Why?  (see Exodus 20:1-17)
  3. How do the heavens tell the glory of God, when they can’t even speak?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/35034347350@N01/327198587/
    “The heavens are telling the glory of God;
    and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.” – David, Psalm 19:1

    What characteristics of God’s law & truth does David highlight in Psalm 19?  Are the words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart acceptable to the Lord?  (see Psalm 19)

  4. Why does the message of the cross seem like foolishness to some?  Was Paul anti-intellectual?  What kind of wisdom was Paul seeking?  Why was the message of Christ crucified a stumbling block to the Jews?  How does God’s “foolishness” rank on the scale of human wisdom?  How does God’s “weakness” rank on the scale of human strength? (See 1 Corinthians 1:18-25)
  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 (A) – Sunday-Easter-Week 2

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 Sunday of Easter Week 2 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.

“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” – John 20:25

Why did Thomas say he needed to touch to believe?  Why then did he only need to see to believe?  Is it possible for you to believe without having to touch or see?  What could you do today to strengthen your faith in Jesus?  (see John 20:19-31)

Why did God’s plan involve Jesus’ crucifixion?  Why was it impossible for Jesus to be held in death’s power?  What difference does it make that Jesus’ resurrection was prophesied in advance?  (see Acts 2:14, 22-32)

What does it mean to say that the Lord is your chosen portion?  What is David’s reason for gladness and rejoicing in verses 9-11 of Psalm 16?  Are you willing to follow the path of life that God is showing you?

What kind of inheritance is God preparing for you?  Why do we have to suffer various kinds of trials here on earth?  How is it possible for us to love Christ and believe in Him, even when we haven’t physically seen Him?  How were Peter’s readers able to do so?  (see 1 Peter 1:3-9).

Ashes to Fire (A) – Thursday-Easter-Week1

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 this week! Click here to discover our location & service times!

Our Scripture readings for the Thursday of Easter Week 1, 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.

“Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!” -Psalm 148:1

Has the Lord set you free?  How has He opened your eyes?  How has the Lord lifted you up?  Do you accept the Lord’s love for you?  (see Psalm 146:7-8, 10)

The proof to be offered that God is Lord is resurrection!  How is resurrection possible, according to Ezekiel 37:13-14?

How can we have our sins wiped out?  How can we be refreshed by the Lord?  (see Acts 3:13, 19-20)

How has Jesus shown us the greatest love?  How can we show love to one another?  What is the significance of Jesus’ calling us friends?  Why will we be hated and persecuted by the world?  (see John 15:12-27)

How can you join in the praise being offered to the Lord by angels?  (Psalm 148:1-2, 13)

Ashes to Fire (A) – Wednesday-Easter-Week1

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 this week! Click here to discover our location & service times!

Our Scripture readings for the Wednesday of Easter Week 1, 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 heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.” – Psalm 97:6

Where do you see God’s glory displayed?  What do the heavens declare to you about God?  Why do the upright in heart experience joy?  (see Psalm 97:1, 6, 11)

Why does Micah choose to look to the Lord?  Do you choose to look to the Lord?  How?  (see Micah 7:7, 9)

What do you have to offer those who are hurting around you?  Will you?  What could you do today to help someone in need?  What does God have to offer to those in need?  What will you allow God to do through you?  (see Acts 3:6-8)

What unfruitful branches are there in your life?  Are you willing to let the Father remove them?  What fruitful branches in your life need pruning?  Are you bearing fruit for Jesus?  What does it mean to “abide” in Jesus?  (see John 15:1-11)

Are you willing for all glory to go to the Lord and not to you?  What does it mean to you to hear that “the Lord has been mindful of us”?  How have you been blessed by the Lord?  (see Psalm 115:1, 12-13)

Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Pentecost Sunday

Please join us at church today to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! For directions see our home page.

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

Read John 14:8-17, 25-27.  When have you seen the Father at work in your life?  How do we know what God the Father is like?  Are you doing the works of Jesus?  What does it mean to ask in Jesus’ name?

Pentecost_HolySpirit Desends-2Read Acts 2:1-21.  How many different languages did the crowd hear the disciples speaking?  Why do you think God wanted the diverse crowd gathered for the Jewish feast of Pentecost to hear the good news in their native languages?

Meditate on Psalm 104:24-34.  What have you seen in nature recently that has displayed the Lord’s wisdom and greatness?  When have you seen God supply what is needed for His creatures?  What is your response to the Lord’s greatness?

Read Romans 8:14-17.  Are you being led by the Spirit of God?  Are you a slave to fear?  What does it mean to you be be adopted by God the Father?  Have you sensed God’s Spirit confirming to you that you are a child of God?  Why are glory and suffering connected?

Thank you for joining us on the journey from “Ashes to Fire” this Spring (from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday).  We’d love for you to leave a comment below or send us an e-mail at office@jaxnaz.org if this devotional resource was a help or blessing to you.  We hope that you have established a habit of and hunger for reading God’s Word on a daily basis.  Don’t give up the journey!  See you at Faith Church!

Photo:  Beacon Hill Press

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?

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Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Easter Wk7 Friday

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

In Heaven
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him.” – Psalm 103:11

Read Psalm 103:11-13.  How high are the heavens?  How far is the east from the west?  Why does the Psalmist use these distances to describe God’s love and forgiveness?  In what ways is God like the best father you know?  In what ways is God better than the best father you know?

Read Malachi 3:17.  What does it mean to you to know that you belong to the Lord?  How has the Father spared you?

Read Acts 26:19-20.  Have you obeyed God’s vision for you?  Have you repented and turned to God?  Are your actions consistent with a repentant attitude?

Read John 21:15-19.  Do you love Jesus?  What “sheep” has He placed in your care?  What steps do you need to take today to follow Him?

Read Psalm 102:12-13, 16.  What is implied when the Psalmist says that the Lord is enthroned forever?  When have you experienced the Lord arising to offer you compassion?  Have you ever seen the Lord’s glory?

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Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Easter Wk7 Thursday

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

Footsteps
“You show me the path of life.” – Psalm 16:11

Read Psalm 16:9-11.  Are you confident that you are following the “path of life?”  Are you living in God’s presence?

Read Malachi 3:10.  Have you experienced the blessings that result when you are obedient to God’s call to “bring the full tithe into the storehouse?”

Read Acts 23:11.  How has God encouraged you?  What mission does God have in store for you?

Read John 17:20-26.  Who has believed in Jesus through your testimony?  Are you living in unity with other believers?  Have you asked God to let His love live in you?

Read Psalm 105:1, 3-4.  Do you call on the name of the Lord?  Do you tell people what the Lord has done for you?  Does your heart seek the Lord continually?

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Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Easter Wk7 Tuesday

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

Read Psalm 68:19-20.  How has the Lord borne you up?  How has the Lord borne your burdens?  How has God provided for us an “escape from death?”

melting furnace for (0.1-200KG) metal me lting
“For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap” – Malachi 3:2

Read Malachi 3:2-3.  Are you willing to ask the Lord to refine you until you may stand in God’s presence in righteousness?  What areas of your life need to be purified?

Read Acts 20:24.  Why was Paul willing to give his life in order “to testify to the good news of God’s grace?”  To what are you willing to give your life?

Read John 17:1-11.  Do you know God and His Son, Jesus Christ?  Have you accepted His words?  What does it mean to you to know that Jesus prays for you?  What work has God given you to do?

Read Psalm 95:1, 6-7.  What song would you use to offer worship to God today?  Does your body posture (such as bowing down, kneeling, sitting, standing, etc.) help you worship God?  What does it mean to be “the sheep of his hand?”

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Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Easter Wk7 Monday

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

Read Psalm 68:1, 3-4.  Are you joyful?  Consider expressing your joy today by singing “praises to his name.”  What song expresses your joy to the Lord?

The Long Road Home
“For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations” – Malachi 1:11

Read Malachi 1;11.  What is your reaction to the fact that God’s name is great among the nations around the world, from the rising of the sun to its setting?  What does it mean to you to say that God’s name is great?

Read Acts 19:2, 6.  The believers in Ephesus had not received the blessing for which they had not asked.  Have you asked to receive the Holy Spirit?

Read John 16:29-33.  Do you believe Jesus came from God?  Do you have peace?  What persecution have you had to face?  What is your response to the knowledge that Jesus has conquered the world?

Read Psalm  89:15-16, 18.  Why were those who participated in the Lord’s festivals (“who know the festal shout”) happy?  Is it possible for you to “exult in [God’s] name all day long?”  Think about how you might offer praise to God all day long (Remember, there is more than one way to offer praise!).

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Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Easter Wk7 Sunday

Please join us at church today to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! For directions see our home page.

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

Read John 17:20-26.  What does it mean to be “one” with other believers?  Is there anything preventing you from being “one” with other believers?  Is Jesus’ love in you?  Are you sharing it?

Read Acts 16:16-34.  Why did Paul disrupt someone’s money-making plan?  Do Paul’s actions reveal anything about the Christian view of the value of a person vs. the importance of making money or were his actions solely in reaction to his annoyance?  Why do you think God allowed Paul & Silas to be put in prison?

pacific morning
“The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!” – Psalm 97:1

Read Psalm 97.  If the Lord is King, what does that say about what our response to Him should be?  Where have you seen the Lord’s glory in the world around you?  Consider taking time right now to offer thanks to the Lord.

Read Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21.  What does it mean to “wash [your] robes” so that you might have the right to the tree of life?  What does it mean to accept Jesus’ offer of the “water of life?”  Are you ready for Jesus to return?

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Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Easter Wk6 Saturday

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

Read Psalm 47:8-9.  What is implied by the Psalmist’s statement, “God is king over the nations?”  What does it imply about God to say “the shields of the earth belong to God?”

Read Zechariah 14:20-21a.  How would you approach life differently if everything around you was “Holy to the Lord,” set apart for God, dedicated to the glory of God?  What if you yourself were “Holy to the Lord?”

Read Acts 18:25, 28.  What is significant to you about Apollos’ ministry?  Why was his ministry effective?  What might that imply about your personal ministry or that of your church?  What are the implications of saying that “the Messiah is Jesus?”

Read John 16:23-28.  What does it mean to ask “in Jesus’ name?”  Do your requests honor Jesus’ name?  For what are you asking the Father?

Mike Rohde's Custom Moleskine Planner
“Teach us to count our days that we might gain a wise heart.” – Psalm 90:12

Meditate on Psalm 90:12, 17.  If you live an average life span, how many days do you have left?  How might numbering those days help you gain a “wise heart?”  Can you ask God to “prosper the work of our hands?”

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Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Easter Wk6 Friday

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

Read Psalm 96:1, 8-9. If you were to sing to the Lord a new song, what would you sing about? What offering could you bring to the Lord? What does it mean to “Worship the Lord in holy splendor?”

Read Zechariah 14:9-11. If “the Lord will become king over all the earth” how should we respond to Him today? What does the promise of Jerusalem’s security mean for you?

Read Acts 18:9-10. Why was Paul told to be not afraid and not to be silent? About what was Paul to speak?

Read John 16:20-23. What do we learn about both pain and joy from Jesus’ words? What does Jesus mean when He uses the illustration contrasting a woman’s labor pains with her joy at childbirth?

Read Psalm 85:7-8. In what ways have you seen the Lord’s steadfast love in your life? Have you asked Him to save you? Are you listening to what the Lord is saying to you? Have you turned to Him in your heart?

Geborgenheit
But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy

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Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Easter Wk6 Thursday

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

Read Psalm 47:1-2, 5-6, 8. Why are we called to clap, shout and sing praises to God? How awesome would God have to be for you to feel comfortable acting this way? How awesome do you think God is? Meditate on and then act on the challenges in Psalm 47:1-2, 5-6, 8.

Johnson's Shut-ins  Missouri Ozarks
“On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem.” – Zechariah 14:8

Read Zechariah 14:4-5, 8. Are you looking for the Lord’s coming? Is there anything you need to do to be ready for His coming? Who are the “holy ones” who will be with Him? What is the significance of “living waters” flowing out from Jerusalem?

Read Acts 18:1, 5. Why was Paul able to focus on proclaiming the Word after Silas and Timothy joined him in Corinth? What was the theme of Paul’s message to the Jews there? How does Paul’s ministry provide guidance for ours?

Read John 16:16-20. Consider the significance of Jesus’ knowing about his return to His Father before it happened. Consider the significance of Jesus’ knowing beforehand that He would come back from the dead and that the disciples’ pain would turn to joy! What hope does this give you for your times of weeping, mourning and pain?

Read Psalm 24:3-5. Is it possible to live with clean hands, a pure heart, true worship and honesty? Could it be possible if God’s Spirit were living in and through us? What is promised to those who live this way?

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk6 Wednesday

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

A Black Hole Overflows (NASA, Chandra, 2/2/09)
“Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!” Psalm 148:1

Carve out some time today to offer God praise. What are the top 3 things for which you would give God praise? Meditate today on the words of Psalm 148:1, 11, 13.

What does God promise to do when you call on His name? Is there any significance in knowing that you are part of God’s people, His family? Are you able to say, “The Lord is my God?” Read Zechariah 13:9.

How has God already blessed you in allowing you to be born and live where you are? How did your surroundings help prepare you to search for God? What evidence have you seen to support the idea that God “is not far from each one of us?” Read Acts 17:24, 26-28.

Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all the truth. Read John 16:12-15 and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand more fully who Jesus is revealed to be in this passage. How does this passage imply we should respond to Jesus’ words?

Take every opportunity you have today to look at the sky, during daylight and night, and consider what the heavens reveal about the One who made them. What does Psalm 8:3-5 tell us about who we are as humans?

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk6 Monday

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

Who or what makes you glad?  What do you think makes God glad?  Read Psalm 149:2, 4.

"On that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David"
“On that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and iniquity.” Zechariah 31:1

Are you praying for the salvation of the Jewish people?  What does Zechariah say God has planned for them?  What is the sin-cleansing fountain that will be opened for the House of David?  Read Zechariah 12:10; and 13:1.

What prompted Lydia’s attentiveness?  What prompted Lydia to be baptized?  What prompted Lydia’s hospitality?  What is prompting you?  Read Acts 16:14-15.

How could you testify about Jesus?  Jesus said “an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God.”  Who would do such a thing?  Why were Jesus’ disciples still willing to testify about Him?  Are you willing?  Think about Jesus’ words in John 15:26-16:4.

Have you ever asked God to forgive “the iniquities of our ancestors?”  Why do we need God’s compassion?  How could God bring glory to His name by delivering & forgiving us?  Meditate on Psalm 79:8-9.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk6 Sunday

Please join us at church today to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! For directions see our home page.

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

Are you willing to let God make His home with you?  How do you know if you truly love God?  Are you experiencing God’s peace in the midst of a troubled world?  Read John 14:23-29.

Easter6_PeaceDoes our city need a “place of prayer?”  Does it have one?  Do you know anyone who is seeking God?  What could you do to help that person find Him?  Read Acts 16:9-15.

How could God bless us so that His saving power might be made known among the nations?  How could we be part of helping “all the ends of the earth [to] revere him?”  Meditate on Psalm 67.

What will be the place of the nations in the New Heavenly Jerusalem?  In what way does God’s heart for the nations show up in His Holy City?  What description of this city is most meaningful to you?  Read Revelation 21:10, 22-27; 22:1-5.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

Photo:  Beacon Hill Press

 

Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk5 Friday

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

"You have been a fortress for me and a refuge in the day of my distress"
“You have been a fortress for me and a refuge in the day of my distress” – Psalm 59:16

David refers to God’s “steadfast love” three times in Psalm 59:9-10, 16-17.  Why might God’s steadfast love be important to David?  Why might God’s steadfast love be important to you? How has God been a fortress for you and a refuge in the day of your distress?

What might cause someone to annul a covenant?  In what ways did God’s people reject Him?  Read Zechariah 11:7, 10, 14.

Have you ever sent someone to encourage believers and to proclaim the Word (If you are part of our church you have!)?  Whom have you encouraged recently?  When have you shared God’s Word with someone?  Read Acts 15:32, 34-35.

How did Jesus show you the greatest kind of love?  What does it mean to be a friend of Jesus, not just a servant?  How do you respond to the revelation that Jesus has chosen you?  Are you willing to produce lasting fruit?  Meditate on John 15:18-21.

Why do you want the Lord to remember you today?  For what are you seeking the Lord’s help?  Read Psalm 106:4-5.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk5 Thursday

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

What words does the Psalmist use to describe the Lord?  What words would you use?  What is the response that the Psalmist calls us to make to the Lord?  Meditate on Psalm 96:6-7, 9.

Word "cloud" based on today's Bible readingsWhat does it mean to be redeemed?  What does it mean to be brought home?  Are you “strong in the Lord?”  Do you “walk in his name?”  Think about the meaning of Zechariah 10:8, 10, 12.

The prophet Amos envisioned the Lord calling His people and the Gentiles to seek Him.  Why was it so hard for the Jewish leaders and even some Church leaders of the 1st Century to be open to God’s global mission?  Read Acts 15:13, 15-17 and consider how you are partnering with God’s global mission today.

How can we abide in Jesus’ love? How can we live with Jesus’ complete joy within?  Meditate on the meaning of Jesus’ words in John 15:9-11.

How has God taught you?  When was the last time you told someone something wonderful that God did for you?  Consider singing a song of joy & praise to God today as you read Psalm 71:17, 21-24.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

Photo:  Scripture Word “cloud” via wordle.net

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 Wk5 Tuesday

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

How have you seen the glory and power of God’s kingdom? What does it mean to you to know that the Lord is near to all who call on him? Meditate on the words of Psalm 145:10-11, 17-18.

051003 storting crown prince's crown
“for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land.” – Zechariah 9:16

What is implied by saying that we are God’s flock? What is implied by saying that God’s people are like “the jewels of a crown?” Read Zechariah 9:16-17.

What could you do to proclaim the good news? What are you doing to make disciples? Have you strengthened someone’s soul this week? Why must we endure persecutions in order to enter the kingdom of God? Consider the implications of Acts 14:21-22.

Are you enjoying the Lord’s peace or is your heart troubled and/or fearful? Why did Jesus let His disciples know ahead of time what was going to happen to Him? Read John 14:27-31.

Are you waiting for God? Who is your rock, your salvation, your fortress? Read Psalm 62:1-2, 12.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk5 Monday

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

Why should we give God glory?  Why should we not try to bring glory to ourselves?  Read Psalm 115:1, 16.

Are you able to rejoice greatly?  Read Zechariah 9:9-10 to see why Zechariah calls Jerusalem to rejoice.  Have you received the peace of the King?

Have you turned from worthless things to the living God?  Do you bring good news to others?  Consider how Paul & Barnabas reacted to the praise of the people of Lystra.  Consider their words recorded in Acts 14:15.

How are we to express our love for God, according to Jesus in John 14:21-26?  Meditate on this passage and consider how much your life expressed your love for God.  Have you allowed the Father & Son to make their home with you?

“In the shadow of your wings I take refuge” – Psalm 57:1

When have you experienced God’s mercy?  When have you experienced the protection of God from the storms of life?  Consider praying for God to fulfill his purpose for you.  Read & meditate on the words of Psalm 57:1-2, 5.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk5 Sunday

Please join us at church today to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! For directions see our home page.

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 love one another as Jesus loved us? How is it different from the Old Testament command to “love your neighbor as yourself?” Read John 13:31-35.

Where do you see prejudice in our culture today? What are the implications for our culture from the lesson Peter learned in Acts 11:1-18. How can we make sure that all people, regardless of cultural or personal prejudices, know that God welcomes them into His family?

Solar Eclipse, Ending (NASA, Hinode, 01/07/11)
“Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!” – Psalm 148:3

Read Psalm 148 and count how many parts of God’s creation are listed as offering praise to God? What are the implications of their example for your life?

Which aspect of the new heaven, new earth or new city is most intriguing or interesting to you? Why? Which aspect most serves to create a desire in your heart to live in this new world designed by God for us? Read Revelation 21:1-16.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk4 Saturday

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

singing natureIf you were to write a song to sing to the Lord, what would it be about?  What “marvelous things” has God done for you?  How do you “make a joyful noise to the Lord?”  Read Isaiah 98:1, 4.

Have you experienced the Lord guarding you?  If so, in what way?  Has the Lord protected you from an oppressor?  How?  Think about the words of Zechariah 9:6b, 8.

Are you willing to be used by God to be a light to someone whom others might consider an outcast?  What part could you play in bringing “salvation to the ends of the earth?”  Read Acts 13:47-48.

Do you have an accurate understanding of God the Father?  Does He look just like Jesus?  What is the family resemblance that Jesus describes in John 14:7-14?  For what are you asking Jesus today?

What burden are you carrying today?  Are you willing to “cast your burden on the Lord?”  Meditate on the words of Psalm 55:22.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk4 Friday

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

2013-04-14 13.23.55How does God make the nations the heritage of His Anointed One?  What part do you play in helping bring the nations to Christ?  What does it mean to serve the Lord with fear, with trembling?  How strong is your desire to serve the Lord?  Read Psalm 2:7-8a, 11, 13c.

How do you “seek the Lord of hosts?”  What does it mean to “entreat the favor of the Lord?”  Do others know that God is with you?  Consider the words of Zechariah 8:21-23.

How important is it that God has fulfilled the promises He made across the years to the people of God?  How significant is it that those promises were fulfilled “by raising Jesus?”  Meditate on Acts 13:32-33.

What do you do when your heart is troubled?  What do you think the dwelling place in heaven that Jesus is preparing will be like?  Why does Jesus want to be with us forever?  Read John 14:1-6 and meditate on the meaning of Jesus’ words, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

In what “desolate pit” did Jesus find you?  How did Jesus rescue you?  What new song did Jesus give you?  Think about the meaning of Psalm 40:1-3 in your life.

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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.

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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 Wk4 Monday

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

Evening Drink
“As the deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.” – Psalm 42:1

Do you thirst for God at least as much as you thirst for water?  Do you pray as often as you drink?  How strong is your hope in God?  Read Psalm 42:1-2, 5-6.

Have you ever helped “build the temple of the Lord?”  Have you ever been part of a Work & Witness trip to help bu

ild a church?  If so, you may have helped fulfill this Scripture!  Are you building your life as a spiritual temple for the Lord?  What could you do today to make your life a holy temple in which the Lord can live?  Pray about Zechariah 6:15.

Have you asked the Holy Spirit to baptize you, to fill you, to cleanse you, to empower you?  If not, why not now?  Read Acts 11:15-16 and ask the Lord to fulfill this promise in your life!

Are you able to recognize the Lord’s “voice?”  Are you following Him as your shepherd?  Are you living the “life to the full” that Jesus offers?  If not, why not?  Meditate today on John 10:1-10.

Are you living with integrity?  How has the Lord been gracious to you and raised you up?  What praise can you offer to God today?  Read Psalm 41:10, 12-13.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk4 Sunday

Please join us at church today to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! For directions see our home page.

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

Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah? Is it possible to tell if Jesus is the Messiah by what He did? Are you listening for Jesus’ voice? Read John 10:22-30.

Why do bad things happen to good people? Why aren’t all good people raised from the dead when we choose? Why aren’t all good people kept from dying? What was the result of Tabitha’s being raised from the dead? Consider the implications of Acts 9:36-43.

Shepherd
“The Lord is my shepherd” – Psalm 23:1

How has the Lord guided you? How has the Lord provided for you? What “valleys” has the Lord brought you through? When have you seen God’s goodness and love pursuing you? Meditate on the words of Psalm 23.

What must God be like to evoke the amount and level of praise expressed in Revelation 7:9-17? Have you ever been through tribulation? If not, how do you think you would respond if you did face tribulation? How does God respond to those who have endured tribulation?

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.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk3 Thursday

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

What prayer has God answered for you recently?  Whom have you told about what God did?  Read what God did for the Psalmist in Psalm 66:16, 19-20.

How can we have our whole being “exult” in our God?  (To “exult” can mean “to show or feel a lively or triumphant joy; rejoice exceedingly; be highly elated or jubilant.”)  Does meditating on God’s salvation for you make you want to exult?  Read Isaiah 61:10.

Philip catechizes the Ethiopian Eunuch
“Philip began to speak and…proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus.” Acts 8:35

Do you know someone who has questions about God, faith or the Bible?  Are you willing to come alongside them to search for answers?  Read how God used Philip in Acts 8:29-31, 35.

How has God drawn you to Jesus?  How has God taught you?  Do you believe that Jesus is the bread of life?  Meditate on the words of Jesus in John 6:44-51.

The Psalmist David says we are to “depart from evil.”  What practical steps does that call for in your life?  David says we are to “do good.”  What action does that prompt for you today?  Meditate on David’s words in Psalm 37:27-28, 34.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk3 Wednesday

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

How do you usually express praise to God?  Think about the ways the Psalmist expressed his praise in Psalm 66:1-5.

Eclipse
“The sun shall no longer be your light by day…but the Lord will be your everlasting light.” – Isaiah 60:19

What does it mean to you to know that the Lord outshines the sun and moon, that He “will be your everlasting light?”  What might this mean to you on dark days when it seems that all other lights have been extinguished?  Meditate on the words of Isaiah 60:19.

Why did Philip go to Samaria, to those considered by the Jews to be outcasts?  Whom do you know who needs to hear about Jesus?  Would you consider going to tell them?  Read what Philip did in Acts 8:5-6.

Do you want to be raised up on the last day?  Find out how that is possible by reading what Jesus says in John 6:35-40.  What does it mean to receive Jesus, the bread of life?

How does keeping the law of the Lord result in liberty?  What does the Psalmist mean in Psalm 119:41, 44-45, 48?  Meditate on God’s steadfast love and salvation, and on His law, precepts and commandments as you read this passage.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk3 Tuesday

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

From what do you need rescued?  What is your request to the Lord?  Read the Psalmist’s requests in Psalm 31:1-2.

What steps could you take to maintain a “contrite and humble” spirit?  What is God’s response to those who live that way?  What are the implications of the fact that God inhabits eternity?  Meditate on Isaiah 57:15, 19.

Beam this up - Stradbroke Island (Straddie)
“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.” – Psalm 36:5

What is the significance of the fact that Stephen, as he is being opposed and heckled by those who heard his message, sees into heaven, sees the glory of God and sees Jesus standing at the right hand of God?  Consider God’s response to the first Christian martyr recorded in Acts 7.

Why was the crowd seeking a sign?  Did they want literal bread or the True Bread from heaven, Jesus?  What are the implications of Jesus’ saying that He is bread of life?  Consider how you should live if Jesus is the True Bread.  Read John 6:30-35.

How far does the Lord’s love reach?  If you know the song, “Your Love, O Lord,” hum or sing the song as you offer praise to the Lord for His steadfast love!  Read Psalm 36:5, 10.

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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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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk3 Sunday

Please join us at church today to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! For directions see our home page.

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

Easter3_Jesus PeterWhy do you think Peter and his companions went fishing? What was Jesus getting at in asking Peter three times if he loved Him? Read John 21:1-19 and consider what you would say if Jesus asked those questions of you.

Why was Saul persecuting the church? Why was Ananias willing to find Saul and deliver a message to him? Would you be willing to let God use you to help someone else find Him? Read Acts 9:1-20 and then ask God to show you whom you could help on their faith journey.

Have you ever experienced healing? In either case, what was your response? If the Lord hid his face from you, what would be your response? What requests did David make of the Lord in Psalm 30?

Why is the Lamb (Jesus) considered worthy? Who are the ones offering praise to the Lamb in Revelation 5:11-14? What is being offered to the Lamb? How could we intentionally join in, offering the Lamb what is due to Him? Think about how you could offer praise to Jesus daily.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk2 Friday

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

Roman Road
“Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.” – Psalm 27:11

Are you learning the Lord’s ways?  Are you walking on a “level path?”  Do you find it hard to “wait for the Lord?”  Why or why not?  Read Psalm 27:11, 13-14 (or if you have time read the entire Psalm).

How can we introduce others to Jesus?  Are you a messenger who announces peace and brings good news?  Consider how you might become one “who announces salvation.”  Think about the implications of Isaiah 52:6-7.

Read Acts 5:34-35, 38-39 and consider whether Gamaliel was right.  What evidence do you have to back up your answer?  Are you trying to support or overthrow what God is doing in our day?  Pray about your answer.

What do we learn about Jesus in John 6:1-15?  Why did Jesus challenge His disciples to feed the crowd?  What did the disciples learn about themselves?  What overwhelming need are you facing that you are wondering how to meet?  Read the passage from John 6 and consider how Jesus may be challenging your faith today.

Read Psalm 134:1-2 and consider taking time this evening before bedtime to offer praise to God.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for Ashes to Fire – Easter Wk2 Wednesday

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

How is it possible to “bless the Lord at all times?”  How could we make our whole lives a blessing to God?  How could we keep His praise in our mouths continually?  Meditate on Psalm 34:1-3

A Night View Around the Mediterranean Sea (NASA, International Space Station, 02/25/12)
“I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” – Isaiah 49:6

Why is the Lord not satisfied with reaching only our family?  Why does the Lord want to reach the nations, to the end of the earth?  What could we do to help to share His light with the world?  Pray about your place in world evangelism as you read Isaiah 49:5-6.

Why did the angel deliver the apostles from prison?  Why are we kept free?  Read Acts 5:19-21 and consider your God-given mission.

Why did Jesus come into the world?  Have you received His gift of eternal life?  Will you believe in Him and choose to live in the light?  Think about Jesus’ words in John 3:16-21.

Do you need an answer from God?  Ask God for that answer, along with the Psalmist’s request in Psalm 13:3, 5.  Do you trust in God’s steadfast love and rejoice in His salvation?  Take time to offer Him praise today!

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for Ashes to Fire – Easter Wk2 Tuesday

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

The Psalmist emphasizes the Lord’s sovereignty, strength and eternal nature in Psalm 93:1-2.  How do these descriptions of God help you as you face the challenges of your day?

Isaiah reveals that the Lord laid out the foundation of the earth and spread out the heavens.  Does this qualify Him to “[lead] you in the way you should go?”  Why or why not?  Meditate on Isaiah 48:12-13, 17.

With whom are you “of one heart and soul?”  Do you believe you will ever experience this?  Is it possible for a church family or at least the leaders of a church family to be “of one heart and soul?”  Is there any direct relationship between this level of unity and the reports of “great power” and “great grace?”  What steps would you need to take to pursue this level of unity and of effective ministry?  Read Acts 4:32-33.

Bronze SerpentHave you been born from above?  Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to bring you new life?  How was Moses’ lifting up a serpent in the wilderness an illustration of the Son of Man being lifted up?  Have you received the eternal life Jesus promised?  Pray about what Jesus says in John 3:7-15.

The Psalmists says that the Lord examines humankind.  Is that idea comforting or frightening?  Why?  What does the Psalmist imply in Psalm 11:4, 7 is necessary if we are to behold the Lord’s face?

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for Ashes to Fire – Easter Wk2 Monday

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

Physicists of many nations
“Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage.” – Psalm 2:8

Psalm 2 says that the Lord will make the nations the heritage of His Son.  What does this mean?  Read Psalm 2:7-8.  What could you do to help the nations learn about the Lord?

How close are you to the Lord’s deliverance?  How has God brought deliverance near?  Are you willing to receive His salvation?  Meditate on Isaiah 46:12-13.

The response of the apostles to persecution was not to pray for protection, but to pray for boldness.  What does that say about their focus and commitment?  Would you be willing to pray for God to do what only He can do?  Think about the apostles’ approach to ministry found in Acts 4:29-30.

Have you been born of the Spirit, born from above?  Have you received a new life from Christ?  Are you willing to?  Admit that you have sinned; Believe that Jesus died to offer you new life; Claim the forgiveness and salvation He offers;  Don’t wait!  Read John 3:1-8.

What does the Psalmist mean when he asks for the light of the Lord’s face to shine on him?  How does our relationship with God affect our sense of peace?  Could the state of our relationship with God possibly affect our ability to get a good night’s sleep?  Why or why not?  Consider what the Psalmist says in Psalm 4:6-8.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for Ashes to Fire – Easter Wk2 Sunday

Please join us at church today to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! For directions see our home page.

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

Easter2_Jesus ThomasJesus offered His disciples His Holy Spirit.  Have you invited His Holy Spirit to live in and through you?  What is your response to Thomas’ reaction to the news that Jesus had risen?  What would have been your reaction to seeing the risen Jesus appear in the room with you?  Read John 20:19-31 and consider why John wrote this Gospel.

Why did the high priest want the apostles to be quiet?  Why did Peter say that they needed to obey God rather than any human authority?  What was the content of the apostles’ message?  What we we learn from the apostles’ example?  Read Acts 5:27-32.

How have you seen the Lord’s goodness this week?  Take a moment to give Him thanks!  Has the Lord become your salvation?  If the Lord has made this day for you, what does that imply about what you should do with it?  Mediate on Psalm 118:1-2, 14-29.

John says in Revelation 1:4-8 that Jesus loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood.  Have you accepted Jesus’ love for you and the deliverance from sin that He bought for us with His own blood?  What does it mean for John to say that we are to be priests serving his God and Father?  How are you serving God today?  Think about the implications of this passage for your life and service to others.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for Ashes to Fire – Easter Wk1 Friday

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

What does the Psalmist mean by his reference to the “cornerstone?”  How did the Apostle Paul make use of the word “cornerstone” (see Ephesians 2:19-21)?  Read Psalm 118:22-24 and compare.

Has the Lord “swept away your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like a mist?”  Have you asked Him to?  Pray a prayer based on your response to what Isaiah says in Isaiah 44:21-22.

How use does Peter make of the word “cornerstone” in Acts 4:10-11?  What does this tell us about who Peter believed Jesus to be?  What other clues to who Jesus is can you find in this passage?

Boat on the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias, Gennesareth).
“Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’” – John 21:3

Why, do you think, did Peter and these other disciples go back to fishing?  How were they able to catch so many fish?  Why didn’t Peter wait for the boat to take him to shore?  What do you learn about Jesus and about the disciples from John 21:1-14?

The Psalmist is determined to use his life to “recount the deeds of the Lord.”  What are you doing with your life?  Are you entering the “gates of righteousness?”  Meditate on Psalm 118:17, 19, and 28.

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Devotional for Ashes to Fire – Easter Sunday

Please join us at church today to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! For directions see our home page.  Happy Easter!

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

How does Jesus’ resurrection change the world? What is different since He has conquered death?  Meditate on John 20:1-18.

20130330-184520.jpgWhich part of the new world God is promising in Isaiah 65:17-25 is most appealing to you? Why? What changes has God already made in your life?

How do you express joy? How will you rejoice today in what God has done? Join with the Psalmist in rejoicing as you read Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24.

How does Christ’s resurrection change the meaning of death for you? What impact does Christ’s resurrection have on the amount of hope you live with on a daily basis? Consider Paul’s words to the church in Corinth as you read 1 Corinthians 15:19-26.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for Ashes to Fire – Lent Wk6 Good Friday (Holy Week)

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

When have you faced rejection?  How was Jesus treated?  Think about the prophetic description of Jesus found in Psalm 31:11-12, 13b.

Why was Jesus rejected?  Does it make a difference to you to know that Jesus endured suffering, and infirmity and also took our iniquity upon Himself?  Meditate on Isaiah 53:3-4, 6.

What does it mean to be ransomed by the precious blood of Christ?  How should we respond to someone who took our place, paying the death penalty we owed?  Read 1 Peter 1:18-19.

"It Is Finished"Read through John’s eyewitness account of Jesus’ crucifixion.  What does this Good Friday mean to you?  How many fulfilled prophecies does John refer to in this passage, John 19:16-37?  What is your response to what Jesus did for you?

Has Jesus delivered you?  If not, do you want to be delivered?  Meditate on Psalm 40:1, 13, and 17.  Would you consider asking Him to deliver you now?  Ask Him to forgive you of your sins!  He has promised that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (cf. 1 John 1:9)

Why were Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who had previously seemed to be afraid to acknowledge Jesus publicly now ready to acknowledge their devotion to Him even to the Roman Governor/Prefect?  (Prayerfully read John 19:38-42.)  Is there anything keeping you from publicly acknowledging your devotion to Jesus?  Do you want Jesus to acknowledge you in His Kingdom or to be ashamed of you (cf. Mark 8:38)

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Ashes to Fire – Lent Wk6 Tuesday (Holy Week)

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 you to say that The Lord is your hope, your trust? Meditate on Psalm 71:3, 5, 6c.

World Bank/IMF 2009Annual Meetings opening plenary session
“I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” – Isaiah 49:6c

What are the implications of God’s choice to offer His salvation to the nations (not just for Israel), to the ends of the earth? What does it imply for the mission of His church? Read Isaiah 49:6.

What do you need to forget? Toward what do you need to reach? What goal has God given you? Pray about Philippians 3:13b-14.

Why was Jesus troubled? Why did Jesus allow Judas to carry out his plan to betray Him? How did Jesus glorify God the Father? How did the Father glorify Jesus? Think about Jesus’ choice to go to the cross as you read John 13:21-33, 36-38.

Is there someone in your life who will stand up for you? How did Jesus stand up for you? Meditate on the words of Psalm 94:16-17, 22.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Ashes to Fire – Lent Wk6 Monday (Holy Week)

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

Of what are you afraid?  How does the Psalmist address our fears in this passage?  Read Psalm 27.

“I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations” – Isaiah 42:6b

How could we become a “light to the nations?”  What action could you take today to bring deliverance to those in need?  Meditate on Isaiah 42:6-8.

Do you know the power of Christ’s resurrection?  What does Paul mean by this?  What does it mean to share in Christ’s sufferings?  Are you confident that you will share in the resurrection from the dead?  Read Philippians 3:10-11, or if you have time, all of Chapter 3.

How has Jesus brought new life, renewal or healing into your family?  How have you expressed your thanks to Him for these gifts of grace?  What could you do today to express your gratitude to Jesus?  Consider Mary’s actions recorded in John 12:1-11.

How earnestly is the Psalmist in seeking God in Psalm 69:16-18?  How earnest are you in seeking Him?  Do you seek God only when you are in trouble, or is seeking God a noticeable characteristic of your life?

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 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 seek the Lord’s “presence continually?”  What clues are there in the passage to discover what it means?  Are you willing to do what the Psalmist calls us to do?  Consider Psalm 105:4-6.

How can we be blameless before God?  How does Abram’s obedience speak to you?  Are you living in covenant with God?  What did it mean for Abram to do so?  Study Genesis 17.

CounselThe writer of Hebrews says that Abraham believed that God could raise the dead.  Do you?  What difference does your faith in God’s power make?  Are you willing to act on your faith in God?  Think about Abraham’s faith as you read Hebrews 11:17, 19.

What claim is Jesus making about His power and the promise of resurrection in John 8:51-59?  Why did the Jews who heard his statement have a hard time believing?  Do you believe Jesus?  What proof of Jesus’ power do we have that they didn’t yet have?  Meditate on John 8:51-59 and consider what your response will be to Jesus’ words.

What encouragement is offered by the Psalmist to those whose spirits are “faint?”  Do you ever pray aloud to the Lord (it’s not the only way to pray, but the Psalmist implies that sometimes he prays aloud)?  Would sometimes praying aloud help you keep focused and alert during your prayer time?  What supplications or complaints do you need to share with the Lord right now?  Read Psalm 142:1-3 aloud (unless it would bother someone near you) and then share your prayer out loud with the Lord.

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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