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

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

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

Questions for Meditation

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

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

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

Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Saturday – Easter 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 Saturday 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. What does it mean to say that the Lord is “our dwelling place?”   How does the Psalmist describe the eternity of God?  If God is eternal, what response does that call for from us?  (see Psalm 90:1-2)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/25302607@N00/14584630694/
    “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth…from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” – Psalm 90:2
  2. Have you asked God to put His Spirit on you?  Why did Moses want that to happen to all the Lord’s people?  (see Numbers 11:25, 29)
  3. What is the significance of saying that Jesus came to proclaim peace to people who were far off and to those who were near?  How can we have access to the Father?  (see Ephesians 2:17-18)
  4. How was Jesus able to teach as one having authority?  What is significant about Jesus’ touching the leper?  Why was the man, formerly a leper, told to go to the priest?  Why was he told not to tell anyone else?  (see Matthew 7:28-8:4)
  5. Why is the second phrase of each verse in Psalm 136 repeated?  How has the Lord’s steadfast love affected you?  For what can you give the God of heaven thanks today?  (see Psalm 136:23-24, 26)
  6. 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) -Saturday – Easter Wk5

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

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

Questions for Meditation

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

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

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

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Wednesday – 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 Wednesday 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. Why does the Psalmist say that God “alone does wondrous things”?  What would it be like if God’s glory filled the whole earth?  (see Psalm 72:18-19)
  2. Why does God want the people to be holy?  Are you holy?  What does that mean? (see Leviticus 19:1-2)
  3. Who accomplishes the work of sanctification?  How much of you is to be sanctified?  How long is this sanctification to last?  How do we know God can sanctify us?  (see 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
  4. Where are you storing your treasures?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/freshbrewed/16918634335/in/photostream/
    “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal” – Jesus in Matthew 6:19

    How can you keep your treasures away from thieves?  Where is your heart?  What does it mean to Jesus for our eye to be healthy?  Are you living in light or darkness?  Which master are you serving?  (see Matthew 6:19-24)

  5. What is God’s promise to you?  Does God’s love offer you comfort?  How does God’s mercy help you live?  (see Psalm 119:76-77)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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

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

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

Questions for Meditation

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

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -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) -Saturday – 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 Saturday 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. How often do you pray?  Why did David pray three times a day?  Is it okay to complain to God?  Are you going through a battle right now?  (see Psalm 55:16-18)
  2. Have you experienced the glory of the Lord?  What work has God given you to do?  (see Exodus 40:18, 33-34)
  3. Do you know how to live in order to please God?  What does it mean when Paul says that your sanctification is God’s will?  Have you asked God to sanctify you?  (see 1 Thessalonians 4:1, 3)
  4. What does it mean to “go the second mile?”  How can you “love your enemies?”  Is there a persecutor in your life for whom you need to pray?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/9012248@N07/1300607752/
    “…he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous” – Jesus in Matthew 5:45

    Why does God offer blessings to the evil & the good?   Why does God allow rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous?  Why does perfection in God’s eyes relate to loving everyone?  (see Matthew 5:38-48)

  5. What does God know about you?  Is that awareness comforting or frightening?  What does it say about God’s attitude toward you that the number of His thoughts about you cannot be counted?  What does it say about God’s fondness for you that He will be with you even at the end?   (see Psalm 139:1, 17-18)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Friday – 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 Friday 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. How has God been your helper?  What do you want to say to God today?  What offering do you want to give to Him?  (see Psalm 54:2, 4, 6)
  2. What does it say about God that after Moses had spent time in His presence, the skin of Moses’ face shone?  (see Exodus 34:29)
  3. How would it change your life if God helped you increase in love for everyone?  What difference would it make to you if you were “blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus?”  Consider asking God to strengthen your heart in holiness so that you can be blameless on that day!  (see 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13)
  4. What does it say about God’s view of sin when Jesus recommends such drastic measures to avoid it and goes to such extreme lengths (the cross!) to rescue us from it?  What is Jesus’ teaching about divorce?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/80155170@N00/5806065837/
    “Do not swear at all…by heaven, for it is the throne of God” – Jesus in Matthew 5:34

    Why does Jesus prohibit swearing?  (see Matthew 5:27-37)

  5. Why is a “broken and contrite heart” an acceptable sacrifice to God?  Would you describe your heart that way?  Why or why not?  (see Psalm 51:15-17)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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

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

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

Questions for Meditation

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

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Tuesday – 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 Tuesday 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 does it mean for God’s throne to endure forever and ever?  Is God being “judgmental” when he loves righteousness and hates wickedness?  (see Psalm 45:6-7)
  2. Why is so important to Moses for God to forgive the sin of His people?  Would you be willing to pray a similar prayer for someone you know?  (see Exodus 32:30-31)
  3. Would you say that you are a good example to all the believers?  Have you turned to God from any idols in your life?  Are you expecting God’s resurrected Son to return from heaven?  Are you ready for His return?  (see 1 Thessalonians 1:7, 9-10)
  4. Why can we consider ourselves blessed when others persecute us, revile us and say false things about us because of Jesus?  What does it mean to be the “salt of the earth?”  What does it mean to be the “light of the world?”
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/55213802@N03/6435580315/
    “You are the light of the world.” – Jesus, spoken to His disciples in Matthew 5:14

    What works are you doing which will give glory to our Father in heaven?  (see Matthew 5:11-16)

  5. Take five minutes to ponder God’s “steadfast love” for you!  How could God’s praise reach to the ends of the earth?  (see Psalm 48:1, 9-10)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -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) -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) -Tuesday – Easter Wk1

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 1 of the Easter season can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. What does it mean you to when you hear that the Lord’s love is steadfast and is on those who fear Him from everlasting to everlasting?  Does the Lord’s kingdom rule over you?  (see Psalm 103:17, 19 22)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/48896557@N00/4747005726/
    “The Lord has established his throne in the heavens.” – Psalm 103:19
  2. What do you think it meant that the night of the Passover was a “night of vigil” for the Lord?  Why were the Israelites to keep vigil on Passover night?  (see Exodus 12:41-42)
  3. What does Paul mean when he says that at Christ’s coming those who belong to Him will be made alive?  What will happen when Christ hands over the kingdom to God the Father?  (see 1 Corinthians 15:22-25)
  4. Why were the initial reports of the Resurrection not believed?  Why did it take the actual appearance of the risen Christ in their midst for the disciples to believe?  How are you participating in the call to “go into all the world and to proclaim the good news”?  (see Mark 16:9-20)
  5. What great works of the Lord have you seen in your life?  If all the Lord’s precepts are trustworthy as the Psalmist says, how should you treat them?  (see Psalm 111:2, 6-7)
  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 Wk1

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 1 of the Easter season can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. What does it mean to say that “The Lord is king”?  If this is true (and it is!) how should you respond?  Does holiness befit your house?  (see Psalm 93:1-2, 5)
  2. Why did the Jews put the blood of a lamb on the lintel and doorposts of their homes during Passover?  What did this act teach their children?  How can we convey the importance of the sacrifice of Christ to our children and grandchildren?  (see Exodus 12:23-27)
  3. https://www.flickr.com/photos/paullew/3433334101
    “He was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures” – Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:4

    Is it significant that Jesus both died and was raised “in accordance with the scriptures”?  Why or why not?  What is of “first importance” to you?  (see 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

  4. Who do you think rolled away the stone?  Why?  Who was the “young man” in the tomb and why was he there?  Why were the women seized with terror and amazement?  What was the most significant thing the “young man” said?  (see Mark 16:1-8)
  5. How do you know that God has listened to your prayer?  Is it possible for God to love you and still say, “No,” to a prayer you have prayed?  (see Psalm 66:19-20)
  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) – Easter Sunday

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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

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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) -Monday – 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 Monday of Week 6 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. What does it mean to have “a broken and contrite heart”?  How is such a heart a “sacrifice” to God?  Are you offering your heart to God?  (see Psalm 51:17-19)
  2. Why was the city empty?  Why had the city lost its majesty?  What was the source of its sorrow?  Do you believe that God understands your emptiness and sorrow?  How do you know?  (see Lamentations 1:1, 6, 12)
  3. What do the sufferings of Christ mean to you?  Lent_Jesus_FigTreeWhy does Paul refer to God as “the God of all consolation”?  What does that description of God mean to you?  (see 2 Corinthians 1:3, 5)
  4. Why does Jesus curse the fig tree?  How had the money changers changed the nature of the temple?  Why did the chief priests and scribes want to kill Jesus?  Have you seen the power of faith in your life?  When and where?  (see Mark 11:12-25)
  5. Do you need an answer from God?  How do God’s steadfast love and abundant mercy offer you help?  Have you asked God to “draw near” to you?  Have you asked God to redeem you?  (see Psalm 69:16-18)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

 

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) –Monday – 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 Monday 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. Where do you seek refuge?  What is the “rock of refuge” in your life, your foundation?  (see Psalm 31:1-2)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/27406286@N05/4574835807/
    “Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me.” – Psalm 31:2
  2. Why did Moses protest God’s plan to make him a spokesman?  What was God’s answer?  Have you ever tried to tell God you’re not good at something He told you to do?  How did that go?  (see Exodus 4:10-12)
  3. What is greater than spiritual gifts?  Why is love so essential?  What does it mean to say that if I “do not have love, I am nothing”?  (see 1 Corinthians 12:31-3:2)
  4. Why did Jesus tell His disciples about His upcoming suffering and death?  How can one become great?  How can we welcome Christ?  Why didn’t Jesus say “whoever is not for us is against us”?  How is that different than what Jesus did say? (see Mark 9:30-41)
  5. Are there times you are tempted to think that God is asleep?  How do you respond?  How did the Psalmist respond?  (see Psalm 35:22-24)
  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) –Saturday – 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 Saturday 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. Is your soul awake?  Why does the Psalmist want his soul to be awake?  Are you preparing your soul to sing praise to God?  (see Psalm 108:1-3)
  2. Why did God choose Moses?  Why did Moses believe that he shouldn’t be the one to call Pharaoh to let God’s people go?  What was God’s answer to Moses’ objection?  (see Exodus 3:11-12)
  3. Why is it hard for us to see clearly or to know fully in this life?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/24906199@N00/6538333349/
    “Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face.” – Paul (1 Corinthians 13:12)

    What is your response to the fact that you are fully known by God?  Why is love greater than faith or hope?  (see 1 Corinthians 13:12-13)

  4. Why were Jesus’ disciples unable to cast out the evil spirit from the boy?  Why did the boy’s father imply that Jesus might not be able to do anything?  Why is belief so important?  What is significant about the father’s words, “I believe; help my unbelief”?  Do you believe, yet struggle with unbelief?  (see Mark 9:14-29)
  5. Do you have hope in the Lord’s steadfast love?  Do you believe that He will deliver your soul from death?  How does trusting in the Lord make one’s heart glad?  (see Psalm 33:18-21)
  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 – 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 Tuesday 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. What implications are there for your life from the fact that “The Lord is king”?  What does it mean to say that the Lord is a “lover of justice”?  (see Psalm 99:1-2, 4)
  2. Why do you think Jacob wanted his body to be taken back to the field of Ephron in the Promised Land to be buried?  (see Genesis 49:29, 31, 33)
  3. Why did Jesus tell His disciples to use the bread and the cup to remember Him?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/32454422@N00/6876657/
    “Do this…in remembrance of me.” – Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:24)

    What do the bread and the cup symbolize?  (see 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

  4. Why did the crowds stay with Jesus even though they hadn’t had anything to eat for three days?  (How do these people’s desire to be with Jesus compare with yours?)  How did they get bread and fish for so many people out there in the desert?  (What does this say about Jesus’ ability to supply your needs?) (see Mark 8:1-10)
  5. Why would people who have been disciplined by God be happy?  How has the Lord’s steadfast love held you up?  Are you willing to let Him cheer your soul?  (see Psalm 94:12-13, 18-19)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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

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

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

Questions for Meditation

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

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

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

 

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) –Saturday – 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 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 3 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. https://www.flickr.com/photos/62126383@N00/508067090/
    “Glorious things are spoken of you,
    O city of God.” – Psalm 87:3

    Why is the city of God glorious?  Have you invited God to live in your city?  (see Psalm 87:1-3)

  2. Why did Israel (Jacob), when he was about to die, ask his son Joseph to return his body back to the land of his ancestors?  Did Israel (Jacob) have a different “theology of place” than Abraham did (see Hebrews 11:8-10) Where is home for you?  Why?  (see Genesis 47:27, 29-30)
  3. Paul seems to say that Christ sustained Moses and the children of Israel in the desert.  How is that possible?  What does that imply about the nature of God and the divinity of Jesus? (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-4)
  4. Why were the Pharisees quick to criticize the disciples and slow to criticize themselves?  Have you ever been tempted to act that way?  How can we avoid giving in to such a temptation?  Is it possible for our lips and our heart to be out of sync?  How can we make sure our worship is genuine and not in vain?  (see Mark 7:1-12)
  5. What is your response to the “steadfast love” of the Lord?  How has the Lord delivered you?  (see Psalm 136:1, 11-12)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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

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

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

For what do you thank the Lord? Do you extol (“praise enthusiastically”) The Lord in the congregation of the people? (See Psalm 107:31-32)

“As the glory of the Lord entered the temple…the Spirit lifted me up…” – Ezekiel 43:4-5

Have you seen God’s glory? What did it mean for God’s glory to fill the temple? (See Ezekiel 43:2, 4-5)

Why is the blood of Christ more effective in providing purity than the blood of goats and bulls sacrificed in the Old Testament era? Have you asked God to purify your conscience from dead works? How do you worship the living God? (See Hebrews 9:13-14)

Why did some accuse Jesus of casting out demons by the power of the ruler of demons? How did Jesus provide evidence that the kingdom of God had come? Are you with Jesus? (See Luke 11:14-23)

Do you stand in awe of the Lord? What prompts you to reverence the Lord? (See Psalm 33:8-9)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashes to Fire (A) – Sunday Easter-Week 6

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Our Scripture readings for the Sunday of Easter Week 6 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.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.” – Jesus in John 14:16

Why does loving Christ result in obedience?  Have you invited the Holy Spirit to live in you?  In what ways do we “see” Jesus today?  How have you seen Jesus reveal Himself to you? (see John 14:15-21)

What do people worship in our day (other than God)?  What are the consequences of doing so?  How did you search for God?  What does Paul mean when he said that in God “we live and move and have our being”?  Why has God commanded all people everywhere to repent?  (see Acts 17:22-31)

How has God blessed you?  How have you been tested?  What promises have you made to God?  Have you fulfilled your promises?  Do you have confidence that God is listening to your prayers? (see Psalm 66:8-20)

Why do we think that if we are doing what is right & good that we should not have to endure suffering?    Have you experienced suffering for doing good, for doing evil, or at random (or some mixture of all three)?  What was Christ’s experience?  Why did He suffer?  (see 1 Peter 3:13-22)

Ashes to Fire (A) – Friday Easter-Week 5

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Our Scripture readings for Friday of the Easter Season, Week 5, 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.

For what can you give God thanks today?  How have you experienced His steadfast love recently?  For what can you give God praise?  What does it mean for us to “observe justice”?  Are you asking God to help you “do righteousness at all times”?  (see Psalm 106:1-3)

“Thus says the Lord: Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool;” – Isaiah 66:1

What does it mean for the Lord to say, “Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool”?  What are the implications for your life?  Why does the Lord “look to the humble…who trembles at [His] word”?  (see Isaiah 66:1-2)

What is the kingdom of God about?  How can we “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding”?  What steps could you take today to move closer to these goals? (see Romans 14:17, 19)

Why did Luke tell these stories about Jesus?  Why did Jairus ask Jesus to come to his house?  Why did the woman with hemorrhages touch Jesus rather than ask Him to heal her?  Why did the people in Jairus’ house not believe Jesus’ declaration that the girl was not dead?  Why did Jesus order Jairus and his wife to tell no one what had happened?  (see Luke 8:40-56)

How do you need the Lord’s saving power today?  What does it mean for the Lord to gather you “from among the nations”?  How could you “glory in [God’s] praise”?  (see Psalm 106:47-48)

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

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

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

How often do you call upon the Lord?  How do you express your complaints?  (see Psalm 55:16-18)

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.” – Psalm 139:11-12

How do you feel when you finish a project?  What was the Lord’s response to the completion of the tabernacle?  (see Exodus 40:18, 33-34)

With what type of “garments” do you clothe your spirit?  What does Paul say is the perfect “clothing” accessory which ties everything together?  (see Colossians 3:12, 14)

What evidence does Jesus list for John to show that He is the Promised One?  What is the commendation that Jesus gives to John?  Why does Jesus say that the least in the kingdom of God is greater than John?  Why were some critical of John the Baptist and also critical of Jesus, despite their opposite approaches?  (see Luke 7:18-28, 31-35)

Why is the darkness not dark to God?  Are you willing to let God search you and know your heart; to test and know your thoughts?  Why or why not?  (see Psalm 139:11-12, 23)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have you found hope in the Lord’s words?  Has God’s promise given you comfort?  The Psalmist received hope, comfort and life from God’s words.  How might you receive the same?  (see Psalm 119:49-50)

Have you seen some of God’s glory?  (Has any human seen all of God’s glory???)  How have you seen the Lord’s goodness?  When have you seen evidence of God’s grace in your life?  How has God been merciful to you?  (Exodus 33:18-19)

” As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives[a] in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith,” – Paul in Colossians 2:6-7

What does it mean to root your life in Christ Jesus?  How can you be built up in Christ Jesus?  Are you established in the faith?  Are you abounding in thanksgiving?  What would that look like?  (see Colossians 2:6-7)

Is it possible to love your enemies?  If so, how?  Can you think of a situation in which you need to put into practice Jesus’ words, “Do to others as you would have them do to you”?  Why are we not to judge or condemn, and instead forgive?  (see Luke 6:27-38)

Do you find it easy to remember the Lord when your life is “dark?”  Why or why not?  How is the Psalmist able to remember the Lord’s name in the night?  (see Psalm 119:55-56)

Ashes to Fire (A) – Wednesday-Easter-Week 3

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

Our Scripture readings for Wednesday of the Easter Season, Week 3, 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.

What is your heart’s deepest need?  About what do you sigh?  In what area of your life do you especially need the Lord’s strength?  Do you know that the Lord is near you?  (see Psalm 38:9-10, 21-22)

Why did people worship inanimate objects?  Does this still happen today?  If so, where & how?  How do you explain God’s response to their choice to worship created things rather than the Creator?  (see Daniel 5:3-5)

“And his commandments are not burdensome, 4 for whatever is born of God conquers the world.” 1 John 5:3b-4a

Why does John link love and obedience?  How is it possible that “commandments are not burdensome”?  Have you been born of God?  (see 1 John 5:3-4)

What does it say about Jesus that He was able to heal the sick and cast out demons?  Why did the demons say that Jesus was the “Son of God?’  Why did Jesus not let the demons speak?  (see Luke 4:38-44)

Do you pursue the Lord’s commandments with eagerness (“run the way of your commandments”) or do you run away from them?  Why?  Why did the Psalmist want to learn the way of the Lord’s statues?  Do you desire to observe His laws with your whole heart?  (see Psalm 119:32-34)

Ashes to Fire (A) – Tuesday-Easter-Week 3

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

Our Scripture readings for Friday of the Easter Season, 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.

With what song do you give thanks to the Lord?  What is your response to the reassurance that the Lord has heard the sound of your pleadings?  What is your strength & shield?  (see Psalm 28:6-7)

“I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored the one who lives forever. For his sovereignty is an everlasting sovereignty, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation.” – Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:34

What is your response to the fact Nebuchadnezzar, who was arguably the greatest king of his time, lifted up his eyes to God and acknowledged His sovereignty and eternity?  (see Daniel 4:34)

Why should we love one another, according to John?  How do we invite God to live in us and perfect His love in us?  (see 1 John 4:11-12)

What is the significance of the fact that the demon knew who Jesus was, the Holy One of God?  What did the demon fear that Jesus would do to him?  What is the significance of the fact that the demon came out at Jesus’ command?  (see Luke 4:31-37)

Why is God’s steadfast love precious to the Psalmist?  Why is God a refuge to him?  What does the Psalmist mean when he says that in God’s light “we see light”?

Ashes to Fire (A) – Monday-Easter-Week 3

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

Our Scripture readings for Monday of the Easter Season, Week 3, 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.

What blessings are given to the humble? What benefit is offered those who keep the Lord’s covenant? (see Psalm 25:8-10)

In the New Testament era how are sins atoned? Is Jesus’ righteousness sufficient to atone for your sins? Is Jesus’ mercy offered to you? (see Daniel 4:27)

Do you believe in the name of God’s Son Jesus Christ? Are you obeying God’s command to “love one another?” What happens when you do, according to 1 John 3:23-24? Does God abide in you by His Spirit?

“They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff.” Luke 4:29

How does Jesus bring deliverance? Why are prophets not accepted in their own hometown? Why did the townspeople of Nazareth try to kill Jesus? How was Jesus able to avoid their attempt to kill him? (see Luke 4:14-30)

Why is it that those who walk blamelessly, do what is right, speak the truth from the heart, do no evil, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors are allowed to live on God’s holy hill? Why are not all allowed to live in God’s “tent?” (see Psalm 15:1-3)

Ashes to Fire (A) – Sunday-Easter-Week 3

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 3 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.

“Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.” – Luke 24:35

Would you have recognized Jesus if you had been there?  Why or why not?  Why didn’t these disciples understand what had happened?  What do you think Jesus showed them in the Old Testament?  Why did Jesus reveal Himself when He broke bread with them?  What lessons does this story have for your life?  (see Luke 24:13-35)

Why did Peter accuse the Jews of crucifying the Messiah?  Is it possible for someone to be forgiven for crucifying Jesus?  What does it mean to repent?  What do you have to do for your sins to be forgiven?  Is it possible for you to receive the Holy Spirit?  Have you responded to the Lord’s call (chances are, you wouldn’t be reading this post unless the Lord was calling you!)?  How can we save ourselves from our “corrupt generation?”  (see Acts 2:14, 36-41)

Has the Lord rescued you from illness or death?  Have you fulfilled any vows you have made to the Lord?  Why is the death of His faithful ones precious to the Lord?  About what can you offer praise to the Lord today?  (see Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19)

From what futile ways were you ransomed?  Why is the blood of Christ considered precious?  What is implied by Peter saying that Jesus was destined before the foundation of the world to be offered like a lamb? Have you trusted in God?  Have you purified your soul by obeying the truth?  Do you have genuine, deep, mutual love for one another?  (see 1 Peter 1:17-23)

Ashes to Fire (A) – Saturday-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 this week! Click here to discover our location & service times!

Our Scripture readings for the Saturday 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.

To what king is the Psalmist referring, who has been given “length of days forever and ever?”  How has the Lord given you strength?  …help?  …rich blessings?  (see Psalm 21:1, 3-4)

How is it that the three Hebrews thrown into the fire were unharmed and were released from that which bound them?  Who was the fourth man with the appearance of a god?  (see Daniel 3:24-25)

Why would the world hate Christians?  How can we tell if we have the life of Christ within us?  How do we know what love is?  (see 1 John 3:13-14, 16)

“Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’” Luke 4:12

Which temptation would have been the most difficult for you to overcome?  How did Jesus defeat these temptations?  What does it mean to live on the word of God?  How do people worship things other than God?  Have you ever tried to test God?  If so, why?  What lessons do you learn from Jesus’ temptations?  (see Luke 4:1-13)

How has the Lord delivered your soul from death?  How will the Lord deliver your eyes from tears (see Isaiah 25:8)?  What does it mean to keep your faith?  Have you offered to the Lord a thanksgiving sacrifice recently?  When have you called on the name of the Lord?  (see Psalm 116:8-10, 17)

Ashes to Fire (A) – Thursday-Easter-Week 2

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

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

Is the Lord your strength?  How has the Lord delivered you?  To whom could you tell the story of your deliverance today?  (see Psalm 18:1, 16-17, 19)

How has the Lord proven to you that He is God?  How did the Lord prove this to Nebuchadnezzar and to Daniel?  If God is God, what is the response called for from us?  (see Daniel 2:47-48)

“Bear fruits worthy of repentance.” – John the Baptist in Luke 3:8

What does John mean by “the world?”  Do you think he is talking about the physical planet, or the people on the planet, or the sinful value system here, or something else?  How do we need to live to do the will of God?  (see 1 John 2:15, 17)

Put John the Baptist’s challenge to the people into your own words.  How does his challenge speak to us today?  What good fruit was John wanting to see in people’s lives?  Is your life producing this good fruit?  How would you summarize what John was saying about how we should treat one another?  (see Luke 3:1-14)

Why does the Psalmist say that our God is a rock?  Would you agree?  If so, why?  Can you think of a time when God gave you strength?  Can you think of a time when God made your way safe?  When has God given you great triumphs?  How have you seen God’s steadfast love?  (see Psalm 18:31-32, 50)

Ashes to Fire (A) – Wednesday-Easter-Week 2

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

Our Scripture readings for Wednesday of the Easter Season, 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.

“I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:11

What does it mean to seek God with your whole heart? What does treasuring God’s word look like? How does treasuring God’s word result in avoiding sin? (see Psalm 119:10-11)

Does it reassure you or scare you to know that God knows what is in the darkness?  Why?  For what can you give God thanks and praise today?  (see Daniel 2:22-23)

Do you love your brothers & sisters?  Is this “old commandment” speaking just about blood kin, or does it refer to a larger group of people?  What does it mean to live “in the light?”  (see 1 John 2:7, 10)

What is your reaction to knowing that Jesus prayed for you in the passage we are reading today from the Gospel of John?  Why did Jesus want us as His followers to be completely one and for us to be in Him & the Father?  Is it possible for the Father’s love for Jesus to be in us also?  How?  (see John 17:20-26)

About what do you want the Lord to answer you?  Do you believe the Lord will give you victory over death?  Why or why not?  Is your heart able to rejoice in your salvation?  (see Psalm 13:3, 5)

Ashes to Fire (A) – Friday-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 Friday 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.

What is your response to the fact that the Lord’s love for you is “steadfast” and “endures forever?”  How has the Lord remembered you?  How has He rescued you?  (see Psalm 136:1-2, 23-24)

“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” – Daniel 12:3

Daniel describes two types of “awakenings” in Daniel 12:2-3.  Which type of “awakening” do you want to experience?   How can you choose the one you want?  How could you “shine…like the stars forever and ever?”

Why does Jesus’ name seem to have transforming power?  Is it the name itself or the power of the One named that provides the transformation?  Is it about magic words or the work of the Master?  (see Acts 4:8, 10)

How might Jesus’ words keep you from stumbling?  Where in the world are Christians being killed by people who think they are serving God by doing so?  (Check out persecution.org and persecution.com for more information.)  What is the work of the Holy Spirit, “the Advocate,” in the world today?  How has the Spirit led you into truth?

What is your response to knowing that the Lord is on your side to help you?  Does it help you to know that you will be triumphant over the haters?  What “glad songs of victory” do you sing?  Take a moment today to recount to someone something that the Lord has done in your life!  (see Psalm 118:7, 15, 17)

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)

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 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 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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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.

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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.

Click here to read today’s Bible passage.

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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.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk4 Thursday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk4 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 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.

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.

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.

Photo:  Beacon Hill Press

Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk2 Saturday

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

For what should you offer the Lord praise today? If you were to write a song of praise to the Lord, what would it be about? Where do you see the steadfast love of the Lord in the earth around you? Meditate on Psalm 33:1, 3-5.

Have you ever struggled with fear and discouragement? Have you ever felt under attack? What does Isaiah say to someone facing these challenges? Read Isaiah 54:4, 17.

How did the early church choose its leaders? What were the criteria that they used to select them? Consider the implications of Acts 6:3, 5 for church leadership today.

Thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening
” It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.” – John 6:17

Are you facing a storm today? How does the story of Jesus’ calming the storm speak to you in your life right now? Do you know someone who needs to know that Jesus has not left them alone in their storm? Read John 6:16-21 and imagine that you were one of the disciples in the storm-tossed boat.

What are the top two reasons to give God praise that are on your heart today? Read Psalm 117 and find the top two reasons for which the Psalmist praises God. Can you relate to his reasons?

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 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.

Photo:  Beacon Hill Press

Ashes to Fire – Lent Wk5 Sunday

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

imageHow have you expressed your love for Christ? Think about the sacrificial gift given in John 12:1-8.

What new thing does God want to do in your life? Through what wilderness is the Lord guiding you right now? Consider His words to you through Isaiah 43:16-21.

About what do you weep? Where do you need the Lord’s restoration in your life? Meditate on the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 126.

Upon what “gains” or benefits are you tempted to rely? What is of surpassing value to you? What is the goal you are pressing toward? Is it the same as the Apostle Paul’s? Read Philippians 3:4-14.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

Photo:  Beacon Hill Press

Ashes to Fire – Lent Wk4 Friday

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

I Can't Remember How to Be...When have you been brokenhearted or crushed in spirit? Where was God in those times (even if you didn’t know it)? See Psalm 34:17-18 to discover God’s whereabouts during those times in your life.

What does it mean to “do justice?” How can we “love kindness?” Would you need to make any changes to be able to “walk humbly with your God?” Meditate on the words of Micah 6:8.

What will God’s final response be to ungodliness? How should we respond to temptations to ungodliness now? Think about the kindness of God expressed in the warning given in Jude 1:14-15.

Why did Jesus continue to teach and to help others even though He knew He would face opposition and even death? Read John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30.

Why does the Psalmist say the Lord has steadfast love? How have you seen God’s steadfast love expressed in your life? Where have you seen the Lord’s goodness? Prayerfully consider Psalm 107:1, 42-43.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Ashes to Fire – Lent Wk3 Saturday

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

David experienced God’s forgiveness when he called out to God with a “broken and contrite heart.”  Have you received God’s forgiveness?  What is your attitude before God?  Prayerfully read Psalm 51.

Do you need to “return to the Lord?”  In what areas of your life do you need the Lord’s healing and reviving power?  In what ways has God’s resurrection power been at work in your life?  Read Hosea 6:1-2.

In our relationship with God, what is the connection between love and obedience?  Read 2 John 1:6.

How would you describe the attitudes of the two men in the parable Jesus told in Luke 18:9-14?  Whose attitude is closer to yours?  Pray about your approach to God as you read Luke 18:9-14.

What is the significance of knowing that God has “been our dwelling place in all generations?”  How does it help you to know that people have been depending upon God for generations…that it is possible to live your life…in God!  Meditate on the words of Psalm 90:1-2.

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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Ashes to Fire – Lent Wk3 Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

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