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

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

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

Questions for Meditation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions for Meditation

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

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

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

Ashes to Fire (Year B) -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) -Friday – 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 Friday 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. How do you lift up your soul to the Lord?  Do you call on the Lord?  How have you seen God’s goodness, faithfulness and abounding love in your life?  (see Psalm 86:4-5, 8)
  2. What response is needed from us if there is no one else like the Lord?  Is God your Rock?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/60482402@N00/382892451/
    “The Lord is my rock, my fortress” – David in Psalm 18:2

    How has the Lord given you strength?  (see 1 Samuel 2:2, 10)

  3. If God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, is He able to make you alive with Him?  Why is salvation by grace alone?  Do you want to be in heavenly places in Christ Jesus?  (see Ephesians 2:4-6)
  4. How is it possible for people to do things in the Lord’s name, but never actually know Him?  Are you actually putting into practice Jesus’ words?  Upon what kind of foundation are you building?  (see Matthew 7:22-27)
  5. The Psalmist says that it is good to give thanks to the Lord.  Whom does it benefit?  How many times a day do you talk about God’s qualities?  (see Psalm 92:1-2, 4)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Thursday – 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 Thursday 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 praise the Lord with a shout?  Do you sing praises to God?  Why are praises to God appropriate?  (see Psalm 47:5-7)
  2. Who is the “Ancient One” of whom Daniel wrote?  What does it mean to say that He “took His throne”?  Who is on the “throne” of your life?  (see Daniel 7:9-10)
  3. Who is the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” of whom John wrote?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/128860745@N04/15447616130/in/photostream/
    “See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah…has conquered” – Revelation 5:5b

    Why do all in heaven and on earth offer blessing and honor and glory and might to the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb?  How should we respond to them?  (see Revelation 5:5, 13)

  4. If you had seen Jesus after the resurrection, would you have doubted?  If Jesus has all authority, how should we treat His words?  Are you currently making a disciple?  What is the disciple’s name?  Are you also helping make disciples of all nations?  How?  Are you obeying everything Jesus has commanded us?  (see Matthew 28:16-20)
  5. Is the Lord glorious and strong?  How can we worship the Lord in holy splendor?  How could you “say among the nations, ‘The Lord is king!'”?  (see Psalm 96:7, 9-10)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Wednesday – 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 Wednesday 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. How does God’s word guide you?  Do you see God’s decrees as your heritage?  What is the joy of your heart?  (see Psalm 119:105, 111)
  2. What might it mean for you to inherit a double portion of the Spirit that was on Elijah?   How much of God’s spirit do you desire?  (see 2 Kings 2:9-11)
  3. If you have Christ, what spiritual blessings do you have?  What is God’s plan?  Are you in Christ?  (see Ephesians 1:3, 9-10)
  4. How can King David call his descendant his Lord?  Why didn’t the Pharisees answer this question when Jesus asked it?  (see Matthew 22:41-46)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/27443777@N02/5158061611/
    “…lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds…” – Psalm 68:4
  5. When did God arise and scatter His enemies?  What praises could you sing to God today as He “rides upon the clouds”?  (see Psalm 68:1, 4)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Monday – Easter 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 the Easter season can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. Is God your Shepherd?  What would that mean?  Why the Psalmist describe this Shepherd as “enthroned?”  How mighty is God?  How do you need His salvation today?  (see Psalm 80:1-2)
  2. Is the Lord your God?  How has He delivered you?  Are you God’s servant?  What does that mean?  (see Leviticus 25:55)
  3. How strong is God’s glorious power?  Do you live with endurance, patience and joy and thanksgiving?  What do you think it will mean for you to “share in the inheritance of the saints in the light”?  Have you asked God to rescue you from the power of darkness?  Have you chosen to enter the kingdom of God’s beloved Son, Jesus?  Has He forgiven your sins?  (see Colossians 1:11-14)
  4. What kind of soil are you:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/97699489@N00/4511995902/
    What kind of soil are you?

    hardened, rocky ground, thin soil, choked with thorns, or good & fruitful?  Talk to the Lord about the kind of soil you want to be!  (see Matthew 13:1-16)

  5. What deeds of the Lord can you “call to mind?”  How might it benefit you to think about all that the Lord has done for you and for all of His people?  How could you praise the greatness of our God today?  (see Psalm 77:11-14)
  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) -Friday – 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 Friday 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 seem to want God’s help for him to be tied to (& not separate from) God’s help for His people?  Do you more often pray for God to help you or for Him to help His church?  Do you rejoice in what God is doing for His people?  (see Psalm 106:4-5)
  2. Why are we to observe a sabbath?  Is your sabbath a “holy convocation?”  What does that mean?  What does it mean to say that the sabbath is “to the Lord?”  Compare this passage from Leviticus 23:1-3 with what Jesus says in Mark 2:23-28.
  3. Why does Paul give thanks to God for the Thessalonians?  What does this verse imply about how one can be sanctified?  Do you believe the truth given us in God’s Word?  Have you asked the Spirit to sanctify you?  (see 2 Thessalonians 2:13)
  4. Why should we not judge others?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/27073477@N00/7980911182/
    “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” – Jesus in Matthew 7:3

    Why is it so hard to see the “log” in our own eye, but so easy to see the “speck” in someone else’s eye?  Have you ever treated something holy as if it were trash?  Why or why not?  What does it mean to ask, search and knock?  Do you believe God will give you good things?  (see Matthew 7:1-12)

  5. Do you give thanks to God’s holy name?  What might it look like to “glory in [His] praise”?  What does “Amen” mean?  (see Psalm 106:47-48)
  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) -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) -Friday – Easter Wk3

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

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

Questions for Meditation

  1. How could you offer thanks to the Lord?  How could you make known the Lord’s deeds among the people?  What song of praise could you sing to the Lord?  Does your heart rejoice?  (see Psalm 105:1-3)
  2. Do you listen to the reading of Scripture?  Have you made a commitment to be obedient to all that the Lord has spoken?  (see Exodus 24:7)
  3. Do you want to be made alive?  Do you want God to forgive you all your trespasses?  How did Jesus set aside the record against us?  (see Colossians 2:13-15)
  4. Why did Jesus withdraw when He heard about John’s arrest?  Why did Jesus settle in Capernaum?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/12836528@N00/4681534365/
    “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light” – Matthew 4:16

    How did Jesus fulfill the promise to bring a great light to those sitting in darkness?  Is the kingdom of heaven near?  Have you repented?  (see Matthew 4:12-17)

  5. How has God brought you out?  Was joy part of the experience?  What song comes to your mind & heart as you think about it?  The Lord keeps His promises to us; do we keep his word?  (see Psalm 105:42-43, 45)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Friday – Easter Wk2

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

Our Scripture readings for Friday of Week 2 of the Easter season can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

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

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/23797059@N02/3461089982/
    “Lift up your hands to the holy place,
    and bless the Lord.” – Psalm 134:2
  5. Do you bless the Lord?  Do you lift up your hands to praise the Lord?  Why or why not?  (see Psalm 134:1-2)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Thursday – Easter Wk2

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

Our Scripture readings for Thursday of Week 2 of the Easter season can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

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

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

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -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) -Thursday – 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 Thursday 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. How often do you sing praises to our God?  Why is it good to do so?  How do you respond to God’s command?  (see Psalm 147:1, 15, 19)
  2. Why did the Lord want the people to remember the day they came out of Egypt?  Do you remember the day you left a life enslaved to sin?  Why were they to eat unleavened bread?  (see Exodus 13:3, 7-8)

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/1d/02/be/1d02bee4a3e475f65d068a1f9aaa795d.jpg&imgrefurl=https://www.pinterest.com/janmoo/unleavened-bread-feast/&h=236&w=236&tbnid=1FTKT-W-zpw0OM:&zoom=1&docid=GT0ffr6iR6j-SM&ei=LRwXVezUCPLnsATfqIKYDg&tbm=isch&ved=0CAkQMygBMAE4rAI
    “Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days” – Exodus 13:7
  3. In what ways have we borne the image of Adam?  How will bearing the image of Christ be different?  (see 1 Corinthians 15:45, 47, 49)
  4. How much authority does Jesus have?  What are you doing to make disciples?  What has Jesus commanded us to do?  Are you obeying Jesus’ commands?  (see Matthew 28:16-20)
  5. Whom does the Psalmist call to praise the name of the Lord?  Why should the name of the Lord be praised?  How could you offer the Lord praise today?  (see Psalm 148:11-13)
  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 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 Wednesday 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 “extol the Lord our God”?  What does it mean to say that the Lord is holy?  Do you keep the Lord’s decrees and statutes?  (see Psalm 99:5-7)
  2. Why do you think the whole nation was called to celebrate the Passover?  Why was the nation called to celebrate the Passover annually?  (see Exodus 12:43, 47, 50-51)
  3. What does Paul imply about what our resurrected bodies will be like if our current bodies are “but a bare seed” compared to what they will be?  What does Paul mean when he says that our resurrected bodies will be “imperishable?”  (see 1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/35409814@N00/455349768/
    “Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’” – Matthew 28:9
  4. Why do you think so many folk are afraid of the angel?  Who were the first to hear the news of Jesus’ resurrection?  Why do you think they were the first to hear?  Why did the guards, priest and elders devise a cover story?  (see Matthew 28:1-16)
  5. Do you trust in the Lord?  How has He helped you?  What difference does it make to you to know that the Lord is mindful of you?  What might it mean for us to be mindful of Him?  (see Psalm 115:9-13)
  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) -Friday – Lent Wk6

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

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

Questions for Meditation

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

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) -Wednesday – 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 Wednesday 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 do you do when you are in anguish or face fear and trembling?  Is it okay to complain to God?  Will the Lord hear you if you don’t call upon Him?  (see Psalm 55:4-5, 16-17)
  2. Why did Israel face destruction?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/55046645@N00/5483145138/
    “He has destroyed all its palaces, laid in ruins its strongholds” – Lamentations 2:5b

    Why were its palaces and strongholds destroyed?  Why was there multiplied mourning and lamentation in Judah?  (see Lamentations 2:5)

  3. Why did Paul face “much distress and anguish of heart and…many tears”?  Why did Paul write to the Corinthians?  (see 2 Corinthians 2:4)
  4. Why did the tenants reject the vineyard owner’s servants?  Why did the tenants kill the owner’s son?  How did the owner respond?  Why did Jesus tell this story?  (see Mark 12:1-11)
  5. Why did the Psalmist want the Lord to remember how the enemy scoffs?  Is He likely to forget?  Does the Lord remember His covenant with you?  Do you?  Is it easy for the poor and needy to praise the Lord’s name?  Why or why not?  (see Psalm 74:18-22)
  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) -Palm Sunday – Lent Wk6

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Our Scripture readings for Palm Sunday (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. Why did the people of Jerusalem spread their cloaks and leafy branches on the road where Jesus was about to ride the colt of a donkey?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/60532802@N07/5627047282/
    ““Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” – Mark 11:9

    Why did they offer blessing to the One who came in the name of the Lord?  How do you think you would have responded if you had been there?  (see Mark 11:1-11)

  2. Do you know anyone who can “sustain the weary with a word”?  Are you willing to “listen as those who are taught”?  How has the Lord God helped you?  (see Isaiah 50:4-9)
  3. Have you ever been in distress, grief, sorrow and/or misery?  Have you ever been rejected or attacked by others?  How did the Psalmist respond to these challenges?  How did you?  Do you think Jesus could relate to these experiences?  (see Psalm 31:9-16)
  4. Why did the Son of God take on the form of a slave?  Why did Jesus obey even to the point of death on a cross?  Why did the Father exalt Jesus?  Why will every knee bend at the name of Jesus?  Has your tongue confessed that Jesus is Lord?  (see Philippians 2:5-11)
  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) –Tuesday – 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 Tuesday 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. https://www.flickr.com/photos/64742456@N00/9514752555/
    “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121:2

    From where does your help come?  How has the Lord “kept” you?  (see Psalm 121:1-2, 7)

  2. Why did the Lord deliver His people from slavery to Pharaoh?  How has the Lord delivered you?  Do you need to ask the Lord for deliverance in your life?  (see Exodus 6:1, 6)
  3. Why did the Lord’s people have trouble listening to Him, even when He sent them messengers from other nations?  Do you have any trouble listening to the Lord?  If so, what might be the solution to that problem?  (see 1 Corinthians 14:21)
  4.  Why did Jesus challenge His disciples about their willingness to sacrifice?  Is there any sacrifice you aren’t willing to make to enter the Kingdom of God?  Are you at peace with those around you? (see Mark 9:42-50)
  5. How do you respond when the Lord does great things for you?  What has the Lord done for you recently?  How did you respond?  (see Psalm 126:1-3)
  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) –Thursday – Lent Wk4

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

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

Questions for Meditation

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

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

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

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) –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) –Friday – 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 Friday 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. Do you have a daily devotional time?  What do you do?  How do you incorporate prayer into your life? (see Psalm 88:9, 13)
  2. Why did Pharaoh offer the best of Egypt to Joseph’s family?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/22548183@N06/6133666587/
    “Now, we ask you, let your servants settle in the land of Goshen.” – Psalm 47:4

    (see Genesis 47:4, 6)

  3. What is Paul’s goal?  What is he willing to sacrifice to achieve that goal?  What does he hope will be the outcome?  (see 1 Corinthians 9:19, 22-23)
  4. What would have been your reaction if you been in that boat and had seen Jesus walking on the water during the storm?  Why were the disciples’ hearts hard?  What did the people of Gennesaret learn about Jesus while He was with them?  What does this mean for you in your life?  (see Mark 6:47-56)
  5. Why is it good to give thanks to the Lord?  Why is it good to sing praises to His name?  Do you talk about God morning and night?  What work of God has made you glad?  (see Psalm 92:1-2, 4)
  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 – Lent 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 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. Have you blessed the Lord for doing wondrous things?  Could you tell someone today something God has done for you?  (see Psalm 72:18-19)
  2. Why did Joseph’s brothers believe they were suffering anguish?  Were they right?  What consequences of sin have you had to endure?  (see Genesis 42:21)
  3. What is the significance of Paul’s phrase “used to be” in 1 Corinthians 6:9, 11?  What does it mean to be justified?  What does it mean to be sanctified?  (see 1Corinthians 6:9, 11)
  4. What type of soil are you most like in the parable Jesus told?  What type of soil do you want to be?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/cimmyt/8207318991/in/photostream/
    “Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain” – Mark 4:8

    Is it possible to change your receptivity to the “seed” that Jesus sows?  (see Mark 4:1-20)

  5. What meaning does it have for your life to know that the Lord “exists forever?”  How does it help you to know that God’s word “stands firmly fixed in heaven?”  (see Psalm 119:89-90)
  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 Wk2

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

Our Scripture readings for Monday of Week 2 of Lent can be read here. Please take some time to read these passages and then meditate on the following questions. Then talk to God about what the Bible is teaching you.

Questions for Meditation

  1. How have you seen God’s mercy in your life?  How does one take refuge “in the shadow of [His] wings?”  When have you had God protect you from “destroying storms?” (see Psalm 57:1)
  2. Why did Egypt have bread in the middle of a famine that affected every country?
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    “There was famine in every country, but throughout the land of Egypt there was bread.” – Genesis 41:54

    What do you learn from Joseph’s preparation?  (see Genesis 41:53-54)

  3. Why was Paul considered to be a fool for the sake of Christ by the Corinthians?  Why was Paul willing to endure deprivation?  (see 1 Corinthians 4:10-12)
  4. Why were people flocking to Jesus?  Why did Jesus order the unclean spirits not “to make him known?”  Why did Jesus appoint twelve?  What did He want them to do?  (see Mark 3:7-19)
  5. Why is praise due to God?  Is God your hope?  If so, why?  (see Psalm 65:1, 5)
  6. What does God want you to do today to incorporate into your life what He is teaching you?

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Ashes to Fire (Year B) – Friday – Lent 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!

Our Scripture readings for Friday of Lent, 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.

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“the Lord…heard my cry. He drew me up…” – Psalm 40:1-2

Have you ever been in a situation in which you cried out to the Lord for help and He heard you and rescued you?  If so, whom have you told your story to recently?  (see Psalm 40:1-2, 11)

Have you ever felt forgotten by someone you tried to help?  How did you handle the situation?  How did Joseph handle his situation?   (see Genesis 40:21-23 & ff.)

Do you have everything you need?  Why or why not?  How would Paul answer those questions?  (see 1 Corinthians 3:21-23)

Why did Jesus eat with “tax collectors and sinners?”  In what way was Jesus like a physician?  What does fasting mean to you?  What do you think it might have meant for Jesus’ disciples?  (see Mark 2:13-22)

Is unspoken praise really praise?  Do you offer an acceptable sacrifice to God?  (See Psalm 51:15-17 to discover what an acceptable offering is!)

 

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) – Sunday 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 Sunday 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.

How did Jesus glorify the Father?  How did the Father glorify the Son?  If you belong to Jesus, the Son, what is your relationship with the Father?  Why does Jesus want the Father to protect His disciples?  (see John 17:1-11)

“…as they were watching, [Jesus] was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. ” – Luke in Acts 1:9

Why does Luke, the author of Acts, tell us that Jesus provided “many convincing proofs” that He was alive after the resurrection?  Why were the disciples told to wait in Jerusalem?  How were the disciples to be changed when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit?  What would the Holy Spirit enable them to do?  Have you received the promised gift of the Holy Spirit?  If so, how has He helped you fulfill Jesus’ commission for His disciples?  (see Acts 1:1-14)

In Psalm 68 what does David say that God has done for His people?  How does David call for God’s people to respond to God?  For what could you offer God praise?  (see Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35)

Should Christians expect their lives to be free from ordeals or tests?  Why?  What does Jesus’ example say about this?  Is it possible to face revilement and still be blessed?  How?  Why does judgment begin with the household of God?  What implications does that have for how we should behave (& for some folk’s tendency to be judgmental of others)?  How are we to handle anxiety?  What is the devil doing?  How should we respond to him?  What is the outcome of the suffering of Christians?  (see 1 Peter 4:12-19; 5:6-11)

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

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 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.

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;” David in Psalm 8:3

When have you seen God’s majesty displayed in the heavens or on earth?  When you see the heavens, the moon and the stars, what do you think?  What does it say to you, knowing that, in this vast universe, God cares for us?  (see Psalm 8:1, 3-4)

What do you learn about God from Daniel’s vision of God taking His throne?  What response does it call for from us?  (see Daniel 7:9-10)

In what way was Jesus made “lower than the angels”?  What is His status now, after having “taste[d] death for everyone”?  How should we respond to Him, given what He went through for us?  (see Hebrews 2:9)

What are the implications of saying that Jesus has been given “all authority in heaven and on earth”?  What is Jesus call His disciples to do?  How are you involved in Jesus’ ongoing mission on earth?  Why is it significant that Jesus has promised to be with us always?  (see Matthew 28:16-20)

Why should gates be opened for the “King of glory”?  What “gates” need to be opened in your life so that the Lord can enter?  What is the significance for you of knowing that the Lord is “mighty in battle”? (see Psalm 24:7-9)

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

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 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.

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” – Psalm 119:103

Why were God’s words “tasty” to the Psalmist?  Is reading God’s word like a sweet treat to you?  Why or why not?  (see Psalm 119:103-104)

Why did Elisha want to inherit a double share the Spirit of Elijah?  Do you desire more of God’s Spirit in your life?  (Trivia Question:  What took Elijah to heaven, a chariot of fire or a whirlwind?)  (see 2 Kings 2:9:11)

If the prayers of the righteous are so powerful, why don’t we see more miraculous answers?  Are you one of the righteous?  How do you know?  How important is prayer to you?  (see James 5:16-18)

Are you a worrier?  Why or why not?  Does Jesus’ illustrations of God’s care for plants and animals reduce your level of worry?  What does Jesus say we should focus on instead of “all these things”?  (see Luke 12:22-31)

Take a moment today and pray for God’s enemies to “be scattered.”  Take a moment and sing praises to His name.  Offer praise with joy and express the triumph we experience in Him!  (see Psalm 68:1, 4)

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

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 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) – Thursday Easter-Week 5

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 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.

“So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to all the generations to come.” – Psalm 71:18

When did you first acknowledge God’s presence in your life?  Do you tell others about the “wondrous deeds” of God?  How important is it to you to tell the next generation about what God has done?  How could you share this transforming message? (see Psalm 71:17-18)

Is it good news or bad news that God is planning to create new heavens and a new earth?  Why?  Why are we called to be glad and rejoice?  (see Isaiah 65:17-18)

Is it encouraging or scary to know that “we will all stand before the judgment seat of God”?  Why?  Are you ready to bow and give praise to God?  What does it mean to be accountable to God?  (see Romans 14:10-12)

Why did the demoniac call Jesus, “Son of the Most High God”?  Why did the demons not want to go back into the abyss?  Why did the herd of swine drown themselves when the demons entered them?  Why did Jesus send the man, newly delivered from demons, back home?  (see Luke 8:26-39)

Is it encouraging to you to know that “even the darkness is not dark” to God?  Why or why not?  Are you willing to offer the Psalmist’s heartfelt prayer, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts”?  (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) – Tuesday 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 Tuesday 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.

Does it make a difference in your life to know that God’s throne will endure eternally?  How does it affect you to know that God’s rule will affirm righteousness and oppose wickedness?  (see Psalm 45:6-7)

With whom did Jacob wrestle, in your opinion?  Why did Jacob desire to be blessed by the man?  Why was Jacob given a new name?  What do you learn from Jacob’s experience? (see Genesis 32:24, 26-28)

“…shout to God with loud songs of joy. For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth.” – Psalm 47:1b-2

How was it possible for us to be reconciled to God, when we were once “estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds?”  Is it possible, according to Paul, for us to be holy, blameless and irreproachable before God?  (see Colossians 1:21-22)

Why did Jesus spend the night in prayer?  Why do you think Jesus chose Judas?  How might Jesus bring healing to your life?  How can Jesus say that the poor, the hungry and the weeping, the hated, the rejected, are blessed?  Why does Jesus say that some situations that seem to be blessings will result in woe?  (see Luke 6:12-26)

What are the methods the Psalmist calls his readers/listeners to use to praise God?  Why does he call upon us to praise God?  What reasons do you have today to offer God praise?  What methods will you choose to use to offer your praise?  (see Psalm 47:1-2, 4)

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

Our Scripture readings for the Saturday 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.

What was the last tune you had on your mind?  Was it praise to the Lord?  Why is God’s anger temporary, but His favor lasting?  What has been your experience with weeping?  Is God’s promise of joy meaningful to you?  (see Psalm 30:4-5)

“My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me” – Daniel 6:22

Have you ever thought that you had been visited by God’s angel?  If so, with whom could you share that experience?  Have you been convinced that the God of Daniel, the God of the Bible, is the Living God?  If so, what convinced you?  (see Daniel 6:21-23, 25-26)

What do you find yourself imitating more:  what is evil, or what is good?  Why?  Why does John say that our connection with (or disconnection from) God will be seen in what we do?  (see 3 John 11)

Why do you think Levi left his job as a tax collector to follow Jesus?  If you are a sinner, what is Jesus calling you to do?  When is the time for fasting?  What do you think is the new garment and new wineskins Jesus introduced?  (see Luke 5:27-39)

When were you the thirstiest in your life?  How would you describe how you felt?  Does your desire for God rival or exceed your thirst for water?  Why or why not?  What could you do to foster an awareness of God’s presence every waking hour?  (see Psalm 42:1-2, 8)

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) – 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 – Pentecost Sunday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo:  Beacon Hill Press

Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Easter Wk7 Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo:   Christina via Compfight

Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Easter Wk7 Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo:  Trey Ratcliff via Compfight

Meditation Questions for #AshesToFire – Easter Wk6 Thursday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Tim Hamilton via Compfight

Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk6 Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

Photo:   NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center via Compfight

Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk5 Thursday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to read today’s Bible passages.

Photo:  Scripture Word “cloud” via wordle.net

Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk5 Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk5 Sunday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk4 Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk4 Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk4 Thursday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk4 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.

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk4 Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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?

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk3 Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk3 Thursday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Devotional for “Ashes to Fire” – Easter Wk2 Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 Wk1 Thursday

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

Blue Marble - 2002
“He sends out his command to the earth” – Psalm 147:15

How often do you sing praises to God?  What usually prompts you to do so?  How important is God’s Word to you?  Where is the evidence in your life of the importance of God’s Word to you?  Read Psalm 147:1, 15, 19.

What are the implications of Isaiah’s saying that there is no god besides the Lord, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, the Lord of hosts?  What is implied by Isaiah’s saying that we are God’s witnesses?  Meditate on Isaiah 44:6 & 8.

What happens when we repent according to Peter in Acts 3:19-20?  Have you repented?  If not, why not?

What might have been your reaction if you had been with the disciples when they saw the resurrected Jesus for the first time?  How did Jesus prove that He was truly real…alive and not just a vision or a ghost?  What did Jesus help His disciples understand?  What did He ask them to do?  Meditate on Luke 24:35-48.

Put what the Psalmist is saying in Psalm 148:1, 11, 13 into your own words.  How is the Lord praised “from the heavens” and “in the heights?”

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Devotional for Ashes to Fire – Easter Wk1 Wednesday

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

For what will you give thanks to God today?  Why do you need to call on His name today?  What has God done for you that you need to tell others about today?  What song of praise for God is on your mind today?  Make a joyful noise to Him!  Mediate on the words of Psalm 105:1-3.

What things in the past will you choose to forget?  What new thing is God wanting to do in your life? What wilderness in your life needs a God-built road?

Canyonlands National Park
“rivers in the desert” – Isaiah 43:19

What is the desert you are crossing that needs a divinely-fed river?  Think about God’s promise to you in Isaiah 43:14, 18-19.

In what way do you need the Lord’s healing?  What would it mean for you to “stand up and walk?”  Are you willing to take that “step?”  Whom do you know who is looking for the wrong thing?  How could you help them to connect with what God wants for them?  Pray about how the transformation of Acts 3 could impact you or those you know today.

Have you ever been confused about what God is doing in your life or in our world?  Have you ever looked back in your life and realized that Jesus was with you even when you didn’t realize it?  How does the story of Jesus’ walk to Emmaus challenge your faith today?  Meditate on what it might mean for Jesus to walk with you today as you read Luke 24:13-35.

How might it change the way you live if you choose to always give glory to God instead of seeking it for yourself?  In what ways have you seen that “the Lord has been mindful of us?”  In what ways have you seen that your reverence for God has resulted in blessing?  Read Psalm 115:1, 12-13 thoughtfully.

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