Daily Lenten Devotion Friday, February 15th

Friday, February 15, 2013 – Psalm 22; Deuteronomy 7:12-16; Titus 2:1-15 and John 1:35-42

Titus 2:1-15 – 11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, 12training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Yesterday evening (2/14/13) I attended a session meeting north of Springfield. For those of you who do not know what a session meeting is, it is the gathering of the elders elected to govern a local Presbyterian Church. It is like a council or board in other denominations. Session meetings are always opened with prayer and often a devotional.

One of the elders gave the devotion at the opening of the meeting. It was entitled – “Why Not Give Up Something Bad for Lent?” It was based on the book by James W. Moore.

The reading from Titus seems to be saying this as well. Maybe God is trying to tell me something. Maybe I should listen.

During the devotion last night, the elder shared these possibilities: bitterness, apathy, harsh judgments, enemies within (envy, shifting blame, self-pity), running away from problems, bad habits, or pettiness.

We can find a similar list in scripture.

In Ephesians 4:31 we hear; Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice.

In Galatians 5:19-21a we hear; Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.

Then in Galatians 5:22-23 we hear about the fruits of giving up something bad for Lent; By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.

I know which list I’d rather draw from for life, Galatians 5:22 & 23.

So, what is God trying to tell me to give up? What bad qualities do I have? I’ll be seeking an answer to this question today and then seek to give it up not just for Lent but for life.

What bad trait might you give up, not just for Lent but for life?

O God, it seems to me that you are trying to tell me something. May your light and love shine on my life, revealing the things I even hide from myself. Show me what I am to give up, not just for Lent but for life so I can really experience the abundant life offered me through Christ. Amen.

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