Devotionals

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The Danger of Starting Well

September 28th, 2011 by Matthew Mason Posted in Devotionals
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By Matthew Mason.
This is the third in a series of posts supplementing messages in our preaching series in 1 Samuel this fall. Today we consider 1 Samuel 9-11.

 

As we saw on Sunday, after Israel rejects God as King, he warns of coming judgment. They long for a king like the nations, but that king will take and take and take. Rather than guaranteeing their freedom, he will return them to slavery (1 Sam 8).

 

But God is patient and full of mercy, so he delays his judgment. He doesn’t give them a tyrant, he gives them Saul, a humble, Spirit-empowered king. (more…)

Oh, Those Golden Tumors!

September 21st, 2011 by Aaron Damiani Posted in Devotionals
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By Aaron Damiani.

This is the second in a series of posts on 1 Samuel, supplementing messages in our preaching series this fall. Today we consider 1 Samuel 5:1-7:2.

As a church, we are on a chapter-by-chapter journey through the book of 1 Samuel. For those with attentive eyes and ears, 1 Samuel offers up poetic and profound insights into the Gospel. It schools us in the ways of the triune God, whose justice and mercy are on full display before his sons and his enemies.

Like any good parent, the Lord had established a clear boundary with his children: do not commit idolatry (Exod 20:3-4). He had also tethered a consequence to any future disobedience: bitter exile in a foreign land (Deut 28:64). After years of testing the Lord’s patience, Israel suffered a crushing defeat to the Philistines in the battle of Ebenezer (I Sam 4:10-11). Any Israelite who knew the Torah could see the writing on the wall: Israel had triggered the Lord’s justice by flaunting their idolatry. Their leaders were dead. It was time for exile. (more…)

The Peril of Permissive Parenting

September 14th, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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By Dan Claire. 
This is the first in a series of posts on 1 Samuel, supplementing messages in our preaching series this fall. Today we consider 1 Samuel 2:12-26 and 4:1b-22. (more…)

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

April 24th, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Today’s lesson is John 20:1-10.

Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels,
And let your trumpets shout Salvation
For the victory of our mighty King!

Rejoice and sing now, all the earth,
Bright with a glorious splendor,
For darkness has been vanquished by our eternal King.

Rejoice and be glad now, Mother Church,
And let your holy courts, in radiant light,
Resound with the praises of your people.

The Collect of the Day. Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Waiting

April 23rd, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 46.  Today’s meditation is on Matthew 27:57-66.

As a people, we are pretty bad at waiting. We would so much rather keep up the feeling of forward motion. Fill every spare moment with something productive or worthwhile. Fight against every delay, even if it means telling tourists where to stand on Metro escalators.

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5 Ways to Stay with Jesus on Good Friday

April 22nd, 2011 by Aaron Damiani Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 45.  Today’s reading is the Passion according to John.

As Lent draws to a close, many of us are tempted to ignore or disregard the sufferings of Jesus.  On this Good Friday, let us stay at his side and participate in his suffering so that we may share in his glory (Rom 8:17).  To that end, I want to suggest 5 ways to stay with Jesus on Good Friday.  These are simple, tangible ways to open the soul to the presence of Christ. They are not ways to earn God’s favor. (more…)

Private Devotions During Holy Week

April 21st, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 44.  Today’s reading is the Passion according to Luke.

Today we enter into the Triduum, also known as the Three Great Days. These are the most holy, solemn, and serious days of the entire Christian year. More than any other season, now is the time for us to seek the Lord in corporate worship and in private devotion.

It’s easy to know what to do in corporate worship. Just be there on time and follow the liturgy. But what about those private devotions? When you set aside an hour or two on Good Friday or Holy Saturday, what’s the plan?

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Sleeping it Off

April 20th, 2011 by Aaron Damiani Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 43.  Today’s meditation is on the Garden of Gethsemane in Mark 13:32-42.

Do you know someone who suffers from chronic pain- whether emotional or physical?  If so, how have you responded to them?

When we observe suffering in others, our instincts tell us to avoid it.  Why?  We are driven to ensure a pain-free life for ourselves.  An experienced counselor once told me that when a husband and wife experience prolonged marital conflict, their friends tend to “stay away in droves.”  When a married couple is most vulnerable, their supporters become scarce.  We are masters at dodging the problems of others, because we don’t want their agony attaching itself to us.

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Remember Your Baptism

April 18th, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 42. Today’s lesson is the second half of Mark’s Passion, Mark 15:1-47.

Easter is traditionally an important day for baptisms in the life of the church. What better way to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection than to welcome new shareholders in it? And for those being baptized, it makes great sense for one’s baptism to coincide with the great feast of Easter, as a way of remembering the experience and its significance every year.

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Healthy Lenten Introspection

April 18th, 2011 by Aaron Damiani Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 41. Today’s lesson is the first half of Mark’s Passion, Mark 14:1-72.

Lent is a season for inward reflection. But like any other Christian discipline, it can get out of control. How diligently are we supposed to hunt for hidden sins, idols, and brokenness? Let’s look at how introspection can serve God’s purposes, instead of becoming an end in itself.

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