Devotionals

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Welcoming the Real Jesus

April 17th, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 40. Today’s meditation is on Jesus’ Triumphal Entry in John 12:12-19.

As Jesus entered Jerusalem, John tells us that the crowd met him waving palm branches and singing Psalm 118. Palm Sunday traditions have conditioned us to see this as a Christian worship service. For people in Jesus’ day, however, this was the equivalent of waving flags and singing the national anthem.

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Sin’s Wages & God’s Gift

April 16th, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 39. Today’s meditation is on Romans 6:20-23.

In studying the Ten Commandments, the topic of sin comes up pretty often. Today let’s briefly consider what sin is and what are its consequences.

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Don’t Let Sin Reign

April 15th, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 38. Today’s meditation is on Romans 6:11-14.

In today’s reading, the Apostle Paul says, “Don’t let sin reign.” Does this strike you as unreasonable and absurd? In reading this, I feel as if I have been ordered on a solo mission across the Sahara Desert, with two stipulations: 1) I must not get thirsty, and 2) I must keep a chipper attitude. In other words, it’s as if I’m commanded to do the impossible while avoiding the inevitable, and failure has eternal implications.

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Guard Against Greed

April 14th, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 37. Today’s meditation is on Luke 12:13-21.

It seemed like a fair request. Jesus had been teaching the crowds that, as much as God cares for the sparrows in the world, he cares infinitely more for His people. He even knows the number of hairs on our heads! Surely Jesus would want to know about the trouble at home. So, the man spoke up: “Tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me!”

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Being Content in All Things

April 13th, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 36. Today’s meditation is on Philippians 4:10-13.

The Apostle Paul echoes the 10th Commandment in his letter from prison to the church in Philippi:

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

It’s easy for us to take a cynical view of Paul’s ability to be content in “any and every circumstance.” (more…)

Contentment in God’s Kingdom

April 12th, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 35. Today’s meditation is on the Tenth Commandment, “You shall not covet,” Exodus 20:17.

In the 10th Commandment, God prohibits “inordinate” desires. Why? Because, as we saw yesterday, God loves us so much that he wants for us to be at peace, not only with one another, but also in our hearts. Consequently, God’s prohibition against covetousness is simultaneously a commandment to contentment. We are to be so satisfied in the Lord that, instead of resenting God or neighbor for what we do not have, we remember what we do have and give thanks.

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Desire vs. Peace

April 11th, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 34. Today’s meditation is on the Tenth Commandment, “You shall not covet.” Exodus 20:17.

I once read an article in which an atheist ridiculed the 10th Commandment, because, unlike the other nine, it commanded inner thoughts and desires rather than actions. What he didn’t understand was that the first nine commandments share the same problem. As we have already seen in previous posts, outward sins like murder and adultery begin in the heart too. There’s nothing new about the starting point of the 10th Commandment. Rather, it’s like a sign warning that the bridge is out. The sin that pours forth from within our hearts has washed out any way ahead paved by our own external moral righteousness. The 10th Commandment is one last barrier erected across the road, warning that peril awaits all those who continue on ahead unimpeded.

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Be a Builder

April 10th, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 33. Today’s meditation is on Ephesians 4:11-16.

Some years ago I had a job with a number of other young people who were at best habitually sarcastic and at worst both cutting and cruel. I’m sorry to say that I was no exception. This wasn’t a matter of intentionality. We didn’t set out to put one another down all the time. To be honest, we didn’t need to; it came quite naturally.

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Cosmic Vandalism

April 9th, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 32. Today’s meditation is on the Ninth Commandment, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16.

I love DC’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival. People flood into Washington from far and wide to celebrate the city’s emergence from its long winter nap. Every year at this time I remember what a beautiful place this is to live.

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Charitable Speech as a Way of Life

April 8th, 2011 by Dan Claire Posted in Devotionals
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Lenten Devotional Series Day 31. Today’s meditation is on the Ninth Commandment, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16.

The ten commandments are the basic ethical framework for God’s redeemed community. They provide foundational principles for community life, which are then further expanded in the rest of the Mosaic law and the Bible. God graciously gave them to us as a framework for doing life together, so that we might together flourish as a radiant city upon a hill, giving hope and clarity to the world around us. As we heed them, not only is there the promise of God’s present blessing on our community, but also the hope of God’s coming kingdom already glimpsed and tasted in our life together. As we enjoy God’s favor, we also proclaim good news about him!

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