LENT DEVOTIONS (WEEK 4)
This week we move from a place of a challenge to a place of familiarity. The Lenten passage this week is one that is well known across many Christian denominations. For our devotion, we focus on the latter half of this passage and how it might inspire us in a new and fresh way.
SCRIPTURE: John 3:19-21
DISCUSSION: Take some time to talk about or draw on paper different opposites that you see in your everyday life? What can you learn from them? Together, think of and share times that light was helpful. Also, think of and share times where light was uncomfortable. This John passage urges us to seek truth and to live in the light. What might that look like for you in your home? In your school? In your community?
ACTIVITY: One way that we can follow Jesus is by looking for ways to share the “light of Christ” with others. Our John passage shares that when we live in the light, others will understand that our actions are in line with God’s purposes. But how can we increase our awareness of following the light of Christ? This week, consider using the following verse from the letter to the Philippians as a guide. “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8). This Sunday evening, gather as a family and brainstorm how you can live in a way that shines Christ’s light in your church, school, community this week. Write down or draw the example you choose. As your act of fasting this week, make the choice to practice your example of Christ’s light in the world. Make a point to check in with each other during the week by asking, “How are you choosing light today?”
PRAYER: God of love and light, You gave us your Son to conquer death and bring us into life. To lead us out of darkness and illuminate our paths with light. Help us this week and every week to learn how to choose light and to share that light with each other so that we may know the vastness of your love for us and for this world. AMEN.
1. What hopes, plans and dreams do you have for 2020? Personally? For your family? This country? Your church?
2. What are your fears?
Read Matthew 6:25-34
3. What worries do we usually carry with us?
4. Jesus suggests that we can live in this world without worries and fears. Why?
5. Did Jesus live this kind of worry-free life? Explain.
6. What does it mean to ‘seek’ the kingdom first? How did Jesus demonstrate this?
7. How will you apply v.34 in your life?
8. What does God want you to do this coming year in order to live this kind of worry-free life?
Read Philippians 4:4-9
- Paul’s process in over coming anxiety followed a pattern. What is something that is causing anxiety in your world? Try practicing Paul’s plan.
a. Pray – Connect with your loving heavenly Father
b. Appeal – What is it that you are anxious about?
c. Thanksgiving – Praise God for what he has given you in Jesus!
d. Request – Let him know what your request is.
- Paul encourages the believers in Philippi to “practice” what they have learned from him. He gives them eight things to focus on. See if you can come up with something for each “whatever”. Think of things that will inspire worship of God and service to others.
a. Whatever is true:
b. Whatever is honorable:
c. Whatever is just:
d. Whatever is pure:
e. Whatever is lovely:
f. Whatever is commendable:
g. Whatever is excellent:
h. Whatever is praise worthy:
Paul encourages the believers to practice these things, and as they continually practice them, there is a growing peace which comes from God that will be with them!
May we all continue to grow in love for Jesus as we continually grow in love and dependence on him!