Daily Devotionals
Week of March 18 through March 23, 2019

MEMORY VERSE

Ephesians 4:4-6

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.”

MONDAY                                            John 15:5, 8-13
As Jesus prepared to leave his disciples, he called them to “abide in me.” Jesus used the metaphor or a grapevine and its branches to describe what he was asking of them – and us. We are to remain connected to Jesus even if we cannot physically see him. We are to draw strength and spiritual nourishment from our relationship with him. We are to do this through prayer, meditation, worship, and the study of his life and teachings as found in the Scripture and through talking about him with others. Your reading of this daily devotional, scripture, and prayer is an attempt on your part to abide in him by reflecting upon his final hours on Earth.
Prayer: “Jesus, help me to abide in you – to speak with you, listen for your voice, worship you, and study your words. Please help me to live a life of love toward others.  Amen.”  
 
TUESDAY                                             Mark 14:26
The Last Supper would have ended sometime just before midnight. Jesus had broken the bread, washed the disciple’s feet, and predicted his betrayal and death. As he prepares to lead them across the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane he led them in a song of praise. The hymn that traditionally closes the Passover Seder is Psalm 118. This Psalm begins and ends with “O Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever!”  Singing praise to God in the face of adversity is an act of defiance toward evil. It is also an act of trust in God. By singing praise to God in the face of hardship or even death, we are saying, “No matter what happens, no matter how bad things may be, I will trust in God to deliver me.”
Prayer: “Lord, I give thanks to you; for you are good, and your love endures forever. Help me, even in the face of adversity, to sing your praise and to trust in you.  Amen”  
 
WEDNESDAY                                     Luke 22:39
Why did Jesus return to the Mount of Olives to pray and await his arrest? The upper room where he ate the Last Supper was just a stone throw from the high priest’s home where he would be brought after his arrest. The garden on the other hand was a 25-minute walk on a steep trail. For one thing he felt close to the Father on the Mount of Olives. But more importantly, his arrest there helped fulfill prophesy about the Messiah.
Prayer: “God, you are my Lord and King. Help me to know and do your will. I pray that my life brings glory to your name.  Amen”  
 
THURSDAY                                         Mark 14:32-34
Jesus was feeling distressed about his impending arrest, torture, and crucifixion. Jesus was feeling what a human being should feel when facing what he faced. This is part of the power of the Incarnation. In Jesus Christ, God experienced anguish, sorrow, and suffering as human beings do. There are a number of different support groups for people, including those diagnosed with cancer, those with loved ones suffering from mental illness, those who have lost a spouse, and those who have endured the death of a child. The real power of these groups comes from being with others who have walked in their shoes. Jesus has walked in our shoes. Hebrews 4:15-16 reminds us “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Prayer: “Jesus, you know what it is like to feel overwhelmed with sorrow and grief and to be anxious about the path that lies ahead. Help me in my time of need.  Amen”
 
FRIDAY                                                 Mark 14:35-36
Have you ever found yourself struggling with God? Was there a path God would have you take that you wanted to avoid? Was there a risk that seemed too great or a price that seemed too high? Have you ever knelt with Jesus in the garden, saying, “Remove this cup from me”? Pursuing God’s will is at times costly. Jesus said, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
Prayer: “Jesus, you understand my weakness and fear. Forgive me, I pray. Help me to say yes when you call me to pursue your mission for my life, no matter what the cost.   Amen”  
 
SATURDAY                                          Mark 14:36
In the first garden Adam prayed, “Not thy will, but mine be done”; and Paradise was lost. In the second garden, as the disciples slept and the Temple guard made their way across the Kidron Valley, Jesus prayed, “Not my will, but thine be done.” His prayer was central to the restoration of what had been lost in Eden.
Prayer: “Jesus, I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will. Let me be full. Or let me be empty. Let me have all things. Or let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to your pleasure.  Amen”