Introduction to the Lenten Devotions for 2016

The Story - LogoThe season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter. In the tradition of the Church this encompasses 40 days of Lenten focus. The 40 days is made up of all the days in the season of Lent except Sundays. Sundays are known as the Lord’s Day because this is the first day of the week when Jesus rose from the grave. This is the same reason most of the Christian Church worships on Sundays instead of Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath day. Sundays are excluded from the season of Lent because the focus of Lent is more somber than celebratory. Sundays are a day for celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord while Lent is about humble repentance and sorrow for our sins.

There are 7 Sundays in the season of Lent so the total number of days comes to 47.  This year’s Lenten devotionals are following our current Sunday sermon series called The Church of the Story. The focus of the series is to help us to become storytellers who will share the story of God by sharing our own story with the world around us. We are the Church of the Story and it is our privilege to have our stories woven into God’s story with the scarlet thread of Jesus’ blood. God wants us to share His story so that others will have the story of their life joined with His as well.

If we had to choose a single verse in the Bible that sums up God’s story, it has to be John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)” This verse tells us the reason behind God’s actions toward the human race (Unconditional Love) and shows the lengths He has gone to in order to save us from sin (Sent Jesus to Die for Us). It also tells us the desire of God – that we should have eternal life with Him. This is what God’s story is all about and He wants your story to be a part of His story.

This devotional series will involve daily devotions and daily Bible readings for all 47 days of the season of Lent. If you follow the reading plan you will read the entire of book of John during this time. The devotions will pick out some of the themes as you read through the story of Jesus. What greater time to learn the story of Jesus in order to share it with the world around us?

Each devotional includes a scripture passage for you to read in the Book of John. It may be a few paragraphs or even an entire chapter. If you can, read this passage first before reading the devotional. The devotional will pick one or more verses from the passage and draw out a point or two for you think about. The devotional will then end with a prayer focus to use as a part of your prayers for the day and to help you put action to the message of the devotional.

Only good things will come from joining this devotional and reading plan. We trust that the daily readings and devotionals will draw you closer to God, help you develop a strong daily habit of reading your Bible and help you see the story of Jesus anew. Make no mistake about it, reading God’s word can change your life. That’s our prayer for everyone who joins us in this endeavor – that God will use this Lenten season to make great strides in changing you into the Christian He wants you to be.

Pastor Dan & Pastor Rowland

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