Archive for February, 2013

February 28, 2013

843 Acres Lent: Crucifying our Desire for Cheap Grace

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: Crucifying our Desire for Cheap Grace
Readings: Luke 14 (text | audio, 4:09 min)
and Exodus 11:1–12:21 (text | audio, audio, 5:52 min)

The Cost of Discipleship: Luke 14:25–33

Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ … So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Discipleship

Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without the requiring of repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate …

Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: “ye were bought at a price”, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God … Grace is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: “my yoke is easy and my burden light.”

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

If you would like The Daily Examen emailed to you on weekday evenings at 9pm EST during Lent, sign up: here.

Lenten Community

As we approach Easter, let us consider how we look upon the cross – with a view in mind of cheap grace or costly grace? How can we increasingly crucify the sin within us that longs for cheap grace and cultivate the courage to pursue costly grace? Share your insights with us by commenting on our Facebook page (here) or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

___________________________________

Bible Listening Logo

Please join us on Tuesday, March 5 for a special event this Lenten season! Space is limited so register soon: here.

___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

Tags: ,
February 27, 2013

843 Acres Lent: Cultivating a Life of Repentance

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: Cultivating a Life of Repentance
Readings: Luke 13 (text | audio, 4:36 min)
and Exodus 10 (text | audio, 5:19 min)

Repent or Perish: Luke 13:2–5

“Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

George Whitefield: A Penitent Heart, the Best New Year’s Gift (a sermon excerpt)

The parts [of repentance] are sorrow, hatred and an entire forsaking of sin.

Our sorrow and grief for sin must not spring merely from a fear of wrath; for if we have no other ground but that, it proceeds from self-love, and not from any love to God; and if love to God is not the chief motive of your repentance, your repentance is in vain, and not to be esteemed true.

Many in our days think their crying, God forgive me! Or Lord have mercy upon me! Or I am sorry for it!, is repentance, and that God will esteem it as such; but, indeed, they are mistaken; it is not the drawing near to God with our lips, while our hearts are far from him, which he regards. Repentance does not come by fits and starts; no, it is one continued act of our lives; for as we daily commit sin, so we need a daily repentance before God, to obtain forgiveness for those sins we commit.

It is not your confessing yourselves to be sinners, it is not knowing your condition to be sad and deplorable, so long as you continue in your sins; your care and endeavors should be, to get the heart thoroughly affected therewith, that you may feel yourselves to be lost and undone creatures, for Christ came to save such as are lost; and if you are enabled to groan under the weight and burden of your sins, then Christ will ease you and give you rest.

And till you are thus sensible of your misery and lost condition, you are a servant to sin … But I hope better things of you, my brethren, though I thus speak, and things which accompany salvation; go to God in prayer, and be earnest with him, that by his Spirit he would convince you of your miserable condition by nature, and make you truly sensible thereof. O be humbled, be humbled, I beseech you, for your sins. Having spent so many years in sinning, what canst thou do less, than be concerned to spend some hours in mourning and sorrowing for the same, and be humbled before God.

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

If you would like The Daily Examen emailed to you on weekday evenings at 9pm EST during Lent, sign up: here.

Lenten Community

Lent is a season of repentance and a turning of our faces to the Lord. Have we considered our motivation for repentance – whether it proceeds from love of self or love of God? How can we cultivate a life of repentance that daily seeks the forgiveness of God and, thus, daily receives his grace? Share your insights with us by commenting on our Facebook page (here) or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

___________________________________

Bible Listening Logo

Please join us on Tuesday, March 5 for a special event this Lenten season! Space is limited so register soon: here.

___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

Tags: ,
February 26, 2013

843 Acres Lent: Deciding What to Do with Abundance

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: Deciding What to Do with Abundance
Readings: Luke 12 (text | audio, 7:38 min)
and Exodus 9 (text | audio, 5:39 min)

The Parable of the Rich Fool: Luke 12:20

But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?”

John Wesley: On Worldly Folly (a sermon excerpt)

Our Lord had been giving a solemn caution to one who spoke to him about dividing his inheritance. “Beware of covetousness; for the life a man,” that is, the happiness of it, “does not consist in the abundance of the things that he possesses.” To prove and illustrate this weighty truth, our Lord relates this remarkable story … “And he said within himself, What should I do?” … What should you do? … Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Be a father to the fatherless, and a husband to the widow. Freely you have received; freely give …

[And he said] – without asking God’s leave or thinking about Him any more than if there were no God in heaven or on earth – “I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my goods and all my fruits.” My fruits! They are as much yours as the clouds that fly over your head! … “And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years!” … Believe him not; he was a liar from the beginning. He could not prolong his life, if he would. (God alone is the giver of life and death.) …

Does it not concern every one that hears – “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully.” – to inquire, “Was this ever the case with me? Have I now, or have I ever before had, more worldly goods given than I wanted? And what were my thoughts upon the occasion? Did I say in my heart, What should I do? Was I distressed by my abundance?”… Say not, then, I will pull down my barns; but say to God, in the secret of your heart, “Lord, save, or I perish! See, my riches increase; let me not set my heart upon them! …

Let the language of your heart be, “Having more means, I will do more good, by the grace of God, than ever I did before. All the additional goods which it has pleased God to put into my hands, I am resolved to lay out, with all diligence, in additional works of mercy. And hereby I will lay up for myself a sure foundation, that I may attain eternal life.”

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

If you would like The Daily Examen emailed to you on weekday evenings at 9pm EST during Lent, sign up: here.

Lenten Community

Lent is a season to remember our poverty before the Lord and his generosity to us in Christ. Yet what is our response to our poverty and his generosity? John Wesley resolved to live on twenty-eight pounds a year – regardless of his income – so that he could increasingly give more away [1]. When we are generous with our earthly goods, what do we proclaim about the character of God and our trust in his promises? Share your insights with us by commenting on our Facebook page (here) or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

___________________________________

Bible Listening Logo

Please join us on Tuesday, March 5 for a special event this Lenten season! Space is limited so register soon: here.

___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

Footnotes

[1] John Telford. The Life of John Wesley. Wesley Center Online.

Tags: ,
February 25, 2013

843 Acres Lent: Living by the Spirit, not the Law

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: Living by the Spirit, not the Law
Readings: Luke 11 (text | audio, 7:01 min)
and Exodus 8 (text | audio, 5:49 min)

The Law: Luke 11:37-41

While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at the table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within and, behold, everything is clean for you.”

Thomas Merton: No Man Is an Island (an excerpt)

The justice of the scribes, who perfectly understood the letter of the law, was not sufficient to gain anyone admittance to the Kingdom of Heaven. It was necessary for the law to be fulfilled in spirit and in truth. It was necessary that men should be perfect in the law, not by the exterior observance of precepts but by the interior transformation of their whole beings into sons of God. Then they would be children of their Father in Heaven, perfect as He is perfect [1]. They would no longer keep the law with a formalistic perfection that defeated the whole purpose of the law, but they would realize that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. They would cease to make void the law of God for the human traditions of ritualists and lawyers who could not understand Jesus when He taught that man must be born of the Holy Ghost …

The new law is not merely an exterior code of conduct but an interior life, the life of Jesus Himself, living by His spirit in those who remain united to Him by charity. The new law is expressed not only in the demands made upon us by divine and ecclesiastical precepts but above all by the exigencies of the Holy Spirit Himself, alive and active in the depths of our souls, constantly urging us to yield our wills to the gravitational pull of charity, drawing us, through self-sacrifice, to the fulfillment of God’s will in our own lives.

St. Paul knew that his own inspired writings were as nothing compared to the “writing” of Christ in the hearts of those who heard him. “You are the epistle of Christ,” he told the Corinthians, “ministered by us and written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God” [2].

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

If you would like The Daily Examen emailed to you on weekday evenings at 9pm EST during Lent, sign up: here.

Lenten Community

For many of us, Lent is a season of fasting and abstention. Yet the good news of the gospel is that our salvation is not found in our fasting (or our obeying the law), but in our trusting Christ alone. How, therefore, can we make sure that our Lenten fast is according to the Spirit, not the law? Share your insights with us by commenting on our Facebook page (here) or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

Footnotes

[1] Matthew 5:45, 48  |  [2] 2 Corinthians 3:3

Tags: ,
February 22, 2013

843 Acres Lent: Trusting God in Frowning Circumstances

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: Trusting God in Frowning Circumstances
Readings: Luke 8 (text | audio, 7:26 min)
and Exodus 5 (text | audio, 3:24)

Moses Questions God’s Plans: Exodus 5:22 – 6:8

Then Moses turned to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”

But the Lord said to Moses, “How you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land … Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.”

William Cowper: God Moves in a Mysterious Way (with music by Jeremy Riddle)

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

If you would like The Daily Examen emailed to you on weekday evenings at 9pm EST during Lent, sign up: here.

Lenten Community

As we approach Easter, can you imagine the disciples’ perspective on the Saturday after Good Friday. Surely, they – like Moses – wondered about the mysterious plans of the Lord because they did not understand what He had planned – that is, Easter Sunday, when God declared, “I am the LORD”, in a new way. Today, how can we look upon the risen Christ in our seemingly frowning circumstances, knowing that God has declared decisively by His Son, “I am the LORD”? Share your insights with us by commenting on our Facebook page or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

M’Cheyne Weekend Texts (our reading plan)
Sat, Feb 23: Ex 6 (text | audio, 4:09 min) & Luke 9 (text | audio, 7:43 min)
Sun, Feb 24: Ex 7 (text | audio, 4:00 min) & Luke 10 (text | audio, 5:14 min)

____________________________________

Tags: ,
February 21, 2013

843 Acres Lent: Fulfilling the Law in Spirit and Truth

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: Fulfilling the Law in Spirit and Truth
Readings: Luke 7 (text | audio, 6:39 min)
and Exodus 4 (text | audio, 4:54 min)

A Sinful Woman Forgiven: Luke 7:47

Then turning toward the woman, [Jesus] said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven – for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

Saint Augustine: Confessions (an excerpt)

What return shall I make to the Lord for my ability to recall these things with no fear in my soul? I will love you, Lord, and thank you, and praise your name, because you have forgiven me such great sins and such wicked deeds. I acknowledge that it was by your grace and mercy that you melted away my sins like ice. I acknowledge, too, that by your grace I was preserved from whatever sins I did not commit, for there was no knowing what I might have done, since I loved evil even if it served no purpose. I avow that you have forgiven me all, both the sins which I committed of my own accord and those which by your guidance I was spared from committing.

What man who reflects upon his own weakness can care to claim that his own efforts have made him chaste and free from sin, as though this entitled him to love you the less, on the ground that he had less need of the mercy by which you forgive the sins of the penitent? There are some who have been called by you and because they have listened to your voice, they have avoided the sins which I here record and confess for them to read. But let them not deride me for having been cured by the same Doctor who preserved them from sickness, or at least from such grave sickness as mine. Let them love you just as much, or even more, than I do, for they can see that the same healing hand which rid me of the great fever of my sins protects them from falling sick of the same disease.

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

If you would like The Daily Examen emailed to you on weekday evenings at 9pm EST during Lent, sign up: here.

Lenten Community

Lent is a time when we reflect on our sinfulness so that we may see the grace of God more clearly. What sins of commission (wrong things that you have done) and sins of omission (good things that you have not done) have you done today? How can you look deeply upon them so that the forgiveness and grace of Jesus shine more brightly in eyes of your heart? Share your insights with us by commenting on our Facebook page (here) or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

 ___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

Tags: ,
February 20, 2013

843 Acres Lent: Fearing the Lord as a Friend of God

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: Fearing the Lord as a Friend of God
Readings: Luke 6 (text | audio, 6:28 min)
and Exodus 3 (text | audio, 4:22 min)

The Call of Moses: Exodus 3:11-14

Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”

Clement: The Letter of the Romans to the Corinthians (an excerpt)

Let us be imitators of those who went about “in goatskins and sheepskins,” preaching the coming of Christ. We mean Elijah and Elisha, and likewise Ezekiel, the prophets, and alongside them those ancient men of renown as well. Abraham was greatly renowned and was called the “Friend of God”; yet when he looked intently at the glory of God, he said humbly, “I am only dust and ashes” … Moses was called “faithful in all his house,” and through his ministry God judged Egypt with their plagues and the torments. But even he, though greatly glorified, did not boast but said, … “Who am I, that you should send me? I have a feeble voice and a slow tongue” …

Take care, dear friends, lest his many benefits turn into judgment, as will happen if we fail to live worthily of him, and to do harmoniously those things which are good and well-pleasing in his sight. For he says somewhere, “The Spirit of the Lord is a lamp searching the depths of the heart” [1]. Let us realize how near he is, and that nothing escapes him, either of our thoughts or the plans which we make. Let us offend foolish and senseless men who exalt themselves and boast in the arrogance of their words, rather than God. Let us fear the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was given for us. Let us respect our leaders; let us honor our elders; let us instruct our young with instruction that leads to the fear of God …

The Father, who is merciful in all things, and ready to do good, has compassion on those who fear him, and gently and lovingly bestows his favors on those who draw near to him with singleness of mind.

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

If you would like The Daily Examen emailed to you on weekday evenings at 9pm EST during Lent, sign up: here.

Lenten Community

During this Lenten season, how should we think about the fear of God? Is it unsettling to you that friendship with God does not entirely remove a fear of him? When we come to trust in Jesus, what part of the fear of God is removed and what part remains? Share your insights with us by commenting on our Facebook page or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

Footnotes

[1] Proverbs 20:27

Tags: ,
February 19, 2013

843 Acres Lent: Fasting for the Coming of the Bridegroom

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: Fasting for the Coming of the Bridegroom
Readings: Luke 5 (text | audio, 5:15)
and Exodus 2 (text | audio, 3:38)

On Fasting: Luke 5:34-35

Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”

Andrew Murray: With Christ in the School of Prayer (an excerpt)

Prayer needs fasting for its full growth. Prayer is the one hand with which we grasp the invisible; fasting, the other, with which we let loose and cast away the visible. In nothing is man more closely connected with the world of sense than in his need of food, and his enjoyment of it. It was the fruit, good for food, with which man was tempted and fell in Paradise. It was with bread to be made of stones that Jesus, when hungered, was tempted in the wilderness, and in fasting that He triumphed. The body has been redeemed to be a temple of the Holy Spirit; it is in body as well as spirit, it is very specially, Scripture says, in eating and drinking, we are to glorify God … There are many Christians to whom this eating to the glory of God has not yet become a spiritual reality. And the first thought suggested by Jesus’s words in regard to fasting and prayer, is, that it is only in a life of moderation and temperance and self-denial that there will be the heart or the strength to pray much.

But then there is also its more literal meaning. Sorrow and anxiety cannot eat: joy celebrates its feasts with eating and drinking. There may come times of intense desire, when it is strongly felt how the body, with its appetites, lawful though they be, still hinder the spirit in its battle with the powers of darkness, and the need is felt of keeping it under. We are creatures of the senses: our mind is helped by what comes to us embodied in concrete form; fasting helps to express, to deepen, and to confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, to sacrifice ourselves, to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God. And He who accepted the fasting and sacrifice of the Son, knows to value and accept and reward with spiritual power the soul that is thus ready to give up all for Christ and His kingdom …

Prayer is the reaching out after God and the unseen; fasting, the letting go of all that is of the seen and temporal.

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

If you would like The Daily Examen emailed to you on weekday evenings at 9pm EST during Lent, sign up: here.

Lenten Community

Have you ever connected prayer and fasting in your life? Has it increased your longing for Christ the Bridegroom to return? Share your insights with our community by commenting on our Facebook page (here) or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

 ___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

Tags: ,
February 18, 2013

843 Acres Lent: Learning Obedience through Temptation

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: Learning Obedience through Temptation
Readings: Luke 4 (text | audio, 5:51 min)
and Exodus 1 (text | audio, 2:44 min)

The Temptation of Jesus: Luke 4:1, 13

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil … And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

John Murray: Redemption Accomplished and Applied (an excerpt)

When we speak of the death of our Lord upon the cross as the supreme act of his obedience, we are thinking not merely of the overt act of dying upon the tree, but also of the disposition, will, and determinate volition, which lay back of the overt act … Whence did our Lord derive the disposition and holy determination to give up his life in death as the supreme act of self-sacrifice and obedience? We are compelled to ask this question because it was in human nature that he rendered this obedience and gave up his life in death … He learned obedience [Hebrews 5:8], and he learned this obedience from the things that he suffered. It was requisite that he should have been made perfect through sufferings and become the author of salvation through this perfecting. It was not, of course, a perfecting that required the sanctification from sin to holiness. He was always holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. But there was the perfecting of development and growth in the course and path of his obedience – he learned obedience. The heart and mind and will of our Lord had been molded … in the furnace of temptation and suffering. And it was in virtue of what he had learned in that experience of temptation and suffering that he was able, at the climactic point fixed by the arrangements of infallible wisdom and everlasting love, to be obedient unto death, even the death of the cross …

Obedience, therefore, is not something that may be conceived of artificially or abstractly. It is obedience that enlisted all the resources of his perfect humanity, obedience that resided in his person, and obedience of which he is ever the perfect embodiment. It is obedience that finds its permanent efficacy and virtue in him. And we become the beneficiaries of it, indeed the partakers of it, by union with him.

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

If you would like The Daily Examen emailed to you on weekday evenings at 9pm EST during Lent, sign up: here.

Lenten Community

Jesus used the promises of Scripture to fight Satan’s temptations and, thereby, learn obedience. What swords of promise do you wield against the devil in your fight for obedience? Share your insights with our community by commenting on our Facebook page (here) or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

 ___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

Tags: ,
February 15, 2013

843 Acres Lent: The Magnificat for All

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: The Magnificat for All
Readings: Genesis 48 (text | audio, 3:54 min)
and Luke 1:39-80 (text | audio, 4:32 min)

The Magnificat: Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

Martin Luther: The Magnificat (a sermon excerpt)

This word Magnificat is used by Mary to indicate what her hymn of praise is to be about, namely, the great works and deeds of God, for the strengthening of our faith, for the comforting of all them of low degree, and for the terrifying of all the mighty ones of earth. We are to let the hymn serve this threefold purpose; for she sang it not for herself alone, but for us all, that we should sing it after her.

Now these great works of God will neither terrify nor comfort anyone unless he believes that God has not only the power and the knowledge, but also the willingness and hearty desire to do such great things. Nay, it is not even enough to believe that He is willing to do them for others, but not for you … That sort of faith is naught … You must rather … realize His will toward you, and firmly believe that He both will and is willing to do great things also to you. Such a faith has life and being; it pervades and changes the whole man; it constrains you to fear if you are mighty, and to take comfort if you are of low degree … How will it be with you [at] death? There you must needs believe that He has not only the power and the knowledge, but also the desire to help you. For it is indeed an unspeakably great work that must be wrought in order to deliver you from eternal death, to save you and make you God’s heir.

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

If you would like The Daily Examen emailed to you on weekday evenings at 9pm EST during Lent, sign up: here.

Lenten Community

How are you planning to anticipate the suffering and glory of Christ this Lenten season? Why? Share your insights with our community by commenting on our Facebook page (here) or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

M’Cheyne Weekend Texts (our reading plan)
Sat, Feb 16: Gen 49 (text | audio) & Luke 2 (text | audio)
Sun, Feb 17: Gen 50 (text | audio) & Luke 3 (text | audio)

____________________________________

Tags: ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 147 other followers