Posts tagged ‘Exodus’

March 27, 2015

Heaven’s Joy, Employment and Privilege

by Bethany

Today: A Lenten reflection and prayer guide to prepare our hearts and minds for Holy Week. Curated by Bethany Jenkins.

John 17.24
[Jesus said,] “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

Lenten Morning: The Redeemer’s Prayer (an excerpt) | by Charles Spurgeon

Christ prayed, if I understand his prayer, for three things… The first great thing he prayed for, is that which is heaven’s greatest joy—“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am” … He prayed that we might be with Christ—that is our companionship, with him where he is—that is our position. It seems as if he would tell us, that heaven is both a condition and a state—in the company of Christ, and in the place where Christ is …

Now the next prayer is, “that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me.” This is heaven’s sweetest employment … The moment the soul departs from this body, it will behold the glory of Christ. The glory of his person will be the first thing that will arrest our attention. There will he sit in the midst of the throne, and our eyes will first be caught with the glory of his appearance …

I must close by noticing the last point, which is this. In our Savior’s prayer heaven’s greatest privilege is also included. We are not only to be with Christ and to behold his glory, but we are to be like Christ and to be glorified with him … That in all Christ has, a believer has a share. This seems to me to be the sum total, and the crowning of it all—to reign with Christ, to ride in his triumphal chariot, and have a portion of his joy; to be honored with him, to be accepted in him, to be glorified with him. This is heaven, this is heaven indeed.

And now, how many of you are there here who have any hope that this shall be your lot? Well said Chrysostom, “The pains of hell are not the greatest part of hell; the loss of heaven is the weightiest woe of hell” … For you who have a hope, I beseech you, hold it fast, live on it, rejoice in It … Live near your Master now, so shall your evidences be bright; and when you come to cross the flood, you shall see him face-to-face, and what that is only they can tell who enjoy it every hour.

Lenten Evening Prayer: 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).

Today’s Readings
Exodus 38 (Listen – 4:23)
John 17 (Listen – 3:40)

Lenten Reflections
Part 5 of 5, read more on TheParkForum.org

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This Weekend’s Readings

Saturday: Exodus 39 (Listen – 5:24); John 18 (Listen – 5:16)
Sunday: Exodus 40 (Listen – 4:07); John 19 (Listen – 6:23)

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March 26, 2015

The Blood of the First Martyrs

by Bethany

Today: A Lenten reflection and prayer guide to prepare our hearts and minds for Holy Week. Curated by Bethany Jenkins.

John 16.33
[Jesus said,] “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Lenten Morning: Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (an excerpt) | by John Foxe

James the Great. As James was led to the place of martyrdom, his accuser was brought to repent of his conduct by the apostle’s extraordinary courage and undauntedness, and fell down at his feet to request his pardon, professing himself a Christian, and resolving that James should not receive the crown of martyrdom alone. Hence they were both beheaded at the same time. Thus did the first apostolic martyr cheerfully and resolutely receive that cup, which he had told our Savior he was ready to drink. These events took place AD 44.

Philip. He labored diligently in Upper Asia, and suffered martyrdom at Heliopolic, in Phrygia. He was scourged, thrown into prison and afterwards crucified. AD 54.

Matthew. The scene of his labors was Parthia, and Ethiopia, in which latter country he suffered martyrdom, being slain with a halberd in the city of Nadabah. AD 60.

James the Less. He was elected to the oversight of the churches of Jerusalem; and was the author of the Epistle ascribed to James in the sacred canon. At the age of ninety-four, he was beaten and stoned by the Jews; and finally had his brains dashed out with a fuller’s club.

Matthias. He was stoned in Jerusalem and then beheaded.

Andrew. He preached the gospel to many Asiatic nations; but on his arrival at Edessa he was taken and crucified on a cross, the two ends of which were fixed transversely in the ground.

Mark. Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria, at the great solemnity of Serapis their idol, ending his life under their merciless hands.

Peter. Nero sought matter against Peter to put him to death; which, when the people perceived, they entreated Peter … that he would fly the city. Peter, through their importunity at length persuaded, prepared himself to avoid. But, coming to the gate, he saw the Lord Christ come to meet him, to whom he, worshipping, said, “Lord, whither dost Thou go?” To whom He answered, “I am come again to be crucified.” Peter, perceiving his suffering to be understood, returned into the city. Jerome saith that he was crucified, his head being down and his feet upward, himself so requiring, because he was (he said) unworthy to be crucified after the same form and manner as the Lord was.

Lenten Evening Prayer: 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).

Today’s Readings
Exodus 37 (Listen – 3:14)
John 16 (Listen – 4:14)

Lenten Reflections
Part 4 of 5, read more on TheParkForum.org

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March 25, 2015

The Hatred of the World

by Bethany

Today: A Lenten reflection and prayer guide to prepare our hearts and minds for Holy Week. Curated by Bethany Jenkins.

John 15.18-20
[Jesus said,] “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”

Lenten Morning: Letter to an Unnamed Prison Guard | by William Tyndale

(When Tyndale was imprisoned for clinging to his belief that “faith alone justifies before God.”)

I beg your lordship, and that of the Lord Jesus, that if I am to remain here through the winter, you will request the commissary to have the kindness to send me, from the goods of mine which he has, a warmer cap; for I suffer greatly from cold in the head, and am afflicted by a perpetual catarrh, which is much increased in this cell; a warmer coat also, for this which I have is very thin; a piece of cloth too to patch my leggings. My overcoat is worn out; my shirts are also worn out. He has a woolen shirt, if he will be good enough to send it. I have also with him leggings of thicker cloth to put on above; he has also warmer night-caps. And I ask to be allowed to have a lamp in the evening; it is indeed wearisome sitting alone in the dark. But most of all I beg and beseech your clemency to be urgent with the commissary, that he will kindly permit me to have the Hebrew Bible, Hebrew grammar, and Hebrew dictionary, that I may pass the time in that study. In return may you obtain what you most desire, so only that it be for the salvation of your soul. But if any other decision has been taken concerning me, to be carried out before winter, I will be patient, abiding the will of God, to the glory of the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ: whose spirit (I pray) may ever direct your heart. Amen.

Biographical Note by John Piper in his book, Filling up the Afflictions of Christ: “We don’t know if his requests were granted. He did stay in that prison through winter. His verdict was sealed in August 1536. He was formally condemned as a heretic and degraded from the priesthood. Then in early October (traditionally October 6), he was tied to the stake and then strangled by the executioner, then afterward, consumed in the fire. Foxe reports that his last words were, “Lord! Open the King of England’s eyes!” He was forty-two years old, never married, and never buried.

Lenten Evening Prayer: 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).

Today’s Readings
Exodus 36 (Listen – 4:47)
John 15 (Listen – 3:20)

Lenten Reflections
Part 3 of 5, read more on TheParkForum.org

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March 24, 2015

The Faithfulness of God for Others

by Steven Dilla

A Lenten reflection and prayer guide to prepare our hearts and minds for Holy Week. Curated by Steven Dilla.

John 14.1
[Jesus said,] “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”

Lenten Morning: Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled | by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Jesus was going to his last bitter agony, and to death itself, and yet he overflowed with sympathy for his followers. Had it been you or I, we should have asked for sympathy for ourselves. Our cry would have been, “Have pity upon me, O my friends, for the hand of God hath touched me!” But, instead of that, our Lord cast his own crushing sorrows into the background.

Jesus knew that he was about to be “exceeding sorrowful, even unto death;” he knew that he should soon be in an agony through bearing “the chastisement of our peace;” but ere he plunged into the deep, he must needs dry the tears of those he loved so well, and therefore he said most touchingly, “Let not your heart be troubled.”

Though he knows that he is to be put to a shameful death, yet feels no fear, but bids his disciples to trust him implicitly. The black darkness of the awful midnight was beginning to surround him, yet how brave his word — “Believe also in me!”

While we see here his confidence as man, we also feel that this is not a speech which a mere man would ever have uttered had he been a good man; for no mere creature would thus match himself with God. That Jesus is a good man few question; that he must be God is therefore proven by these words. 

Would Jesus bid us trust in an arm of flesh? Is it not written—“Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm”? Yet the Holy Jesus says, “Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” This association of himself with God as the object of human confidence in the time of trouble, demonstrates a consciousness of his own divine power and Godhead; and it is a mystery in whose difficulties faith takes pleasure, to see in our Lord Jesus the faith of a man for himself, and the faithfulness of God for others.

Lenten Evening Prayer: 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).

Today’s Readings
Exodus 35 (Listen – 4:31)
John 14 (Listen – 4:13)

Lenten Reflections
Part 2 of 5, read more on TheParkForum.org

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March 23, 2015

Accepting the Self-Humiliation of Jesus

by Steven Dilla

A Lenten reflection and prayer guide to prepare our hearts and minds for Holy Week. Curated by Steven Dilla.

John 13.8
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 

The Washing of the Disciples’ Feet (an excerpt) | by Richard C.H. Lenski

Some would call the act symbolical; but this is contradicted by Jesus himself (in verse 15). His act was an example; it was not staged as a symbol, it was performed as an actual service upon feet that actually needed washing. 

John endeavors to impress upon our minds the contrasts which make the last acts of Jesus stand out with love for the disciples—even in these last hours Jesus forgets himself and devotes all his efforts to them.

Sometimes this is understood rather superficially as though Jesus says, “Unless I wash thy feet, thou hast no part with me.” If, then, it seems strange that Jesus makes the salvation of Peter depend on his washing Peter’s feet, the remark is added that Peter’s refusal to have his feet washed by Jesus is rank disobedience, and persistence in this disobedience would exclude Peter from salvation. Yet the reply of Jesus says nothing about washing the feet of Peter and nothing about disobedience on Peter’s part. 

Peter will not accept the self-humiliation of Jesus. Yet by thus contending for the Lord’s greatness, which he will not have marred, he is really asserting his own greatness over against Jesus, as one who will not learn humility from the example Jesus is now setting him. 

Thus by seemingly contending for the greatness of Jesus, Peter is destroying this greatness and is thus separating himself from Jesus. In other words, by his refusal to have Jesus wash his feet, Peter repudiates the Lord as he is and demands a Lord who is otherwise. 

Jesus makes Peter’s having part with him depend, not on anything Peter does, but on something Jesus does for Peter: “unless I wash thee.”

Lenten Evening Prayer: 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).

Today’s Readings
Exodus 34 (Listen – 5:48)
John 13 (Listen – 5:06)

Lenten Reflections
Part 1 of 5, read more on TheParkForum.org

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How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

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