Devotion for the 1st Sunday in Lent

Lent 1

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Genesis 9:8-17; Psalm 25:1-10; 1Peter 3:18-22;

Mark 1:9-15

All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

Psalm 25:10

Grace . . .

I had recently asked myself the following question – How would I define God’s grace if asked?  Unable to provide myself a satisfactory answer, I later found the following description that closely parallels today’s verse: “The love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not necessarily because of anything we have done to earn it.” Our Lenten journey calls for us to honor the sacrifice of God’s greatest act of grace, the gift of His Son.

Even though His grace is freely given, He does long for our love, faith, and obedience in return.  The commitments we make to our family, friends, jobs, school, leisure, and many others, all distract us from returning God’s love.  Lent is the season where we should attempt to simplify our lives, reduce our distractions, and return God’s love in abundance.  We would be well put to recall Wesley’s “means of grace,” which included prayer, daily Bible study, participation in Christian community, and works of mercy.  Is it so much to ask of us to daily take a few minutes to thank God in prayer, read and study a daily devotional or participate in a Bible study class, attend church regularly, and find an opportunity to help those around us?

I would like to close with a quotation I recently read from Dr. William Willimon that I feel meaningfully portrays both our struggle with faithfulness and God’s unwavering grace: “I do not always feel like a child of God.  I do not always look like a child of God.  God knows I do not always act like a child of God!  But I am. I am one of God’s children not because of what I did or because of who I am but because God chose me…I am owned.”

Prayer:  Dear God, forgive us for the times we fall short in returning your grace.  We are so very thankful for your abundant mercy and the gift of your Son.  Help us to find the strength to resist the many temptations we face, and rededicate ourselves to be your faithful servants.  Amen


Craig Lee