broken people, being made new in Jesus, overflowing with gratitude, and poured out for others

Beauty for Ashes

Devotional for Lent 2016

Day 41 & Day 42

March 26, 2016 & March 27, 2016 It is Saturday, the sacred day of rest, the Sabbath. There is no temptation to work today, only mourn. But the man-made requirements have a strangle-hold on the faithful that keeps the mourners from finishing their final act of devotion for their beloved Lord. Would it bring a…

Day 40

March 25, 2016 Matthew 27:33-56; Mark 15:22-41; Luke 23:33-49; John 19:17b-37 The worst nightmares begin with betrayal. What is sacred and precious becomes a weapon on the lips of the devil. Then came the lies, the defamation, and the gang beating. Jesus never tried to stop it. Unwittingly, the enemies of Jesus were acting as…

Day 39

March 24, 2016 Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13 Jesus was ready to initiate his plan.  Due to the imminent danger, he had guarded the details of that night to make certain that no one would disrupt this final meal.  The place Jesus had chosen would be intimate for that night, yet could serve as…

Day 38

March 23, 2016 Matthew 21:23-23:39; Mark 11:27-12:40; Luke 20:1-47 A series of five attacks were launched at Jesus in a vain attempt trap him. The leaders of the various factions that were only unified by their hatred of Jesus devised a crafty plot. Who could hope to withstand such an assault? With laser-like accuracy, Jesus…

Day 37

March 22, 2016 Matthew 21:12-16; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-48 Jesus resolutely completed the two mile walk from the home of Lazarus to his Father’s house.  In the heart of Jewish life, Jesus repeats one of the first acts of his public ministry and turns the Temple inside out.  The courtyard where Gentiles were permitted to…

Day 36

March 21, 2016 Matthew 21:18-19; Mark 11:12-14 The results are stunning: “immediately the tree withered.”  A destructive miracle.  It was rare to find a fruitless, yet full-leafed fig tree.  It doesn’t matter it wasn’t officially fig season; leaves meant figs.  So when Mark says it was “not the season for figs,” shock hits the reader…

Day 34 & 35

March 18 & 19 Isaiah 61:11 “…the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” Isaiah’s description of coming beauty is anchored in a glorious promise: The Sovereign LORD will make this happen. Here the prophet does not give us a command to grow. He does not give us instructions about…

Day 33

March 18, 2016 Isaiah 61:11 “For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” There is something about growing things that inspires us. It’s no wonder God uses this imagery so often in his…

Day 32

March 17, 2016 Isaiah 61:10 “…For He has clothed me…as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Here is one of the greatest images God uses to draw our attention to Him: A joyous bride and groom, beautifully clothed and full of anticipation on their…

Day 31

March 16, 2016 Isaiah 61:10 “…For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness…” Clothing provides some of the richest symbolism in the Bible. Beautiful garments signify a beautiful soul. Notice what Isaiah calls these particular spiritual garments: “Salvation” and “righteousness.” Now here is a wardrobe sinful…