17 Feb Joel 2: 13-14 (LENT)
Let’s welcome God today by reflecting on this Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group devotion (archive, Facebook), based on Living Faith. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Col. 3:17
For gracious merciful is [the Lord], slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment. Perhaps he will again relent… Joel 2: 13-14 (full readings)
Living Faith snippets: “‘Perhaps’ God will relent: Is it a lack of faith to suggest that God might actually punish us, or, on the other, is it presumptuous to say that God would never punish us, no matter how richly we deserved it?” by Mark Neilsen
Steve’s Thoughts: This question posed by our author resonated with me this morning as we begin our 40 day Lenten journey together. Do I presume that God will have no recourse for my sins? Yes, I am forgiven, but as a parent I have learned that even when my children disobey me and I forgive them there are still consequences (punishment) for their poor choices. I do so because I love them. Father, thank you for drawing close to me and disciplining me in your love – for we know that those you love you also reprove. Lord, I have sinned. Set me free to love and serve both you and my neighbor. Amen.
Sr. Francelle’s Devotion: Lent – A time of Joy!
Faith Challenges: Let’s generously share the LIFE Group by forwarding a devotion or using our Facebook Group “invite people to join” link.
* In preparation for Easter (Lent), let’s give something up (fasting) and take something on (service). Consider giving even just one hour of prayer in front of your local abortuary (foot of the Cross) in support of the 40 Days for Life campaign (17 Feb – 28 Mar). What is the value of Lenten sacrifices…and what sacrifices do you have planned? To encourage others, consider commenting on our Facebook Group.
Counter-Culture News: LifeSiteNews, Vatican, American Family Association, Priests for Life
* Let’s never forget the horrific reality of abortion (images), #1 cause of death in America (23% of pregnancies). Let’s courageously share ProLife Truth to create social tension for exposing abortion’s unjust peace, rebuilding a Culture of Life for setting the unborn (and parents) free!
Our Prayers: Those who pray together stay together…and closer to God (see prayer/fasting footnotes).
* Prayer to end abortion, Peters family (JP), Haitian earthquake victims
Faith Quotes/Media: Check out Matt Kennon’s “The Call” (music video) – a wonderful pro-life theme and is currently climbing the charts!
Through Christ our Lord,
* Prayer: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. ‘If you pray that God will move a mountain and He doesn’t, assume Christ wants you to climb it instead.
* Fasting: Let’s fast from things that take our eyes off Jesus (selfishness, pornography, bitterness, criticalness, impatience, gossip, excessive video games, etc) and take on things that fix our eyes on Jesus (selflessness, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, patience, understanding, caring, helping, listening).
* Defend the unborn: ‘Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die’ (Prov 24:11). ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you’ (Jer 1:5). ‘It is a great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish’ (Blessed Mother Teresa).
* Evangelization: Let’s make room for unbelievers (be a friend, make a friend, lead a friend to Christ) and perpetual re-evangelization of self and those near us, by way of daily prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of selfless love, mercy, and service (Matt 28:19).
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