25 Feb Matthew 6:1 (Lent begins!)
Welcome God every morning before your work by taking ~5 min to read this Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group devotion (life-devotions.blogspot.com), which has snippets from Living Faith. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Col. 3:17
Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. Matthew 6:1
Living Faith snippets: “Ashes on the forehead are readily observed by others. Jesus asks us to “take care” with regard to our motivation for religious practices. Lent is a time to break the cycle of focusing on ourselves and other people’s opinions of us in order to offer ourselves to God alone. Let God purify the best of our intentions and toss out the rest. Lord, I offer you my prayer, fasting and almsgiving this Lent. Do with them what you will.” by Mark Neilsen
LIFE Group nuggets:
* USAFA Cadet Chapel: “Come ready to begin this Season of Hope/Growth. Ash Wednesday/Good Friday are days of Fast (one full, 2 light meals, no snacking) and Abstinence (no eating meat). All Fridays of Lent are days of Abstinence.”
* Kathy Castle: “It is the guilt that brings me to the cross where I find forgiveness and Christ’s payment for my sins.”
* Rich Reich: “We are the body of Christ that reaches out to others with healing hands, not the cold granite stones of the physical church building.”
* Steve Castle: “My key take away from The Shack (book) is God = Relationship.”
Faith Challenge: Let’s challenge each other to joyfully live out the Good News. Suggestions?
* NEW: Study the info about Ash Wednesday below and prepare your heart in preparation for your neighbor asking you why you have ashes on your forehead.
Culture War/ProLife News: LifeSiteNews, American Family Association, Priests for Life
* Let’s never forget the horrific reality of abortion (images). Abortion is #1 cause of death in America.
* NEW: 40 Days for Life campaign (25 Feb – 5 Apr) is an around the clock prayer vigil in front of abortion mills in 130 communities around the world. Please sign up for even just one hour (sacrifice out of love for God & neighbor).
Our Prayers: Those who pray together stay together. Fasting ideas below.
* Let’s pray for courage to share ProLife Truth to those around us (John 14:6)…rebuilding a Culture of Life (Matt 5:16).
* Prayer to end abortion, abused children, chastity, peace, our enemies, our troops, depression/ despair, prisoners, ProLife politicians, lack of faith, illnesses/injuries, Mark Nelson (Pat Barton cancer), Peters family (JP updates)
* NEW: Rob Ouellette (Janet Colson by-pass surgery), Rich Reich (KC fish fry)
Ash Wednesday: “Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return. Ashes are a symbol of penance…they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice. The distribution of ashes comes from a ceremony of ages past. Christians who had committed grave faults performed public penance [in ashes].”
Faith Quote: Stephanie Spader shared this prayer. “[Dear Heavenly Father,] as we live through this Ash Wednesday, may the crosses of ashes that mark our foreheads be a reminder to us and to those we meet that we belong to your Son. [Amen.]” author unknown
Through Christ for ProLife,
* Bible: Readings and reflections for today.
* 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, bitterness, being so critical, 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 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.
Let’s joyfully invite others to join our LIFE Group…Rich or Pat will gladly add them to the devotions distribution list (Mark 16:15)!