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March 13 Devotional

Opening Prayer: God be in my head, and in my understanding; God be in mine eyes, and in my looking; God be in my mouth, and in my speaking; God be in my heart, and in my thinking; God be at mine end, and at my departing. - Sarum Primer, 16th century

Scripture Reading for the Day: Psalm 84:5-7 (NIV)

Journal: What word would you use to describe your life with God these days? How well does the word pilgrimage fit for you right now? What does that mean? What does that look like? Where are you on that pilgrimage?

Reflection: This Lenten journey is very much a pilgrimage. It is the time where we, like Jesus, set our face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51 ESV). It is a journey to the cross; a journey that passes through the Valley of Weeping, but ultimately ends up at a place of springs; a place of new life, a place of resurrection. So what does it look like to set my heart on this pilgrimage? Does it mean to willingly follow wherever the hard and lonely path may lead, trusting that Jesus knows the way to life? Does it mean to embrace, rather than avoid or deny, the struggle and pain and brokenness of the season - and my own heart - knowing that this is the soil in which new life is born? Does it mean simply putting one foot in front of the other as we willingly follow our Savior into a scary and vulnerable land; the land of denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following him? Does it mean being stripped down to the core of who we really are, and who he really is, in order that we may really become all that he desires us to be? Does it mean a putting off of all that is false within us, in order to put on all that is genuinely true? Does it mean the putting to death of the false self, that we may live, and be, the true self we were intended/created/dreamt to be? If that is indeed what it means, then by all means, O Lord, set my heart of pilgrimage, as you set your face to go to Jerusalem, so that I may really know, and really love, you and you alone.

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Lady and Armando Cueva are working in Tlajomulcho, Mexico, located in the southwestern part of greater Guadalajara, as part of Mission Guadalajara, a reproducing church planting effort begun by Kenton Wood. The Tlajomulcho church plant is one of six church planting efforts underway as part of Mission Guadalajarra. Pray today for their family.

The Bible Society of Egypt is the largest Arabic Bible publishing operation in the world. They are publishing the Scriptures in a variety of formats and media (print, audio, visual), with each product designed for a particular social, economic, age, and cultural interest group. Pray today for the staff as they perform the day to day tasks required to publish the Bibles.

Closing Prayer: How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young - a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God.   

Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Weeping, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob. Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. Amen. (Psalm 84:1-12)