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March 2 Devotional

Opening Prayer: O Holy God, apart from you we are totally lost, full of sin, and without hope. Help us to see the gravity of our predicament, so that we might be overwhelmed by the depths of your love. In the name of your Son, our Savior, Jesus we pray. Amen.

Scripture Reading for the Day: Romans 3:9-18

Journal: What response comes up within you as you read the scripture for today? Is there any word or image that seems to stand out? Why? Pay attention to that word or image and see what God has to say to you through it.

Reflection: So of what possible value could it be to reflect and meditate on words that are as dismal and depressing as the words of Romans 3:9-18? A wise man once said that we can never know how unbelievably wonderful the Good News really is until we fully understand how terribly awful the bad news really is. We can’t possibly know the full beauty of the Light until we have wrestled with the ugliness of our own inner darkness. We must have the courage to face the depths of our depravity before we can fully understand and appreciate the immense beauty of his goodness and love. 

That is why we must come to embrace the words of Romans 3 rather than trying to escape them by running too quickly to the cross before we fully understand the whole reason why the cross is necessary. When we truly embrace these words of scripture, we begin to see the enormous chasm between sinful man and a holy God; one that ironically seems only to grow larger the older and wiser we get, and the closer we get to Jesus. Because as our knowledge of God grows the larger the distance between the two of us seems to grow as well, and the more we realize our enormous need for a Savior. But luckily, as the gap between us grows bigger, so does the cross. The cross is bigger than we ever dared to dream. So, in an odd sort of way, the more aware we become of our own sinfulness, the more aware we become of the immensity of his great love.

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Isak Abla hosts a satellite TV program called “Light for the Heart” on the Kanal Hayat Turkish-language channel. She also hosts a live call-in program that is simulcast on the Turkish and Farsi channels throughout the Middle East and Europe. These TV programs deliver the message of love, healing, and freedom through Christ Jesus, reflecting on Isik’s own life experience. Pray today for Isak as she prepares to speak tomorrow night at the Global Mission Conference.

Young Life Europe is an organization that pursues and befriends teenagers to introduce them to Jesus. Jim McNamee is the Western Europe Regional Director and Barbara works on the regional staff. They direct and supervise YL staff in five countries: Belgium, France, Holland, Portugal, and Spain. Working from Madrid, they are responsible for both the national and international school works in those countries. Pray today for Jim and Barbara and their extended family.

Closing Prayer: O Saving God, thank you that though our sin is deep, your love is deeper still. Thank you that your cross is larger and more beautiful than we could ever imagine. Hallelujah!