The Daily

Daily devotions and thoughts from Cypress Meadows


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Week 1 - Grace

March 29 - April 4

Day 4

Contributed by:

Keith Killen

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Lord, I thank you that I have been saved by your grace through faith. This is not my doing, but it is a gift from you. – Ephesians 2:8

 

Scripture:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and [a]this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast. - Ephesian 2:8-9

 

Reading:

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. Saint Augustine

 

Reflection:

Some want to prove God before they can have a relationship with him. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. If God could be proven, salvations would not be by faith. It is amazing and miraculous that God could come up with a plan for salvation that cannot be proven and yet millions upon millions have believed in Him. Thank you God for helping my weak faith to come alive and allow me to be in relationship with the Creator of the universe.

 

Blessing:

Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master. 2 Peter 1:2

Day 5

Contributed by:

Taylor Fletcher

Worship Leader

Opening Prayer:

Lord, I thank you that I have been saved by your grace through faith. This is not my doing, but it is a gift from you. – Ephesians 2:8

 

Scripture:

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him! You will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. – Isaiah 30:18-19

 

Reading:

“Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning. Earning is an attitude. Effort is an action. Grace, you know, does not just have to do with forgiveness of sins alone.” – Dallas Willard, The Great Ommission

 

Reflection:

Grace in the bible is a gift given with delight and favor to one who doesn’t deserve it. This is God’s character and it should be ours as well. We are our most like God when we are giving grace to others. Who needs your compassion? Can you mirror God in the Isaiah passage above?

 

Blessing:

Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master. 2 Peter 1:2

 

Day 6

Contributed by:

Douglas Poole

Pastor

Opening Prayer:

Lord, I thank you that I have been saved by your grace through faith. This is not my doing, but it is a gift from you. – Ephesians 2:8


Scripture:

God gives grace and more grace. Therefore the scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. -James 4:6


Reading:

I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. -Anne Lamott


Reflection:

Who I am…and who I long to be can be two different realities. It is God and His grace that comes to me, where I am and just as I am, and lovingly shapes me more and more into the person I’ve always hoped would be true of me. He doesn’t need your grand intentions or extraordinary talent to pull it off…just your humble cooperation. That’s one of the reasons we say His grace is amazing.


Blessing:

Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master. 2 Peter 1:2

Week 2 - Mercy

April 5 - April 11

Day 1

Contributed by:

Keith Killen

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.  - Psalms 4:1

 

Scripture:

Therefore let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need. Hebrews 4:16

 

Reading:

“there is a God, there always has been. I see him here, in the eyes of the people in this [hospital] corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him... there is a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He will forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to Him now in my hour of need. I pray that He is as merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is.”

― Khaled Hosseini

 

Reflection:

Thank God for His mercy upon my life. May I now demonstrate my appreciation for his Mercy by being merciful to others. As I have learned to be more merciful and forgiving, I experience more peace and calm in my life. Seems our world could use a lot more demonstrations of mercy and forgiveness; God help it to be so.

 

Blessing:

May you experience and realize God great mercy upon your life and show your gratitude by expressing mercy to others.

Day 2

Contributed by:

Douglas Poole

Pastor

Opening Prayer:

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.  - Psalms 4:1

 

Scripture:

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. - Matthew 7:12

 

Reading:

Mercy is simply doing ordinary things with extraordinary love for any and everyone. - A Call to Mercy by Mother Teresa

 

Reflection:

Even a little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more warm. Today you will interact with those who bless and those who curse you. Those who empower and those who frustrate you. Jesus gave us a filter...mercy. Step into their reality and respond as you hope someone would deal with you in the same moment. Warm things up today.

 

Blessing:

May you experience and realize God great mercy upon your life and show your gratitude by expressing mercy to others.

Day 3

Contributed by:

Melissa Schultz

Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer:

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.  - Psalms 4:1

 

Scripture:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9-10

 

Reading:

“Mercy means compassion, empathy, a heart for someone’s troubles.  It is not something you do—it is something in you, accessed, revealed, or cultivated through use, like a muscle.  We find it in the most unlikely places, never where we first look.” Anne Lamott

 

Reflection:

I know when I think of the concept of mercy, my mind leaps to grand gestures and examples—large-scale macro ways our society displays and/or can grow in mercy.  I think this is why I love Anne Lamott’s quote about mercy being a “muscle”.  The idea that in showing mercy we can grow and develop in our ability, over time, is deeply encouraging.  We’re not being called to find a grand vision, which could feel so overwhelming.  Instead we’re being called to practice mercy, compassion, empathy in our everyday interactions.  We have the opportunity to practice, to grow, to impact others in every micro encounter; every single day.  And in doing so we’re growing and developing our abilities, but also, simultaneously, potentially igniting a spark within a neighbor, a coworker, a family member, reminding them to be merciful in their interactions.  And I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of anything more beautiful than a world with overflowing mercy.

 

Blessing:

May you experience and realize God great mercy upon your life and show your gratitude by expressing mercy to others.

Day 4

Contributed by:

Taylor Fletcher

Worship Leader

Opening Prayer:

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.  - Psalms 4:1

 

Scripture:

God have mercy on me a sinner. - Luke 18:13

 

Reading:

“Have mercy, have mercy, baby. Have mercy, have mercy on me.” - Don Covay

 

The prayer for God’s mercy comes from a heart that knows that this human brokenness is not a fatal condition of which we have become the sad victims, but the bitter fruit of the human choice to say no to love. - Henri Nouwen

 

Reflection:

God is always ready to receive the unrighteous when they call to him, but he closes his ears to those whose pride in themselves and their works makes them feel self-sufficient. In your daily relations with God do you come to him as a tax collector or a Pharisee?

 

Blessing:

May you experience and realize God great mercy upon your life and show your gratitude by expressing mercy to others.

Day 5

Contributed by:

Jacque Poole

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.  - Psalms 4:1

 

Scripture:

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” - Laminations 3:21-23

 

Reading:

God’s mercy means His pity, compassion, and kindness toward people. His mercy shows up in the believer’s life at salvation, and then God continues to show mercy in forgiveness. Mercy triumphs over judgment. - Dawn Wilson

 

Reflection:

The power of grace and mercy is extraordinary in the hands of our holy God. I am always grateful for God’s mercy...kindness, compassion, and tenderness toward me. As I strive to be the person God created me to be, I am reminded to be merciful. Cultivating mercy by letting go of judgement and criticism will allow me to reflect God’s presence to those in my circle of influence. I have hope because His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. Let’s be merciful like God, our Father.

 

Blessing:

May you experience and realize God great mercy upon your life and show your gratitude by expressing mercy to others.

 

Day 6

Contributed by:

Marq Caughell

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.  - Psalms 4:1


Scripture:

There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. - James 2:13


Reading:

Being human always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself - be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself - by giving to a cause to serve or another person to love - the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. - From Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning


Reflection:

Without love there can be no mercy. If I can’t find a way to love someone, then I doubt I will be able to find room for mercy either. If I can find something to love in everyone I meet, I can certainly find the capacity for mercy. I know that I want God to judge me with mercy, so it is pretty clear what the expectation of me is.


Blessing:

May you experience and realize God great mercy upon your life and show your gratitude by expressing mercy to others.

Week 3 - Forgiveness

April 12 - April 18

Day 1

Contributed by:

Taylor Fletcher

Worship Leader

Opening Prayer:

Lord, as you have shown me great forgiveness, may I show that same type of forgiveness to others.

 

Scripture:

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. - Matthew 6:14-15

 

Reading:

“For the pious community permits no one to be a sinner. Hence all have to conceal their sins from themselves and from the community. We are not allowed to be sinners. Many Christians would be unimaginably horrified if a real sinner were suddenly to turn up among the pious. So we remain alone with our sin, trapped in lies and hypocrisy, for we are in fact sinners…You do not have to go on lying to yourself and to other Christians as if you were without sin. You are allowed to be a sinner. Thank God for that”. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from Life Together

 

Reflection:

To be human is to be doing a balancing act on both sides of forgiveness. If you are breathing you need to be forgiven by someone and you need to offer forgiveness to another. Our relationship with others and with God are bound to how well we accept and give forgiveness. Who do you need to ask for forgiveness? Who do you need to forgive?

 

Blessing:

May you experience and understand just how much God has forgiven you and as a result begin to love and forgive others. May you experience the freedom that comes by forgiving and being forgiven.

Day 2

Contributed by:

Douglas Poole

Pastor

Opening Prayer:

Lord, as you have shown me great forgiveness, may I show that same type of forgiveness to others.

 

Scripture:

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one other, just as in Christ God forgave you. -Ephesians 4:32

 

Reading:

Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die. 

-from Traveling Mercies: Some thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

 

Reflection:

Do they deserve forgiveness?  

I’m not here to determine that.

 

But I think you deserve some peace. You deserve to pull up this anchor that is holding you to the past and move into the future God is calling you into.

 

Not sure it’s in you…then take some of the forgiveness God poured into you and begin there. He gave you extra…so use it.

 

Blessing:

May you experience and understand just how much God has forgiven you and as a result begin to love and forgive others. May you experience the freedom that comes by forgiving and being forgiven.

Day 3

Contributed by:

Jacque Poole

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Lord, as you have shown me great forgiveness, may I show that same type of forgiveness to others.

 

Scripture:

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32

 

Reading:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu teaches:

To forgive is not just to be altruistic.  It is the best form of self-interest.  It is also a process that does not exclude hatred and anger.  These emotions are all part of being human.  You should never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things:  The depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger.

However, when I talk of forgiveness, I mean the belief that you can come out the other side a better person.  A better person than one being consumed by anger and hatred.  Remaining in that state locks you in a state of victimhood, making you almost dependent on the perpetrator.  If you can find it in yourself to forgive, then you are no longer chained to the perpetrator.  You can move on, and you can even help the perpetrator to become a better person, too.”

 

Reflection:

Search yourself. What do you need to forgive? Who do you need to forgive? Wrestle with the hurt and the harm. Come out the other side a better person...one who has been forgiven and one who has forgiven.

 

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

Blessing:

May you experience and understand just how much God has forgiven you and as a result begin to love and forgive others. May you experience the freedom that comes by forgiving and being forgiven.

Day 4

Contributed by:

Keith Killen

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Lord, as you have shown me great forgiveness, may I show that same type of forgiveness to others.

 

Scripture:

For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but the one who is forgiven little, loves little.” And He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” Luke 7:47-48

 

Reading:

I think the first step is to understand that forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator. Forgiveness liberates the victim. It’s a gift you give yourself. - T. D. Jakes

 

Reflection:

In our scripture passage above, we learn the lady was forgiven much and as a result loved much. The truth is, we have all been forgiven much but we often do not realize just how much. When we do not acknowledge for just how much for we have been forgiven, it is hard to love and forgive others. Lord help me to realize just how much I have been forgiven and then love and forgive others which allows me to be set free.

 

Blessing:

May you experience and understand just how much God has forgiven you and as a result begin to love and forgive others. May you experience the freedom that comes by forgiving and being forgiven.

Day 5

Contributed by:

Melissa Schultz

Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer:

Lord, as you have shown me great forgiveness, may I show that same type of forgiveness to others.

 

Scripture:  

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:31-32 

 

As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Psalm 103: 12 

 

Reading: 

“Without forgiveness, we remain tethered to the person who harmed us.  We are bound with chains of bitterness, tied together, trapped.  Until we can forgive the person who harmed us, that person will hold the keys to our happiness; that person will be our jailor.  When we forgive the person who harmed us, we take back control of our own fate and our feelings.  We become our own liberators.  We don’t forgive to help the other person.  We don’t forgive for others.  We forgive for ourselves.  Forgiveness, in other words, is the best form of self-interest.  This is true both spiritually and scientifically……To forgive is also to release yourself from whatever trauma and hardship you have experienced and reclaim your life as your own.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu 

 

Reflection:  

What are you holding on to these days?  Is there a person or situation that came to mind during the reading?  What about the idea of self-forgiveness?  Are you quicker to forgive others than to forgive yourself?   

 

What an awesome time of year to focus on walking in forgiveness…knowing that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice to forgive our sins.  He, in His wisdom and perfection, found us worthy of the peace and wholeness that comes with forgiveness.  He wants us to experience a life that is life.   

 

What is holding you back these days?  Is there something you need to release in order to move in the direction of forgiveness?  What might those first steps of look like for you? 

 

Blessing:

May you experience and understand just how much God has forgiven you and as a result begin to love and forgive others. May you experience the freedom that comes by forgiving and being forgiven.

 

Day 6

Contributed by:

Marq Caughell

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Lord, as you have shown me great forgiveness, may I show that same type of forgiveness to others.


Scripture:

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. - Ephesians 4:31-32


Reading: 

Totally explaining one’s crimes would be tantamount to explaining away his or her guilt and to seeing in him or her not a free and responsible human being but a machine to be repaired. - From Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning


Reflection: 

Not everything can be explained away with biology, psychology or sociology. At the end of the day, it is not my genetics, my upbringing or the society that I live in that is responsible for my actions - I am. We have all sinned and fallen short. We are all in this together, sinners who have received but not earned forgiveness. We are capable of rising above evil behavior towards others with God’s help.


Blessing:

May you experience and understand just how much God has forgiven you and as a result begin to love and forgive others. May you experience the freedom that comes by forgiving and being forgiven.

Week 4 - Crucifixion

April 19 - April 25

Day 1

Contributed by:

Jacque Poole

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Since, you, Jesus went through everything I'm going through and more, teach me to think like You. To think of my sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get my own way. Then I'll be able to live out my days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what I want. - 1 Peter 4:1-2

 

Scripture:

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani? (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ). - Mark15:33-34

 

and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. - 1 Peter 2:24 

 

Reading:

Our tendency in the midst of suffering is to turn on God. To get angry and bitter and shake our fist at the sky and say, "God, you don't know what it's like! You don't understand! You have no idea what I'm going through. You don't have a clue how much this hurts.” The cross is God's way of taking away all of our accusations, excuses, and arguments. The cross is God taking on flesh and blood and saying, "Me too. - Rob Bell

 

Reflection:

When I consider the cross I see an ugly, cruel device used by men and women to inflict pain, punishment and ultimately an excruciating death on those they condemned. However, I have learned that the cross has another side...God took the ugly cruelty of men and flipped it to bring the incredible gift of loving grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Whatever is happening in your life, God is with you..He says, “Me too.” By His wounds...we are healed.

 

Blessing:

May you show love and appreciation to God and His Son Jesus for the great sacrifice made in your behalf. May your life before others be an expression of that love.

Day 2

Contributed by:

Marq Caughell

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Since, you, Jesus went through everything I'm going through and more, teach me to think like You. To think of my sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get my own way. Then I'll be able to live out my days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what I want. - 1 Peter 4:1-2

 

Scripture: 

If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. - Matthew 10:38

 

Reading: 

We had to learn ourselves, and furthermore, we had to teach despairing men that it did not matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. - From Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning

 

Reflection: 

In life, we need to take the responsibility to find the right answer to each problem that comes before us. It does not matter what we expect from God, but what God expects from us. Sometimes a situation requires action, sometimes contemplation. Sometimes, we may be asked to simply accept our fate in a situation and bear our cross, knowing that God’s grace will see us through.

 

Blessing:

May you show love and appreciation to God and His Son Jesus for the great sacrifice made in your behalf. May your life before others be an expression of that love.

Day 3

Contributed by:

Keith Killen

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Since, you, Jesus went through everything I'm going through and more, teach me to think like You. To think of my sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get my own way. Then I'll be able to live out my days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what I want. - 1 Peter 4:1-2

 

Scripture:

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  - 1 Corinthians 1:18

 

Reading:

To some, the image of a pale body glimmering on a dark night whispers of defeat. What good is a God who does not control his Son's suffering? But another sound can be heard: the shout of a God crying out to human beings, "I LOVE YOU." Love was compressed for all history in that lonely figure on the cross, who said that he could call down angels at any moment on a rescue mission, but chose not to - because of us. At Calvary, God accepted his own unbreakable terms of justice. Any discussion of how pain and suffering fit into God's scheme ultimately leads back to the cross. ― Philip Yancey

 

Reflection:

My mind is incapable of fully understanding or comprehending the pain, suffering, and humiliation or the significance, purpose, and consequences of Jesus’ death on the cross. But I pray that does not keep me from expressing my love and appreciation for His great sacrifice. God, help me to love and praise you for the plan of salvation and to thank your Son for His great sacrifice as a substitute for me on the cross.  

 

Blessing:

May you show love and appreciation to God and His Son Jesus for the great sacrifice made in your behalf. May your life before others be an expression of that love.

Day 4

Contributed by:

Douglas Poole

Pastor

Opening Prayer:

Since, you, Jesus went through everything I'm going through and more, teach me to think like You. To think of my sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get my own way. Then I'll be able to live out my days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what I want. - 1 Peter 4:1-2

 

Scripture:

Trust Him at all times, O people: Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah       -Psalm 62:8

 

Reading:

There are moments where the hurt we feel in our souls or the confused thoughts in our head defy language and feel unjust. In these moments we reason if I can’t understand how can anyone else? These moments are lonely dark nights of the soul. And what about God? Does He know…does He care? In these moments I reflect on the garden and I look to the cross…and I find the answer. And thereby I find the grace and hope I need to begin my journey toward peace. -from: A Peak Into My Journal by Douglas Poole

 

Reflection:

What is the state of my soul?

What does it look like for me to pour it out before God in this moment?

 

Blessing:

May you show love and appreciation to God and His Son Jesus for the great sacrifice made in your behalf. May your life before others be an expression of that love.

Day 5

Contributed by:

Melissa Schultz

Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer:

Since, you, Jesus went through everything I'm going through and more, teach me to think like You. To think of my sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get my own way. Then I'll be able to live out my days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what I want. - 1 Peter 4:1-2

 

Scripture: 

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16 

 

Reading: 

“In the Cross is salvation; in the Cross is life; in the Cross is protection against our enemies; in the Cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the Cross is strength of mind; in the Cross is joy of spirit; in the Cross is excellence of virtue; in the Cross is perfection of holiness.  There is no salvation of soul, nor hope of eternal life, save in the Cross.” Thomas à Kempis 

 

Reflection: 

We know love, because first, He loved us.  We know forgiveness, because He forgave all of our transgressions.  We know grace, because His grace is overflowing in our lives.  We know mercy and compassion and empathy and hope because of the ways He has poured these things into our very souls.  And now that we know, we can be.  We know love and forgiveness and grace and mercy and hope, so now we can be these things in the world.  We know better, so now, we’re called to do better, infusing these gifts into our actions and interactions and reactions.  Let’s collectively spread the gifts of the Cross within this world. 

 

Blessing:

May you show love and appreciation to God and His Son Jesus for the great sacrifice made in your behalf. May your life before others be an expression of that love.

 

Day 6

Contributed by:

Taylor Fletcher

Worship Leader

Opening Prayer:

Since, you, Jesus went through everything I'm going through and more, teach me to think like You. To think of my sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get my own way. Then I'll be able to live out my days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what I want. - 1 Peter 4:1-2

 

Scripture:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. A pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment. - Psalm 22:1,6,16-18

 

Reading:

The only time in all the gospels that Jesus Christ prays to God and doesn’t call him Father is on the cross, when he says, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus lost his relationship with the Father so that we could have a relationship with God as father. - Tim Keller “Prayer”

 

Reflection:

Psalm 22 was written some 600 years before Jesus crucifixion yet it clearly describes it. Jesus quotes its first line on the cross to draw attention to what  he was experiencing. Read all of Psalm 22 and ask God to grow your understanding of His love for you and others. 

 

Blessing:

May you show love and appreciation to God and His Son Jesus for the great sacrifice made in your behalf. May your life before others be an expression of that love.