Devotion

Inspired by Luke 18:13.

Read Luke 18:9-14

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’” Luke 18:13

O Lord, Jesus with us, who did for our sake fast forty days and forty nights, we seek a closer walk with You.

As we walk in Your footsteps this season, help us control the desires of our physical wants, and follow the leadership of Your Spirit; that in righteousness and true holiness we might bring honor and glory to You. Help us in this period of purification to find new or better ways to help those who are lost or weary, to reach out to bless sisters and brothers with Holy goodness, as did Christ our Lord.

Gracious and Wonderful God, we bow before You as sons and daughters who are wandering children, grateful that You have shown us a road back to our Father’s house.

You have spoken to us in the voice of our conscience, in the words of Holy Scripture, in the promptings of Your Holy Spirit; and yet we have not obeyed Your voice.

You have shown us the best, in the ideals that still haunt us, in the life and example of the Godly, in the model of Jesus Himself, yet we have not followed it.

You have tried to teach us, in the events of history, in the experiences of life, in the wisdom of the sages, prophets, and saints; and yet we have not learned Your lesson.

You have called us to the life of love, to the blessedness of forgiveness, the art of compassion, and the mercy that is like Your very own; yet we have lived in bitterness, heedless of the appeal those in need.

This season we have nothing in our hand to bring. We have no merit of our own. There is no plea of self-defense that we can offer. So above all else we thank You, gentle Jesus, our Savior, who died that we might be forgiven. So for His sake, hear us as we say: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”

This we ask for Your love’s sake. Amen.


Reflection: 

  • What in my life is holding me back from drawing near to God and asking Him to change my life?
  • Is there a pattern or sin in my life that continually hinders my ability to love God with my whole heart or love my neighbor as myself? How may I change that habit?
  • “Faith prompts prayer, while prayer strengthens faith” (Craig Evans). Do I have a persistent prayer life? Why or why not? What is my prayer life like? What needs to change?
  • How is my Lenten practice bringing me closer to Christ?
  • When I wake up on Easter Sunday morning, how will I be different?

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