Daily Lenten devotional 2.23.16

soil and waterDay 14, Week 2:  A Pure Heart (Soil and Water)

Today’s scripture passage:

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.  1 Peter 1:22 NIV

This week we’ve looked at what makes up a pure heart.  It is free from the impurities of sin through confession and repentance.  It is full of good soil so it can produce a large harvest.  A pure heart is washed and watered by the Holy Spirit.  God tests pure hearts by asking us to love one another deeply, even when it’s challenging.  When someone mistreats me, I can choose to forgive instead of holding a grudge.  When someone hurts me for no reason, I can choose to extend grace and pray for them.  I can choose to confront rather than avoid, keep silent when tempted to lash out, and stay engaged rather than withdraw.  I have been able to take the high road in my circumstances only because God purified my heart and gave me the power to love deeply, even in difficult situations.

Today’s reflection:  

Who does God want you to love more deeply?

Daily Lenten devotional 2.22.16

soil and waterDay 13, Week 2:  A Pure Heart (Soil and Water)

Today’s scripture passage:

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Christ our Savior.  Titus 3:5-6 NIV

These verses allude to baptism – washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit – but they also speak of the continuing work of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s heart.  The Holy Spirit guides me in my study of the Bible.  He pricks my conscience when I am tempted.  He leads me to know God’s will for my life, and he opens my eyes for opportunities to pray or witness.  In all these ways the Holy Spirit works to purify and renew my heart.

Today’s reflection:  

How can you thank the Holy Spirit for his work in your life?

Daily Lenten devotional 2.21.16

soil and waterDay 12, Week 2:  A Pure Heart (Soil and Water)

Today’s scripture passage:

Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  James 4:8b NIV

In Old Testament times, priests had to submit to ceremonial washings before they could enter the presence of God.  Their clean hands were a symbol of clean hearts.  Today Christians no longer observe washing practices, but God still expects us to purify our hearts.  When the Holy Spirit convicts my heart, it is my responsibility to acknowledge the sin, confess it, and repent.  This is a daily purification process that leads me closer to God.

Today’s reflection:  

In what ways do you need to purify your heart?