Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

in Lent

Belong & Become, Week 5, Day 29

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MARK 14:32-35 | 32 They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. 34 And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.” 35 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

We suffer in this world. We love and suffer loss. We are sensitive to the problems of others and to tragedy around us and we suffer along with others. We get diseases and suffer pain and uncertainty. We age and suffer through restriction and diminishing capacities. We know and endure loneliness, betrayal, addiction, failure, or
intransigent mental issues. We suffer due to injustice, violence, or insanity.

It is powerful to know our Lord was not a stranger to struggle. Distressed, agitated, grieved into death, Jesus collapsed on the ground in agony. He was floored, knocked right over from the pressure and anxiety he faced in his final week, with the emotional, physical, and spiritual trauma of the cross looming.

In life everyone has moments where they fall, literally and figuratively.

Can you picture Jesus‘ distress?

What made his sorrow unique?

 

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in Lent

Belong & Become, Week 4, Day 28

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ACTS 4:32-33 | 32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

The early church and VPC face different challenges. An audience of first-century Jews contained no agnostics or atheists, and most of them knew the Old Testament well. They all stood in immediate close relation to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, in terms of time and culture.

We face a more secular situation. The Bible is largely unknown to many outside the church. Our society in many of its elite elements, like education and media, is hostile. We stand at a distance in time, space, and culture from the first century. Yet the gospel can still be proclaimed with great power and God can shower his grace on all! We can be of “one heart and soul,” directed toward great ends together.

Pray for renewal and revival in our congregation and community.

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