LAST DAY- Philippians 3:10 by Jazmine Higgins
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! HE IS RISEN!!!!
Have you come closer to Christ during Lent and will you continue to follow him and get even closer to him after Lent?
Lent has been a time where most of us take something out of our busy lives and replace it with God. It’s a wonderful time to get close to God and see his works, but now that Lent is over what will happen when you can have that thing back? Will you forget God until you need him again or will you continue to pursue your relationship with him?
God’s plan for you isn’t finished yet, just because Lent is over and he has Risen it doesn’t mean you know everything you need to know and that you no longer need him anymore. It’s actually now you need him the most, so you will be able to continue to get know him more.
If you really want to continue this fast for Christ then ask him to show you how to continue and let him work through you. Christ gave his life for you, so why can’t you give something up to continue to follow him. Following Christ isn’t just about actions it’s so much more, like giving up your time to be with him.
So finally I want to encourage you to ask God to show you the way and how to continue following him.
Thank you so much for following this plan! We hope it helped you in your walk with Christ!
Day 44 – Mark 14:17–26
by Annie Kirk
Two things happen in today’s reading. Firstly, Jesus reveals one of the disciples will betray him. This will happen after they have shared a meal together, which in the Middle east is the worst kind of treachery.
Secondly, which is the more important event, they share communion for the very first time. This meal closely resembles the Jewish passover meal. Passover was celebrated to remind the Israelites about the time when they were slaves in Egypt. Pharaoh refused to let the people go, so God punished Egypt. But he ’passed over’ the Jewish homes. When we celebrate communion today, we are reminded that God’s punishment for our sin is ’passed over’ us too. Because of Jesus we are forgiven! Spend some time thanking God for this.
Day 43 – Mark 14:1–9
by Annie Kirk
Am I the only one who gets why the disciples are so annoyed by this woman? I mean, what she did was extremely wasteful! Yet, Jesus doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, he encourages her and defends her to the disciples. So why are the disciples annoyed? Was it because they were concerned about the poor, like they said? Or was it because it becomes painfully obvious they are not prepared to make the same sacrifice as the woman? This perfume might have been her insurance for harder times, or her retirement fund. But because of her (non-romantic) love for Jesus she was prepared to ”waste” it all. Would the disciples have done the same? And more importantly, would you?
HOLY WEEK DAY 40- Mark 1:1-11 by Jazmine Higgins
Congratulations everyone it’s Palm Sunday which means it’s almost easter!!
Palm Sunday is the day Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey as crowds of people stood by the side of the road laying down palm branches or clothing, shouting “HOSANNA” (Save!) people exclaimed this because they recognized that Jesus was fulfilling the prophecies. The crowd saw Jesus as the fulfillment of this prophecies, but they did not understand where Jesus’ kingship would lead him. Days later this same crowd shouted, “Crucify him!”
We too have expectations for what we think God should do to make life better, safer and more enjoyable. We all want to see an end to suffering and have justice in the world. Like the people on the road to Jerusalem that day, we have much to learn about Jesus death and resurection.
We must not let our personal desires catch up with us, we must remember that following Christ isn’t always easy or simple it too involves hard times and suffering even death.
This week put aside your personal desires and struggles and think about how Jesus must have felt knowing he was going to die soon. Life isn’t easy but sometimes you have to go through a bad time to get to the good times.
Day 39 – Matthew 6:1-4, John 3:16
To end this week we add in probably the most popular and well known verse of the whole Bible. It’s the verse we all know. It’s the gospel in one simple verse. This week we have been exploring a personal faith in this God who gave up His only Son in order to save you. I am not a parent yet either but hopefully in the next couple of years I will know what it feels like to have a precious son or daughter that I would do anything for. I know that any distance I have put between me and things I want to hold on to will diminish when I have something that precious.
God also had to give up His hold on His only Son for a bigger cause. In the final moments on the cross, Jesus shouted out ‘Lord, why have you forsaken me’. For Jesus to completely destroy death and have the power He had to save us, He had to have been separated from the Father. For Jesus to truly know what our loneliness can be, He had to experience that too. God had to give that up for just a moment.
What is it that you have been holding on to that you could let go of. It doesn’t mean you can’t have it, but it does mean you are giving God control over it. It could be a relationship that has finally started, a new device or game you have saved up for or something else you hold precious. Make sure it doesn’t become more important to you than your own relationship with God. The bigger picture is way more important.
Day 38 – Matthew 6:1-4, Acts 2:43-47, 4:32-37, 6:2-7
OK, so we gave you a whole lot more reading today. But what do you notice happening in these passages from Acts? You see people following Jesus and having a very different outlook on life than we see today. Giving up and sharing their possessions, then a growing of the church as their minds were set on the right things.
Sacrificing some of our pleasures in life might be really difficult, but as we learned at Youth Group last week, if we are to stop becoming a slave to these possessions, we need to be willing to give them up for a time. Show ourselves above anyone else that are not dependant on them.
For lent, Annie and I gave up meat. I had the attitude for a long time that meat was necessary in a meal. But I have actually felt healthier than ever by looking for the vegetarian food to get the same nutrients. In truth I haven’t missed meat as much as I thought I would. Perhaps a few days without what ever it is that you have become dependant on will help you see that you don’t need to be dependent on them.
Day 37 – Matthew 6:1-4, Matthew 6:33
The additional verse today reminds me about what we saw last year when we looked more closely at Solomon and his big start as the King of Israel. When God offered him whatever he wanted, either power or wealth, he asked for wisdom, and got given the others as well. You see, the wisdom that he asked for helped Solomon know how to use that power and wealth wisely, so that Solomon ended up being one of the greatest Kings of the time. He was a business man and a leader. A little like some of the leaders today but without the hypocrisy and lies.
‘Seeking first the kingdom’, waiting for the rewards He has for us might be the hard thing to do, but like Solomon, I believe we will know how to use the things we want in the proper way and not abuse them. We will be trusted with more if we understand how to use the little.
Day 36 – Matthew 6:1-4
What rewards in heaven are these? Well they could be both in heaven and on earth but this whole idea feels hard to get our head around. If we do things on earth without even a thought of getting a reward, then we can expect to get a reward, but if we do something asking for a reward, then we may get it, but that’s all we get.
This isn’t the only time that we see this in the Bible. Jesus talks about this kind of thing when we says that the first shall be the last and the last shall be the first in heaven (Matt 20:16). He says that to save life, we need to give up life for Him (Matt 16:25).
I think what Jesus is getting at here is that we need to let go of everything. Forget about fame and fortune and being centre of attention, that will make us self centered, give us hardened hearts and will make us closed off to anything Jesus can do in us. Instead, worry about other people and loving them, helping them. The reward on earth will come in the form of a transformed character, the reward in heaven is something we’ll have to look forward to.
Day 35 – Matthew 6:1-4
The passage this week is a moment from the sermon of the mount. There has been a lot of focus on this day recently. It was where Jesus fed the 5000, that night was when Jesus walked on water and calmed a storm. It was a busy day for Jesus.
Straight after Jesus gave the sermon on the mount, and said these words, He went and did exactly that. He went to a quiet place, found peace with God and prayed to God words that will always and forever only be between Him and His father.
If you took 10 minutes today, to say something to God that you knew only He would hear. What would they be? That is the case every time you pray. It is just between you and God. Take that 10 minutes today and tell God things you know only He will hear.
Day 33 – Matthew 6:1-4
Isn’t social media just amazing. I have the power to post all the pictures I want of my food, my accomplishments, my pets (when I visit my parents), my high scores, my moments that I think are hilarious and I think that others will to so I’m sure by posting the moment I will be able to spread the joy.
I can also show people how amazing I can be sometimes. How I gave so much money to charity, how I ran a marathon and supported 28 Too Many, how I go out for time with God, the many other things I do which I never thought I ever would.
I agree with what Annie said (not only cos she’s my wife and I have to) last week when she said that it s natural to boast. Of course it is. I want to challenge you this week that not everything needs to be shared with the world. Somethings can be kept, just for you.