BSPC Lenten Devotional – Monday, March 7 – Saturday, March 12

THEME: Forgiveness – Scripture: Jeremiah 31:31-34

The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt-a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Monday, March 7
Forgive, O God, our agenda keeping rather than covenant keeping.
Forgive the arrogance of preferring our own words to yours.
Forgive our egoism that leads us to think we are wiser than you.
Forgive our busyness that makes us turn away from the war-pocked world.
Forgive our divisiveness that they might say of us again:
“How those Christians love one another!”
Forgive our controlling ways, our bowing down to power and wealth and greed.
Forgive us for making rules we’d rather follow than yours.
Give us eyes to see Jesus, the courage to stand up and speak out his name.
–From the poem “Diluting the Gospel” by Ann Weems

Dear God, give me eyes to see your Son and the courage to stand up and speak out his name. Amen.

Tuesday, March 8
“Praying means to stop expecting from God that same small-mindedness which you discover in yourself. To pray is to walk in the full light of God, and to say simply without holding back, ‘am a man (or a woman) and you are God.’ At that moment, conversion occurs, the restoration of the true relationship. Man (or woman) is not the one who once in a while makes a mistake and God is not the one who now and then forgives. No, man (or woman) is a sinner and God is love.”
–Henri Nouwen

O God, call me back into right relationship with you! I’m human and you are God. I’m a sinner and you LOVE! Amen.

Wednesday, March 9
“When God forgives us and purifies us of our sin, God also forgets it. Forgiveness results in God dropping the charges against us.”
–Billy Graham

Merciful God, when I ask for forgiveness, thank you for forgiving and forgetting my sins. Help me, O God, to do likewise and move on in the assurance of your love and acceptance.  Amen.

Thursday, March 10
“I don’t know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes–it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, ‘Well, if I’d known better I’d have done better,’ that’s all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured ‘I’m sorry,’ then you say to yourself, ‘I’m sorry.’ If we all hold on to the mistake we can’t see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can’t see what we’re capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one’s own self.”
–Maya Angelou

Merciful God, may I look in the mirror each morning and see my face, my own glory, not my mistakes! Amen.

Friday, March 11
“When somebody you’ve wronged forgives you, you’re spared the dull and self-diminishing throb of a guilty conscience. When you forgive somebody who has wronged you, you’re spared the dismal corrosion of bitterness and wounded pride. For both parties, forgiveness means the freedom again to be at peace inside their own skins and to be glad in each other’s presence.”
–Frederick Buechner

Loving and forgiving God, I long for true freedom and peace found only in you. Help me to forgive when I have been wronged and seek forgiveness when I have wronged another.  Amen.

Saturday, March 12
“Knowing we are forgiven is about being free (and freed). Engaging in the act of forgiving is also about being free (and freed). It often seems easier to judge, regulate, and resent. But it is actually freeing when we discover we do not have to do any of that. We often do not want to forgive people, but we do want to be free. Freedom from our resentments leads us to living without fear. And we all want that.”
–Jane Shaw, “A Practical Christianity: Meditations for the Season of Lent”
Forgive me, Lord, and help me forgive others so that I can be free.  Amen.

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