Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Week - Saturday Devotional

From the Book of Luke Chapter 23:50-56
And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Did Their Dream Die?

When brought down from the cross,
Their Savior was dead,
What could have been the thoughts
That went running through their heads?

No tomb of His own
To bury Him in,
Some "Son of God"
What freedom did they win?

When they placed Him there,
Did their dream die too?
They didn't know He would rise,
And leave an empty tomb.

They didn't know what we now know,
That their King would arise,
That they soon would know true freedom
For the first time in their lives.

Freedom from sin,
From sadness and shame,
Soon their hearts and their lives
Would never be the same.

How dark was the darkness
On the night they all mourned?
Not knowing the joy
That would come in the morn.

A reason to hope or believe
Must've been so hard to find,
They didn't know what I know
In the Truth is where my hope, I find.

They didn't know what I do
But their faith they still held,
But I know His death saved me
From going to hell.

No grieving in my life
As they did that dark night,
For I know the truth
And now live in the Light.

What more do I need
Than what He gave me on the cross that day?
Innocent, but HE paid the price for me
And washed ALL my sins away.

By Diana DePriest
© 1998

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Week - Friday Devotional

From the Book of Mark Chapter 15:12-39

Answering again, Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify Him!” But Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify Him!” 15Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort. They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; and they began to acclaim Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led* Him out to crucify Him.

They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross.

Then they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it. And they crucified Him, and divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take. 25It was the third hour when they crucified Him. The inscription of the charge against Him read: “THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

They crucified* two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.” Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. 32“Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.

When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” which is translated, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” 35When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, “Behold, He is calling for Elijah.” Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down.” And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

What Were You Thinking?

Jesus came to share the message of grace, and prophecies to fulfill,
He came to walk upon the earth and to do the Father's will.

He had the message of how from the bondage of sin we could be free,
He came to make a better way for all, for you, for me.

He walked among the people, speaking of truth, of peace and love,
Sharing, living and showing, the Father's message from above.

No thanks or love for Him they had, they wanted Him to die,
When asked what they wanted done to Him, they screamed out, "Crucify!"

My Jesus, beaten and mocked, ridiculed and abused,
Was there no other way to save? No other way He could have been used?

Still even as He hung on the cross, in His heart He did forgive,
Willing to suffer so much up there so even these might live.

Sinless, He hung up on the cross, all our sins He bore,
Sacrificing Himself to atone for all we need forgiveness for.

Father, how it must have hurt Your heart, could You have even cried?
When You had to turn Your back on Him the day that Jesus died.

Father, what were You thinking when You sent Him here to die?
Did it have to take His sacrifice for me to find eternal life?

He broke down all the walls that stood between God and me,
So I could be reconciled to the Father for all of eternity.

Lord Jesus, I can't say "I'm sorry" and "Thank You" just won't do,
Only way I can repay what You did is to make my life a sacrifice for You.

You committed Your Spirit to the Father's hands, my life I commit to Yours,
Having only one prayer that I will pray, "Jesus, I want to love you and know you more."

By Diana DePriest
© 1998

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Week - Thursday Devotional

Past His Tears...

"Come, stand and watch, wait for me as I pray,
Be with Me, I hurt, I don't want to be alone this way."

Not a request too hard for a man to keep,
But instead of keeping watch, they went off to sleep.

Our Lord was forsaken in even the simplest request,
If we can't give Him that, how can we give Him our best?

My Lord, alone, distressed, in pain, was it fear?
Even then my life, my soul, He held dear.

He loved me enough to overcome His fears,
Loved me enough to look past his tears.

He prayed, "Father, let this cup pass if it may...
"But I want YOUR will done, and with My life I will pay."

Three times He did ask as He prayed there ALONE
I wonder, would they have kept watch, if they had known...

By Diana DePriest
© 1998

The Book of Matthew Chapter 26:36-46 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said* to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me." And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said* to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. “Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”

"If we are faithless, He remains faithful, He cannot deny Himself."
II Timothy 2:13

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Week - Wednesday Devotional

From the Book of Mark Chapter 14:3-9 While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? “For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. “She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. “Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

Will You Pour Out Your All?

Will you pour out your all? Give the best that you have?
Do whatever it takes to honor the Son of Man?

Will you sacrifice your best, give Him all you have to give?
Make him your purpose? Your reason to live?

Others will look down upon you, unable to understand,
Why you have this devotion to the Son of Man.

Are you willing to give back all that's been given to you?
Do whatever it takes to give Him the honor He's due?

by Diana DePriest © 1998

(Original Art by Alice Whisman)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Three Years

I had big plans. Yesterday was the three year anniversary of the blog, and in my mind I was going to write my 300th post on the third anniversary. I wanted to celebrate with my first ever giveaway too.

But the day passed, and the post count didn't make it. This post will be #293, seven posts short of my goal.

I did get a package in the mail for a giveaway, but it wasn't what I specifically solicited for, although still good. And so I will do a giveaway with it, just not today.

Instead, today I am pondering the process of planning. Funny how it doesn't seem to work out the way we want it to most of the time.

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21

The truth is, it can be pretty frustrating when things don't work out the way we want them to. Everyone likes enough control in life (even the non-control freak types) to be able to see plans come to fruition.

But often, they don't.

This "plan" of mine was just a little one. It's a slight disappointment that is not too difficult to overlook. I can look at the ways I spent my last couple weekends, one on retreat with a dear friend, the other hanging out during the day with several dear friends and an evening discipling my son and several of his friends, and say, "it was worth it" to pass on rushing to keep up the blog. Truth be told, I don't want to write here just for the sake of it.

I started this blog three years ago as an act of obedience. I was away at a very difficult women's retreat, and as I spent a great deal of time alone with just me and the Lord (that wasn't the difficult part) I sought Him, and more than once that weekend I heard Him say very plainly, "Write." As an unsolicited confirmation, the following week at church He sent a very revered friend and mentor to me with a more specific word. She said to me, "I was praying for you recently, and I felt like the Lord told me to tell you to blog." It immediately testified to my spirit that I really had heard God at retreat.

Saturday night, I was talking with the boys of Envision (our youth bible study with Jake and his friends) and we were talking about passions and talents and how God gives them to us for a purpose. I watch these young men all in the latter part of high school and all of them have the future on their minds. The truth is, even in Christian families, as we guide our kids, our inclination is to do so from a worldly view. If we look at our son and his two options for a future are either worship leader or engineer, we direct toward the engineer, where success is more easily defined and provision is more probable.

I wonder though, if that's how good looks at things. I know I have on many occasions taken stock of this blog, and looked at hits and comments and tried to determine if this blog would qualify as successful. The fact is, most of the time, the answer would have to be "no." But I realized when I do that, I am looking at things from a very worldly perspective, even if it is a Christian worldly perspective.

As I talked with the boys at Envision, we also talked about the challenge of hearing God's voice as He directs us. I do know there are times when the Lord is silent, but I suspect that far more often the issue of His silence resides more in our inability or unwillingness to listen more than in His lack of desire to speak. But sometimes it really is just hard to know.

My advice was to the boys that when that happens, you have to go back to the last thing you are certain you heard the Lord say. If you feel like you might have gotten off track or you're just not sure about the next step, go back to where you knew He was clearly directing. For me, that was three years ago, and I heard Him very clearly, He said "Write."

As nice as it is to get good feedback, it's not why God has called me to write. The Lord has given me a passion for disciplship and sharing His word. He has given me a gift with words and a talent for putting them down for a reader. And whether something I write ministers to one reader or 100 readers, it has value. And the beauty of it being here on the internet is that it could be something I put "on paper" today, and minister to someone 20 years from now or more. The important thing is that I use my gifts and talents for my God given passions and use it for His glory.

So although I still have dreams and aspirations, and I hope that this blog is the beginning of something rather than the end, I know the LORD directs my steps, and it is His counsel that will stand.

God is faithful to me, and I pray in some small way this blog can be an act of worship toward Him, for however long He sees fit.

As for now, happy anniversary to My Walk of Faith. I pray it blesses many.