Day THREE: Apr 11-17

Spiritual Discipline // CELEBRATION


By James Gerber

Today we will examine the importance of celebration in the life of the believer. 

“The robot game” is a favorite of ours in the Gerber house. Let me explain. The robot game is a game that we typically play on the trampoline. It usually involves my three youngest daughters bouncing around in circles as screams of joy and excitement fill the air. All the while, you guessed it, I pretend to be a robot whose goal is to catch and tickle all of the children. 

What I find to be interesting is that as excited as my kids are while we play, they are actually most excited before the game even starts. Normally they ask if we can play robot, remind me that I promised them yesterday, and then they erupt with giddy shouts of joy. They’ll scream in excitement to each other and to my wife Ashley, “Dad’s said yes to playing robot!!”   

My kids, like most, have a carefree joy about them. They eagerly anticipate and believe that their parents will follow through on their promises, and when we do, they dance with joy and celebration! 

The scriptures suggest that this is what it ought to look like for a follower of Jesus. An intimate abiding relationship with our father in heaven, in which we place our full trust in his promises of provision. As we see him following through time and time again, we can’t help but rejoice and celebrate his goodness. Over time, like “little children” (See Matt. 18), we find ourselves living a more carefree, light and joy filled life because we trust that our father will do what he says he would do.  

Richard J. Foster affirms this in his classic on spiritual disciplines, “Celebration of Discipline.”

“Freedom from anxiety and care forms the basis for celebration. Because we know he cares for us, we can cast all our care upon him. God has turned our mourning into dancing.”

All too often we don’t live in this place. Richard J. Foster paints a picture for us of what has become commonplace for many of us; a life void of celebration:

“The carefree spirit of joyous festivity is absent in contemporary society. Apathy, even melancholy, dominates the times. Harvey Cox says that modern man has been pressed “so hard toward useful work and rational calculation he has all but forgotten the joy of ecstatic celebration….”

I have a theory. We worry too much. Period. We have too much anxiety about our lives. We do things God hasn’t asked us to do, and we’re too busy trying to provide for ourselves. So, we end up crowding out all of the extra space in our lives meant for things like parties, games, vacations, sabbath, family time, and even the time to just sit with God and say “thank you.”  We miss that God has been providing all along. Think back to the last time you were really worried about something? Did you lose sleep? Did it occupy space in your mind when you went about your day? Did it steal some of the joy from your life? The bottom line is that it’s very difficult to live a life of joyful celebration when we’re so busy worrying about our lives.

How do we get out of this cycle? Is there a way that we can disrupt this pattern? 

The apostle Paul connects the dots for us. Contemplate this scripture & respond:

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

APPLICATION 

  • Take 3-5 minutes to look back over the last week, month & even year. Reflect on and write down the ways that the Lord provided for you. 
  • Write a list of the good things in your life that you are thankful for. (People, places, things). 
  • Take a few minutes to thank God for each of the instances of His goodness & provision! 
  • Now that you’ve thanked God, tell God the things that you’re worried about and ask God to be your provider in your areas of need.

Day FOUR: Apr 11-17

Spiritual Discipline // CONFESSION


By Isaac Hovet

A confession (Written Easter Sunday):

I have just finished watching episode 1 of season 2 of The Chosen. While watching it I realized that my heart has been victimized by this last year. Conflict has allowed resentment and bitterness and self-righteousness to calcify my heart. I am like James and John. I need the grace of Jesus. And, his gentle finger is in my chest. Just wanted to tell the world that the message of Jesus, the person of Jesus and the work of Jesus is still changing me. I look forward to some prayer and Bible reading and meditation this week. I probably have some apologies to make.

Confession is agreeing with what God says is true. When we use our mouth to affirm God’s truth about right and wrong and about the condition of our hearts, we are brought back into alignment with God and with truth. Confession is the foundation of living by the Spirit. Jesus said that the Spirit would lead us to all truth, but until we agree with the Spirit’s truth-telling in our lives, we will not be on a path that leads to life and life in full. 

13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

John 16:13 (NASB)
APPLICATION

I don’t have to think too long or too hard to find sinful thoughts or actions or even feelings. Usually they are pretty obvious. But, it takes a few moments of reflection. And, the more difficult thing is to use my mouth to agree with the errors that I see. My mouth is a powerful tool that gets me back on track with what is true.

  • Choose to take 5 minutes to quiet yourself.
  • Think of your recent regrets and mistakes.
  • Out loud tell God that you have been wrong.
  • Receive his forgiveness.
  • Write out what you need to do to make amends.

Day FIVE: Apr 11-17

Spiritual Discipline // SUBMISSION


By Donia Hovet

I did not grow up in the church. I began walking to church with my sister because the yard duty at our school invited us and her church just happened to meet right down the street from our house. It was a loud-music-arm-raising-clappng-hands-tambourine-banging kind of church. I loved it. Turns out it was a Foursquare church, born out of the Pentecostal movement of the early 1900’s.

For most of my Christian walk, “Pentecostal” was synonymous with “weird things happening.” I’ll never forget my mom falling over while being prayed for at a conference. I was young and it scared me. I also will never forget “Holy Spirit Night” at camp. I was always one of the last to leave the chapel, desperately trying to attain the elusive gift of speaking in tongues. Through all of this, my parents were themselves just baby Christians, and didn’t really know how to guide me.

While these experiences left me with many questions, one thing has kept me anchored to my pentecostal roots: the Holy Spirit. As Jennifer illustrated on Sunday, the Holy Spirit is the wind that makes us fly. It’s probably taken me longer than most, but I can say after 30 years of following Jesus, I KNOW when the Holy Spirit is working in me and through me and I WANT MORE.

Because I became a Christian at the same time as my parents, I had to trust my pastors even more deeply. They were my shepherds, the ones whose sacrificial service to Jesus made it possible for me to know God. My testimony is (in part) one of submission. 

Submission: the act of allowing someone or something to have power over you. (Cambridge Dictionary Online)

Not an American concept, is it?

I believe submission is a key anchor for the searching, doubting, or confused soul. There has been NO PART of my spiritual journey that hasn’t required submission: to God’s word, to my leaders and pastors, to TRUSTED overseers. It is only in looking back over the past 30 years that I can clearly see the link between submission (both happily and begrudgingly!) and my increased awareness of the Holy Spirit in my life. 

Think about the disciples waiting FIFTY DAYS for the advent of the Holy Spirit. Now THAT’S submission. They submitted to the holy journey of waiting because their trust was not in themselves, it was in Jesus. Wow. 

In some ways, our journey into the Christian faith is a journey into the unknown. Listen to Deuteronomy 29:29:

The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us…”

The Holy Spirit has been revealed to us by God’s Holy Scriptures. Let’s be those who submit our questions, our discomfort and our preconceived notions about the Holy Spirit and the power of Pentecost to God’s Word and to the teachings of those who have gone before us on the journey.

APPLICATION:

  1. Read: Acts 2:1-47
  2. Biblical Reflection: How did the advent of the Holy Spirit empower Peter? What were the outcomes? Can you see the correlation between Pentecost and the birth of the church? What do you observe about the correlation between Peter’s transformation as a follower of Christ and his submission to Jesus? (Read Luke 5:1-7 for another example.)
  3. Personal Reflection: How has the Holy Spirit empowered you? Do you sense the “tug” Jennifer talked about this past Sunday? What obstacles do you need to overcome when it comes to being open to the move of the Holy Spirit in your life. (In other words: how do you need to express submission?)

Pray: Ask God for a fresh in-filling of the Holy Spirit in your life, an awareness of his presence in your everyday comings and goings, and for a move of the Spirit in our church body corporately.

Community Groups: Apr 11-17

Community Group Outline

  • Welcome and Greeting // (10 Minutes)
  • Catch Up – Highs and Lows, Peaks and Pits, or Icebreaker // (30 Minutes)
  • Share Your Story: Check with your facilitator about scheduling  // (20 Minutes)
  • Discuss // (30 Minutes)
  1. Read Acts 1:4-11. What sticks out to you? What do you notice?
  2. What comes to mind when you hear the word Pentecostal?
  3. What gets you excited about Pentecostalism?
  4. What are your concerns or fears?
  • Pray for One Another – as a GROUP or in TRIADS // (30 Minutes)

Day ONE: Mar 28-Apr 3

Holy Week

LUKE 19: 28-40

Jesus’ Triumphant Entry

28 After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. 29 As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. 30 “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

32 So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33 And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”

34 And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.

36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.

38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!

Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”

39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”

40 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

REFLECTION:
  1. As you reflect today on this passage and Pastor Chris’ sermon yesterday, think about whether Jesus is really the King and Lord of your life.

In which areas are you unwilling to submit to His Lordship? Are you hanging on to being in control of “your own” destiny? Are you frantic about controlling “your own” money? Are you grumbling and complaining because the pandemic is cutting into “your own” free time and leisure activities? 

  1. Consider the sharp contrast between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Imagine yourself in the crowd proclaiming Jesus as “King” and then in the crowd shouting for Him to be crucified. Do you think these crowds were made up of entirely different groups of people? How is it possible that we can treat Jesus as Lord of our lives one day and then we can be angry or sad because He hasn’t given us what we have wanted when we have wanted it?
  2. Confess your areas of control before Jesus our King. Pray and ask for forgiveness and ask the Holy Spirit for empowerment to help you as you submit each day more and more to His Lordship in your life.

Day TWO: Mar 28-Apr 3

Holy Week

JOHN 13: 13-17

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

13 Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.[a] 2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas,[b] son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”

8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”

Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”

10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet,[c] to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.

REFLECTION:
  1. Think about this passage in light of the time that Jesus has left to be with His disciples. He has spent three years with them and now this is the last meal they will have together. What He says to them must be REALLY important! After He washes their feet, He tells them they “ought to wash each others’ feet.” 

What do you think Jesus means by this?

  1. Some of us are geared more naturally to be servants and some of us are geared to graciously accept the  service of others. When Peter refuses the foot washing from Jesus, he is rebuked. Jesus shows us that it is important to serve and to allow others to serve us. 

Do you have a hard time serving other people? Do you feel awkward or inadequate in doing so? Today, determine that you will reach out to someone with a kind word, an offer to pick up groceries or make a meal. As we have several families going through the hardship of COVID illness and quarantine, we are organizing meals. If you want to help, please contact Laney Bliss at laney@inewhope.org

If you have a hard time accepting service from others, the next time someone offers to help you, say “Yes, thank you!” 

  1. Please continue to remember all the people in our church family who are ill and wash them in your prayers. We will get through this TOGETHER!

Day THREE: Mar 28-Apr 3

Holy Week

LUKE 22: 14 – 27

The Last Supper

14 When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table.[a] 15 Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. 16 For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”

17 Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”

19 He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

20 After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.

21 “But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. 22 For it has been determined that the Son of Man[c] must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.” 23 The disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing.

24 Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

REFLECTION:
  1. Yesterday, we considered Jesus’ words as He washed the disciples’ feet and today we AGAIN hear Him telling His disciples that they should serve and “take the lowest rank”. Jesus has little time left, yet He is reiterating the importance of being a servant. Reflect on how you served yesterday. Reflect on how you wish to serve others in the future.

You can go to inewhope.org and click on the “I WANT TO SERVE” button. Make a commitment to be a blessing to others today.Jesus is also stating clearly here that He will humble Himself to death on our behalf – the ultimate sacrifice of His very life is made by Jesus, who is both our King and our servant. Take some time to do a personal communion today – by yourself, gather a bit of bread and something to drink and repeat verses 19 and 20 as you reflect on the gift that Jesus has offered to us all. 

Day FOUR: Mar 28-Apr 3

Holy Week

LUKE 22: 31-34; 39-62

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32 But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”

33 Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.”

34 But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”

Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

39 Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. 40 There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”

41 He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. 44 He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

45 At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”

Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested

47 But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. 48 But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49 When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” 50 And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear.

51 But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

52 Then Jesus spoke to the leading priests, the captains of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come for him. “Am I some dangerous revolutionary,” he asked, “that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? 53 Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.”

Peter Denies Jesus

54 So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. 55 The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there. 56 A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!”

57 But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!”

58 After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!”

“No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted.

59 About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.”

60 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.

61 At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” 62 And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.

REFLECTION:
  1. Today we get some deep revelations into the humanity of Jesus and the fallibility of His disciples. Jesus is suffering profoundly, asking His Father to change the plan if possible and sad that even His closest friends will not stick with Him. One of these friends betrays Him and another denies Him, while most of the others  take off, afraid. They fall asleep when asked to stay awake to pray and they pull out swords in their confusion, with blundering Peter even slicing off an ear of a bystanding slave. Had they listened to nothing Jesus had taught them? 

These guys REALLY screwed up! The people who had the most personal, closest time with our Savior still got things wrong. Really wrong. Yet, Jesus knows this and even expects this when He says to Peter: “So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”

Have you ever thought that you were too big of a screw-up to be called a follower of Jesus? Think of the most embarrassing or sinful thing you have ever done and then think of Peter in the scriptures above. Be assured that you are no worse than he was and repentance can be yours also.

  1.  Take time to reflect on where you have broken your promises to the Lord or fallen short of His expectations for your life. Confess your sins to the Lord. Accept the forgiveness that Jesus offers and make a turn into a new life.

Just as Peter went on to preach and lead and serve and heal people in the name of Jesus, know that the Lord has good plans ahead for you.

Day FIVE: Mar 28-Apr 3

Holy Week

LUKE 23: 23-48

Jesus’ Trial Before Pilate

23 Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. 2 They began to state their case: “This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming he is the Messiah, a king.”

3 So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

4 Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!”

5 Then they became insistent. “But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!”

6 “Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked. 7 When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.

8 Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. 9 He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer. 10 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. 12 (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)

13 Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people, 14 and he announced his verdict. “You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent. 15 Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. 16 So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

18 Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.) 20 Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time he demanded, “Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

23 But the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded. 25 As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he turned Jesus over to them to do as they wished.

The Crucifixion

26 As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women. 28 But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the days are coming when they will say, ‘Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.’ 30 People will beg the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and plead with the hills, ‘Bury us.’ 31 For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. 33 When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.

35 The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. 37 They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”

39 One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

40 But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? 41 We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

43 And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Death of Jesus

44 By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 45 The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. 46 Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.

47 When the Roman officer[i] overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent.” 48 And when all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow.  

REFLECTION:
  1. Good Friday is a day to reflect on the death of Jesus on the cross that He endured to enable us to be reinstated into a right relationship with His Father. Give thanks to the Lord for this gift that was given for YOU. If you have never accepted this gift before, pray this simple prayer from your heart:

“Lord, I admit I am a sinner. I need and want Your forgiveness. I accept Your death as the penalty for my sin, and recognize that Your mercy and grace is a gift You offer to me because of Your great love, not based on anything I have done. Cleanse me and make me Your child. By faith I receive You into my heart as the Son of God and as Savior and Lord of my life. From now on, help me live for You, with You in control. In Your name, Amen”

  1. We have practiced spiritual disciplines throughout this Lenten season. Today, consider fasting the whole day. When you feel hunger, be reminded of Jesus’ sacrifice and offer a prayer of thanksgiving.
  2. Spend a quiet evening reading or consider watching a movie about the passion of Christ. (Ben Hur, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Passion of the Christ, Risen)
  3. Don’t forget EASTER IS COMING! Celebrate Christ’s resurrection with us on Sunday!

Community Groups: Mar 28-Apr 3

Community Group Outline

  • Welcome and Greeting // (10 Minutes)
  • Catch Up – Highs and Lows, Peaks and Pits, or Icebreaker // (30 Minutes)
  • Share Your Story: Check with your facilitator about scheduling  // (20 Minutes)
  • Discuss // (30 Minutes)
  1. Read Luke 19:28-40
  2. Do you have peace in your life right now?
    1. With God?
    2. In your relationships?
    3. In your heart? (worry and anxiety)
  3. Do you identify with one of these two  groups? (Pharisees or Disciples) How so?

  • Pray for One Another – as a GROUP or in TRIADS // (30 Minutes)