Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lenten Devotion: Grace Wins Every Time!

Each year, Media Presbyterian Church in Media, PA, publishes a book of Daily Devotions for Lent.  This year I had the honor of providing a devotion for March 16, 2016, based on Psalm 20.  I am providing the body of the devotion here.  You can find the entire book of devotions by following this link:  Devotionals at MPC.

Please read Psalm 20.

Devotion:  Whether using brute strength to protect his sheep from a lion, or casting a stone from a slingshot to fell a nine-foot Philistine, or commanding armies to overcome enemy soldiers in the battlefield, David always seems to remember where his successes are coming from:

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
But we trust in the name of the Lord” (Psalm 20:7).

We know from the accounts in 1 and 2 Samuel that David’s life was neither uniformly easy nor guiltless; he faced lifelong physical, moral, relational, and spiritual struggles, the same as we do. The Psalms record the same gamut of emotional responses that we experience.  But David always comes back to an understanding that God is in control, that God has the victory, and that God has the power and authority to protect and deliver him.

No matter how smart we are, no matter how quick or wise or confident or wealthy or fierce or honored or fit or “together,” our ultimate source of security in this world comes not from our own resources, but from God.  May we, like David, seek the Lord during our times of crisis, with confidence that He is listening in love.

I read once that our lives give us the raw materials for our prayers. We can take all the good and bad, the joys and crises, the questions and dilemmas, the certainties and doubts—everything that is in us, we can take to God in prayer, and trust Him to protect and deliver us. Our circumstances may change, but God’s love for us and His beneficent power over our lives never does. I always come back to Jeremiah 29:11: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

We serve a merciful God, and in the words of Christian singer Matthew West, “I’m living proof that grace wins every time”!

Please pray with me:  Almighty God, no matter what challenge, crisis, or hardship arises, help us to realize that our own strength and resources will never be enough to see it through. Help us always to turn to You , Lord, as the source of our strength, courage, comfort, and victory.

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