40 Days Weekly Devotions

Devotional Series

40 Days, 35-40


| Mar 29, 2021

40 Days, 35-40

Daily Prayers

DAY 40 – APRIL 3

DAY 40 – APRIL 3

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DAY 39 – APRIL 2

DAY 39 – APRIL 2

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DAY 38 – APRIL 1

DAY 38 – APRIL 1

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DAY 37 – MARCH 31

DAY 37 – MARCH 31

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DAY 36– MARCH 30

DAY 36– MARCH 30

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DAY 35 – MARCH 29

DAY 35 – MARCH 29

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GRATITUDE – Greek εὐχαριστία, eucharistia — thanksgiving, a positive emotion felt in response to receiving undeserved favor or gift; a consistent response to God’s grace (Greek charis) with understanding the gift and the response is ongoing


EVANGELISM – Greek euangelizo — to communicate or bring the Good News, the Gospel, through actions and words. In the New Testament it always refers to the death, burial, resurrection, and witness about Jesus Christ, including its implications for humankind's relationship to God (partially excerpted from https://www.billmounce.com/greek-dictionary).


As we celebrate Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week, this is the perfect time to think about the spiritual discipline of gratitude. The upcoming week, which culminates in Jesus dying on the cross (Good Friday) and then rising from the grave (Easter), is the very cornerstone of our faith. This week is also the final six days of Lent, which we have experienced through 40 days of prayer based on the life and ministry of Jesus. Through the reading of Scripture, composed and/or spontaneous prayers, and the examination and application of specific practices designed to bring us closer to God, the response should be gratitude. In beautiful, God-designed synergy, gratitude leads us to want to engage in the various spiritual disciplines, and gratitude is the result of that engagement. It’s the catalyst and the consummation of a desire to know Jesus. 

Grasping the full meaning of gratitude can help us understand its symbiotic nature, especially when it comes to a spiritual practice. Gratitude is an emotional response founded in receiving an undeserved favor or gift. God grants us mercy through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross—which is the same as saying we didn’t get what we deserve. We receive this mercy, our salvation, through grace, not through our own merit or works. Another way to say it is we got what we didn’t deserve. Our response is wholehearted gratitude. Take this one step further, gratitude spurs us on to doing good works, making God famous, loving Jesus through others. 

One way we live out gratitude for the grace of God is by sharing the message of his grace. Evangelism can be a scary word because it has had some unseemly tactics assigned to it. But, in reality, it is a beautiful word and concept. The root meaning of the Greek word for evangelism is actually “angel or messenger of good news.” By our very association as a follower of Jesus, we carry the Good News, the Gospel, with us as part of our story. We don’t need fancy words, colorful maps, or detailed historical chronology to share this Good News, we just tell our story. If you don’t know where to start, you can always begin with gratitude. This week is the perfect week to tell people why you are grateful…and to become part of their story.   

And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
Romans 10:15 NLT 
 
As you read each prayer and Scripture, you have the opportunity to practice the spiritual discipline mentioned and explore how it enriches your relationship with God.

PRACTICE GRATITUDE: Gratitude is such a simple, powerful spiritual discipline, but it can be easy to take for granted—or even totally neglect in our daily lives. As you read through the final prayers and Scriptures of this year’s 40 Days of Prayer, carve out some time to intentionally practice gratitude each day. You may want to write down what you’re grateful for in a journal, create a gratitude list in your phone and add to it throughout the day, or simply share your heartfelt gratitude with God during your prayer or quiet time. 

PRACTICE EVANGELISM: When you hear the word “evangelism,” many ideas may come to mind. As Christ followers, we’re called to share the Good News with others, and one way to do that is by sharing our personal testimonies and stories. This week, reflect on your journey to Christ—and with Christ. You may want to write it down, or simply spend some time thinking about your faith and your relationship with Jesus. As we wrap up 40 Days of Prayer and prepare to celebrate Easter together, share your story with someone you know or someone you feel God has placed in your path. Remember: it doesn’t need to be perfect or elaborate! 

PARTICIPATE IN HOLY WEEK: As we prepare to worship on Easter weekend together, we invite you to fully celebrate Easter by participating in the Holy Week experience: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. Together, these Holy Week events are carefully designed to move you through the Last Supper, his death, and, ultimately, his triumphant resurrection. Participating in all of them will lead you into the deepest, most powerful and meaningful Easter you can have. 

 

WATCH:

Practice of Gratitude sermon message

Good News sermon series

The Commissioning sermon message


LISTEN:

The Secret of Contentment teaching series

"Goodness of God" Worship song


READ:

Glossary of Terms


EXPLORE:

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