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Fixing our Eyes on Jesus a Lenten Devotional 2009

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					Fixing our Eyes
    on Jesus
  A Lenten Devotional
                               Some Words About Lent

 Traditionally, the Season of Lent is a 40-day period of preparation leading up to Easter
 Sunday, the Sunday of Sundays. It is a time to remind us (for we are so prone to forget)
 that true renewal comes only through turning away from our sins to follow after Jesus.
 Seen in this way, Lent is a time that specifically focuses on repentance. Lent is a time
 for us, the people of God, individually and corporately, to have our hearts re-focused
 and re-centered on Jesus who is our Newness and Life.

 But, you may ask, shouldn’t every day in the Christian’s life be one of repentance? The
 answer to that is a loud and resounding, “YES!” So then what is special about Lent?
 Part of the answer to that question is tradition. By observing this tradition of Lent, we
 have the privilege of being unified with the whole church – both past and present – for
 the purpose of repentance. It is our hope that you will take advantage of this time in the
 Christian Year to join with the Church, both past and present – in re-focusing and re-
 centering your life on Jesus and the new life He has brought to you by His death and
 resurrection.

                                  About this Guide
 May this resource be used to guide you (and your family) through the tough questions
 concerning your life, such as – What are the sins I continually struggle with? What idols
 have captured my heart and imagination? In what areas am I not submitted to Jesus
 and his royal reign? You will find that some of the days’ meditations / activities are
 more suited to families with children, while others are wider in their applicability.

 In keeping with the church tradition, this guide includes meditations, readings, activities,
 and prayers to encourage praise, repentance, self-examination, thanksgiving, deeds
 of mercy, and intercession. We pray that you and your family will draw closer to the
 Lord as you seek him during this season.



              Reading and Service Calendar for Holy Week, 2010


Palm Sunday –                                Service at Edison HS at 9:30 am

Holy Monday –                                (Read John 12:1-11)

Holy Tuesday –                               (Read John 12:20-36)

Holy Wednesday –                             (Read John 13:21-32)

Maundy Thursday -                            Service at Edison HS at 6 pm

Good Friday -                                Service at Edison HS at 6 pm

Holy Saturday –                              (Read John 19:38-42)

Easter Sunday –                              Service at Edison HS at 9:30 am
Monday, February 15
This Week’s Prayer:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24

Take out your personal calendar. If you have children, take out your family’s calendar
together with your kids. Talk about the upcoming Lenten Season, and mark the days of Lent
together. The following are some ideas for guiding your time:

    •   Circle or use a special color to color the dates of Lent (like gray for fasting, or purple - a
        traditional Lenten color).
    •   Place symbols on significant days (like a cross on Good Friday, and maybe a sad face on
        Sa turday.)
    •   Count the days of Lent. Lent is 40 days long (Sundays are not counted as Lent Days).
    •   Expla in th a t Lent is a time when we prepare to celebra te Easter. It is a specia l time for
        repentance.
    •   Talk to your child about the significant days of th is season as you label them on the
        calendar. (Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Pa lm Sunday, and Easter
        Sunday)
    •   Older children can help expla in what they know about Lent and Easter to younger
        children.
    •   Pray th at as we enter th is time of year, God would give us hearts th a t are repentant.



Shrove Tuesday, February 16
Make Pancakes as a family for dinner. This is a tradition practiced by some families to rid
their diets (and homes!) of foods such as butter and sugar as they prepare to live and eat more
simply during Lent.
Before you eat, name and thank God for the good gifts th a t He has given to you. Are there any
good gifts th a t you have come to use in a way th a t de-centralizes Christ? How might you use
th is season of Lent as an opportunity to prayerfully re-center your perspective on those th ings?



Ash Wednesday, February 17

Consider – could you go for a week only buying / eating / drinking “the necessities?” Rea lizing
th a t th is can be defined any number of ways, ask yourself wha t impact it might have on your
perspective if you were to deny yourself the specia l little extras – a cup of Starbucks, a candy
bar, a soda in the cafeteria, some chips with your lunch… Would it help you see how many
blessings God has given you? Would it help you recognize times th at you go to things instead of
Jesus for comfort and LIFE? Might such a practice help you to reset your perspective on what is
truly needful? If you think it might, ask God if He would have you give up some of your life’s
“extras” -- for a day, a week, maybe even for forty days…
Thursday, February 18
See Appendix for the Lent Vocabulary Crossword Puzzle



Friday, February 19
Think of 7 attributes of God. Write them on a list and display them in your home in a way
th a t will remind you to medita te on them. See Appendix for children’s coloring page.

Saturday, February 20
Take time to prepare your heart for worship.
V isit Redeemer’s website and download th is week’s worship folder. You can find it at the
following url: http://www.redeemersa.org/worship3.h tm
Familiarize yourself with the Order of Worsh ip, the Songs, the Prayers, the Scriptures. Ask
th a t God would use th is practice to cultiva te in you / your family a heart prepared to worship.



Sunday, February 21
Prayer for the week:

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the LORD
delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. (Ps. 147.10-11)



Monday, February 22
Pray for Edison High School. Pray th a t Redeemer would be a blessing to th is school. Pray for
the students of EHS, as well as the faculty and staff. Pray th at God would bring students to
worship at Redeemer. Pray the same for the faculty and staff and the ir families. Pray for the
community th a t surrounds the place where we worship, th at it would have peace, and th at God
would bless it.



Tuesday, February 23
As your family prepares a grocery list th is week, add non-perish able items th a t are needed by
the Guada lupe center food bank. If you have children, involve them in the process of th inking
of th ings to add to the list. If they go with you to grocery shop, let them help you locate those
items and put them in the cart. Or, you may purchase a grocery store gift card for the center’s
food pantry to buy the items tha t they need most. There is a table in the EHS lobby for placing
donations on Sunday mornings.



Wednesday, February 24
Read the story of Jesus in the wilderness found in Mathew 4:1-11. Thank Jesus for living a
perfect life in our place. See appendix for children’s matching activity.



Thursday, February 25
Pray for those in your community group. If you are not in a community group, call the church
office at 930-4480 and inquire about one meeting in your area.

With the Children: Pray for the members of your community group with your kids. Include them
by encouraging them to pray for their friends who are a part of the community group as well.



Friday, February 26
Read, ponder, and pray through 1 Corinthians 1:17-31



Saturday, February 27

Take time to prepare your heart for worship.
Visit Redeemer’s website and download this week’s worship folder. You can find it at the following url:
http://www.redeemersa.org/worship3.htm
Familiarize yourself with the Order of Worship, the Songs, the Prayers, the Scriptures. Ask that God would
use this practice to cultivate in your family a heart prepared to worship.



Sunday, February 28
Prayer for the week:

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Restore to me the joy
of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit (Ps. 51.10, 12)



Monday, March 1
Pray th at God would keep the leadersh ip or Redeemer pure and true to His Word. Thank him
for the fa it hfulness of our Elders, Deacons, and Pastors. Pray th at God Himself would be the
source of the ir strength, th a t God would uphold them, protect them, and revea l His Glory to
them in such a way th at they would cling to God - who is their very life – for the strength and
wisdom to serve fa ith fully.



Tuesday, March 2
Encourage a Persecuted Believer
Technology opens a world of new opportunities for advancing the Kingdom of God. One of the
websites th at h as recently captured my interest is: www.prisoneralert.com. It is a website
sponsored by Voice of the Martyrs and severa l other Christian Organizations. There you can
read about individuals elsewhere in the world imprisoned for the ir fa ith in Jesus. There, you
can also write letters of encouragement to these prisoners. The site will translate your letter
and give you mailing instructions.
As we remember God’s goodness to us in Jesus, let us remember, in prayer and in deed, our
brothers and sisters around the world who suffer for the sake of Jesus. May th is become a habit
for us; th at we would stand up under the temptation to ignore the suffering around us. Take the
time to visit th is site, and pray, write, and pray some more! Consider making this a regular
practice.
For Ch ildren:

www.kidsofcourage.com is another site sponsored by voice of the martyrs th a t ra ises awareness
of the plight of the persecuted church in a way th a t is age appropria te for children.



Wednesday, March 3
Read, ponder, and pray through The Parable of the Lost Coin in Luke 15:8-10

Children’s Activity: Hide a coin, a toy, or another small treasure for your child to find in your
home. Rela te their feelings of joy and excitement to the “rejoicing in the presence of the angels
of God when ONE SINNER REPENTS !”



Thursday, March 4
Read Psalm 8:1-4

Take time to be quiet in God’s Creation, meditating on God’s greatness expressed in what He has made.

See Appendix for Children’s Activity.



Friday, March 5
Read James 1:9-11

We are rich. We have much. Let us thank God for His abundant giving to us, and let us also ask
th a t He would be merciful to us in not allowing our possessions to own us. May He remind us tha t
our life is a breath. May he teach us what true riches are.



Saturday, March 6
Take time to prepare your heart for worship.
V isit Redeemer’s Website and download th is week’s worship folder. You can find it at the
following url: http://www.redeemersa.org/worship3.h tm
Familiarize yourself with the Order of Worsh ip, the Songs, the Prayers, the Scriptures. Ask
th a t God would use th is practice to cultiva te in your family a heart prepared to worship.



Sunday, March 7
Prayer for the week:

Restore us, O God of Hosts;
let you face shine, that we may be saved (Psalm 80:7)



Monday, March 8
Take time to th ank God for the blessings in your life th is day. See appendix for children’s
activity.



Tuesday, March 9
Read, Ponder, Pray: Matthew 6:25-33. See Appendix for Children’s Activity

Wednesday, March 10
Read Psalm 119:97-120

Father, our hearts are farther from you th an we care to admit. By your mercy, please shine
your light on our darkness, and make us to love the ligh t of your truth. Forgive us our sins. Keep
us from despair. Grant th a t we might know the depth of your mercy as we become aware of the
severity of our transgression.



Thursday, March 11

Forgiveness – is there someone who wronged you whom you have not forgiven? Pray for th at
person. Ask God to give you a heart th a t forgives th a t person.



Friday, March 12
Ask yourself, ‘Am I living for God and his glory, or my own?’ Pray and confess your sins.

See Appendix for Children’s Activity



Saturday, March 13
Take time to prepare your heart for worship.
V isit Redeemer’s Website and download th is week’s worship folder. You can find it at the
following url: http://www.redeemersa.org/worship3.h tm

Familiarize yourself with the Order of Worsh ip, the Songs, the Prayers, the Scriptures. Ask
th a t God would use th is practice to cultiva te in your family a heart prepared to worship.
Sunday, March 14
Prayer for this Week:

Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days (Psalm 90:12, 14)



Monday, March 15
W h a t are some needs around you of which you are aware? Pray for God to meet those needs.

See Appendix for Children’s Activity



Tuesday, March 16
Think of 5 unbelieving family members or friends, pray for them. See Appendix for
Activity.

Wednesday, March 17

Read Matthew 25:34-40.

It is serious business to care for the poor and needy. Organizations such as Compassion
International and World Vision minister to poor and needy children around the globe in the
name of Jesus. Take time to visit one of the ir websites, www.worldvision.org or
www.compassion.com to view profiles of children for whom you can pray. You may even decide
th a t your family is willing and able to commit to financia lly sponsoring a child through one of
these organizations.



Thursday, March 18
Count Your Blessings

Even if you do not have children, The Children’s Activity in the Appendix may help you count
your blessings.



Friday, March 19
Read and Ponder Psalm 103:8
 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
   slow to anger, abounding in love.



Saturday, March 20
Take time to prepare your heart for worship.
V isit Redeemer’s Website and download this week’s worship folder. You can find it at the
following url: http://www.redeemersa.org/worship3.h tm

Familiarize yourself with the Order of Worsh ip, the Songs, the Prayers, the Scriptures. Ask
th a t God would use th is practice to cultiva te in your family a heart prepared to worship.



Sunday, March 21
Prayer for the Week:

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Because of your steadfast love is better
than life , my lips will praise you (Ps. 63.1, 3)



Monday, March 22
Pray for families who are struggling to believe th a t God really loves and cares for THEM. Ask
God to show his good care for his people.



Tuesday, March 23
Pray for the young women who seek care at the Agape Pregnancy Center. Pray th a t God would
give these mommies and babies what they need.



Wednesday, March 24
Dyeing Easter Eggs is a favorite Easter tradition in many homes.
   • As you dye Easter eggs with your children, ta lk to them about the symbolism of the egg.
       An egg is a symbol for new life.
   • If there is interest, you may want to research some of the interesting traditions and
       legends surrounding the Christian practice of decorating and eating eggs at Easter time.



Thursday, March 25
Pray for those who are sad and lonely. Ask God to show them His nearness through His Body,
through His word, and through His Spirit.


Friday, March 26
Who is Your King?
Tha t is another way of asking, ‘Who is the boss of you?’ When you are at school, do YOU
decide what to say and how to act, and how to treat friends and enemies, or is Jesus the boss of
you at school? Who is King when you are with your brothers and sisters? At church? With
your friends? At sports practice? When you are alone and no one is watch ing? When is it
h ardest for you to let Jesus be King?

Fill in the blanks in the prayer below, and then talk to God about what you have written.

Jesus, forgive me for trying to be my own boss at __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. YOU are the King. The
GOOD KING. Please help me obey you always, even when I am ___ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.



Saturday, March 27
Take time to prepare your heart for worship.
V isit Redeemer’s Website and download th is week’s worship folder. You can find it at the
following url: http://www.redeemersa.org/worship3.h tm

Familiarize yourself with the Order of Worsh ip, the Songs, the Prayers, the Scriptures. Ask
th a t God would use th is practice to cultiva te in your family a heart prepared to worship.



Palm Sunday, Sunday, March 28
Prayer for this week:

Our Father, during this week fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who
for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now seated at the right
hand of the throne of God (from Heb. 12.2-3)




Holy Monday, March 29
Read following the holy week reading calendar on page 1 of th is guide.



Holy Tuesday, March 30
Read following the holy week reading calendar on page 1 of th is guide.



Holy Wednesday, March 31
Read following the holy week reading calendar on page 1 of th is guide.



Maundy Thursday, April 1
Attend the Maundy Thursday Service at 6pm at Edison High School.
Call 930-4480 if you have questions.
Idea for discussion with children: Note the décor of the worship area with your children. Ask them to
remember what it looks like tonight, and have them compare what they see / hear / notice about tonight’s
service with both the Good Friday Service and the Easter Sunday Services. What do you think the
reasons are for those differences?



Good Friday, April 2
Attend the Good Friday Service at 6pm at Edison High School.
Call 930-4480 if you have questions.



Saturday, April 3 – Holy Saturday
Read following the holy week reading calendar on page 1 of th is guide.

Family Activity: Make Empty Tomb Cookies –See Recipe and Instructions in Appendix



Sunday, April 4 – Easter Sunday
Read following the holy week reading calendar on page 1 of th is guide.

Attend Worship. Christ is Risen!
Appendix
Thursday, February 26




Friday, February 27

Use the space below to list 7 attributes of God. Praise God for who he is.
Wednesday, March 4

Lent is 40 days long. Below are other things that happened in the Bible that
lasted 40 days (or 40 years!) Draw a line from each person to the phrase that
describes something about him. Bonus: Can you find each answer in the Bible?

Moses                                  Wandered in the wilderness for
                                       40 years on their way to the Land God
                                       promised them.

Jesus                                  Lived on a boat while it rained
                                       for 40 days and 40 nights.


Noah                                   Was on Mount Sinai with God
                                       for 40 days

God’s People                           Was in the wilderness without
                                       food for 40 days, and resisted
                                       temptation.
Thursday March 12
Children’s Activity:
Have a nature walk or backyard exploration, then list / draw the following.

  Find and list all the things that God made that are BIGGER than you. GOD is SO BIG.




  Find all the things that are very tiny that God made. God cares about the very small!
Monday, March 16
In the space below, write or draw a prayer telling God “Thank You.”




            Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down
             from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not
                  change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
Tuesday, March 17

Children’s Activity: Jesus told his friends not to worry about what to eat or drink
or wear. ‘God knows what you need.’

A want is different than a need. Lent is a good time to think about what we
really need. Look through an old magazine and cut and paste below pictures of
things that are needs. Then find things that are wants. Which one was easier to
find?



              Wants                                       Needs
Friday, March 20
Prayers of Confession
Draw or write a prayer below telling God you are sorry.




Monday, March 23

Prayers of Intercession
Write or color a prayer asking God to meet a need that you know of.
Tuesday, March 24

                             Five Finger Prayer for
                            Unbelieving Family or
                                            Friends
                      How many fingers do you
                              have on one hand?
                                    Count them…
                      1…2…3…4…5. We (most
                        of us!) have 5 fingers on
                     each hand. This can be a
                      handy (pardon the pun!)
                       tool to remind us to pray
                           for any of our family or
                       friends who do not know
                     or love Jesus. For each of
                       your fingers, think of one
                        person in your life who is
                          not a follower of Jesus.
                    Pray for those people. Ask
                        God that He would give
                    them hearts that would be
                          ready to love Him. Ask
                        God that He would give
                       them ears to hear God’s
                         good news of salvation
                          through Jesus, and ask
                      that God would bring His
                            good word of truth to
                                             them.
Thursday, March 26

Walk through your house and count how many you have of each of the
following:




Thank God for all the blessings he’s given you and your family. Which of these
could you share with someone who has less?
Saturday, April 11 – Holy Saturday

                     Empty Tomb Cookies

Gather Ingredients and Equipment:
1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1 cup sugar
zipper baggie
wooden spoon
duct tape or packing tape
Bible
1. Preheat oven to 300*F.

2. Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with
   the wooden spoon or hammer to break them into small
   pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten
   by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

3. Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon of vinegar
   into the mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on
   the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

4. Add egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain
   that Jesus gave his life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

5. Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste. Then
   put your pinch of salt in the bowl. Explain that this represents
   the salty tears shed by Jesus's followers, and the bitterness of
   our own sin. Read Luke 23:27

6. So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing! Add 1 cup sugar
    to the bowl. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that
    Jesus died because he loves us. He wants us to know and
    belong to him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

7. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 10 to 15 minutes until stiff
    peaks form. Explain that the color white represents the purity
    in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by
    Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

8. Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper
    covered cookie sheets. Explain that each mound represents
    the rocky tomb where Jesus's body was laid. Read Matthew
    27:57-60.

9. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the
    oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape to seal the oven
    door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew
    27:65-66.
10. Leave the kitchen. If you've been making these cookies just
    before bedtime, GO TO BED! Acknowledge that the kids are
    probably sad that they've worked hard to make these cookies,
    and now have to leave them in the oven overnight. Explain
    that Jesus' followers were in sad when Jesus died and the
    tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

11. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a
    cookie. Ask the kids to notice the cracked surface. Have them
    bite into the cookies. The cookies are hollow! Explain that on
    the first Easter morning, Jesus' followers were amazed to find
    the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.

				
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