Lenten Devotion for March 16, 2019

Psalm 139:23–24(NLT)

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;test me and know my anxious thoughts.24 Point out anything in me that offends you,and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

I pray this daily as part of my devotion time. It is a gut check for me. The NLT translates the second part of the 23rd verse as “test me and know my anxious thoughts” which is always troubling to pray. The last thing I want is a test from God! I prefer to receive a blessing instead. Don’t you?

And yet there it is day after day staring me in the face that part of my faith journey includes testing that leads to either growth or regression. I’ll either become better or bitter.

For me to become better through testing I know two things must be true. 

I need to be:

  1. connected to God in prayer and study.
  2. connected to others for support and perspective.

If these two things are in place then the times of testing do lead to new understandings, deeper love, and a stronger faith. If not, the very opposite takes place which is confusion, bitterness, and doubt. They are so straight forward that I don’t even want to write them. 

Have a regular devotional time and become part of a church…that’s it. And that’s enough.

Lord, you are more ready to hear than I am to pray. Hear my heart’s cry for strength and perseverance in every season of life.

Published by Todd Nelson

I'm one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky where I've served for the past thirteen years. The sub-title of this blog is "Grace is no accident" which happens to be the defining reality of my life. God's grace (gift) is the reason we have breath in our lungs and hope in our hearts.

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