MAR 20 / Sunday – Read 2 Cor 11:21-28 / Lev 13:45-46 / Matt 5:1-12 / 2 Kings 5:1-15
21 / Mon – The Tragedy Olympics | Read Galatians 6:2
Ever hear of the Tragedy Olympics? Kate Bowler talks about it in the devotional Good Enough. It’s a competition where people brag no one else has it as bad as they do. A game to compare problems and pain where the ‘winner’ receives the Pity Award. Why would anyone participate in such a game? Is it because we want our suffering to mean something…to be validated. Life is hard, for all of us. We need each other. What can you do to avoid being pulled into the trap of self-pity?
22 / Tue – #Blessed | Read Matt 5:1-12
“We don’t live in a culture of blessing. We live in a culture of #blessed.” -Kate Bowler. Those who’d never participate in the Tragedy Olympics nevertheless compete/brag about their blessings. You see examples on Facebook…most-athletic-kids #blessed, best-vacation-ever #blessed, lost 5lbs #blessed. Most do not realize this can be as self-centered as the Tragedy Olympics. Who are the unexpected ones Jesus said are blessed and why? Do you see yourself on this list?
23 / Wed – What’s your leprosy? | Read 2 Kings 5:1-15 / Matt 10:29-31
Naaman could have competed in both the Tragedy Olympics and #Blessed. He had a devastating skin disease but he also had position and wealth. These generated a pride which almost derailed his healing. Maybe pride isn’t the problem for you. Lack of hope can also crush your soul, especially if yours is a long- term ‘leprosy’. Has suffering diminished your trust in God or your faith in His compassion and care? You are precious to Him. Ask the Lord to help restore your hope.
24 / Thu – First there were 10, then there was one | Read Lev 13:45-46 / Luke 17:11-19
You can see what the life of a leper was like in ancient Israel, separated from family, friends and community, continually proclaiming your contagious condition to warn healthy people to stay away from you, surviving on the charity of others. Lepers lived with lepers and these 10 met Jesus on the road. Through their obedience, they were healed. And their reaction? What was significant about the one who came back? How can you cultivate a grateful attitude?
25 / Fri – Goodbye | Read John 11:35
Saying goodbye to something can be devastating, especially if it was unexpected or unwanted. Loss can plunge a person into grief. As with funerals for those who have died, some losses may need a ‘funeral’ for you to find peace. Kate Bowler offers this suggestion: ‘Write down your loss. Honor it for what it was or was not. Remind yourself that you did what you knew to do at the time. Say goodbye; then turn the page, literally. Do this as often as you need to until you find peace.’ Are there any goodbyes you need to process in order to move forward?
26 / Sat – Hello | Read John 11:41-44 / Isaiah 43:18-19 / Rev. 21:3-5
While goodbyes are sad, there can be no ‘hello’ without them. Our Sovereign God is immutable (never changing, diminishing or increasing), but we grow and change. As you look back over your life, have you seen a ‘hello’ that you entered cautiously only to find out it was better than you could have ever imagined? No matter what this life holds, it will pale in the light of your final future. God’s story is creation, fall, redemption and restoration. What you’ve lost here will be restored there.