Setting Out – Baptism of Christ
Jesus’ ministry begins with his baptism. God called Jesus to his mission, and Jesus’ baptism was Jesus’ response to this call. During this first week of Lent, we will be looking at scriptures that involve God’s call and the response from different characters in the Bible. Use this devotional time to think about different ways that God makes calls upon your life and your response to the Holy.
Monday – Exodus 3:1-12
Moses had already lived a full life by the time God called him for something special. Through the burning bush, God made known what was in store for Moses. However, Moses’ first response was one of self-doubt. What are some ways that we doubt our effectiveness in God’s Kingdom? Can God use imperfect people to accomplish God’s work in this world? If you continue to read past verse 12, you will see that God doesn’t take no for an answer! What ministry is God calling you for right now?
Tuesday – Matthew 3:1-12
John the Baptizer embraced his call with vigor and enthusiasm! This is a much different story than yesterday. John is claiming his role in the Kingdom of Heaven and not looking back. He doesn’t seem to care who is listening. John is telling everyone he can about the Kingdom of Heaven coming near. What are some ways that you have shown enthusiasm in your faith journey?
Wednesday – Jeremiah 1:4-10
Jeremiah was destined for great things and to be a voice for God to those in power. God’s work requires courage and determination. Jeremiah objected at first, but God reassured him and actually put words in Jeremiah’s mouth. God will be with us no matter how hard our task is. When have you felt God’s power in your life? When have you prayed for strength and courage?
Thursday – Acts 9:1-19
This is the story of the calling of Paul (Saul). Paul was persecuting the early Christian movement. Jesus had to use extreme methods to get Paul’s attention. Sometimes God’s call can be gentle, but there are other times that God’s call knocks you down and leaves you speechless. This is also a calling story for Ananias. Ananias had extreme reservations about helping someone that has been trying to persecute the movement. Nevertheless, both men responded by listening to God and following instructions. Have you ever been called to step out of your comfort zone?
Friday – Luke 1:26-38
Mary was called to be the mother of Jesus. The angel perplexed her as did that information that she would be with child. Recognizing that this was no ordinary call and that this path would be a difficult one, Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord!” What dedication and resolve to respond in this way. To read a more complete response, see Luke 1:46-55. Mary’s song sets the tone for Jesus’ ministry. Bold words from an unlikely source. Are there times that God has called you to be bold or to stand up for what is right though not popular?
Saturday – Sabbath Rest
Reflect on this first week of Lent. The Bible is filled with stories of God calling people to service. The fact is that God calls us ALL to participate in God’s Kingdom. What is your role? What is God laying on your heart right now? As you can see from this week’s readings, the responses to God’s call vary from person to person. What is your response?
Suggested Daily Prayer
God of wonder and grace, who calls us as beings created in your image. Make clear your call on our lives. Lay on our hearts your purpose for us as members of your Kingdom. We want to serve you because we believe in your vision of love and mercy. Bring to us a spirit of discernment as we also pray for strength and courage to respond to your call. Thank you for loving us as much as you do. In Jesus’ name – Amen.