TORN – Day 33

TORN – Day 33 – Friday, 4/8/22
The Narrow Place
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” (Psalm 73:25)
Today’s Scripture reading is Romans 8:18-30.
When life narrows down, what gives you confidence before God? Is it your faith? Is it Jesus’ love? What if your faith is filled with doubt and fear? What if you are feeling unlovable and unwanted? If everything is taken away from you, where do you place your confidence?
When we stand behind the curtain, before God, our confidence will be in the Man who sits on his right side, holding out his nail-pierced hands. Because of him, we can “hold fast our confession” (Hebrews 4:14).
Prayer: “Jesus, I humbly ask you to be with me and give me peace in the areas of my life that are a struggle right now…”


TORN – Day 32

TORN – Day 32 – Thursday, 4/7/22
Stir Up
“Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Today’s Scripture reading is 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.
Because of our sinful nature, we don’t drift toward holiness. We don’t gravitate toward godliness or obedience to the will of God. This is why we need each other in Christ’s church. “Let us consider” – an intentional action – “how to stir up one another to love and good works.” As Pastor Mike mentioned last Sunday, the word translated “stir up” or “spur” actually means to provoke sharply – to “light a fire under!” We need to actively spur one another toward growth and change.
We can only do this in the context of actually being together, which is why the passage goes on to say, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some.” We need to participate together in worship and fellowship. Otherwise, we will drift.
Prayer: “Jesus, thank you for the people you have given me in my church who encourage me to hold fast, people like…”


TORN – Day 31

TORN – Day 31 – Wednesday, 4/6/22
Hold Fast
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)
Today’s Scripture reading is Psalm 63.
The story of Job is a story of unimaginable loss. He loses his wealth and then his children. Then his health fails in horrific ways. Finally, his wife’s faith collapses, and she says, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Behind the curtain, as God and Satan watched, how Satan must have smiled in glee. Then comes the victorious shout of Job’s faith, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10).
In times of great loss and sorrow, how do you hold fast? Dead in our sin, we have no chance of hanging on, no hope of things turning around. We are held fast by God’s Word and faithfulness. We are held fast by the arms that stretched out for us on Calvary’s cross. What promises of God are holding you fast today?
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, your steadfast love is better than anything in my life…”


TORN – Day 30

TORN – Day 30 – Tuesday, 4/5/22
Draw Near
“Let us draw near with a true heart in the full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22)
Today’s Scripture reading is Leviticus 16
Once each year, the Israelites observed an awesome event – the great Day of Atonement! This national holiday brought two truths together in a holy paradox. The first truth: God’s holiness makes it impossible for him to tolerate sin. The second truth: all human beings are sinful and deserve God’s wrath.
But on the Day of Atonement, God invited one person, the high priest, to enter into God’s presence on behalf of his sinful people. At that one moment, God’s holiness and the human sinfulness came together. But instead of destruction – atonement! Forgiveness! The promised Savior would come and therefore, sinners were not destroyed. Instead, their sin was covered.
Now, because of Jesus, the Day of Atonement is every day for us!
Prayer: “Dear Jesus, you cleanse all of me – my heart, my conscience, and my body. How do I thank you?…”


TORN – Day 29

TORN – Day 29 – Monday, 4/4/22
He Never Gave In
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
Today’s Scripture reading is Matthew 4:1-11
To an outsider, it seems that because Jesus never sinned, he could not know what temptation was like – how strong temptation could be. But in our reading today, we see proof that just the opposite is true. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. Jesus knows the battle, yet he never gave in. He is the only One who knows the true depth of the struggle. He was tempted to lie and covet, to murmur disgust and pout with self-pity. But he met each and every temptation with the power of the Word. Now, as we struggle with temptation, he does not roll his eyes or shake his head in disappointment. He invites us to come to him, not only for forgiveness but for the strength we need to stand strong in the struggle. Today, think about some of the other temptations that Jesus might have battled.
Prayer: “Jesus, I am weak. You are strong. I give in – You never gave up. Thank you. Lead me not into temptation, especially when…”


TORN – Fifth Sunday in Lent

TORN – Sunday, 4/3/22
Fifth Sunday in Lent
The veil is torn. The throne room is open. The way to God is open because of Jesus. But our flesh is still sinful, and our hearts are prone to wander. The life of a believer is full of mountains and valleys. One day, your confidence may be soaring, and the next day, you may feel as if you are standing on your last leg of faith. But our Savior remains the same steady source of forgiveness and mercy day after day.
The next time your confidence feels a bit shaky, put these nine words from Romans 5:8 on repeat in your mind: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Today is a day of worship – join your fellow believers in worship and fellowship today!

TORN – Day 28

TORN – Day 28 – Saturday, 4/2/22
Drawn to the Cross
“I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. (John 12:32)
Today’s Scripture reading is Matthew 11:25-30
There are some people that have such charisma that others are naturally drawn to them. The cross of Christ has that power.
Today, reflect on these words of “Drawn to the Cross.”
Drawn to the cross, which you have blessed
With healing gifts for souls distressed,
To find in you my life, my rest,
Christ Crucified, I come
Genevieve Irons, 1855-1928
Prayer: “Spirit of the Living God, breathe into me a breath of life, of hope, and…”


TORN – Day 27

TORN – Day 27 – Friday, 4/1/22
Tell Yourself
“You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God’s.” (Deuteronomy 1:17)
Today’s Scripture reading is Romans 5:12-21
Judgment belongs to God, and in Christ, he has declared us not guilty. Always remember this: God has forgiven you – all of your sins. Tell yourself this! We may not always feel forgiven, but we need to trust God’s Word, and his Word tells me we are!
Prayer: “Jesus, when I forget, speak to my heart your words of…”


TORN – Day 26

TORN – Day 26 – Thursday, 3/31/22
He is Running Toward You
“His father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20)
Today’s Scripture reading is Luke 15:11-32
When the prodigal son was returning home in shame, before he could even say anything, his father ran toward him. In the culture of the day, the dad was bringing shame upon himself by running. He didn’t care – his child was returning home! Then with a robe, sandals, and a ring, the father restored the dignity of his child.
We can imagine that the man running in this parable is Jesus. He is running toward you. In love, he has taken all of your shame upon him. None of us is worthy, but we are wanted. We are treasured by our Savior!
Prayer: “Jesus, I am not worthy, but you love me anyway. Thank you for running toward me when…”


TORN – Day 25

TORN – Day 25 – Wednesday, 3/30/22
Forgiven is Forgiven
“By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” (1 John 3:19-20)
Today’s Scripture reading is Psalm 19.
Believing God forgives me is one thing. Forgiving myself is often harder. You and I may not always feel forgiven, but God’s word is our anchor behind the veil. God has the final word. It is a settled issue. It applies to past sin, present sin, future sin.
The details of what we have done and why we did it are irrelevant. Sin is sin. Paid is paid. Forgiven is forgiven.
Prayer: “Jesus, I know you forgive me. Help me to forgive myself for…”