TORN – Day 40 – Holy Saturday

TORN – Day 40 – Holy Saturday, 4/16/22
“I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Today’s Scripture reading is 1 Corinthians 15:1-12
Why is the word “buried” recorded in today’s Scripture? Isn’t it obvious? … Buried follows dead. Why is this word important to our faith? “Buried” not only offers proof that Jesus died, but also shows us the high cost of our sin. Dead on the cross and laid in the tomb, Jesus was cut off, his very life torn from him. Yet, his burial declares that God makes the grave itself holy.
God doesn’t abandon us, even in the grave. It is there in the grave that Christ, our Scapegoat, is buried. With him, our sins are buried, removed forever: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). All the way to the grave! Reflect on what might be the Bible verse you would like placed on your tombstone someday.
Prayer: “Jesus, the grave couldn’t hold you! May that hope be with those near death…”


TORN – Day 39 – Good Friday

TORN – Day 39 – Good Friday, 4/15/22
The Hiddenness of God
“There was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice…”My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:33-34)
Today’s Scripture reading is Psalm 22:1-24
Imagine, the Father and his beloved Son torn apart. Never before in all of eternity had this been so. Often the cry is heard, “Why? Why does God hide from me?” God doesn’t hide to be hidden. He hides to be found. He wills to be found in the suffering go Christ. God willed this to be, so that in our darkest days, we are assured that the Father will never forsake us. Today, reflect on the words of “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” that mean the most to you.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
When darkness veils his lovely face
I rest on his unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
(Edward Mote, 1797-1874)
Today is our Community Cross Walk. Meet at the Lighthouse on Summit St. at 11:00 am this morning. Then tonight, join us at RiverPoint Ministries, 2862 131st. St. at 7:00 pm for our Community Good Friday gathering.
Prayer: “Jesus, I build my hope on you today; hope for…”


TORN – Day 38 – Holy Thursday

TORN – Day 38 – Holy Thursday, 4/14/22
Two Basins
“He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:5)
Today’s Scripture reading is John 13.
We live our lives out of one of two basins: the basin of Pilate or the basin of Jesus. The basin of Pilate is one of indifference. Rather than ask for God’s grace, he asked for a bowl. Rather than listen to the voice of Jesus, he listened to the voice of the crowd. Where did Pilate go wrong? Not so much in the evil he did, but in the kindness he withheld. How often do I live my life out of this basin?
The basin of Jesus is one of servanthood. Jesus knew who he was and whose he is. Torn from his friends by betrayal, he still serves them. Jesus washed their feet so that hours later, when they hung their heads in shame, they would see their feet and remember the grace of splashing water. In today’s reflection, think of a few ways you can serve someone this week.
Prayer: “Lord, I know who I am in you. Help me to lay aside all pride so I can serve…”


TORN – Day 37

TORN – Day 37 – Wednesday, 4/13/22
A Wonderful Promise
“Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 6:37)
Today’s Scripture reading is Psalm 23.
What a wonderful promise: “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” God will listen to and accept anyone who comes to him, including you. He will never reject you.
Even in times of doubt and darkness, God’s Word is an anchor that we can trust. He invites us to draw near to him through faith and hope, at any time.
Prayer: “Jesus, may those who live in doubt come to you, especially…”


TORN – Day 36

TORN – Day 36 – Tuesday, 4/12/22
“He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” (Colossians 2:15)
Today’s Scripture reading is Mark 14:1-9.
In God’s hands, brokenness has a purpose and brings a blessing. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box in today’s reading that brings forth perfume, a special anointing. It is Peter, broken and weeping bitterly, who is restored.
Have you ever found yourself in a place of brokenness? It is in that brokenness that Jesus gives us himself. On the night of the Last Supper, he took the bread, blessed it, and broke it, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you.” (1 Corinthians 11:24 NLT).
Prayer: “Jesus in the bread you bless and break, you give me…


TORN – Day 35

TORN – Day 35 – Monday, 4/11/22
“I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:15-16)
Today’s Scripture reading is Lamentations 3:16-26.
As Jesus hangs on the cross, taking his final breaths, he looks to his mother and the disciple he loves, and says, “Woman, behold, your son!” And, to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” (John 19:26-27). Consider the irony and pain of this moment. There in his dying, while being torn away from his mother, Jesus shows such compassion for her.
Our God is a compassionate God, one who never hesitated to save us by sending his only Son. He has engraved our names on his palms and has given our names a permanent place in the Book of Life (Revelation 13:8). As Jesus’ beloved disciple would care for Mary, as God so lovingly cares for us, let us care for one another. Do you know someone who is alone right now? Write a letter of Easter joy, letting that person know that you care.
Prayer: “Jesus, even in dying, you showed such compassion. Guide me to show compassion to…”


TORN – Palm Sunday – Sixth Sunday in Lent

TORN – Sunday, 4/10/22
Sixth Sunday in Lent
Palm Sunday
Today is Palm Sunday, the day we recognize and commemorate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey, amid the praises of the people.
Today is a day of celebration at CrossPoint – we will have palm branches and we’ll sing songs of praise to Jesus. Later in the service, we’ll take Communion together. Hope you can join us!


TORN – Day 34

TORN – Day 34 – Saturday, 4/9/22
The Lamb
“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” (John 12:15)
Today’s Scripture reading is 1 Peter 2:22-25.
In preparation for the Passover, it was customary for a family to separate the sacrificial lamb from the flock five days before the Passover. It was also the custom for the family to bring the lamb into their home during these five days. In today’s verse, Jesus is entering Jerusalem five days before Passover, and when he arrives, he immediately goes to his Father’s house, the temple. It is here that he would spend much of the week preparing for what lay ahead. Today, reflect on the words of “The Lamb.”
The Lamb, the Lamb,
O Father, where’s the sacrifice?
Faith sees, believes
God will provide the Lamb of price!
Worthy is the Lamb whose death makes me his own!
The Lamb is reigning on his throne!
Prayer: “Savior, you came as both King and Lamb. Your sacrifice conquered all my sin. Guide me to…”


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…”