Come in Mercy

Open Your Bible

Isaiah 58

Text: Isaiah 58:1-14

Last year was my first time observing Lent, a season I’d known next to nothing about prior to that. I was caught up in the whirlwind of its beauty, especially online. It seemed everyone was giving up something they leaned on in day to day life. Coffee and chocolate were especially mourned, but I decided that without coffee I may not make it through Lent at all.

Beautiful journals, study guides, books, and prints filled my social media. I was blown away by the fervor for this time in the life of the Church, yet in each purchase and choice that I made, something felt wrong.

Why did Lent seem like it was all about me?

Maybe you’re feeling the same things this year. Maybe you decided not to do anything because your ideas felt shallow compared to the Easter story we’re preparing for. Maybe, like me, your heart needs to be reminded that this season is not about our holy acts or intentions, but the love and mercy of our Holy God.

Part of walking deeper in our journey with Christ is learning to turn our inward focus outward—taking our gaze off ourselves and onto Christ, and onto others for the sake of Christ. Let’s take a moment today to explore what “giving up something for Lent” might look like in light of God’s Word and the “chosen fast” He calls us to in Isaiah 58.

What if we thought about:
Giving up evil practices (Judges 2:19).
Giving up violence and oppression (Ezekiel 45:9).
Giving up religious compromise (Daniel 3:28).
Giving up possessions (Luke 14:33).
Giving up words that tear others down (Ephesians 4:29).

I want to encourage you to read these Scriptures—and others!— and listen to the Holy Spirit. Where is He nudging your heart this Lent season and beyond—to shift your gaze outward onto Christ and His Church?

Would you give up your Instagram feed being solely dedicated to your life to include causes that burden your heart? Would you give up a grudge or ill-thoughts toward a friend and devote time to praying for her each day? Would you be willing to give up complacency and take a stand for your faith in a place you may not be comfortable, whether online or off, for the sake of the lost and the glory of God? Where can you extend God’s mercy to others right here where He has placed you?

Whatever this Lent season looks like for you—from devoting time to writing in a journal, to reading your children a Bible story each night—let’s allow the season to reflect the heart of the Father, the reason we prepare our souls for the sacrifice and celebration to come. We can never come close to what Jesus gave up for us, but we can draw ourselves close to Him.

Isn’t the fast I choose:
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will appear like the dawn,
and your recovery will come quickly.
Your righteousness will go before you,
and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.
At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer;
when you cry out, He will say, ‘Here I am.’

– Isaiah 58:6-9a, HCSB


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150 thoughts on "Come in Mercy"

  1. Emily says:

    Excellent word!! Thank you!

  2. Stephanie says:

    What have others felt called to give up or change in themselves this lent? For me, it has been God telling me to focus on repentance. So often I brush by the “repent” part of “repent and believe” but repent is in that same sentence that tells us how to join the kingdom of God! It is so important! And I am not going to God enough truly repenting- I’m just assuming I’m forgiven, and there’s a little more to it than that.

  3. Michaela says:

    Man I wish this was earlier in the plan, it’s such a great truth to remember.

  4. Steph says:

    Thanks for the refocusing. Need to be looking to Christ in everything. Jesus is all in all!

  5. Julie says:

    Out of a desire to know love…let me remember yours.

  6. Mish says:

    Home run Diana! So needed this today.

  7. Christine says:

    Each day God brings His word through you girls. My heart is daily touched by your love and authenticity, really. I can’t tell you how dearly this devotional means to me. You may have heard this a hundred or a thousand times, but God is so using you all as vessels to get His precious word out and into our lives. I thank God for you all.

  8. Abbie says:

    Oh I love this. it so speaks to me.When I started this Lent study I was conflicted. I couldn’t decide what to give up as it says here, it all seemed a bit superficial and a bit ‘just because’. So instead of giving anything up I decided to study the Word and see where it lead me. I am grateful for this post, grateful to know I wasn’t the only one feeling that way and so so so grateful for the direction I craved. Thank you for the encouragement.

  9. Carolyn says:

    Thanks for sharing this article today! When I first heard about Lent I was really turned off by the self righteous a pious way people often acted about what they were fasting from. It wasn’t until researching more that I learned why someone actually might consider fasting during Lent. The practice of active and intentional daily self denial is meant to encourage us to give ourselves more fully to God and to remind us just how heavy the weight of our slavery to sin is (because self denial is really hard!). I think it’s helpful not to fast from a sin like grudge holding etc. during Lent, because we’re meant to choose not to sin in every season – but rather it’s helpful to deny ourselves a gift from the Lord that we enjoy or perhaps one that we abuse/overuse. Giving ourselves to God more fully and acknowledging the depth of our sin in this practice of self denial allows us to appreciate the gift of his gospel and to appreciate what Easter (the resurrection) stands for. This really is a beautiful time all about the Lord and worshipping him – not about pious tradition and making ourselves look holy. It’s actually just the opposite!

    1. Abbie says:

      I think this is the first time I’ve truly understood fasting as well. It’s so much more than just giving something up for a while. I’m so grateful for this study. This is my first time learning about Lent and the lessons for me are so much bigger than just this period leading up to Easter.

  10. Elisabeth says:

    This spoke to me and what actions/state of my spirit should be as the focus of my lent season. I need to remember why I’ve chosen trust and faith as my words of the year. It is only by my faith and placing my trust in Him that I can live the way which is pleasing to Him. I need to let go of judgement, hurt and anger and pray for those who if I really looked at my heart, have felt aren’t worthy….what if God judged me in that way?

  11. Macie says:


  12. What a terrific post! Thanks so much for sharing this deeper truth.

  13. "I was blown away by the fervor for this time in the life of the Church, yet in each purchase and choice that I made, something felt wrong.
    Why did Lent seem like it was all about me?" <– I've been struggling with this. Glad someone put this into words.

  14. C says:

    This one devotional hit me hard!!! I’m observing lent and yet, have been abhorring ill feelings towards a group of women I used to be friends. TBH, I haven’t prayed for them nor thought of it b/c of the way they treated me and have seemed to go on with their life.
    However, in reading this passage today I realize I’m guilty and what if The Lord felt the same about me. I realize that I need to pray for them and myself that The Lord would cast those feelings far far away and remind not only during Lent but every day that we are to extend gracy & mercy to all.

    I love SRT and am so glad there is an app like this!!

  15. Christyg says:

    This has been heavy on my heart, and I've been searching for a way to share it.
    This passage directly speaks about serving the poor and oppressed- which do exist today!
    I live overseas in SE Asia, in a country that is flooded with thousands of asylum seekers, many fleeing from religious persecution.
    Where I live, not all asylum seekers are granted refugee status, and they are forced to live in hiding- live illegally- in fear of being imprisoned or sent back to their home country, where they are being persecuted.
    Before moving here, I had no idea that this was such a big problem. I'd heard of the persecuted church, those meeting in secret and dying for their faith. But I had not heard of the plight of those who were trying to protect their families by leaving everything to move to a land there are not welcome. And the struggle is real- the churches here are trying to support our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ- but there are just so many.
    Prior to this study, along with many of you, I participated in the Esther study, and before that I was working my way through the Sermon on the Mount. I'm not sure whether anyone will even read this, as I am a day behind, but I feel the Lord prompting me to encourage you, my sisters in Christ, for such a time as this. This Lenten season, as we seek to make Jesus the focus of our lives, to be His hands and feet, I encourage you to pray for those seeking asylum, and to see how you can support and encourage and be mercy to the least of these- who may not be next door, but rather around the world, ever near Jesus's heart.

    1. Beverly says:

      What a humbling reminder of the blessing I have in practicing my faith so freely. Thank you for sharing, Christy. Praying for all those seeking asylum around the world. And praying for you as well, sweet Christy. That He will continue to strengthen you and give you courage to be His hands and heart in SE Asia.

    2. Madi says:

      Wow, Christy.
      I am also living in SEA and God has opened my eyes to this same issue. We have made some dear friends who are waiting here and have just been rejected to be accepted in another country. Our hearts broke with them and we continue to pray for a placement where they can begin their lives anew. We will only be in SEA for 4 more months, but I believe that this issue is one reason God has allowed me to live here for the past few years. I pray he will use me as a voice for those who are often forgotten. God bless you sister. See, God is making sure these people are seen and known. He is so good, and we get to be some of the people who are his eyes and hands.

  16. Taylor says:

    I thought about giving up coffee too but didn’t think I would make it through Lent without it either! This hit home. I finally decided I wasn’t giving anything up for Lent because it seemed like I was making it all about me. If I could give up chocolate-I’d lose weight and that’d be a plus. If I gave up coffee-I’d be able to sleep better at night. If I gave up social media-I’d have better focus on school. Everything seemed to be more about myself and less about God. So instead of giving something up, I’m picking something up. I’m spending more time in His Word. It’s not about our holy acts and intentions, it’s about God. Glad to see others can relate to this!

    1. Kelsey says:

      Amen this is exactly how I felt too. Like you said I am picking up something! More time with Him

    2. Holly Marie says:

      Amen Taylor – so right!

    3. Ali says:

      Someone recently told me that Lent isn’t just about sacrifice but devotion. It’s about what you do with the time or money you would have normally spent on what you gave up. And hopefully you are using that time/ money growing closer to God and serving him. I though that was an awesome way to think of it!

  17. Katie says:

    I’m a day behind too! Praying for all those seeking asylum to protect their families. Religious freedom is such a gift

  18. Christyg says:

    This has been heavy on my heart, and I've been searching for a way to share it.
    This passage directly speaks about serving the poor and oppressed- which do exist today!
    I live overseas in SE Asia, in a country that is flooded with thousands of asylum seekers, many fleeing from religious persecution.
    Where I live, not all asylum seekers are granted refugee status, and they are forced to live in hiding- live illegally- in fear of being imprisoned or sent back to their home country, where they are being persecuted.
    Before moving here, I had no idea that this was such a big problem. I'd heard of the persecuted church, those meeting in secret and dying for their faith. But I had not heard of the plight of those who were trying to protect their families by leaving everything to move to a land where they are not welcome. And the struggle is real- the churches here are trying to support our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ- but there are just so many!
    Before this Lenten study, I participated in the Esther study, and before that I was doing the Sermon on the Mount study.
    I'm not sure if anyone will read this- as I'm a day behind- but I feel the Lord prompting me to post- for such a time as this!
    This Lenten season, as we seek to make Him our focus for life, as we seek to be His hands and feet- to be mercy to those in need- I encourage you to see how you can help our fellow brothers in sisters in Christ around the world!

    1. I’m reading it. My heart is breaking at the thought of this. I will pray tonight for those seeking asylum. Our God is able!!!

  19. Casie says:

    I gave up Instagram a week before lent because I was allowing it to control me! I constantly was checking it, obsessed with strolling through my whole feed before moving on to a task or being present with my kids. My days were fragmented and missing deeper meaning. I complained about not having time but once I stopped the Instagram obsession, I found I had time but beyond that I had space and stillness in my head!!! Ultimately I allowed social media to dictate my day but giving it up has given me back more than I anticipated!

  20. Amanda says:

    The Lord spoke to me through this! Give up griping for thankfulness!!

  21. Sarah says:

    So true & challenging. I find it easier to give up something external than to change my internal mindset. Ultimately, it’s all about Jesus. A great season to be renewed by Him!!

  22. Kasey Tuggle says:

    Amen! I love this! “Maybe, like me, your heart needs to be reminded that this season is not about our holy acts or intentions, but the love and mercy of our Holy God.” Just like every season- I have to remind myself that it is about God because my life is suppose to be about God!

  23. Tiari C. says:

    So amazing that as I prepared my heart for Lent and prayed for God to reveal to me what I should be "giving up," instead, the Lord added something for me. This is my first time observing Lent and every time I felt a nudge on my heart that wasn't what I thought I should be doing for this season I simply prayed over it, not even thinking about it. Even up until the first day of Lent, I still had no idea what to give up and then God spoke.

    "You don't need to give up anything, because I already gave up everything. I gave up myself, as a sacrifice for your sins and the sins of the world, so that you can be free. Be free, living your life with me. Instead, I want you to dig deep and learn what the true meaning of Lent is. Preparing your heart for the day of my return, by spending each day with me. Knowing me. My love. My mercy. So that even after the Lent season is over, you would continue to spend that time with me until the day of my second return where I will call you home. Then you will know the depth of my sacrifice for you."

    Amen! Hallelujah!! I am beyond blessed that He allows me to know Him on such a deep level. I am truly out of words, but just want to say Thank you, Jesus! ..and thank you ladies that I get to share this amazing journey with all of you!

  24. Danna says:

    “…off ourselves and onto Christ.” Perfectly said! Thank you!

  25. Jordan B says:

    I have observed lent since I was young, but just recently have been taking it seriously. Some of my friends decided to do it with me this year and have already “cheated” on their sacrifices. One said that they didn’t care that they only lasted less than a week and it caught me so off guard that I almost didn’t have a response. Today’s post was perfect for this situation. It provides clear reasoning for why we do this. It’s so much bigger than just giving up something like chocolate for 47 days!

  26. Nicole says:

    This lesson ties perfectly with the season I'm in right now. Thankful for his perfect timing and your beautiful, comforting words!

  27. Jenny says:

    Inspired to look harder to Christ. He wants to transform, redeem, and restore :)

  28. Jannah Swink says:

    This post was spot on and confirmed my Lent fast of COMPLAINING. Thanks for sharing! Loved the scripture and I totally agree Lent should inspire more sacrifice than a diet.

    1. Ashleigh says:

      I agree! I’ve struggled with lent practices. I went to a Christian college and I felt like it was a competition to see who could come up with a creative thing to fast from, or who could be the most hardcore about it. The past few years I’ve chosen to keep my fasting ritual to myself, and focus more on adding something to my life to remind me of Jesus’ sacrifice. Like this bible study and more scripture reading!

  29. Caroline says:

    So convicted. I need to pray more for people who upset me rather than complain about them

  30. Amy Jacobs says:

    How beautifully this passage matched my current dilemma. Thank you for creating this reading!

  31. Charli says:

    This was absolutely me this season! I wasn’t sure what to “give up” for a long time because I had the wrong focus. While I did decide to replace something, I am thankful to be reminded and called to action in service and being a light in the darkness!

  32. Jen Watkins says:

    What a beautiful reminder about How “giving up something for Lent” has absolutely NOTHING to do about me! How selfish I can be sometimes to make it all about me and “my ability” in all this! praise God for being bigger!!

  33. Alexis Couture says:

    I need to remember this season is about God and what he has done. Not about myself. I needed this today!

  34. Michelle.Landro says:

    “Part of walking deeper in our journey with Christ is learning to turn our inward focus outward—taking our gaze off ourselves and onto Christ, and onto others for the sake of Christ.” (#shereadstruth) Worship of Lent (& of LiFE) isn’t about what you DON’T do, it’s about what you DO >>GO & be [like] CHRIST. Let your light shine so that “the darkness around you will be bright as noon. (Isaiah 58:10)” Don’t give up something so that you may gain, give up something so that you might GiVE.

  35. Hannah Dessel says:

    Reflecting on why we fast or participate in Lent is so good. This year I caught myself wanting to give something up just because everyone else was doing it. Instead, I decided to plan out times with Jesus. It has already been so good to be back with God in this way! These devotionals are a big part of it. Thank you for initiating conversations between me and Jesus.

    1. Jacque M. says:

      I too have “given up” time to God. I’ve been journaling for Lent by reflecting on the passages SRT gives each day. I find it so rewarding because I have struggled so much with my faith and in the last year have been strong in my faith. I owe it to our Lord for never giving up and guiding me.

  36. Megan says:

    Thank you for sharing this insight with us, with me. So many times in my western mindset I get focused far more on me, myself, and I than the other. Thank you for the conviction of heart to pray and seek the Lord that much more during this season of Lent. I’ll be praying and asking the Lord today what this looks like for me. Thank you.

  37. Amanda says:

    This one is sooooo good! Perfectly written. Thank you!

  38. Amen! It’s actually reminding me of the unrealistic expectations I put on myself. Like an alcoholic being in the presence of alcohol, the lent season is amplifying my perfectionist personality. If anything, I should be giving up emotional eating, doubt and shame. Right there with you girl!

  39. Brittany Sharp says:

    This year I decided to give up my time and devote it back to God. After reading this, I can honestly say my love for Him grows deeper. I needed to read this. In the past I participated in Lent and never felt my heart grow for Him. Every day as I dive into his word with each of you, I feel myself growing apart of something bigger. Thank you for reminding me to keep my eyes on Him.

  40. Kathryn says:

    Loving this whole study. I have set this Lenten season as a time to re-align with Christ after a chaotic few years. As each day goes by, I'm finding that while I had no real expectations of this time, what I'm learning is completely unexpected. Today the pen started moving and the words poured out, and even though it honestly terrifies me to post this…I felt compelled to share.

    It is not about me. Anxiety has always been a struggle for me, a battle to control, to prevent it from hindering my ability to live life fully. This has been on my mind and heart daily with not only this study, and God is showing me that I need to deal with it through other avenues as well…funny how that usually works. I have good seasons and bad seasons, and always the good seasons have a common thread: less of me, more of Christ – and other people. The bad seasons: less of Christ, more focus on MY goals, what I WANT to do, what other people think of ME. I know this, and yet still I go through these seasons.

    Even though I know my brain works differently than others, that this anxiety will always be part of my struggles in this life, it has – because of that fact – also been difficult to truly understand and see it as a sin; because, even though I hate to admit it (after all, it is very clear evidence of my imperfection) it is. Anxiety, fear and worry is sinful. I have heard teachings on this several times, all excellent, all delivered with love and care, but it has never travelled beyond my head. I have never really grasped the enormity of it. Likely, because it is painful to look at this sin and myself this closely. It is a matter of unbelief, of faith, of – for whatever reason, chemical, experiential, or otherwise – being unable to fully trust.

    My heart struggles with this. It screams you DO have faith; and I do. It yells you DO believe; and I do. It fights against the shame of such a battle where there is no shame because we have a loving and gracious God. My Jesus is mighty, my protector. It has taken a long time for me to realize that my anxiety does not inherently imply the complete absence of faith or belief, it is the fight to rest in the truth that Christ is in me and I cannot fail. Not by a long shot. Literally zero chance of it – by his standards anyway. Worldly standards, now, that's a whole other story. That's where I get hung up. I WILL fail by those standards. 100% Chance of it. If I am in Christ, I will go against the grain and do things that make no sense to outsiders looking in. All of these things I know in my head, I can even partially grasp them with my heart, but again, beyond the personal implications for my own walk with Christ, the gravity of this sin has escaped me.

    Today it has sunk in a little deeper. It is my EXAMPLE that is compromised. I am here to show others the Holy, Mighty, Awesome, Goodness of Christ, and in my anxiety that is clouded. In my anxiety, that light may not shine through me as brightly as it could; because, in my anxiety I falter in my boldness for His Kingdom. In my worry of what others will think, how I will ultimately measure up against the standards of this world I lose opportunities, moments for that truth and light and goodness to push me aside and shine through my actions. For others to see me doing things that make no sense, that seem backwards, and to pause to ask or personally contemplate…why. To seek the motivation for such a choice and to hear and receive the Gospel. That is, after all, why I'm here.

    Thank goodness for a merciful God, who wired me the way I am for a reason, who loves me even in the bad seasons, who has pursued me time and time again, who loves all of my broken pieces and wants to use me for His Glory. Thank goodness that He is Lord over everything, including my anxiety. It is not about me, It is about Jesus.

    1. Bri says:

      I so admire your courage, Kathryn. Have you ever heard the song “No longer slaves” by bethel music? It is so full of truth and it has tremendously helped me when anxiety and fear fills my heart. Praying for you today!

      1. Kathryn says:

        Thank you so much! I hadn't heard it, but I just listened to it and I love it! Thank you for the encouragement and prayer.

      2. Crystal says:

        Kathryn, thank you for sharing! Bri, I just heard the song and it’s beautiful.

  41. Erica says:

    Such a wonderful devotion. Bringing our focus away from shallow things to Christ. Thank you so much for the thought provoking words and scripture. For my first lent I am working hard to focus on my relationship with God and how I can live my life to glorify Him.

  42. Gina says:

    This is the Best study I have read so far this Lent season anywhere! Giving something up for Lent just never sat right with me…..and I LOVE the lock screen you chose! Thank You for reminding us to focus on Him.

  43. Carrie says:

    Love this perspective! Thank you!

  44. Brittany says:

    I always saw people on Facebook giving up stuff for lent and I always tried to give up something too just to see if I could make it that long without whatever it was. This series has helped me so much to step back and look at my life and see what in my life is truly taking the place of Jesus and allowing the Lord to set me free from that. I honestly feel like new person already and we’re not even that deep into this series! Not because I’ve been able to give up something this long but because I can feel the Lord changing my heart without it and I probably won’t even care to go back to it when this is over. He is soooo good!

  45. Laura says:

    For the first time, i think i get it, it's about acknowledging my sin in all those areas, noted in the verses listed above and asking for the Lord to forgive me and to work in my heart to love better. That's what this season means for me. Amen

  46. Traci says:

    Several years ago, in my "Lenten adolescence", I was talking with a good friend who was nearly in her 50th Lent. I went on about the grandness of my sacrifice scheme and how I was looking forward to removing some big obstacles to God in my life. When I asked her what she was giving up for Lent, expecting some big out of one of the most devout Catholics I know, she replied that she wasn't giving up anything, but that she prefers to add to her faith.
    This specific year, she was adding out-of-the-way kindness to people. She wanted to take the Lenten season to sow a seed of generosity, joy and kindness in the people of her life, and she was hoping that it would not only draw her closer to Christ but that it would draw THEM closer as well. My season of repentance began a little early that year :)
    Since then, while I'm still quite intentional about sacrificing things in my life that feel like a stumbling block or a detour in my relationship with God, I always add something too. This is a great reminder for me to add something that benefits others, not just me. Thank you!

  47. Kelly Koptieff says:

    beautiful reminder! I'm giving up my worry/fear of the future and relying on Him to guide me day by day along with not speaking evil of others even if I feel they wronged me and that it's justified. Both sins, sounds easy but only the Spirit can guide us. I look forward to his promises in Is 58:8 and 58:14. Thank you Jesus!

  48. Christa Porto says:

    This is my first year observing lent and, I have to say, I’ve truly struggled with taking my eyes off of myself and putting them back on the Savior. I’m really praying that the readings of scripture sink in during this season. What a beautiful time.

  49. Sarah says:

    This is amazing! Perfectly describes what I believe an authentic Lenten season should be about. Thank you! It is not about what we do that will make us worthy to be with Christ. We are with him already; what can we do to draw even closer? To come closer to his heart, we have to do what he loves and cares about. Justice, righteousness, love … So beautiful.

  50. This devotional goes right along with what I have been learning in addiction counseling over the past year: you can modify behaviors as much as you want but change comes from understanding the grace of God. Lent isn’t about me. It is about the Savior.

  51. Libs says:

    So, it's ok with Jesus for one of his to not observe Lent?

  52. Haley says:

    This passage came alive to me in new ways today. I will be re-reading this one multiple times today. So much good truth that is hard to read and even harder to live.

  53. Kara says:

    Isaiah 58:2 rang near to my heart. “…they take delight in approaching to God.” It made me think of one of my favorite quotes, “If you’re no longer close to God, who moved?”

  54. KDM says:

    I LOVE this devotional today. Last night I went to bed harboring some ill thoughts and jealousy towards an old 'friend'. This morning I wake up and see this, give up those thoughts and pray for this person instead. I am convicted. It never ceases to amaze me how well these devotional correlate to my life each day. Thank you ladies so much for taking the time to put these together for us!

  55. Kate says:

    This was a wonderful reminder for me. So often I feel a pressure to give something up based off of what others are doing. I wanted to challenge myself to see what actually gets in the way of me communing with God, and I saw my tendency to worry. I am aware of how strong a grip worry can have on me, and I am challenging myself to take a deep breath when it comes and talk to God immediately. Thank you for the invitation to embrace Lent in this way.

  56. Rosemary says:

    Excellent take on this Lenten season!! I too have, in the past, given up “items” in hopes that God would be pleased with my sacrifices. But after reading today’s scripture, I must have looked like the Pharisees who stood in public moaning and groaning about their fasting! You ladies are right–that doesn’t bring honor to God or to His people! What brings Him honor is His godliness reflected in our daily lives! Everyday! That’s how I see Lent now. What can I do to change into a godly person now. What can I give up to make that change now. That’s my Lent. Thank you, Diane; thank you, ladies! And Jess, God hears you! Still praying for you as well!

  57. Rachel says:

    Here I find myself striving again- gathering up lent devotionals and scripture to memorize and plans to complete. What a timely message reminding me to turn focus off of me, to not strive for the cross but to accept the gift of the cross

  58. Leighann says:

    I see your point, but I come at the self-denial aspect of Lent a little differently.

    I've gradually come to observing lent over the past couple years and in those years also started a very stringent eating plan (going off for pregnancy and nursing and now trying to be stricter again). The idea with the eating plan wasn't for Lent, it was for health purposes, but in giving up many of the mainstream foods we eat in America, I was forced to realize that I was going to food to reward myself, soothe myself, and entertain myself. It made me stop and think – – why is food my portion and not Christ? Giving up something for Lent can have the same impact. If we use this time of fasting as a way to trigger thoughts about Christ, the sacrifice He made for us, and how we use things as a substitute for intimacy with Him in our daily lives, it takes the focus off of us and things and puts it solely on Him. Fasting can break us of the yoke that so easily entangles us and turn HIM into our bread and wine.

    1. I think your example still points to the verses she highlights! So many of us focus on deprivation though, and miss the larger point of Christ. I don’t believe the point isn’t to fast, Christ spoke of ‘when you fast’ leading one to believe it is expected, but that the focus needs to shift. That the inward reflection becomes a deeper outward expression of our faith, that the taking away leads to other glorifying additions. Yesterday and today spoke to me about the condition and intention of my heart. Thank God he is still working on me in this!

  59. CindyD says:

    Thank you so much for these wonderful scriptures that you are sharing during this season. They have really caused me to examine my heart and come before him daily.
    "Part of walking deeper in our journey with Christ is learning to turn our inward focus outward—taking our gaze off ourselves and onto Christ, and onto others for the sake of Christ" So true…Thank you for this reminder.

  60. I grew up in a tradition where Lent was revered and talked about a lot but never really fully explained. There was a sense that we needed to "do" something for God each year, giving something up. It breaks my heart now, as I wish the beauty of the sacrifice would have been explained to me, what it had the potential to do in my heart. I remember one year, I think I was around 7, trying to play the game. I thought "Okay, Dad expects me to give something up…I can do this." At the time I didn't care for eggs, so with a sneaky smile I decided that I'd just go ahead and give them up. The next time I was served eggs at breakfast, I haughtily stated "I gave up eggs for Lent." And in a religious tradition, how do you argue with that, right? :)

    In college, I came back to the idea of giving up something for Lent, having a better grasp on the whole focusing-on-Christ point of it all. This year, I honestly need to think a bit more about this season and about what this time is going to look like for my family and I.

    I so love and appreciate Diana's words about it not being about our "holy acts" but our Holy God. None of it is ever about us, although I sure as heck make it about me often. Even after being burned a bit by a religious tradition of good works + legalism, I know that Lent can be beautiful. I know that it can have such purpose.

    I long for it to be a time of simplicity, but most of all, a time of reflection on God's perfect sacrifice for us.

  61. Carrie says:

    Thank you Diana. Well done. I am encouraged to live in and for Him as I am aided in His Word. I'm praying for Jess, too.

  62. Melody says:

    What a wonderful truth today! I struggled to find something to give up for Lent this season. Food isn't much of a sacrifice– I couldn't really think of anything that I just couldn't live without. I didn't think I had any bad habits to give up either– I don't smoke, rarely drink, etc. But the words that tear others down part really struck a chord with me today. I am not one that will tear anyone down to their face. But I give into gossip at work regularly. And I speak of others out of bitterness or jealously sometimes (ie. I can't believe they are taking THAT vacation….they can't afford that….we deserve it more than them). Or I speak ill of situations and complain to my husband and close friends often. So…that being said…I'm a week late to the party, but I feel the Lord nudging me to speak positively this Lenten season. To give up my complaining. To give up my giving in to gossip. To not speak ill of anyone or any circumstance because I'm bitter, envious, or indulging in a little schadenfreude. May my words instead be positive ones that build others up.

  63. Bethany says:

    I agree that nothing we give up for Lent measures up to his sacrifices for us; however, I have valued the time I have spent away from social media during Lent to really see how He wants me to use my life right now. And I know he would rather my time be spent doing things other than scrolling through news feeds!

  64. Peace2015 says:

    Finally, you nailed it Diana! I have never brought myself to participate in this part of a Lent ritual because it seemed so “un”sacrificial to me compared to the season in remembrance. Thank you for bringing my awareness to His chosen fasting! I am looking forward to digging into scripture today and seeking His heart for where I need to turn from my own wicked rebellion and honor Him in this! You have blessed my soul today! xoxo

    1. Peace2015 says:

      Lol! Reading my own post I must clarify. You always “nail it” with your devos Diana! I am particularly referring to the way you discussed the idea of fasting this season! Your words are always a blessing

  65. Jamie says:

    Um…deeply moved by this today. The light on my own sin I am dealing with right now revealed in many ways with this morning's scripture and writings. Thank you Holy Spirit for moving in this way today…again.

  66. Finally, a convicting message. Thank you so much for bringing up this bible passage during such a time as Lent. Too quickly do I focus inwardly during times of fasting rather than outwardly on others. I’m learning that I grow “inwardly” the most when I am not so tunnel visioned on myself but on God and the application of His love to others. Thank you for this reminder.

  67. Jeanne says:

    Thank Lord for your message coming to me from this devotion to put you first by sacrificing something meaningful to your heart as we prepare to celebrate the ultimate sacrifice of love.

  68. Maria C says:

    What I like about today’s devotion is that it resonates with anyone who has really looked at observing Lent and trying to give up something meaningful. Today’s devotion is something I’ve been thinking about for days. I feel like something is missing in the observance of this time and in my case I am giving up my social media engagement. I’m connected 24/7 to some social media and I truly believe that this is holding me back from feeling and drawing closer to God in this season.

  69. Katie K. says:

    When we first started this study last week, I felt the Lord nudging me to give up worrying. That seems like an impossible task, but I told Him if He was willing to give me the strength, I would be willing to try. Yesterday, when the anxiety come in, He convicted me about it. I went to the Lord in prayer and He lifted the burden from my shoulders. I am amazed by His faithfulness ane mercy each day. We are just beginning and I have not overcome the idol of worry, but I know my Father is faithful to finish the work that He started!

    1. Valanne says:

      Katie, these little thumb icons are merciless for adult fingers, I was giving you a thumbs up (but I guess the fingertip hit the thumbs down) for your testimony of God's faithfulness :)

    2. Katie_K says:

      This is something I'm daily giving over to the Lord as well. My life is in a bit of turmoil right now and I daily struggle with worry, fear, anxiety, etc. Praying each day for the Lord's forgiveness and help in these areas. He is so good to take our burdens from us and provide us with peace.

  70. Susan says:

    Wonderful devotion! I have often struggled with giving something up for the season of Lent because I've felt like it was more of an act, rather than a true sacrifice for the Lord. During college my girlfriends and I gave up sweets, but we found ways around it – eating ice cream and calling it dairy. Since then, I've recognized that my "giving up" wasn't truly giving up and did nothing to bring me closer to God. I have now decided to use one of your examples – giving up words that tear down others. What could possibly bring me closer to my Lord than trying to live this each and every day?

    1. Megan says:

      Susan, I can relate to this! Last year was the first year I actually took lent seriously and gave up instagram. This year I decided to give up sweets, and after reading this passage of scripture in Isaiah it made me realize that it’s all about me and that I would also find ways around eating sweets, and indulge myself on Sunday. I really like the list that the author wrote out for us because it’s super helpful. So I’m also giving up words that tear down others. Good luck to you in this season and I pray the Lord will show you what he wants to show you this year!

  71. Ashley says:

    While I appreciate the way each devotion in this series points to Jesus and keeps the focus on Him, I would like to say, that each season as our little family gathers to pray about what we will “give up” for Lent. It has been a time where the Spirit reveals Himself even to our little ones. As we walk through a season of self-denial with and before our children in a culture saturated with having whatever you want as soon as you want it, it is a place where Jesus is Glorified. It’s a place where He meets us in our weakness. Something as seemingly simple as giving up sweets and media can be a brutal reminder of our sin nature, the very nature that sent Jesus to the cross. We tend toward being selfish people living in a self absorbed world, and Lent is a great time to come face to face with our humanity and sin. Self denial is a place, as I’ve experienced, where we more often run to the foot of the cross. It’s in those places of being completely emptied of yourself that God can fill you will Himself. I think it’s important to remember that Lent is something bigger than us and our generation. We can’t “tailor-make” Lent. Lent is a season where we are suppose to identify with Christ in His suffering. If we aren’t fasting during this season, when as a Church are we fasting?

  72. smallworldtn says:

    This is the BEST post on Lent I've ever read. I grew up in a city where everyone gave up something for Lent–usually chocolate or candy. I was happy to leave that behind me. But in the past couple of years, Lent has been "revived." I have such baggage from my youth about the shallowness of Lent, but this–THIS! I love your list of suggestions, of how to truly show Christ by giving up gossip or extending mercy or giving up bitterness for prayer. Really wonderful. Thank you for this!

  73. Melissa says:

    Needed to read this today as I confess I’m beginning to ‘show off humility’ (msg Isaiah 58:5) and that truly not my heart. But that’s where striving can lead me. Praying today for true humility and mercy as I live out of Him. And not myself.

  74. Meagan says:

    Fantastic words today! I too have never participated in Lent. In fact, I've only learned about it in the last 5 years or so, but I've never really dove into learning what it was about. In fact, this is my first time actually studying it. I've not decided to give anything up this year, but I do want to understand the basis for this time of the year so that next year my heart will be in it 100%.

    From my observations over the years I've seen most people give up chocolate, coffee, sodas, or other foods, but I don't know anyone that's really given up anything that hurts. When it's my turn to deny myself, it seems that there will be the easier things to give up (like my Instagram feed that I barely use), but what about something that stretches me… that stings a little to let go of. I think that's part of what Lent is. I don't want to do just enough. I want to be all in.

    Anyway… thank you all for this study. It's definitely helping me to reflect on my life and to learn more about this wonderful season of the year.

  75. Rayme says:

    I gave up Facebook about two weeks prior. I felt it was making me angry and resentful towards others. I do not miss it and its toxicity. I have more time for other things now too, like family time and reading and reflecting. And rather than “give up” something for Lent I’m making an effort to be kinder and patient toward others and to read my devotional every day and really sit and think about it. Thank you for your app/blog.

  76. Annette says:

    "…let’s allow the season to reflect the heart of the Father, the reason we prepare our souls for the sacrifice and celebration to come. We can never come close to what Jesus gave up for us, but we can draw ourselves close to Him". Amen and thank you. Today's devo was convicting and a blessing. Appreciate this series and the others.

  77. Kelly_Smith says:

    That list, Diana! What a beautiful challenge! I never fast during the Lenten season. I didn't even know about Lent until my mid-20's. I haven't connected denial of personal pleasures (i.e. chocolate and coffee) with this holy season. But that list! That is where denial of the flesh leads to the glory of God! Giving up evil practices, violence and oppression, religious compromise, possessions, words that tear others down. Those are sacrifices that I can lay on the alter that will take the focus off of me and place it on my Lord and Savior.

  78. Katie says:

    Thank you! I needed to hear this!

  79. Loida says:

    Amen sister! Wonderfully put!

  80. Steph says:

    From verse 7: ‘do not hide from the relatives who need your help.’ This is so convicting. Amen.

  81. Meghan wilson says:

    This was my favorite post on Lent so far. Like ever. It was what my heart was feeling but I hadn’t been able to put it into words. I am so thankful that God used this to remind me that this season is about Him and what He did for me, not about me or what I can do for Him. I am excited to continue the rest of the Lenten season with a fresh perspective. Thank you Diana!!!

  82. Rhonda says:

    What a needed reminder!

  83. Wow.I often make fasting more about me. It’s hard to stay focused at times on the reason I started. This is definitely an eye opener.

    And I just love this passage of scripture in Isaiah in light of Lent season.

  84. Jess says:

    Sisters I need prayer. I am suffering from the most intense and severe panic attacks I have ever experienced. I feel like I’m going insane. Would appreciate prayers ❤️

    1. drasch says:

      Lord please give Jess wisdom and strength as she faces this trial in her life. Your blessings are so great, and your will perfect; may your will be done and may she find rest in your shadow. Guide her to help and healing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

    2. m1cey says:

      Lord you know Jess. You know all her thoughts. Calm the storm in her mind. Restore peace to her. Help her to give all her fears to you. In Jesus name. Amen.

    3. Stacey says:

      Praying for you!

    4. Jill says:

      Praying for you this morning Jess. May chains be broken in the Holy name of Jesus.

    5. Susan Williams says:

      Done Sister. Oh blessed that you are able to ask for prayer. "The Lord is near to those who call upon Him in truth". Psalm 145:18 from the reading a few days ago. He loves you and nothing can separate you from Him or His love dear one…. Bringing you before the throne!

    6. Katie_K says:

      Praying for you Jess!

    7. MNmomma (heather) says:

      Prayers lifted for you this morning Jess <3

    8. Miranda says:

      Father, I thank you that you have not given us a spirit of fear. But of power. And love. And a sound mind. I pray for Jess today that you help her to feel the truth of these words, Your words, as she is surrounded by You and the prayers of her sisters. In Jesus name, Amen!

    9. Beth Warner says:

      Dear Jesus, please wrap your loving arms around your precious daughter Jess. She needs your touch Right Now. Give her peace ,your peace.

    10. HS says:

      Jess I’ve had those before and I feel your pain! Mine were being caused by low progesterone. Progesterone is our calming hormone. If you have access to a naturopath, you can get tested and if needed you can get natural bio identical progesterone cream. It was a miracle worker for me. ((Hugs))

    11. Maxine_R says:

      Praying for you Jess <3

  85. Lisa says:

    Aas my Pastor ar Bible study always says: lets give Jesus some praise. That's what it's all about.

  86. Beckie Potterfield says:

    "not to ignore your own flesh blood?" and "Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will restore the foundations laid long ago; you will be called the repairer of broken walls, the restorer of streets where people live." Putting these words together in prayer this morning has pointed me to my extended family. How do I allow God to use me in my own family? How do I minister to my nieces and nephews, who were taught from infancy about our God, but who have drifted away? How will God use me to rebuild those ruins; those foundations laid long ago? Am I willing to be used? I am reminded that God told Jeremiah to not be afraid and that He would give him the words to say. My prayer this day is that I would allow God to use me in my extended family, that I would keep my eyes wide open to see opportunity to be used.

  87. joanne says:

    Amen! I want this Lent to be Him-focused. What I give up should draw ne closer to Him. Wonderful reminder, Diana.

  88. Candacejo says:

    I love this Diana…Verse nine says they were oppressing one another by placing yokes, or unnecessary burdens, upon their brothers and sisters. They were also pointing fingers at each other, spreading rumors and lies about their fellow Christians. Again, they had the method right, but their hearts were in bad, bad shape. They were upset that the Lord had not noticed that they were in sackcloth and ashes. They had fasted, but He had not noticed…oh, how we want to be noticed!

    So the Lord speaks and tells them they have it all wrong. He says, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen?”
    “To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free…”

    I used to hear this part preached and taught and get excited about what God was going to do when I fasted…
    But look at what He says next…

    “And that you break every yoke?”

    That WE break every yoke? I thought He was going to do that? He can and He will, but here He says WE are to break every yoke! The fast that the Lord is pleased with is when WE loose those bonds of wickedness, undo the heavy burdens WE have placed on one another, let the oppressed go free and break every yoke!

    We are also to share our bread with the hungry, bring the poor to our house, cover the naked that have no clothing, and not ignore those that need our help. Also, stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors. Those are pretty important.

    Then He goes on to tell us precious promises of what will happen when we fast in this manner!

    Your health will spring forth, righteousness will go before you and the glory of the Lord will be your reward. If you call on the Lord, He will answer, He will always be your guide.

    Another version says that you will be “known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.”

    All of this when you choose the right fast: God’s fast!
    When your heart is in the right place.
    When you are doing it unto the Lord and not to be seen.
    When you are breaking yokes and setting people free by forgiving, restoring, clothing and feeding then …

    God will also restore you.

    Blessings to my SRT sisters today around the world. ♥

    1. Katie_K says:

      Today was the first time I read the passage that way too! I always read it as a list of things He would do, not a list of ways WE can fast in a manner worthy of Him. My heart is definitely convicted this morning, as I pray for Him to reveal to me how I can do these things. How I can make it all about Him and not about me.

  89. Kendall_S says:

    such a wonderful reminder of keeping tabs on our heart orientation during this season of Lent

    reminded today of the greater, fuller meaning of fasting

    turning my inward focus outward

  90. Libby says:

    “Where can you extend God’s mercy to others right here where He has placed you?” This jumped out at me! Not only do I need to ask “where” I need to ask myself “how” I pray that God shows me his will! How I can show mercy right here, in my own little world! Great devotional!

    1. Melchee says:

      You said it well, Libby. Totally agree with you.

  91. janice says:

    Day 9….love this truth

  92. Sheila says:

    It is so great to listen or read someone else's take on Lent. As well as some of the rest of you this is my first attempt at taking part in this activity. I could not decide what I could possibly give up that was worthy of what Jesus has done for me. But this day has given me much to think about. God is so good at opening our eyes to his wonderful Love and Mercy in his time. Peace and Love be with you all here st SRT.

    1. Antimony says:

      Sometimes Lent seems to become a rehash of failed New Years resolutions. So you tried to give up chocolate for a year but only made it to the 3rd week of January? Try again for lent! It’s a focus on creating self-discipline. And people get praised for giving up “big things”. Interesting that where Easter supposedly reveals and focus on our greatest need and inadequacy, we counter it with frantic attempts to “be good enough”. We can’t purchase our own redemption … but we can give up chocolate for a month. Interesting.

  93. Lydia says:

    Jesus said that the disciples would indeed fast after He ascended back to heaven, and so we do. During any type of fast, however, I have found a similar issue — if I give up for the sake of self-denial, it can turn ugly fast. But, if I am choosing to forgo something and intentionally spend that time or effort reshaping my heart by the truth of the Word & Spirit (and WALKING OUT that truth) then everything is different. His light breaks forth like the dawn.

    “I desire mercy, not sacrifice,” seems very appropriate for this season. Love y’all!

  94. Onfaith says:

    One of the things I always equated with Lent growing up was sacrifice. Not Jesus' sacrifice, but that of earthly sacrifice. I spent my high school years in a town whose religion was very tradition based and that is wonderful, but what I observed most, was that ritual appeared to be central not relationship. And the ritual drew attention on the individual not Christ, so as a young and impressionable person, I associated Lent with human ability and not Christ's love. Don't get me wrong, I think that tradition is beautiful and it has it's place. I love using china on holidays, waking my daughter with a fun song on her birthday (as I'm about to do), baskets of goodies at Easter, breaking bread in church, but when traditions in religion and self become so routine that they replace relationship there is a big disconnect. It becomes a task not an intentional attempt to draw close to Jesus. And with tasks can easily come failure and soon bitterness & resentment. There certainly isn't a lot of growth in that. So while I noticed others giving up daily items as sacrifice, I didn't often hear Jesus in it. I heard the reflection of selves pinging back in a verbal concreteness and didn't even realize how that would shape my understanding of what Lent was supposed to be. I wondered why people would subject themselves to something that appeared to leave them empty and not in a good way, something that seemed to serve no real purpose. Happy was replaced by grumpy and good intentions were marred by the collapse of personal will. NOTHING about it appeared worth doing to me. I love the idea of a personal Lent with our personal Savior. A quiet walk through the season that doesn't scream, "look at me, at what I'm doing", but instead "look at Christ, look at what HE is doing". I'm all for sacrifice, I've even opted to eliminate a few things from my daily regimen in my walk these weeks, but I don't want it to point to me, I don't want to scream my hardship, I want it to remind me with each day of the sacrifice Christ made for me, I want it to draw me closer to Him, I don't want the reward on Easter sunday to be a pat on my back for what I've accomplished, but a drop to the knees for what Jesus did. I want the love of Jesus to be what others see this season, not me. I don't want my children to liken Lent with anything but Christ. I desire that it be a personal adventure with Christ for them, something they crave and look forward to with excitement and anticipation each year instead of a dread. An annual journey to the Cross where just as Christ walks with us, we can walk alongside Him this Lenten season, maybe a little like Simon……sharing *in* the Cross, feeling the incredible weight of it, letting it pierce my heart, instead of casting a gaze at it from the distance of comfortable tradition. Prayerful that Easter brings a conscious reality of Christ! ~ B

    1. Candacejo says:

      " I don't want the reward on Easter sunday to be a pat on my back for what I've accomplished, but a drop to the knees for what Jesus did." Yes. Amen. ♥

    2. Keppel says:

      You just wrote so much of how I feel and struggle with as well in wanting lent to be a personal journey and not an accomplishment of giving something up that really had no connection to the Lord ..

    3. Katie_K says:

      "a personal Lent with our personal Savior". Yes. This is what I want. It really is all about Him, but it's so easy to focus on everything else around us. I want to remember what He's done, and who He is, that He may be glorified in this season.

      Thank you for your words this morning :)

    4. Brandi says:

      Awesome! So speaking to my heart today! More of Him, less of me!

    5. Kelly_Smith says:

      Well said, B. And thank you for sharing! I think of the rich men letting their coins clang loudly in the temple in contrast with the widow who dropped her little mites quietly in the plate. It comes back to the heart. The rich gave out of obligation and to gain the favor of man. The widow gave from her emptiness with a heart full of gratitude and worship. Luke 2:1-4.

    6. MNmomma (heather) says:

      Conscious reality of Christ…………….YES!!!!!!!!

      I had one heck of a day yesterday at work… for the books (actually this whole week has been rough). During the crisis situations I am centered and focused (staying in silent prayer and working with kids and families….and I see the Spirit at work, leading and guiding me)….but for some reason I tend to take on emotions, worry and stress and hold on to them…..and after the crisis, I crash and burn. I become overwhelmed with emotions…..for some reason I have just not been able to turn everything over to God….I know I need to, but something is blocking me from this…..and as I dug into my stash of dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt (feeling like an epic failure because emotional/stress snacking at work was what I was "giving up" for Lent……instead of chocolate, turn to God……I was praying as I was popping those suckers in, but I wasn't resting in Christ. I wasn't giving up the burden to Him…..almost like I can't trust Him to take care of the load???? I don't know…..not sure what to do………..
      Christ, work in me…….

      1. Aly says:

        Thank you for sharing in such honesty. Totally giving over a situation to God in trust is something I continually struggle with as well. Sending a prayer of peace and trust up for you sister.

      2. Onfaith says:

        Oh Heather – I so get this. You are not the first one to indulge over a Lent item. I don't know how you do what you do without the aid of a coffee and chocolate drip daily and I only know what you've shared. I will be lifiting you up this Friday and in the coming week…..prayerful that the week reveals God to you that like the day in the hospital chapel, God provides a calm hand to ease your burdens. You are not alone friend! ~ B

    7. Shanna Richardson says:

      Thank you for this. I was struggling to fully understand today’s message and you cleared it up for me. Thank you for this post this morning

  95. tina says:

    So well put, Diane…and in love too…sometimes we need to hear great truths like these, as is..Amen to that…and thank you..

    Sending you a hug, wrapped in love, Diane..

    Sister's, praying th word turn His face to shine on you…with

  96. Pingback: » Come in Mercy
  97. thisgalsjourney says:

    Once again, the Lord met me right where I am through this devotion and Scripture reading today. Of course, the way I process best is to write. I’ve been mulling these exact things over and over lately. I wrote something a few days ago that express better than I could here what He is showing me about sacrifice.

    1. Gayle says:

      Your post really touched my heart. You spoke for many of us who see the beggars on the street and question their motives. Thanks for sharing.

      1. thisgalsjourney says:

        Thanks, Gayle. And for me, it’s much more than just beggars. It’s how I view grace. With my kids, with the homeless, with prostitutes across the street from my building. I somehow think extending grace excuses whatever “bad bahavior” I disagree with, but a God is showing me that grace never excuses a behavior. Me offering grace doesn’t condone someone else’s sin anymore than the grace a God extends me condones my own sin. And I’m so stinking self centered in my walk with Christ. Constantly looking inward, inward, me, me, and reluctant to take what He shows me deep in my soul and use it to edify the Body and bring Light to a dying world.

    2. KK says:

      Thisgalsjourney, your blog post is like lightning!This exactly the conviction on my heart as well. I am so comfortable in my homogeneous world that I actually fight to keep it intact when it is offended. And anger is a secondary emotion. The real emotion is fear. That is not justice, mercy or grace!

      1. thisgalsjourney says:

        You are so right, KK. And I’m learning that fear is a liar; it poses as truth but it cannot be trusted and it distorts Truth.

  98. Thank you for this beautiful devotion today. It reminded me yet again of a truth we know so well; that God is always interested in the heart. My heart. I see myself so easily in this reading today. It has always been the way of man get taken up with the sacrifices we feel we can offer and get distracted away from the best; the surrender of the heart before our Holy God. Rather than concentrating on what may give up, maybe we need to rather lean in and marvel at the love and the mercy of our great God to a sinner such as I.

    As I was reading the verses from Isaiah and then the devotion, these verses came to mind from 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:1 " But, now let me show you a way of life that is the best of all. If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal…..v3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn't love others, I would have gained nothing."

    "Lord, may I never be a noisy gong or a clanging symbol showing off what I have done for you or making known the things I have "given up" for Your Name's sake. Father when I see myself in light of who I am at the foot of the cross, I know I have only ever received because I had nothing to give. Lord, as I lean in close to you in these days of loud distractions and bombarded by the subtle lies of the world, help me to be a shining light for you in a world that needs to see true love; Your love. Keep us mindful of you Jesus as we live our daily lives and may we call on you to show us great and mighty things as we treasure You above all." Amen.

    1. Kelly_Smith says:

      Thank you, Philippa! Praying along with you.

    2. Aly says:

      Wonderful thoughts. Thank you for sharing the word and your prayer, it really hit home for me along with this devotion.

    3. Maxine_R says:


  99. Alexandra says:

    This is my first observed lent I am actively participating in and I couldn’t help but feel like it was very self focused since the beginning. Very much like you, I became heavily wrapped up in social media and what my friends were doing. In turn it cause me to evaluate myself a little too much. So I wanted to thank you for the truth in this daily reminder. It’s so important and really what is the foundation of why we celebrate this time of the season!