Lent – Day 39
The Torn Veil of Victory
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split. Matthew 27:50-51
Reading the phrase “the veil was torn in two” in 2022 doesn’t hold as much weight as it did in Jesus’ time. What comes to mind when you picture a veil? Possibly a bride? So, why would a veil have anything to do with Jesus dying on the cross?
In fact, this moment was monumental, and there is more to it than you may be able to see from your twenty-first-century perspective.
The temple was where God chose to make His home with His people. Within the temple, behind a heavy curtain (called a veil) was the Holy of Holies. Only the high priest could enter this sacred space, and only after following elaborate instructions for purification.
The ripping of the veil at Jesus’ death represents something profound. Jesus offered the final sacrifice for purification — Himself. The moment that looked like ultimate defeat, Jesus’ death, was actually ultimate victory because of what His death (and resurrection) accomplished.
The violent tearing of the curtain represents both Jesus’ gruesome death and sacrifice for our sin, as well as the removal of the barrier between people and God. Now that the curtain was left ripped and open, sinful people could enter into God’s presence. With sin taken out of the equation through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, all people could finally come freely into fellowship with God (see Hebrews 10:19-22).
The moment you confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you step into an eternal relationship with Him. No longer does the temple hold the presence of God, but His presence lives in you. As the Holy Spirit empowers you over time, you will experience Christ’s redemptive work in every area of your life.
Reflect and Pray
Read the full account of Jesus’ death on the cross in Matthew 27:45-55.
Also read Hebrews 10:19-22. What is one way your life is different because Christ tore the temple veil in two?
Consider this prayer: “Jesus, I’m amazed by Your wondrous mercy and love. Clear my mind and help me to focus on You. Thank You for giving your life in my place and for opening the way for me to have a restored relationship with You forever.”
Lent – Day 38
Where You Look Matters
Peter said to Him, “Even if I must die with You, I will not deny You!” And all the disciples said the same.” Matthew 26:35
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” Matthew 26:69-70
Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. … When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. John 21:4, 7
Hours before Jesus’ death, Peter adamantly stated that he’d never leave Jesus. But in His darkest hour, Peter did.
Let me ask you a question: Where do you think Peter was looking at that moment?
Peter no longer had his eyes set on his friend, whom he said he would never deny. Peter’s eyes were shifting to the aggressive crowds on his left and on his right. I imagine Peter was afraid that he’d receive the same fate as his Lord. So he responded, “No, I don’t know Him!” His heart broke when he realized what he’d done.
But after Jesus’ death and resurrection, Peter took a fishing trip. When Peter heard that it was the Lord on the beach cooking breakfast, he didn’t even wait for the boat to dock. He dove into the water, looking straight ahead to Jesus. I imagine he had in mind the love, grace and forgiving nature of his friend. Now, Peter was running to Him alone.
Where you look matters.
If you want to grow into a faithful leader like Peter, you too must learn to keep looking at Jesus, even during fearful times. You can do this by making a daily habit of reading Scripture and talking to Him through prayer. As Peter would later say, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him” (2 Peter 1:3, NIV).
So, where are you looking today? How can you fix your eyes on Jesus?
One of the primary ways you can focus on Jesus is through studying His Word. It can be a challenge to consistently do this, so you need to be intentional.
Before moving on, read the full account of Peter’s denial of Jesus in Matthew 26:69-75 and his joyful reunion in John 21:1-20.
Open your calendar and block out 15-30 minutes each day to help you keep your eyes on Jesus this week.
Lent – Day 25
Pride, Humility and Surrender
“All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before Him — those who cannot keep themselves alive.” Psalm 22:29
“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17
Many years ago I attended a women’s retreat at the beach. The library in the reading room was expansive. So I took advantage of a few days of respite to refresh my spirit. I finally landed on a book of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons. It wasn’t long until I was swept away not only in the manner of his words but the wisdom therein.
His paraphrase of Psalm 22:29 tugged deeply at my heart. In it, he says, “No one can keep their soul alive, not even for an hour.”
I was truly swept up in imagining the work of the God of the universe keeping me alive — body and soul.
At the end of the weekend, I had learned so much about myself. The speaker was a woman of grace, wisdom and humility. I was inspired to evaluate my own life that weekend. There were many things I had gleaned from the lessons, the other incredible women and my time lingering among the words of Charles Spurgeon.
When we think of pride or self-righteousness, we often conjure up images of the ultra-religious, who must do everything perfectly and believe that is their salvation. But, in truth, pride is more than that. It’s any desire to have control over our lives, rather than trusting them to God. Humility is realizing that God is the one who keeps our heart beating moment by moment — and He controls everything else as well.
In the years since, I have experienced the realities of my inability to control, manage, change or improve many things in my life. I continue to learn how to trust fully; to surrender control to the One who holds it all.
Reflect and Respond
Take a few moments now to sit in silence with God. As you close your eyes and breathe deeply. Notice what feels unmanageable to you. Imagine bringing yourself to Jesus, who has a look of compassion on His face. Rest a while with Jesus, knowing you are loved and you are safe with the One who keeps your soul alive. Talk to Him as you feel led, or simply enjoy being with Him in silence.
2022 MRO Community Center Schedule Update
Please accept our sincere apologies. The MRO CC will not be available in Richmond due to unforeseen repairs on the toter home and community center trailer. We will be back to our regular schedule in Martinsville. Thanks for your understanding!!
Join me beginning March 2 for a faithFULL 40 day journey to the cross.
The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“I will send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way” —
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.’” Mark 1:1-3
These ancient words call to us today.
Prepare, listen, pay attention. Repent and get ready for God to show up.
Lent is a time set apart for just these practices, and we’re glad you’ve chosen to spend it with us. We invite you to prepare, listen, pay attention, reflect and repent as you get ready to celebrate Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Starting now, join us on a journey “From Ashes to Resurrection.” We’re exploring the ways Jesus delivered you through His life, death and resurrection.
When Jesus Christ saved you, He made you new. He flooded the dark corners of your life with purifying light and breathed the fresh life of His Spirit into you. And He is continuing His miraculous work in you every single day.
Spend these next weeks recounting the many ways Christ has changed you — and continues to change you — through life with Him, now and into eternity.
With the new Nascar season fast approaching, the Motor Racing Outreach Community Center and staff are anxious to pull into Daytona to start the 2022 season.
With scheduled maintenance complete on our equipment, we have scheduled the Community Center and staff for 22 races. We have missed being able to provide support for your families as we have always done before 2020 turned our world upside down. Our staff is excited and looking forward to seeing everyone more this season.
Would you please consider helping make our 2022 season possible by sponsoring the MRO Community Center for a weekend. It has been our joy to serve NASCAR families and community for 20 plus years.
Our operational costs, as I mentioned earlier, have already begun with the annual maintenance on our equipment. Weekly staff support and operational costs related to getting equipment to the track can only be met with your help financially throughout the season.
We are so grateful for your generosity though the years through race sponsorships, regular monthly donations, corporate sponsors and weekly ongoing Community Center supply needs. Please feel free to contact me to discuss how we can partner together in supporting your family.
Melanie Self 704.507.2624 http://www.go2mro.com email@example.com
2022 MRO Community Center Schedule
Bristol Easter Egg Hunt
Darlington Bristol National Anthem
Talladega Fall Festival
Getting amped up for some Fall Fun!!! Hope you can join us!!!!#mrocommunitycenter #motorracingoutreach
The birds were singing sweet songs the day I made this video. I did not realize just how much until watching it back today. 🤗
I always loved spring. New life. Flowers of every color now warmed by the sun popping up through the cold, dark brown dirt of winter. Miraculous. Baby birds chirping as they await mama birds return with food. All of the many moments of spring remind me of time with my grandmother who was larger than life and a soul with more mystery and beauty than the brightest star I have ever seen.
From a young age, she would sing songs that I had never heard. One of my favorites songs she ever sang was one about sparrows. The discovery of a new nest each spring would stir the words and she would sing- “I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’d free. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.”
She taught me so much about Jesus, not always in words but with her life. I longed for the joy the smallest thing would bring to her. The wonder of it all still draws me to pursue Jesus daily.
She taught me about God’s love, the beauty of creation, to be grateful and give thanks in all things.
Jesus was truly her portion and constant friend. Could not share this video today with you and your children without thinking of her and living once again even for a moment in her gracious ways. I know God’s love and care because of moments walking right alongside of her. I can still hear her voice singing…..
When Jesus is my portion. A constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26
You are so loved by God precious one!!!