Lent – Day 8 Lost On The Inside

Lent – Day 8

Lost On The Inside

“There was a man who had two sons…” Luke 15:11-32

Resentment about serving builds where I used to enjoy it.

Envy rises toward people who appear to lead a simpler life.

I tabulate the work I’ve accomplished for Jesus before clocking out of good deeds for the day.

Do you, as I do, tend to function like you’re God’s employee instead of a beloved member of His family?

When I’m in this kind of funk, the story of the father and his sons in Luke 15 snaps me back to reality.

A wealthy father has two sons, and one asks for his inheritance early. This son, the younger, parties his fortune away while the other stays at the family farm, working hard to build the estate. I get that life — the life of the dutiful child.

Then the younger son returns completely broke, willing to take the place of a servant. Instead, he’s welcomed back as a cherished son.

The older brother — the responsible one — now spews his resentment. He’s never felt celebrated, and he’s angry. He was there the whole time working so hard, being so good, but missing out on life.

The father finds his older son outside the house and pleads with him. “Everything I have is yours,” the father says. “You are always with me,” he adds, pleading for deeper understanding. We are left wondering about this older brother. Does he get it? Is he ever able to receive what his father wanted to give him: an invitation into his presence, to his wealth? We are left wondering how he will respond.

Regardless of whom you identify with in Jesus’ story, this invitation is extended to you too.

If you relate to the younger son, will you come home and embrace the father waiting for you? Or will you remain far from the family, hoping to work something out on your own?

If you, like me, relate to the elder brother, will you remain in the darkness, lost outside the celebration, resentful because you worked so hard for so long to earn something that was free all along? Or will you join in on the party, accepting God’s free and complete favor extended to you through His Son, Jesus?


Spend some time reflecting on Luke 15. When have you felt lost, resentful or like you had to earn God’s acceptance? What did the older son feel that he deserved? What did the father hope his older son would see about their relationship? How is the father’s character in the story similar to or different from what you understand of God?

Alison Wilson currently works with college students at Texas A&M University.

Lent Day 7 Forgiven And Free

Lent Day – Day 7

Forgiven and Free

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”Psalm 103:8-12

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:15-25

Reflect And Respond

What moments or patterns of sin weigh you down? Write one or two down and confess them directly to God. Give them to Him, remembering that Christ paid for these sins and more when He died on the cross. Then read Psalm 51, knowing you are a new creation, clean and forgiven in Christ.

Lent – Day 6 From Broken To Whole

Lent – Day 6

You Need to Be Healed for Christ’s Sake

“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

“For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14

The beautiful delicately-etched drinking glass drops as if in slow motion. It can’t be grasped, so it shatters into jagged pieces as it hits the floor. The sound is final.

Some things in life can’t be glued back together — at least, not easily. Sin, which violates God’s law 1 John 3:4 and nature Romans 8:4, ravages our souls and makes them one of those things. Apart from Christ, in our sin, we’re lost in darkness and separated from God in ways that we can’t do anything about. Sin leads to death, as it fatally wounds the spirit and soul.

But God has a plan for people broken by sin. He longs to heal us. Jesus took all of your wrongdoing on Himself at the cross. The purpose of Christ’s sacrificial death, His death in your place, was to deal with your sin. Christ’s wounds heal yours when you place your faith and trust in Him to forgive you.

The sacrifice of Christ makes you right with God and brings you into a relationship with Him. It gives you a clean conscience, which brings peace with God. Because of it, you can have assurance of salvation, meaning you never have to wonder whether you can be saved. You can have the permanent gift of eternal life.

In these ways, the person who believes is perfected. To be perfected in Christ means that, while sin does remain, its penalty and power — what keeps you from God — is removed by His sacrifice. Jesus made you perfect and holy in God’s sight through His death on the cross, paying the cost for your sins.


Take time to reflect on what Christ has done on the cross for you. If you’ve never heard of Christ’s sacrifice for you, learn more here. God offers you an opportunity to be whole. Thank Him that He takes on your brokenness and binds up your wounds because He loves you.

Lent It’s Sunday- Your Day Of Rest

Lent- Your Day to Rest

It’s Sunday — a day to rest.

Did you know that ever since Jesus died and rose again, each Sunday is like a mini Easter? In addition to resting, like God commanded in the Old Testament, the first Christians remembered and celebrated Christ’s resurrection every single week.

Today, God invites you to celebrate and rest in the finished work of Christ — for you and for everyone who trusts in Him.

Lent – Day 4 Fasting Can Transform Your Life

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24

In When Moses received the 10 Commandments, he spent 40 days on the mountain without food or water. When the prophet Daniel waited for God’s deliverance, he fasted, confessing his sins and the sins of his country. Before Christ began His earthly ministry, He was tempted in the wilderness and He fasted. But why?

When you fast, you deny yourself the necessity of food or the pleasures of this life and, for a time, you make feeding your soul by hearing from God a higher priority than feeding your body. 

When you deny yourself food (or other things you rely on), you humbly admit your dependence on God alone to meet your needs. As your metabolism slows down, so can you, and you can allow the fast-paced world to fade to background noise for a short time.

Down through history, people have fasted at times when they had an urgent prayer request, were looking for direction or were taking on a special assignment. Still, fasting — a staple of the Christian life passed down through generations — may not be as familiar to you as other spiritual disciplines, like having a personal quiet time or praying.

Because we live in a “me-first” culture, we forget that life in Christ is not all about us. We’re tempted to tell God how we want Him to act so He can make our lives easier. “Give me what I want right now. Please don’t make this painful. And by all means, keep me safe.”

Fasting allows you to line up your heart and prayer life with God’s desires rather than pursuing your own agenda. You may fast for a specific time from food or from luxuries like Netflix, social media or even chocolate. Some people fast for a day, others for a week or two, and still others might fast as long as 40 days, the entire length of Lent.

By denying yourself, you invite the Holy Spirit to examine your life and lead you into the plans He has for you.


“Jesus, I want to live in line with Your plans for my life. What are You asking me to let go of for a time so that I can listen to You more clearly?”

Lent Day 3 An IV Drip For The Soul

Lent – Day 3

An IV Drip for the Soul

To begin your journey through the Lenten season (and every Saturday during this study), you will learn about common spiritual disciplines that many followers of Jesus practice during Lent.

Today you will learn about embracing Scripture and prayer.

These disciplines are valuable tools to draw near to God when they come from a heart seeking to do just that — rather than a heart which hopes to justify itself through these works or simply check a box on its Lent

“to-do” list. We hope these insights will encourage you and help connect you to the Father throughout these 40 days.

The chemotherapy room is a subdued place. Patients quietly bide their time as the drugs they hope will kill their disease slowly drip into their bodies. It’s quiet, somber, yet eerily peaceful. Loved ones accompany most patients, as I did with my cancer-stricken mother, offering encouragement, conversation and even occasional bursts of laughter.

Cancer doesn’t infect from the outside in, like a virus. It’s a corruption at the cellular level — one’s own cells mutate into malformed, sick versions of themselves that replicate, filling the body with disease. When my mother’s cancer was discovered, a tumor the size of a cantaloupe had already grown.

In this way, cancer is like sin. You don’t “catch” sin like you catch a cold; it’s corruption at your cellular level. You’re born with it, like many cancer patients are born with the genes that eventually cause cancer to develop.

When you place your faith in Jesus, He takes the cancer of your sin upon Himself. At the cross, the penalty for sin is paid, and its power to destroy you is neutralized. But there is a still-to-come element in Jesus’ work; while you remain here, in a still-corrupted body, the effects of the cancer’s presence linger.

Hebrews 4:12 describes the word of God in almost medical terms. Scripture is like a surgical instrument or incredibly effective chemotherapy, targeting precisely the infected area it needs to reach. Time spent reading and meditating on Scripture is like time in the chemotherapy room: peaceful, often quiet, perhaps somber, yet sometimes filled with joy.

Most importantly, present with you in your spiritual treatment room is the greatest loved one of all, Jesus, the Word made flesh, who fully cures your disease. He administers through His Word the targeted chemotherapy you still need.

Drip by drip, healing, transformation and life flow into your thirsty soul.


“Jesus, thank You for taking away my sin and forgiving me through Your death and resurrection. Thank You for the promise that, one day, I’ll experience that freedom from sin in full. Give me the desire to draw near to You through Your Word, and help me to be patient as You use it as chemotherapy to kill the remaining sin that I know and feel is still present. Amen.”

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Written by Jason Weimer who serves as the Associate Publisher for Cru Press.

Lent Day 2 It’s Not Too Late

Lent – Day 2

It’s Not Too Late!

To begin your journey through the Lenten season (and every Saturday during this study), you will learn about common spiritual disciplines that many followers of Jesus practice during Lent. You will begin today learning about lament. These disciplines are valuable tools to draw near to God when they come from a heart seeking to do just that — rather than a heart which hopes to justify itself through these works or simply check a box on its Lent “to-do” list. We hope these insights will encourage you and help connect you to the Father throughout these 40 days.

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and He relents over disaster. Who knows whether He will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God?” Joel 2:12-14

During a time of prosperity, the people of Israel let down their guard and descended into

a period of moral depravity and pagan worship.

So God Almighty caused a plague of locusts, fire and drought to come on the land as a warning that judgment was on its way. Then God sent the prophet Joel to tell the people to turn back to Him. He told them it wasn’t too late.

Repetition provides emphasis. Twice in this passage, God says to return to Him. Twice the prophet appeals to “your heart,” which is the seat of the mind, emotions and will.

The solution to sin and moral decay is to repent and return. When you repent, you acknowledge your wrongdoing, consider the weight of your misdeeds, turn away from bad behavior, and turn toward God.This action is not a surface showing of mock regret but a true change of belief and attitude. The grief, weeping and mourning described in Scripture reflect that change.

One way to express this sorrow is to fast — that is, to give up food for a period of time to help you to focus on God. Ask God to search your heart and reveal anything that violates His standards. Then ask for forgiveness and the help of the Holy Spirit to change.

“Rend your hearts, not your garments.” Keep this practice private. Many Jews would tear their clothes to display their mourning in public. Jesus said they had their reward. Your fasting should not be a show for others, but a special time between you and the Father Matthew 6:16-18

History tells us that the Northern Kingdom of Israel did not repent and was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 BC. The Southern Kingdom, Judah, was devastated by the invading army, but King Hezekiah turned to the Lord, and Jerusalem was saved. God’s call to repentance still stands. Which choice will you make?


Pray that God will help you to fast, weep and mourn during Lent. Use a time of fasting to ask God to reveal any unconfessed sin, habits or attitudes in your life that need to change, or anything keeping you from drawing near to Jesus Christ.

For more on this topic, read Matthew 6:16-18, Psalm 139:23-24, and Isaiah 57:15

From Ashes To Resurrection Day One

Lent – Day 1

Your Journey to Joy

“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight … Restore to me the joy of Your salvation.” Psalm 51:2-4, 12

In a good marriage, couples often give extra attention to their relationship. They may celebrate achievements, plan for the future, or dig into painful revelations of grievances and hurts, hopefully followed by confession, repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten season, a period in the year when you can take time to focus on your relationship with God. During
Lent, you can share your disappointments, unfulfilled expectations and regrets with God
as you ask, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” Psalm 139:23-24

Though ash looks dirty — the remains of a destructive fire — it serves as the first step toward cleansing. In fact, traditional soaps were made from ash and fat. As you reflect on your life, aided by the various Lenten disciplines to be discussed in upcoming devotionals, you will begin identifying areas of desired change — both brokenness due to your own sin and suffering due to the fallenness of the world. This is the first step toward cleansing.

Fire burns waste and purifies gold. There will be a day when all of your works will be tested by fire. “If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” 1 Corinthians 3:14-15, NASB


As God reveals areas of rebellion or independence from His loving leadership during Lent, allow Him to burn them out of your life now. As He opens your eyes to other brokenness —unfulfilled expectations, disappointments, suffering, and regrets — ask Him to help you trust Him with these as well. Allow Him to begin cleansing you, healing you and ultimately producing in you the wonderful works He’s made you for. This salvation should bring joy — a joy that comes from experiencing the presence of God (Psalm 16:11).

40 Days Of FaithFULL Journey To The Cross

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.

2022 MRO Community Center Schedule and Sponsorships

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.
Thank you!
Melanie Self 704.507.2624 http://www.go2mro.com melanieself@go2mro.com

2022 MRO Community Center Schedule

Daytona Atlanta
Bristol Easter Egg Hunt
Road America
Watkins Glen
Darlington Bristol National Anthem
Talladega Fall Festival
Charlotte Homestead

MRO Community Center