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Holy Week: Start Here

These devotionals were taken from Jesus' Relentless Love: Nine Holy Week Phrases That Change Us and Transform the World by Stan Leach, provided by Evangelical Friends Mission.

Holy Week carries deep significance for Jesus' followers. It is in this week that we remember Christ's suffering and celebrate his resurrection. We hope that by diving into the depths of Jesus' relentless love for the world and for each of us that we will experience a greater work of God in our lives and around the world.

These devotional prompts flow out of the final words Jesus spoke. These expressions of the heart flow out of intense suffering. Jesus pronounces the first seven phrases as his life seeped out of him. The last two he declared wielding mortal scars which emphasize his authority to say them. Each utterance is his commentary of his immediate reality, helping us connect his passion to his teaching as well as Old Testament prophecy. Jesus is practicing what he preached, and he is kind to help us see it. Golgotha is a practical expression of his conviction that a Great Commandment lifestyle - to love God and love others - is the most beautiful way to live. It also foreshadows the Great Commission. These words are a picture of Jesus' relentless love for us and for the world.

This set of writings helps inspire us to live out that same kind of love. Focusing on Jesus' final words, each reflection focuses on a specific characteristic of relentless love. We will see that each saying peels back the nature of relentless love.

The format emphasizes discerning prayer and Scripture reading and is designed to aid each participant to dig deep into the soil of Jesus' relentless love. The biblical passages are short and meant to be read three times during each sitting. This allows for careful reading, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us into greater awareness of its content. Next, we seek God's insight for our life and in the end, identify a point of practical application. Each day also includes brief notes to prompt deeper reflection. You can choose to use a journal to write any of your insights and applications, or even leave a comment on the post. Recording our observations, insights and applications plants ideas deeper into our souls, helping them to fully integrate into our lives. Scribbling even a phrase or two is usually beneficial.

You might like to engage in this process with a group because it is mutually beneficial to share our experience. The support of other Christians, demonstrated through encouragement and accountability, allows us to more effectively follow Jesus' instructions. Obedience leads to integration. This integration releases us into the abundant life Jesus calls us to enjoy.

The small group experience could revolve around sharing three simple questions: What insights did you receive from your reading? How might you put those insights into practice in everyday life? And, how can we support you prayer. encouragement, accountability? Spiritual growth thrives in this kind of supportive group.

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