Editor’s note: Easter will be here sooner than you think! Ash Wednesday falls on March 5 this year, and Easter comes six short weeks later, on April 20. How will you help everyone in your church prepare their hearts to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection victory? A few years ago, CTA revised our popular prayer journal for Easter preparation, Journey to the Cross. The adult version is still available, as is the youth edition. We still get comments from users like you about how helpful they are. Here’s one excerpt, adapted slightly from the adult version.
Opening thought: God’s gentleness makes us great (Psalm 18:35). As you begin your journey to the cross today, look for Jesus’ gentleness and ask him to work in you a humble heart.
Read Matthew 5:1–3.
Focus: No matter how hard we try, we don’t love God with our whole heart. We don’t love family members, co-workers, and neighbors as we love ourselves. It’s humbling! It’s hard to admit we need God’s forgiveness. It’s harder still to admit we don’t deserve it. Still, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
If you are using this devotion on your own, try writing out your answers to the questions in “Reflect” below. If you are in a group, spend some time writing individually, then share a few thoughts with a partner.
Reflect: When is it hardest to see yourself as “poor in spirit”? When do you most readily recognize your true spiritual poverty? When has knowing Jesus’ unconditional love and forgiveness for your every sin lifted your spirit and drawn you closer to him? Write about any or all of this.
Pray: Lord Jesus, how I need you! Forgive my spiritual pride and my failures to love. Draw me closer and closer to you and to your cross. . . .
Note: All Journey to the Cross materials come with six weeks of free sermon outlines and group discussion questions. (And you won’t believe the value pricing on the journals!) Don’t wait! Check it out!
© 2014 CTA, Inc.