This experience is for you. Use it as a guide. Read one section each day. Read the entire guide every day. Whatever works for you.

40 days.

Sunrises, sunsets, and everything in between. The chance to start well, falter, and then fall. To admit our mistakes, get back up, and hope to get it right the next time. The chance to begin all over again, every day.

40 days.

Time set apart in the year to stop and look at ourselves. To face our flaws and gaps and cracks.
To mourn our shortfalls. To rest with our incompleteness.

40 days.

To let God patch us up. To see the Spirit at work within us. To remember Jesus and willingly follow him to the cross. To hope for resurrection. To be made new.

Day 1 - Ash Wednesday

Joel 2:1: Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near.

There are things we all need to ask forgiveness for from God. Now is the time to be honest with ourselves and with God.

Day 2 - February 15

Genesis 12:2: I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

From the very beginning of God’s covenant with human beings, there has been a desire for God to bless. Along with the gift of blessings comes the expectation to share that which we have received. You are blessed, be a blessing.

Day 3 - February 16

John 1.12: But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.

Having a relationship with Jesus makes us children of God, and we have the power to represent the family of God. When we serve God and follow Jesus, we tap into that potential of power.

Day 4 - February 17

Proverbs 3.27: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.

Do good always, whenever you can. Even when you aren't feeling it or think the other person might be undeserving, be good to everyone, just as Christ always is good to you.

Sunday, February 18

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me... Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. Excerpts from Psalm 51:1-12
Day 5 - February 19

Joel 2:13: Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.

God meets me with grace and love; I need not be afraid of my mistakes.

Day 6 - February 20

Jeremiah 16.21: “Therefore I am surely going to teach them, this time I am going to teach them my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the Lord.”

Don't just rely on knowing God is powerful and mighty, seek to experience the power and might of God in your daily life.

Day 7 - February 21

Isaiah 58:6: Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?

It matters to God how we treat one another; especially how we treat the oppressed, the enslaved, the broken, the abused. Serving God means serving those God loves.

Day 8 - February 22

Matthew 5:5: Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

The loudest voice wins--wrong. The still, small voice of truth persists long after the loud has grown hoarse.

Day 9 - February 23

Micah 4:3b-4a: They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid.

War is often waged out of fear of scarcity, as a grab for power. Peace comes when we realize we all live within God's abundance.

Day 10 - February 24

Isaiah 40.29: He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.

Weakness and powerlessness are opportunities to allow God to step in. It is in our struggles and shortcomings that the light of God shines through, giving us power and strength.

Sunday, February 25

Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you. Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call. For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace. My heart is stricken and withered like grass... But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever; your name endures to all generations...For the Lord will build up Zion; he will appear in his glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer. Excerpts from Psalm 102:1-5,11-17
Day 11 - February 26

Genesis 16.6: But Abram said to Sarai, “Your slave-girl is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she ran away from her.

We have the power to teach people about the gospel or to drive people away from the gospel. Do we let negative emotions drive our actions, or do we use our power to offer grace and show people Jesus?

Day 12 - February 27

Ecclesiastes 4.1: Again I saw all the oppressions that are practiced under the sun. Look, the tears of the oppressed—with no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power—with no one to comfort them.

The weak are oppressed by the powerful; comfort, O comfort my people. The powerful are oppressed by their power and constant desire for more; comfort, O comfort my people.

Day 13 - February 28

Nehemiah 5:9: So I said, “The thing that you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God…?

We often walk the dangerous line of thinking that we are in control, that we know right from wrong and good from evil. Spending time with God gives us proper perspective to see our place in this world.

Day 14 - March 1

Proverbs 29:13: The poor and the oppressor have this in common: the Lord gives light to the eyes of both.

All people are in need of God - both those who are suffering and those who cause others to suffer. Only God can heal the brokenness of God's people.

Day 15 - March 2

Matthew 20:14-15 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

Why do I want people to be generous towards me but find it difficult to be generous towards others? When I'm grateful for what God gives me, I am not envious of what God gives others.

Day 16 - March 3

Exodus 1:17: 17 But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live.

Knowing what God expects of us should always lead us to doing the right thing. This means doing what is right even when it is hard or goes against the power at hand.

Sunday, March 4

Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Who can utter the mighty doings of the Lord, or declare all his praise? Happy are those who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times. Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people...Both we and our ancestors have sinned; we have committed iniquity, have done wickedly. Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. And let all the people say, “Amen.” Praise the Lord! Excerpts from Psalm 106:1-6, 47-48
Day 17 - March 5

2 Chronicles 20.12: O our God, will you not execute judgment upon them? For we are powerless against this great multitude that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Things can seem insurmountable, opposing forces undefeatable. When we truly don't know what to do, we look to the Lord and wait for his presence to come.

Day 18 - March 6

2 Corinthians 4.7: But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.

Even when it seems as though I can do everything on my own, I still can't measure up to the power of what God can do in me and through me.

Day 19 - March 7

Luke 3.16: John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Nothing I can do will make me worthy to encounter Christ. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, I am made clean and welcomed into God's loving embrace.

Day 20 - March 8

2 Kings 2:9: When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.”

It is easy to focus on my needs and desires, my future and my opportunity. It is holy to focus on the needs of those coming behind me and to lift them up even higher than myself.

Day 21 - March 9

Joel 2:28-29: Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

Each child of God is given the gift of the Holy Spirit. In our ordinary lives, we are each given a supernatural gift. The Spirit of God creates a power equality among believers.

Day 22 - March 10

Ephesians 3:16-17: I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.

The same power of God that resurrected Christ strengthens all that is dead and dying in you, and roots you in the same love from which all creation springs forth. Strengthend and rooted, you are the glory of God.

Sunday, March 11

O LORD, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. I come to the end—I am still with you. Excerpts from Psalm 139:1-12, 17-18
Day 23 - March 12

Psalm 90:11-12: Who considers the power of your anger? Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you. So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.

God is more powerful than we could ever imagine, and yet we often seem to forget how mighty our Lord really is. Every day that we live with humility and gratitude, we grow that much closer to being wise.

Day 24 - March 13

Exodus 9.16: But this is why I have let you live: to show you my power, and to make my name resound through all the earth.

The trials that I'm going through allow me to rely and trust in God's promises and to tell others about my trust in him.

Day 25 - March 14

Psalm 87:4: We will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

The Lord, our God, was and is and will be. We are called to proclaim God's everlasting name and declare God's holy power today and tomorrow, to our children and to our children's children.

Day 26 - March 15

2 Corinthians 13.4: For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

In our weakness, we find solidarity with the crucified Christ. In our lives, we find solidarity with the power of God: the power to create, the power to liberate, the power to reconcile.

Day 27 - March 16

Colossians 1:13-14: He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Imagine yourself captive, weighed down by heavy chains, in constant gloom, unable to move or breathe or see. Jesus saves us from that, sets us free, gives us life and light. And we are forgiven, even for the sin of being our own captors.

Day 28 - March 17

1 Chronicles 29.11: Yours, O Lord, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.

We serve a God who is powerful, majestic, victorious, and who is exalted above all. And our God is also gentle and good and loves each and every creature upon the earth.

Sunday, March 18

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Excerpts from Psalm 32:1-7
Day 29 - March 19

2 Thessalonians 3:13: Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.

We are called to do what is right and good. It isn't always easy (in fact, it's often pretty hard!), but press on, for it will always be worth it.

Day 30 - March 20

Philippians 2:5-7: Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.

You and I are owed nothing. To be united with the heart of Christ, we must be willing to bow lower rather than reach higher.

Day 31 - March 21

Acts 2:24 But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.

Death's power is not absolute; God defeated death for Christ and invites us to experience that power in our own lives. We do not have to be afraid of the grave!

Day 32 - March 22

Psalm 130.7: O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.

Hope, love, redemption - our loving God wants to shower the entire world with these gifts. By keeping God in the center of our lives, these gifts of life are ours to cherish and to share.

Day 33 - March 23

Luke 6.19: And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

When we tap into Christ's power through prayer, study, worship, and serving, we are given the privilege of spreading Christ's essence into a broken world. This power manifests in thousands of ways to bring love and reconciliation to those lost and hurting.

Day 34 - March 24

Romans 8:38-39: For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God will forever love us, regardless of what we face in life, even in our darkest moments. When we have faith and continue to follow Jesus, God's love shines in our darkness.

Palm Sunday - March 25

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice! If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem. Excerpts from Psalm 130
Day 35 - March 26

John 19.10: Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?”

There are so many things in this world that threaten to have power over us. But, at the end of the day, Jesus' power will always be greater.

Day 36 - March 27

1 Corinthians 1.17: For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.

Me being polished and perfect isn't what changes people; actually encountering the good news of Christ changes people.

Day 37 - March 28

Isaiah 49:2: But thus says the Lord: Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued; for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.

When I fear that all is lost and hope is trampled on, I remember the mighty power of my Lord. He says, "Trust me. I will see you through."

Day 38 - Maundy Thursday

John 13:14-15: So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

It is hard to do what Jesus did because Jesus didn't do things that made his life better. He did things that made other people's lives better.

Day 39 - Good Friday

Luke 22.53: “When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!”

Darkness always has its day, but a day does not last forever.

Day 40 - Holy Saturday

Isaiah 49.15: Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.

The anguish of yesterday's pain is met with the silence of today's reality. Yet we hear from within the silence, "I will not forget you."

Easter Sunday

Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy. For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth. God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm. Excerpts from Psalm 47

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