Page 1

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;

I will glorify

your name

forever. Preparing for Easter

Calvary Church, 2013


Why do we observe a Season of Preparation? Holy Season is the period of the church calendar, beginning approximately forty days prior to Easter, which focuses our attention on spiritual things. Historically, it has been called “Lent.� In Matthew 6, Jesus encourages the spiritual practices of prayer, giving, and fasting. Christians have incorporated these practices into seasons of preparation for Easter (or Lent) since the very first centuries after Christ. Over the years since then, the practices that are reflected in Lent have changed, or even been abused or neglected, but their purposes have always been self-examination and spiritual preparation leading up to Holy Week and Easter. This season of the calendar is about training our hearts for a deeper relationship with God, offering an opportunity for us to connect with Jesus in his own temptation and suffering (Matthew 4). Just as Jesus was in the wilderness to be tempted by Satan for forty days, so Lent is forty days long. At Calvary we feel it is important for us to practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer, giving and fasting in order to prepare our hearts for Easter. Participating in Lent is completely voluntary and in no way earns favor with God. While our church understands that Lent has become a legalistic practice in some corners of Christendom, and has been long neglected in others, our hope is that an organized approach will help you grow spiritually and make the season of preparation a meaningful process for you.


How do we propose to observe a Season of Preparation this year? This year, Lent begins on Wednesday, February 13 and ends at Easter. This equals forty-six days, because we exempt Sundays. We do not fast on Sundays because Jesus told us not to fast when we are in His presence (Mark 2) and we understand that He is with us in our worship services.

Prayer. The fruit of Lent is both a deeper relationship with God now and a more exuberant and mindful celebration of Easter in six weeks. During Lent, we take extra time to pray and 1) thank Jesus for what he endured for us; 2) pray that those who do not know Jesus will come to know him, especially at our Easter services when many who do not know Christ will be present. This is a good time to recommit to praying for three people in your life who need to know God’s love.

Giving. As we prepare for Easter, we think about Jesus’ sacrifice for us, which should stir our hearts toward gratitude. During these weeks, perhaps you might consider putting aside some money that could be used toward something the Lord lays on your heart for another person or for a specific ministry.

Fasting. One of the ways that this season has historically been observed is by setting aside certain foods or non-essential activities. The point of this fast isn’t


depravation and it certainly is not meant to “earn” God’s grace. Instead, like all fasting, it is meant to provide a period of spiritual focus on the dedication of one’s self to God. We encourage you to participate in this tradition of the early Christian church. You may choose to abstain from a certain type of food or a leisure activity or something that is neither inherently good nor inherently bad. Examples of things that people have given up for Lent include: meat, coffee, lunch once a week, television, video games, or some sleep (i.e. you could get up thirty minutes early every day for time with Jesus).

What is Palm Sunday? On Palm Sunday, we celebrate Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, the week before His death and resurrection. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. The Bible tells us that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted Him by waving palm branches, and by covering His path with them. Immediately following this great time of celebration, Jesus began His journey to the cross. The Bible passages of Palm Sunday can be found in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44 and John 12:12-19.


What is Maundy Thursday? Traditionally the Christian Church has referred to the Thursday before Easter as Maundy Thursday, from the Latin word “mandatum.” The term is usually translated “commandment,” from John’s account of this night. According to the book of John, as Jesus and the disciples were eating their final meal together before His arrest, He washed the disciples’ feet to illustrate humility and servanthood. During the Passover (Lord’s Supper), Jesus took bread and wine and asked His Father to bless it. He broke the bread, giving it to His disciples saying, “This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Then He took the cup of wine and said, “This wine is the token of God’s new covenant to save you−an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you.” During our Maundy Thursday service, we often see people washing the feet of others to demonstrate humility and servanthood. We also partake in the Lord’s Supper just like Jesus did on the night He was betrayed. The Bible narratives of Maundy Thursday can be found in Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-26, Luke 22:7-38, John 13:1-17,and I Corinthians 11:23-25.


What is Good Friday? Good Friday is the day Christ died on the cross, the Friday before Easter. As the most somber day in the Christian calendar, it is a day for prayer, repentance, and meditation on the agony and suffering of Christ on the cross. Since Christ’s death on the cross is central to the Christian faith, the events of that day should be ever on our minds. We celebrate Good Friday with a subdued evening service, remembering the night of Christ’s death. The Bible passages for Good Friday can be found in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19.

What is Easter Sunday? From the earliest days of the church, Easter has been celebrated by all Christians everywhere. As the most important day in the Christian calendar, Easter Sunday is the day that we celebrate the bodily Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Our observation of Lent and Holy Week will better prepare our hearts to celebrate the power and joy of Christ’s resurrection on Easter. The Bible passages for Easter can be found in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20.


How to use this Devotional Guide To complement our Sunday morning series in the books of Samuel, our devotions during this season of preparation for Easter will focus on some of the names of God that David speaks of in the Psalms. Each week we will explore a different name for God and meditate on a related Psalm with a selection of short readings and prayers. (Feel free to supplement these with your own readings from the Psalms.) Each week also includes an action step to encourage us to step out in faith in a tangible way as we prepare our hearts for Easter.

Further Resources: If you have additional questions regarding any aspect of Holy Season, please contact one of the elders (elders@calvarygr.org) or pastoral staff (listing provided online). Calendar: Christ’s Time for the Church, by Laurence Hull Stookey Calvary Sermon Archive: Tempted Like We Are, Jim Samra, February 14, 2010


Week 1

Adonai The Lord


Week 1

Adonai The Lord

“Adonai” is the Lord. It means master, owner or sovereign ruler and exemplifies to us God’s authority. This word stresses our relationship with God as our master and Lord.


Week 1

Sunday

Action Step

A day to receive from God. Rest.

Proclaiming God as Adonai or Lord of your life is easier said than done. As we start this Lenten season, take some time to pray about the areas of your life in which God may be trying to lead you, but you are not willing to let go. Make a list of the areas you want to give up to God (finances, relationships, hobbies) and commit to praying for God’s control over them throughout this season and beyond.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen


Reading 1

Reading 2

“Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.”

“I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people.”

Pray to the Lord who brings salvation. Praise Him for His protection and shield. Thank Him for hearing and answering your prayers.

Pray to the Lord who brings life. Praise Him for giving you life and breath today. Praise Him for bringing salvation.

Psalm 3:1-4

Psalm 3:5-8


Week 2

Yahweh Rohi

The Lord our Shepherd


Week 2

Yahweh Rohi The Lord our Shepherd

“Yahweh Rohi” is the Lord our Shepherd. The Hebrew word “rohi” means to shepherd or to pasture. It can also be used to mean friend or companion. The importance of the word “rohi” shows us that God wants to be an integral part of our life. As His flock, we depend on Him for every need and in every aspect of our lives.


Week 2

Sunday

Action Step

A day to receive from God. Rest.

Take some time this week to think about and pray over the shepherds God has placed in your life. Write an encouraging note to your small group leader, mentor, pastor or other spiritual guide in your life.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen


Reading 1

Reading 2

Reading 3

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Psalm 23:1-3

Pray to the Lord who is your shepherd. Thank him for His daily blessings and provision. Thank Him for the peace that He brings. Thank Him for His work in Your life.

Psalm 23:4-5

Pray to the Lord who is your shepherd. Ask that God will walk with you through trials. Thank Him for His mighty power over evil and death. Thank Him for His comforting love. Ask that God will overflow your cup with eternal blessings.

Psalm 23:6

Pray to the Lord who is your shepherd. Praise Him for His goodness and mercy which is new each morning. Ask for His goodness to move in your life and reach to those around you. Praise Him for our eternal future in the house of the Lord.


Week 3

Yahweh Elohim The Lord God


Week 3

Yahweh Elohim The Lord God

“Yahweh Elohim� is the Lord God. This is the LORD who is the mighty and strong creator. Yahweh Elohim is the God who is LORD over all creation. Elohim is the plural form of Eloah, which also points us towards the Trinity.


Week 3

Sunday

Action Step

A day to receive from God. Rest.

God is not a God who is afar; He is present. His immediacy is something that we often forget but that can be a great source of strength and comfort throughout our day. Plan on taking a break some time this week to sit for a half hour and meditate on His Word. Pray that He reveal to you how He has been present in your day so far, in your week, throughout this season of Lent. Jot down the things He reveals to you and keep them as loving reminders of how present He is in life even when we don’t realize it.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen


Reading 1

Reading 2

“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord.”

“Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant. For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.”

Psalm 25:1-7

Pray to the Lord your God. Ask God to show you the paths He has for you. Praise Him for His steadfast love and mercy.

Psalm 25:8-15

Pray to the Lord your God. Ask and plead with God for humility. Confess to the Lord and pray that he will pluck you from sin.


Reading 3

Psalm 25:16-22 “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me! Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you. Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles!� Pray to the Lord your God. Pray that God will be gracious to you. Confess to the Lord and ask God to forgive you. Beg the Lord to guard and protect you through His righteousness.


Personal notes and reflections ...


Week 4

Yahweh Sabaoth The Lord of Hosts


Week 4

Yahweh Sabaoth

The Lord of Hosts “Yahweh Sabaoth� is the Lord of Hosts. The Lord who is above all things on earth and in heaven. The Lord is in command of armies of angels and this name shows us that He not only can but will accomplish all that He determines to do. It expresses His great authority and majesty over all things.


Week 4

Sunday

Action Step

A day to receive from God. Rest.

Find a night this week and go out into the yard or somewhere where you can see the stars and the sky clearly and spend some time just watching. God is the creator and Lord over all the hosts, He is bigger than we can imagine and understand. Take some time to thank Him and praise Him.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen


Reading 1

Reading 2

Reading 3

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

“Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Psalm 46:1-3

Pray to the Lord of Hosts. Praise Him for being a help in times of trouble and for being a refuge during trials. Praise Him for His mighty strength over all.

Psalm 46:4-7

Pray to the Lord of Hosts. Pray that His kingdom will come and be with us. Call upon the Lord to bring His holy city to us.

Psalm 46:8-11

Pray to the Lord of Hosts. Praise His wondrous works and praise Him as the Almighty! Ask God to give you peace so that you may be still, and know that He is God.


Week 5

Yahweh Machsi The Lord my Refuge


Week 5

Yahweh Machsi The Lord my Refuge

“Yahweh Machsi� is the Lord my Refuge. The Lord is our defender, our shield, our shelter, our deliverer and our refuge. He is often referred to as our rock and a mighty fortress. This shows how greatly we are valued by God that He sees fit to protect and defend us in times of trouble and to be a refuge in times of need.


Week 5

Sunday

Action Step

A day to receive from God. Rest.

This week, pray over a relationship that God may be calling you to invest in or reconcile — and then take a step. Call someone, write them a note, and stop by to see them.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen


Reading 1

Psalm 91:1-8

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.” Pray to the Lord your refuge. Declare your trust in God who is your fortress and refuge. Ask that He will deliver you from evil, temptation and sin. Praise Him for His holiness.


Reading 2

Reading 3

“If you make the Most High your dwelling — even the Lord, who is my refuge — then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. ”

“‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.’”

Psalm 91:9-13

Pray to the Lord your refuge. Call upon the Lord to send His angels to guard your ways and protect you. Praise Him for His great mercies.

Psalm 91:14-16

Pray to the Lord your refuge. Pray that the Lord will protect and deliver you. Thank Him for the comfort and peace that comes when you call upon Him and He answers. Thank Him for salvation.


Personal notes and reflections ...


Week 6

Yahweh Rapha The Lord that Heals


Week 6

Yahweh Rapha The Lord that Heals

“Yahweh Rapha” is the Lord that Heals. The Hebrew word “rapha” means to restore, heal or to make healthful. The Lord is our great physician, the one who has the power to heal all disease as well as pardon and heal all of our iniquities.


Week 6

Sunday

Action Step

A day to receive from God. Rest.

This week, take the time to visit and do a loving deed/gesture for someone in the hospital or dealing with illness. Take the time to listen and visit with them, showing them God’s love through their circumstances.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen


Reading 1

Psalm 103:1-5 “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Pray to the Lord that heals. Bless the Lord who is your great physician and healer. Praise the Lord for redeeming you from the pit! Thank Him for His love and mercy each day.


Reading 2

Psalm 103:6-14 “The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 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. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.� Pray to the Lord that heals. Praise Him for being slow to anger and abounding in love. Thank Him for loving you and removing your sin as far as the east is from the west. Reflect on His compassion.


Reading 3

Psalm 103:15-22 “As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children — with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, O my soul.” Pray to the Lord that heals. Glorify Him for establishing His throne and Kingdom over all. Bless His name, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!”


Week 7

El Shaddai God Almighty


Week 7

El Shaddai God Almighty

“El Shaddai� is God Almighty. Our God is all powerful, greater, stronger and mightier than all things! Through God all things are possible and we can see His power as He conquered death and the grave through Jesus Christ.


Week 7

Sunday

Action Step

A day to receive from God. Rest.

This week, schedule time to come to the Prayer Garden at Calvary Church. It can be a place to just come sit and pray or you can experience the different areas designed to lead you through this Holy Week.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen


Reading 1

Reading 2

“I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.”

“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All you have made will praise you, O Lord; your saints will extol you. They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”

Psalm 145:1-7

Pray to God Almighty. Praise Him and bless His name. Praise Him for His greatness and His mighty works. Thank the Lord for His work in your life. Pray that you will reflect God’s greatness and glory to those around you.

Psalm 145:8-16

Pray to God Almighty. Thank the Lord for his mercy and grace. Confess to God your weaknesses and thank Him for His steadfast love. Pray that God will lift you up.


Reading 3

Psalm 145:17-21 “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.� Pray to God Almighty. Praise Him for His righteousness and justice. Pray that the Lord will hear your calls and cries to Him. Thank the Lord and praise His name. Thank Him for salvation.


Calvary Church 707 East Beltline NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525 (616) 956-9377 | calvarygr.org

Š 2013 Calvary Church , Grand Rapids, MI

Preparing for Easter, 2013  

A lenten devotional guide focusing on the names of God from the Psalms, from Calvary Church, Grand Rapids.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you