Devotion for Sunday, March 22, 2020

“No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has
he?” (John 7:48)

If the
leaders do not believe, then it couldn’t possibly be true. This kind of
thinking has always been around, a peer pressure of rulers. If your rulers do
or do not believe, then this establishes what is true. The atrocities in human
history come about because people let others think for them. Bottom line: what
about you? Is Jesus your Lord?

Lord, I get tossed about by the winds of this world. Help
me, I pray, to be firm in the truth and listen only to the words of reason. Grant
that I would not be led astray by falsehood or deceit, but would instead follow
You alone who has the words of eternal life. Grow in me a firm conviction that
is unyielding in the face of pressures to believe lies.

Thank You,
Jesus, for the gift of Your Word. In the grace You give, I have been set free. Help
me today to live firmly in the revealed truth, no matter what any others may
say. Help me not waver, or back down from what You have revealed. May the Holy
Spirit move boldly through me today. Amen.

Fundraising Update

Dear CORE Supporters:

Not even a month ago we started raising funds for a class at the NEXUS Institute and, thanks to your response, we went from 6% to 16% and now to 25% of the funds needed to sponsor a NEXUS class during the summer of 2021.

We are very grateful. We are also in the midst of a pandemic and, for many of us, there is a high level of economic uncertainty in our lives. And yet there is the comfort that God is the same today as he was yesterday and will be tomorrow.

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Created using the Donation Thermometer plugin$15,000Raised $10,846 towards the $15,000 target.$10,846Raised $10,846 towards the $15,000 target.72%

To read more about the reason we are raising funds, click on the buttons below.

Devotion for Saturday, March 21, 2020

“The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this
man speaks.” The Pharisees then answered them, “You have not also been led
astray, have you?” (John 7:46, 47)

Reason is
reason. Sadly, because of others, we can set our reason aside. The Lord gave us
a mind and He desires that we use it. Think through what Scripture says. Think
through what you hear and you will see that things fit. There are always those
who will put pressure on you to conform to this world.

Lord, in many ways and many times, there are those who put
pressure on me to conform to ideas that are not true. Help me to stand firm in
Your Word, knowing that You who authored all of creation will bring about all
that You have promised. Help me not have beliefs that waver, but instead stand
firmly in the truth.

Lead me today,
Lord Jesus, that I may think on Your Word. When others confront me and seek to
lead me away from what is true, help me to hold fast and live according to Your
Word. Knowing that the wicked one uses whom he will to lead people astray, use
me today to speak Your Word of truth to counter his lies. Amen.

Devotion for Friday, March 20, 2020

“The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees,
and they said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?” (John 7:45)

of others are always upon us. The officers were sent into a crowd, split by
what Jesus was saying. The chief priests wanted to get rid of Jesus. The
tension between those who listen to the Good Words of Jesus and those who want
to get rid of Him remains. Manipulation, blame and demands will never rid the
world of the truth. The truth abides and cannot be gotten rid of.

Lord, help me to not get caught up in the speculations or
demands of others that would cause me to go against You. Grant that I would
live into the life You have always intended, knowing that You have the Words of
eternal life. Grow me into that life more and more each day as I prepare, with
God’s help, to live the perfect life of eternity.

Lord Jesus,
You have shown me how to be bold for the truth. Help me to stand firm in the
face of those who have ideas other than the truth and desire for me to live
them. Grant that I would live according to Your Word today and share Your truth
through my life this day. May the Holy Spirit guide me in all truth that I may
not yield to any falsehood. Amen.

Prayers in a Time of Pandemic

Prayers in a Time of Pandemic

Feel free to use some or all of the following, for online streaming services,

private devotions, mailings to congregants, etc.


Let us draw near the Throne of Grace, humbly beseeching God’s mercy for all people in this time of suffering and fear.

A brief period of silence may be kept.

Most holy God, you are the source of all goodness, wisdom, mercy, and life. If we never before knew how much we need those great goods – how much, rather, we need you – we know now. This isn’t just about our private fears or personal concerns, nor only our church or community or nation. This is about ever person on the face of this planet.  How vulnerable we all are, gracious Lord! How interconnected we are – and not just by social media, party affiliation, or various identity labels. No, we’re bound together by our common humanity and, through that, by the possibility of infection, illness, and death by a virus.

Father, bind us together by something even greater and stronger! Bind us together with “cords that cannot be broken,” because they are forged by your Son as he hung on a bitter Cross for the sake of the whole world. Bind us together with him in a fellowship of suffering: suffering with, and suffering for, our sisters and brothers according to the flesh. Bind us together in a fellowship deeper than our differences and stronger than death. Bind us together in Christ, crucified and risen from the dead for the salvation of all.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Bestow your Spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might upon all who take counsel for the nations in this time of crisis. Give them every spiritual, moral, intellectual, and social resource they need to act for the good of the people entrusted to their care. Let them be courageous, competent, collaborative, and compassionate as they ponder what course to take.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Thank you for the brilliant and dedicated scientists who seek to understand the infection’s nature, to slow or prevent its spread, and to mitigate the suffering it causes. Thank you for doctors, nurses, and everyone from housekeepers to cooks, from dialysis and inhalation technicians to emergency room personnel, who are truly risking their lives for the sake of us all. Bless and strengthen them. Keep them safe from all harm – and grant them rest when they need it, for their own health’s sake.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

We plead on behalf of the many people who are quarantined and isolated because of exposure to the virus; for everyone who is already ill; and for those who are at the greatest risk of severe illness or death. Hide them under the shadow of your wings, and grant them healing and hope.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Lord, give courage, patience, and ingenuity to everyone whose job or business is endangered by the quarantine and uncertainty. Help us to support one another, and to patronize, as we can, local small businesses in our community. Give lending institutions, landlords, and creditors the spirit of generosity and compassion, so that personal and communal suffering is not made worse by evictions, foreclosures, fines, and bankruptcies.

Most gentle and gracious Father, we pray for families with children in these difficult days. Some have only one parent. Some are already stressed by things ranging from drugs to physical abuse, from illness of body, mind, or spirit to financial fragility. Lord, some of those households will be like pressure cookers, and the children might suffer most when it “blows.” Let your Spirit brood over those troubled waters. And give us eyes to see and hearts to respond as helpfully and often as we can.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Forgive, enlighten, and cause salutary repentance among the ignorant and flippant, the malicious and careless, the conspiracy theorists and the social Darwinists, the heedless young and the “it can’t happen to me” folks of all ages. Give them the common sense that you have given to guppies and fruit flies, Lord! Help us all to think beyond our own convenience (or lack thereof); our own risks or losses; our own plans or fears. Help us to think about the least of these, our Lord’s (and our) sisters and brothers, who are vulnerable in ways we really can comprehend, with your help!

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

We pray for the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church throughout the world, and for our own little portion within it. Many of us cannot worship together or receive the Holy Sacrament, your own Medicine of Immortality. Many of our pastors, priest, deacons and deaconesses, monks and sisters and lay religious, are unable to care for their flock – your flock – as they usually do. Keep us steadfast in faith, courageous in hope, and unflagging in charity. By the power of your most Holy Spirit, keep us united with your beloved Son, our common Lord and Savior, the Shepherd of our souls, and our Good Physician. Increase in us the hunger for your Word, for prayer, and for acts of forgiveness and compassion. Use us, as we are able, to further your purpose and will, and to share your unchanging love – especially among the poor, the ill, the struggling, the dying.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

We pray for everyone who, even in this time of common suffering and crisis, refuse to turn to you. We might think that a pandemic is a board of sufficient strength to impart faith when whacked upside an unbelieving head, and we are astonished when it isn’t so! Let our words, actions, and lives be as lanterns filled with the presence and love of Jesus. Let everything we say and do be signs of your grace and mercy. Lord, we are bold to pray: Redeem this time of pandemic, so that many hearts may be softened, and many lives may be overwhelmed by a flood of repentant faith in Jesus, their Savior, Lord, and God.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

We know that other needs continue to be urgent, dear Father! We ask the Spirit’s help in remembering them before you. And, for the sake of your dear Son, we pray that you may heed all our prayers and graciously answer them in accordance with your will,  to your glory and for the welfare of your people.


Devotion for Thursday, March 19, 2020

“So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him. Some of
them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him.” (John 7:43, 44)

One small step away from the truth and the crowds arise, become agitated and seek to do violence. The mob is driven by the devil. We do well to step back in prayer and ask that the Holy Spirit lead us so that we do not get caught up in the insanity of the devil’s plan. No one is able to thwart what the Lord intends. His will shall be done.

Lord, let me see plainly that the mob is always able to be
stirred up to action by the devil. Keep me from mob thinking, instead
meditating on Your Word. Grant that I would see the truth You have revealed, knowing
that You alone have the truth. Grant to me wisdom in Your Word that I may know
and counter the insanity of the devil.

Thank You
Lord Jesus for facing the demons in every age and banishing them away from Your
saints. Grant today that I may be one of Your protected ones in order to stand
firm in Your truth. In the peace You give, grant that I may be able to witness
to those who are tossed about by the winds of false doctrines that are out
there. Amen.

Devotion for Wednesday, March 18, 2020

“Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the
descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” (John

Technical questions arise but ignore whether or not there is truth. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but raised in Nazareth. Life is often filled with twists and turns. If Jesus had been born in Nazareth, the people there would have made it clearly known. God fulfills what He says, but we often doubt. Don’t be double-minded but believe.

Lord, just because I do not see the connections does not
mean that they are not there. Help me see that what You say is true always. Move
my heart to be believing and not unbelieving that the power of Your Word would
rule in my heart. Move me to see the connections of the truth You have spoken
and live in them.

Guide me
today in my thinking, Holy Spirit, that I may live into the truth of Your Word.
Indeed raise in me questions, but then lead me to Your Word where You have
already given the anser. Equip me to be able to speak with others who are
doubting and questioning that I may point them to You. Amen.

Devotion for Tuesday, March 17, 2020

“Others were saying, “This is the Christ.” Still others were
saying, “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He?” (John

God is not
who we expect Him to be. We have our own ideas. Sinful humans have a sinful
idea of how things are supposed to be. The imperfect cannot comprehend the
perfect. Therefore, we come with our ideas of how it should be. But God comes
as He IS and does what He will do. Believing in the Christ is to accept the

Lord, help me not get caught up in speculations. Grant that
I would hear what You have revealed and begin there. Help me when I accept
things that are contrary to the truth that I may know You, abide in Your Word,
be Your disciple and live in the freedom You have come to grant. Move me beyond
myself to embrace Your revealed truth.

Thank You,
Lord Jesus, for coming as You are that we would have the chance to know eternity
as it is. Help me today to live firmly in the truth, proclaiming in Word and
deed what You have shared. May others come to know that You are the Anointed
One and follow You into eternity. Amen.

Devotion for Monday, March 16, 2020

“Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words,
were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” (John 7:40)

We marvel at
amazing words that speak truth. Here today and tomorrow, do we actually take in
the words that impact us, or do we move on? Jesus is giving us the Word of life
and asks that we believe. He wants us to live into this hope and promise that
we will be united in Christ for eternity to the glory of the Father.

I hear Your words, Lord Jesus, but I often do not act upon
them. In the living water You have given me, motivate me to become a person of
action. Help me live into the life that I will live in eternity knowing that
You have come to lead as many as will believe into a new life. Help me live
that life today and not just think nice things about what You say.

Thank You,
Lord Jesus, for those who have given witness of the truth of who You are. Help
me take in that witness and then be a witness not because someone else said it,
but because I believe it. Grant today that I would speak of what You have done
not only for others, but also for me in the truth of the Gospel You offer to
all. Amen.

Devotion for Sunday, March 15, 2020

“But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in
Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not
yet glorified.” (John 7:39)

The Holy
Spirit is the Spirit of life that flows from the Father and the Son into and
through the believer; guiding, teaching, directing, leading and helping in
every way so that we need not lean on our own understanding, but on the very
Word of the Lord who speaks moment by moment that we may know Him by faith.

Holy Spirit, guide me today in Your ways that I would not
lean on my own ways. Flow through me that I would learn from You and go the
direction You lead. Help me see that You have already laid out a course and all
I need do is walk that course in order to fulfill what is needed for this day.

Thank You,
Lord, for coming and leading all who believe in the way of truth. Grant this
day that Your bride, the church, would bring You glory as You have sent us the
Holy Spirit because of Your glory. Guide us to work in unison for the sake of
the Gospel, that Your will be done throughout our earthly lives. Amen.