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The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, March 6, 2024, was written by Judy Hoyt Pettigrew of Florida.



1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’ ” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; 9 and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’ ” 11 Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Matthew 4:1-11 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

What are you giving up for lent? I know I am supposed to give up something in order to reflect on Jesus' 40 days in the desert and to prepare for the commemoration of Jesus' death and resurrection. My immediate answer for way too many years has been "chocolate" and "playing pickleball." But if I knew I was going to die in 40 days, giving up food and fun would not make the list at all! So, what would I give up?

I'd give up wasting time. I would focus on all the people I haven't seen or talked to enough and tell them how much they mean to me. I'd give up trying to tell my grandkids what to do! Instead, I would write down my life's story - hopefully to leave answers to questions they will surely have after I am gone.

I'd give up harbored anger, resentment, and frustration over my failures, the relationships that turned out badly, and the opportunities I ignored. I'd give it all up to let God in - not just for Lent or 40 days, but from this day forward. Let us renew our commmitment to follow Jesus' example of obedience as we seek fullness of life in God.


Pastor Anthony's Thoughts


We find ourselves three weeks into the Lenten season. While some remain steadfast in abstaining from certain activities and foods during Lent, others continue to struggle. Judy's reflection challenges us to re-examine what we have chosen to give up for Lent. As we continue to make our way to Calvary and the empty tomb, let us take time to challenge ourselves to adopt habits that will draw us closer to God.


Author's Prayer

Dear God, help us to appreciate the sacrifice Jesus made for us. Give us the courage to follow his leading toward wholeness of life. Amen.


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