Lent 2024 | Day 8

By Janet Nygren
Day 8 (Thursday, Feb 22)

As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.1

Pause and pray.

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” (Philippians 2:14-15)

Think about it.

This week we are looking at Philippians to find and understand examples of the J-Curve: entering a pathway of suffering or dying to self that results in a “resurrection moment.” Yesterday we looked at a Suffering J-Curve, where suffering finds us. Today we are looking at what Paul Miller calls a Repentance J-Curve.2 We look for aspects of ourselves that need to be put to death in order for a “resurrection moment” to emerge. The apostle Paul is identifying grumbling and arguing as a problem within us that produces bad fruit. If we put that to death, what does resurrection look like? Becoming blameless, pure, without fault, so we can shine like stars. We become a little more like Jesus, attractive and refreshing to the world around us.


What would it look like to fast from grumbling or arguing this Lent? What dies as we do that? The challenge we’ve seen before is that we want a short-cut to the result without having to suffer. Who doesn’t want to shine like stars? But it’s hard not to grumble or argue! We often don’t even realize how grumbling and arguing clouds our light from shining. One small step would be to grow in awareness of our grumbling and arguing. Would you be willing to “turn on your radar” this week so you can identify how big an issue it is in you, and what kind of “fruit” it produces?  

Pause and Pray.

Jesus, help me to know you better.

“We glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)

  1. Prayer used daily in Lectio365 found at https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectio-365/
  2. Paul E. Miller, J-Curve (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019), 88.


Nick Tebordo - February 22nd, 2024 at 5:13am

This is so small-yet so current. Last night we ordered pizza. We weee told it might take an hour. One hour went by then 10 more minutes then 10 more. Finally after an hour and 45 minutes the pizza arrived. It would be great to say I was completely at peace. I wasn’t! But, I do thank the driver and told her I included a tip. I love the verse we are pondering today. “Do everything without grumbling or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure children of God in this warped and crooked generation. The you will shine among them like stars as you hold firmly to the Word of Life.” Pondering on Scriptire is certainly a way for that to happen. One more day with the Wood family. We head home tomorrow. It has been a great trip!!!!

David Edelstein - February 22nd, 2024 at 5:39am

This is a tough one. Grumbling and complaining or arguing is something we have all done at times as it seems so natural to do. We often overlook these as sinful. But I will pray today for the Spirit's authority to avoid these and put on the garments of praise and thanksgiving.




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