I’ll just be completely honest here-there are some sins I don’t have much trouble avoiding. I’m not tempted to shoplift or physically harm others.
However, like all of us I have some pet sins I not only don’t avoid but I actually feed from time to time.
And like most folks, I justify my sin as “small” compared to the “big” sins of headline worthy wars or crimes or dastardly actions by those in power over those beneath them.
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Fleeing From Willful Sin, Resting In God’s Love
I remember vividly the first time I read through the passage in Exodus 12 describing God’s instructions to the Israelites for the initial Passover.
The Lord impressed on my spirit that while the blood was necessary (sacrifice had to be made) it was obedience of each person to place themselves under that blood that saved them from the death angel.
They were spared because they believed and acted according to that belief, trusting God to do what He said He would do.
It’s the same with the blood of Christ-He is the sufficient Sacrifice and the full payment for sin.
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Fasting “Adding” To The Sufficiency of Christ’s Sacrifice
I did not grow up in an ultra-religious family although we were most definitely Christian.
So unlike some of my friends, I didn’t have a bunch of rules surrounding lifestyle choices that are not explicitly addressed in Scripture (i.e. length of dresses, makeup/no makeup, movies, music, etc.). But one thing was definitely impressed on me: You didn’t take the name of the Lord in vain-not even with “softer” stand-ins like “dad gum it”.
By the time I had kids, I had done considerable Scripture study and managed to draw up a list of “do’s and don’ts” that might put the most strict holiness traditions to shame.
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Living Like Jesus Already Knows My Heart
We all have blind spots.
Every one of us has fault lines buried deep within our character. Often it takes life-altering and worldview shattering events to reveal them.
That’s what happened to Peter.
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: In Christ Alone My Hope is Found
There is SO much meat in today’s devotion/reflection/challenge.
Once Jesus had wrestled His own will to the ground, submitted fully to the Father’s will and accepted that He would have to drink the bitter cup, and firmly faced cross-ward, He was safe from intimidation.
As Chole points out “Fear is intimidation’s oxygen”.
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Fasting Fear, Believing Jesus
I promise I didn’t sneak a peek at today’s devotion before I wrote yesterday’s thoughts.
But maybe it’s because I have a very, very close relationship with the potential for comparison and discontent that I linked the two even before reading Chole’s reflection.
See, it’s really, really easy to look at others whose lives are bigger, better and more beautiful and become bitter that mine isn’t.
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Letting Go of Expectations, Making Room for Contentment
Today’s devotional is focused on Jesus in the Garden and the disciples He asked to keep watch and pray.
Three times the Lord went further into the garden, fell down sorrowing and returned to find His disciples asleep.
I identify both with Jesus begging His companions to keep watch and with the disciples for closing their heavy lids as sorrow overtook them. I want someone to be awake and alert, praying for me in my despair but can find it hard to do that for others as the weight of their sadness makes sleep a welcome escape.
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Fasting Comparison and Choosing Relationship
I’ve written at length in this space regarding my conviction that denying pain diminishes the power of the cross.
If death isn’t awful, if life in this fallen world isn’t full of sorrow, if eternal separation from God is not Hell then why the cross?
Right here, in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus acknowledges the terrible cost of salvation, of redemption, of restoration:
Only Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit understood the unspeakable cost Jesus would pay for our sins to be forgiven. Under the crushing weight of all that was to come, Jesus offered variations of the same prayer three times: ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will but as You will.’
Alicia Britt Chole
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Refusing To Deny My Emotions, Submitting Them to God’s Will
I’ll be honest-it’s not that often that after three plus decades of in-depth Bible study that I hear or read a unique insight into familiar passages.
But today’s devotion and reflection helped me think of Jesus’ service to His disciples in a new way.
Jesus washed the feet of a betrayer, a denier, and ten deserters….Think of someone who has betrayed you, denied your love, or run away in your time of need. What would it take, what would it mean, for you to wash their feet?
Alicia Britt Chole
Chole’s words made me think back to moments where I’ve made an intentional choice to serve someone who had wounded or disappointed me.
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Letting Go of Bitterness, Embracing Servanthood
I am a great lover of silence.
So today’s fast shouldn’t be that difficult for me-except that it is.
Fasting sound when I’m trying to do it on purpose and setting aside time specifically to listen for the still, small voice of the Lord can be a real challenge.
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Fasting Noise, Embracing the Still, Small Voice of the Lord