I love, love, love the song “Reckless Love” but I have friends who find even the title offensive.
I tend not to get into debates with folks over things like that but this is one gauntlet I’m happy to bend down and pick up.
Because the word “reckless” has more than one meaning.
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Choosing Reckless Love
Hey friend-I’ve been there.
Many of us who’ve spent decades in church can attest to filling a position because it answered a need deep inside of us rather than because of our love for Jesus.
It’s entirely possible to be near the things and people of God-even God Himself- and not be attentive to or aware of the Presence of Christ.
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Proximity Does Not Equal Intimacy
Chole identifies several groups that were in proximity to Jesus as He was dying on the cross.
Perhaps two people were silenced by grief or gently sobbing.
The others were taunting Him, mocking Him and reveling in His [apparent] inability to save Himself or be rescued by the Father He claimed close connection to.
They had no idea that His death was a last act of willing submission and laying aside of His power, position and possible retribution against those who had put Him there.
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Fasting Criticism, Making Space for Grace
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
Listen carefully to Chole’s words here (read them aloud once or twice):
The church is both afflicted and exhausted by the dizzying notion that God-given power should be exercised in every God-given moment. Jesus makes it clear, however, that [can does not equal should]. Jesus’ voice flattened armed soldiers, yet He permitted these self-declared enemies to stand up again. Jesus had angels at His disposal, yet declined to dispatch them. We dare not mistake these choices for passivity, resignation, or weakness. This dimension of strength was the fruit of power fully submitted to love.
Alicia Britt Chole
Jesus voluntarily chose to drink the cup of sorrow, pain and sacrifice.
It was not a foregone conclusion.
Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Fasting Formulas
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