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Lenten Devotional – Day 9

Lent 3In this week’s pre-resurrection profile with Jesus and the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-30, Jesus lets the young man walk away from Him, sad.  That gets me every time.

Everything in me wants Jesus to chase after the guy offering to talk a bit more about the cost of wholeheartedly following Him.  Instead, Jesus turns toward his followers and debriefs with them about the cost of living for the eternal line.  Everything.

It’s countercultural.  Our society says work your way to the top.  Jesus says, give up everything and follow me.

Even churches promote the idea that following Jesus is comfortable because He is loving and kind.  Those characteristics are true – He is loving and kind to the brokenhearted but those qualities are balanced with justice and righteousness.

Jesus doesn’t accept half hearted.  He knows His worth.

The requirements for entrance into God’s perfect Heavenly realm are untouchable by humans.  Perfection is needed.

On our own, we don’t stand a chance.  And that is exactly the point.  You and I MUST have a perfect someone step into the gap between God and our sin for us.

God righteousness set up the highest standard for entrance into His presence.  And God in his love sent His only son to meet the standard for sinful people.  He plays both sides of the equation.

He doesn’t lower the bar to let us into His perfect home.  But he offers us “the door,” to Heaven through His one son, Jesus.  Jesus stands in the gap for us. He lived a sinless life. He is our hope.

In the New Living Translation of Romans 3:20-26we read:

“For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands.  The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.  We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.  And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

For everyone has sinned. We all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.”

 

What attribute of God are thankful for today?  

Consider writing that attribute on a sticky note to remind you throughout the day of the finished work of Jesus and the mercy of God.

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