Wednesday, February 22, 2012
As a little girl, I was fascinated by the idea and practice of Lent.
I wanted to wear ashes on my forehead.
I wanted to give something up for Jesus.
As a little girl I wanted to be good for Jesus. And Lent, which my church didn't practice, seemed a way to prove myself.
Nothing has changed throughout the years.
I've always wanted to be good for Jesus.
And, I've always wanted to prove myself.
I know that the book of Isaiah says that all of my righteous acts are like filthy rags, but I guess I never believed it.
I didn't want to believe it.
Surely if I tried hard enough . . .
Surely if I was sincere enough . . .
Surely if I was sorry enough . . .
Surely if I did enough of the right things . . .
Surely there was something I could do enough of . . .
Now, by God's grace, I can add a new word to those two.
The word is never.
I will NEVER be good enough.
And the good news is that by believing that I will never be good enough and by accepting what God has done for me through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, I am now seen by God as good enough because He doesn't see me, He sees His Perfect Son in my place.
Actually, the Bible tells me in Colossians 1:21-22, that He sees me, in Christ, as holy and blameless and above reproach.
What I've always wanted, I already had.
I just didn't know it.
Now I do.
And that is why Lent has a new meaning to me.
The purpose of Lent is not trying to do for Jesus.
Lent is a time for remembering what Jesus has done for me.
There are several ways to which I have committed to remember what Jesus has done for me over the next 40 days.
To share them here would only be a toot coming from my own horn.
However, I will share a prayer of mine.
It could be yours as well.
My prayer is that, for the next 40 days, I will remember to look to Jesus.
When my sins and attitudes get the best of me, I pray I will look to Jesus.
When the burden of those sins and attitudes become heavy and I become very weary, I pray I will look to Jesus.
When I am reminded of the cost of my rebellion, I pray I will look to Jesus.
When I am surrounded by darkness and light seems like a distant memory, I pray I will look to Jesus.
When I find myself becoming independent and unattached to The Vine, and I want to run away, I pray I will look to Jesus.
When I feel anything but righteous, I will look to Jesus.
"You may say, 'The trouble is I don't feel as if I am righteous.' You must not feel, but believe. Unless you believe that you are righteous, you do Christ a great wrong, for He has cleansed you by the washing of regeneration, He died for you so that through Him you may obtain righteousness and everlasting life." Martin Luther
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
2 Corinthians 5: 21