Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lent: Thursday, March 13, 2008

Old Testament Lesson

Exodus 7:25-8:19

We see now what began in previous passages.  Pharaoh had hardened his heart to the point that even when his own magicians said, this is the hand of God, he couldn't believe. He had become too hard and God's grace could not penetrate it.  Pharaoh knew what he was supposed to do, he knew what God wanted him to do, but he would not do it. And that is when trouble really begins to set in. 

When we feel the Lord calling us to do something, and we do not do it, eventually we will not be able to feel what He is calling us to do.  CS Lewis said in 
The Screwtape Letters,
"The great thing is to prevent his doing anything. As long as he does not convert it into action, it does not matter how much he thinks about this new repentance. Let the little brute wallow in it ... let him do anything but act ... as one of the humans has said, active habits are strengthened by repetition but passive ones are weakened. The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.” 
Pharaoh felt what God was calling him to do, but did not act.  And because of that, his heart was hardened to where he couldn't feel what God wanted him to do.  May we always act upon what God is calling us do and to be. 

New Testament Lesson

2 Corinthians 3:7-18

One of the great messages of the New Testament is this; we are free to approach God. We can approach God without any hesitancy, without any fear, without and worry. We have the ability to come before the thrown and have access to God.  We can approach Him any time we want, and in  most any way we want. How awesome is that!  The creator of all that is, both seen and unseen, desires communion with us!  Let us take advantage of that and boldly approach Him.  

Gospel Lesson

Mark 10:17-31

In Jesus day, it was felt that the rich were more blessed by God.  And so for Jesus to say that it would be harder for someone rich to enter into heaven than for the camel to go through the eye of the needle shocked them. They were not used to hearing that.  But for Jesus, it was not about money. There were rich folk that followed Him, there were poor folks that followed Him. What mattered wasn't what they had, it what mattered was their need. 

Did they understand that their need for Him was greater than anything else in life?  Remember in the Sermon on the Mount?  He tells folks its better to cut off your ear and eye, if it caused you to sin.  His point in that, and in this, is that we should let nothing keep us from God. Not what we have or what we don't have.  Not what we desire. We must subject all these things to God.  

So, being rich or poor doesn't matter to God. What matters to God is that His first in life, above all things. And if we seen that our need for Him is primary, then everything else falls into place. 

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