Lent – Day 24: Tuesday, 16 March
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Our relationship with Father God is through faith in Christ Jesus. He is the doorway to Father God and to the eternal riches of heaven.
Christians can be somewhat ambivalent about the prospect of suffering for their faith. When I look at the example of the Apostle Peter, who just spoke up in places he never thought he’d go, and Paul, whose life was turned around by his encounter with the One he was persecuting, I know that the Christian life is so blessed, so rich, so powerful, that those who hitch up their wagon of faith to Jesus would never want to forsake this relationship even in the most hostile of situations.
Yes, we glory in our sufferings. If the fear of suffering turns you away from full commitment, then know that full commitment turns you away from the fear. Paul wrote about his journey of faith, and never regretted what he went through, because it only brought him closer to Jesus.
God’s love is not some warm glow. It is the very basis on which we have been formed. He created us in love. To those who turn to Christ, this love is made real in us, being poured out into our innermost being, flooding every chamber, touching every thought, every emotion, every aspect of our relationship with him and with each other.
This level of intimate outpoured love, won for us by Christ Jesus, comes through the agency of God’s Holy Spirit, a gift of God, won by Jesus for us.
Jesus lives in us by his Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to know Jesus in his resurrection power. The Holy Spirit enables us to have Jesus reside in our innermost core, and we receive Father God’s love through Jesus, through God’s Holy Spirit. All three persons of God work together for our benefit and joy. Remember that it’s not just a one-way system.
What areas of faith have you closed the door to?
What are you missing out on?
Can you experience God’s love as a one-way tap?
Father God, your love is demonstrated in the way you sent Jesus to this world. It is made real in me through your Holy Spirit. Open my heart, Lord, to overflowing, that your love may find its way back to you from me. In Jesus’ name. Amen,