Our Lenten journey is coming to a close by celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ this Sunday. I have enjoyed exploring the different ways we can encounter God’s heart for us. We will conclude this series with the promise of the new life we have in Christ.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ … —it is by grace you have been saved.
This passage is fresh in my mind as I reflect on God’s saving power through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It is true that we experience a singular salvation event when we come alive to God’s unconditional love and the new life trajectory the Lord leads us into when we are saved by faith. It is also true that the Lord leads us daily and is always available as our savior. If we embrace the prayer in the Psalm above, “take me by the hand and teach me,” our hearts will understand that we will need the Lord’s saving grace often as follow Jesus into new areas of growth in our lives.
My prayer for us this Easter is that as we experience God’s daily grace of salvation, we would remember when the Lord first saved us. Celebrating what God has done for us in Christ is a perfect opportunity to share God’s great love with those who have yet to receive God’s gift of salvation.
Our Lenten journey began with seeking the Lord’s direction and embracing God’s heart for us, trusting that God would accompany us along the journey and lead us not only through the darkest valleys but also into salvation and newness of life. I chose the phrase, “God’s Heart for Us,” from the last line of Psalm 25:5 (TPT), “I have wrapped my heart into yours!” The NIV and other versions translate this as “my hope is in you all day long.
“Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.’” … Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
This Sunday is traditionally called Palm Sunday when Jesus enters into Jerusalem on a kingly procession riding a donkey’s colt. As he does this, multitudes come out and praise him as their king and savior. This is to fulfill the prophecy from Zechariah 9:9. The people were placing their hope in Jesus to deliver them from the Roman occupation. What they failed to realize is that he was riding on a donkey, not a warhorse.
Jesus was demonstrating that God’s authority is established not by a show of force, but by honoring and empowering one another by lifting each other up in the name of the Lord. We can rejoice in God’s heart for us knowing that when we hope in the Lord we will be met with love and grace and embraced as one belonging to God.
Humbling ourselves is not an easy thing to do, but God promises empowering grace to those who seek to lift others up. My heart is filled with hope, knowing that our community embodies this reality.
On this Lenten journey toward Easter, we have explored embracing and discovering God’s heart for us. As we see God’s unconditional love and unending companionship in this life, it is fitting for us to continue to direct our hearts in ways that please the Lord.
May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.
On every journey, we need to course-correct periodically and in every relationship, we need to realign our hearts with those we love. The prayer from the Psalms above speaks of David’s desire to please the Lord. It is from this place of openness that we can discern if and how we need to come into alignment with God. We don’t know what we don’t know, and we won’t know until we ask.
My goal for the end of this Lenten journey is to have a deeper connection to the Lord’s heart for those around me at each relational level. I want to love God by loving my neighbor with Jesus as my example and guide. My prayer for us this week is that we present our hearts to the Lord and seek the Holy Spirit for direction in aligning our hearts with God’s heart for us.
This Sunday is the second Sunday of Lent. Last week, I introduced the idea of Lent being a journey toward God’s heart for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus. The first step of embarking on this journey is to embrace God’s heart for us. The Lord is calling us and will accompany us along the way.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
We start on a journey to reach a destination, but we often make discoveries as we continue along the path set before us. Sometimes these discoveries are serendipities, other times they are specifically sought after. One thing is certain, though, we need to have a heart that is open and willing to see what the Lord wants to reveal to us.
I pray that as we seek the Lord with all our heart and discover God’s unconditional love and empowering grace, we will lean into our Lenten journey, aligning ourselves with the Lord’s plans for us and trusting that we will find God’s heart.