Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross"1 (Lyrics)

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (ESV)

In my laissez-faire relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I sometimes find myself becoming passive, content with acknowledgment of — rather than a relationship with — the very Being Whom I profess to follow. Life proceeds along at a merry pace until, with a proverbial slap in the face, life events bring me up short. I find myself no longer before the throne but, perhaps, several hundred yards away, maybe watching television.

Like me, we know about our faith: where our help comes from, Who it is that blesses us, and where we will go when we die. We know that the truth and the kingdom of God continue for all who make a declaration of belief in Jesus as our Saviour and live by faith according to His tenets.

Sadly, as we live under the peace and the blessings that flow forth from His gift of liberation and forgiveness, we can unwittingly, or even knowingly, fall victim to the religious routine of our Christian calendar. Immanuel — God with us — can become an idea rather than the dialogue that it should be. We may let slide the two-way dialogue, and the relationship that goes with the asking, giving up our thoughts, with little time given to the reply or waiting to hear from heaven what may be His priority for the day.

Some of us are faced daily with the reality of the sorrow, sadness, pain, and hurt of those close to us or those we visit. For them, sometimes, the pain is just too much to carry alone. Bad things happen. In the midst of our tranquillity, out of nowhere, life finds us asking the question once more in earnest: Where are You, God? Why? What can I do? How can I get through this? It is in this space that we find that Jesus is waiting for us to receive His love, support, and comfort.

Lent is a time of reflection, a time to stop the separation and to re-engage with Him Who first loved us. May we, like the wise virgins, be found ready and expectant for the love that He offers every day.

    See from His head, His hands, His feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
    Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

    Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were a present far too small;
    Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.
           – Isaac Watts, 1707

Prayer: Lord, we are truly sorry for not giving You the honour that You deserve, because we have fallen into a routine that does not seek Your reply. May we once more be attentive to Your Word, lay our lives before the throne, and seek to hear what You have to say to us today. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickhenrymarshall@gmail.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the good reminder, Rod.

    Thanks, Rod. God is in it (and in US!)

    Thanks, Rod, for this honest and open lesson.

    How very true, Rod.
    A wonderful message. Thank-you.

    Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent – and the hymn When I Survey the Wondrous Cross brings tears. In this troubled world, pandemic and now war, we bow in prayer to the Lord.

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful, honest and timely reminder of the spiritual drift I am subject to.
    May God continue to bless and uphold you.

    Thank you for that reflection. It IS easy to get lazy and take for granted all that we have in Christ. I love that hymn, especially the first verse. It always brings me to my knees again. Blessings as we begin this season of reflection.

    Thank you for sharing your reflections and thoughts – and thank you for sharing that old hymn by Isaac Watts. I was able to sing the words without going to the hymnal. I celebrated my 90th recently and am thankful that the tune was still able to be recalled.

    Thank you so much for this, Rod. It is all too true, we lean on our own understanding and interpretation, especially in our desire for quick responses. We actually discussed this issue at length at our Session Study so your devotional today was entirely what we are dealing with. We are in a transition now, with no pastor to lead us, and many weighty decisions to try to address.
    May God Bless you.

    Dear Rod,
    I am not sure when you wrote this devotional, but at this moment in time, I am sure you are very connected with your God. The Russian attack on Ukraine, I believe, has woken up all Christians to the need to talk with our God and listen for his wisdom and support. It is hard to believe that this is truly happening in Europe.
    I am sure we are all praying to God for our leaders to make wise decisions, for the people of Ukraine to fight for the democracy that they want, for the rest of the world to support them in ways that will really help them to succeed and for God to soften Putin’s heart.
    Thank you for the reminder to be attentive to God and to seek his response to us. Blessings.

    Amen, Rod, and God bless.

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