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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

March 2015

There are two great dangers that arise in the life of a disciple. The first is to think that your relationship with God (that is, your salvation, your right standing, the strengthening of your faith) is somehow dependent upon your works. That is, we can run the danger of thinking that our relationship to God is based on anything other than His gracious work for us in Christ. Ours is a God of one way love. He loves us graciously. To be sure, this produces a love in us for Him, but His love for us does not depend on our love for Him.

At the same time, we can run into the other danger which thinks, “Well, since I’m saved by grace, I don’t have to put any effort into being a disciple.” Many people can wrongly assume that being in a grace-based relationship means that my life doesn’t change at all. Now that I’m in the relationship, I don’t have to do anything. But, this is like a husband thinking, “Well, now that the wedding day is over, I don’t have to pay any mind to my wife at all. I’m not going to let her change my life!”

As those who have graciously been baptized into a life of discipleship, our lives are based on constantly receiving the grace and mercy of God. This grace and mercy are spoken to us, not in some obscure, spiritual way, but in His Word and in His sacraments. God’s grace is not some spiritual idea locked up in heaven for us to contemplate, but a living Word given to us from a preacher, in baptism, in the Lord’s Supper, and in the Scriptures. Yes, our relationship to God is entirely dependent upon His work for us, and He is at work for us in these specific places. Just as you cannot expect to have a healthy marriage if you don’t spend time talking with and listening to your spouse, you cannot expect grow deeper in your dependence upon God if you are habitually ignoring his Word.

During this season of Lent, I want to encourage you to switch up your habits. Instead of habitually ignoring God’s Word, take up the habit of reading God’s Word daily. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time. I would suggest taking fifteen minutes to read the Psalm from Sunday’s worship service and meditate on what it says. After reading it and contemplating it, take a few minutes to pray about it. If you are feeling so led, write down a verse or two that stands out to you and revisit it throughout your day. God’s Word will begin to have a formative effect on how you go throughout your day. It will show you where you need to repent, give thanks, and serve. It will constantly point you back to Jesus who is with you, forgiving you and guiding you through whatever the day has given. It will protect you from the attacks and temptations of the devil and the world. God’s Word will breathe new life into your everyday activities!

This Lent, continue to take up and read God’s Word. Meditate on what Christ is saying for you in those pages. Grow deeper in your faith as you receive God’s one way love for you in Christ Jesus.

Pastor Bob

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email