LENT: RECEIVE

There’s a lot of days where I can get stuck in my muck. I go through the motions. I get up. Make my coffee. Shuffle the kids off to school. And then, do it all over again. I live in a perpetual Groundhog’s Day. However, I am learning that God has a purpose for me each day and to know what it is, I need to receive, walking by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).

Walk by faith and in the light.

We can abide in Jesus. Be different from this world. Lve in the contra-flow lane. We can.

But then begs the question, How?

Already you are clean because of the word that I️  have spoken to you. Jn 15:3

We must accept that we have already been made clean. The work on the cross has been completed. When Jesus said, “It is finished“, the work of forgiveness was done. Complete. Whole. Wrapped-up. This means that all of our sins have been forgiven. Yesterday’s sin. Today’s sin. And the sin that we will commit tomorrow. Every single bit of them.

We are made clean because of the redemptive work of Jesus. This is not our work. Not our own doing. But it is the work that Jesus did on our behalf. So it is not our striving and working and building and achieving that secures us a place within the pearly gates of heaven. No…instead, it is only by the work that Jesus has done on our behalf that we are made clean.

You are clean.

White as snow.

Forgiven.

Abide in me, and I️  in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. Jn 15:4-5

We are the branch, not the vine.

We need to stick close to Jesus to abide. We’re not able to bear fruit on our own. Our fruit is a work of Jesus that He has set aside for us to do (Eph. 2:10). It is our responsibility to walk in them.

However, a lot of the time I️ am not abiding. I️ have triggers (and my family knows them the best). I️ have things that make me want to sin. Things that make me mad, jealous, impatient, frustrated, sad, anxious, jaded, discontent…and the list goes on and on. Inwardly, I️ can tell when I️’ve been triggered. It doesn’t feel good. But too often, I️ don’t know how to make it stop.

Recognize when you are not abiding.

Listen to the Holy Spirit within you. Start noticing your sin tendencies. Pay attention to your emotions. They serve as a thermometer to detect when sin is crouching at your door. God has made our bodies in such an amazing way that they help us stay healthy: emotionally, spiritually, and physically. God is after our “whole being” and has come to make us well.

For example, when I️ feel impatient with one of my kids, I️ recognize my sin tendency to control. The Holy Spirit points out that I️ want to do things my way.  God is allowing me to grow at this moment and now I️ have an opportunity to decide how I️ will respond. Will I️ choose: a) lose my patience and blow my top? b) throw my hands up in discontent and walk away feeling like it’s no use, “I’ll never be a good mom” or c) engage at the moment and respond to my child in the same manner Jesus responds to me.

Surrender to the will of God. 

God’s way is always best, even when it is not easy. He is a good, good Father who has our best interest in mind. He is perfect in all of His ways. His desire is for us to grow more in His image and likeness and He presents us with the perfect opportunities to do so. God’s love for us is limitless and therefore, we can trust His will. His will is always better than our will.

Receive what is true about Jesus right now. 

In Scripture, Jesus is referred to as the head of the body of Christ, and we, as believers, are the body. As the branch connected to the vine, every spiritual blessing available to Jesus is made available to us as well (Eph. 1:3). In other words, the peace made available to Jesus is made available to you right now. The love made available to Jesus is made available to you right now. The joy made available to Jesus is made available to you right now.

Every Spiritual Gift.

Every spiritual gift provided to Jesus is made available to us right now if we simply ask. We can receive it right now. When I’m losing patience with my kids, I️  can choose to receive what Jesus has for me right now through the power of the Holy Spirit. With the flip of the switch, I️ can receive what Christ has made available to me. All I️ must do is ask.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7

Prayer: Dear Jesus, Thank you for the spiritual gifts that you have made available to me! Thank you for the sacrifice you made on the cross. May I️ continue to be open to the work of the Holy Spirit within me, and receive today every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.