Today’s highlight from the Lenten devotional focuses on the idea of freedom, and the spectacular discrepancy between the magnitude of the gift and the evident lack of esteem in which we hold the opportunity that is ours; our hesitancy to claim that liberty of spirit, our failure to shine, our reluctance to live like we really mean it.
All the evidence points to the sad truth that, too often, we fail to embrace life with the level of passion Christ’s complete, unreserved commitment to us would anticipate.
I wonder sometimes if Jesus is not so much disappointed as flabbergasted at our predilection to halfheartedness as believers? We look all shiny on the outside, but what’s the point in polishing our surface when there’s so much serious work to be done underneath?
In Matthew 23, Jesus unleashed one of his best one-liners on the religious leaders of his day. They were all about “following the law,” and making a show of religiosity, but they completely missed the heart of God. Listen to this; but then imagine how Jesus must feel about our own modern day surface-level faithfulness:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth.” – Matthew 23:27
Time for a gut-check, huh?
“Jesus didn’t come to work on my facade. Jesus lived, and taught, and suffered, and addressed death head-on in order to set me free. Freedom goes a lot deeper than appearance.” – Reaching Toward Easter (p. 27)
So now we are free, and the way is clear for us to embrace all the possibilities inherent in our creation as children of God. Why, then, do we hesitate?
It’s a good question – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.