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February 28—Lent Devotional 2013

February 28—Lent Devotional 2013

As you read and reflect on today’s beatitude, please listen to this track from contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. We will feature this track throughout Lent.

The Beatitudes

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

I will never forget the first time I read Ephesians 4:30 and the words cut to the quick: “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God”. I realized that my sin would only grieve God because He loved me. We can only cause grief to those who love us. I began to see that the Christian life was not about rules, but about relationship. Sin is not so much violating a rule as it is violating the relationship with Someone who loves us so much.

William Barclay writes about the crucial importance of coming to recognize what our sin does to God:

Christianity begins with a sense of sin. Blessed is the man who is intensely sorry for his sin, the man who is heart-broken for what his sin has done to God and to Jesus Christ, the man who sees the Cross and who is appalled by the havoc wrought by sin (The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 1 and 2).

It is this heartbreak for sin that puts us on the Jesus Way. While it never feels good to mourn hurting God, we can count ourselves as blessed. It is a sign of spiritual vitality and God’s favor.

The English hymnist Charles Wesley wrote a hymn of urgent pleading for a heart that mourns for sin. The first lines of Wesley’s hymn are; “I want a principle within of watchful, godly fear, a sensibility of sin, a pain to feel it near.”

PONDER AND PRAY

The LORD heals the broken-hearted, and binds up their wounds.”—Psalm 147:3

  • What do you think of Charles Wesley’s hymn? Would you consider it your prayer? Why not say it in your own words.
  • Do you think of the Christian life more as rules or relationship?
  • What Do You Want To Say to God?

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