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March 9—Lent Devotional 2013

March 9—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 hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
Matthew 5:6

Robert Louis Stevenson, in his dark novel The Master of Ballantrae, tells of an evil, despicable man afflicted with the “malady of not wanting”. With keen insight Stevenson shows how the malady of not wanting becomes the man’s undoing.

In this beatitude Jesus blesses those who want and are ever wanting for more. They are blessed in wanting more and more righteousness. Our problem is never wanting too much, but wanting too little of what God delights in giving. It was the malady of not wanting that rendered the Christians of Laodicea self-satisfied and “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:16). It was for this that Jesus rebuked them: “For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).

C. S. Lewis wrote knowingly about the malady of not wanting in The Weight of Glory:

Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. 

God deliver us from the malady of not wanting in our spiritual lives. God bless us with insatiable hunger for His goodness, and we will be filled!

PONDER AND PRAY

I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all of God’s people, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:18-19

  • Does Paul’s extravagant language in the above Scripture passage surprise you?
  • What do you feel stirring within as you reflect on Paul’s prayer for more?
  • What do you want to say to God about what you are feeling?

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