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March 11—Lent Devotional 2013

March 11—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

Recently I had the delight of discovering the writings of Thomas Traherne (1636-1674). He was an English clergyman, theologian, and author of Centuries of Meditations, which C. S. Lewis praised as “almost the most beautiful book in English”. Reading Traherne stirs me to greater hunger and thirst for what God wants to give. In Centuries of Meditations Traherne describes how God wants us to want still more:

God did infinitely for us when he made us want like Gods, that like Gods we might be satisfied…Infinite Wants satisfied produce infinite Joys; and in the possession of those joys are infinite joys themselves…You must want like a God that you may be satisfied like God. Were you not made in His Image?

The infinite God created us to want, and to want infinitely, so that He might fill us up all the more. But first we have to want, really want, and then we will be filled. Theologian and poet Frederick Faber observed that “The ill of all ills is the lack of desire”. May God stir in us yet more desire!

After many years of walking with Christ, the Apostle Paul still longed to know Him more: “I want to know Christ” (Philippians 3:10). This was the passion of Paul’s life, that for which he hungered and thirsted to the end. Yet, sadly, there is much spiritual anorexia today, a loss of appetite for God and His kingdom. People are exposed to just enough of the Gospel to inoculate them to the real thing.

A.W. Tozer wrote joyously of the insatiable passion for more:

To have found God and still pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart (The Pursuit of God).

PONDER AND PRAY

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.”
Psalm 84:1-2

  • What do you think Tozer means by “the too-easily-satisfied religionist”?
  • The psalmist writes about his soul longing, even fainting for the experience of God’s presence. Does your soul long for God in that way? If not, why not make it your prayer today that God’s Spirit stir in you a deep longing for Him.
  • • Pray: “Jesus, may all confess Thy name,/ Thy wondrous love adore,/ And, seeking Thee, themselves inflame/ To seek Thee more and more.” (Bernard of Clairvaux)
  • What do you want To Say To God?

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