19 Mar 2021 Devotion Series Part 5: “Lives Altered”
Full Scripture Passage: John 15:8-13
Key Verse: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
This season leading up to our yearly remembrance of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection is an opportunity to reflect on our need for God. Choosing to incorporate some form of sacrifice into our daily life rhythms deepens our awareness of our frailty and brokenness. In the past, entering into the Lenten season may have come with a unique sense of making some significant change from the norm. But what about this year?Perhaps the season of Lent has felt less like a change, and more like an alignment with what was already going on within and around us. We have been sacrificing in various ways for a full year, more consistently aware of our frailty and brokenness than ever. As Jesus-followers, we are familiar with the concept of sacrifice, and yet our hearts are hungry to know if it’s making a difference.
The people of ancient Israel knew that their sacrifices didn’t just go up in smoke without significance. They could follow God’s instructions for sacrifice and know that it meant something. At the altar, they could lay something down and know it is enough. Jesus came and perfectly fulfilled what the altar sacrifices never could. His death and resurrection eternally declare it is enough. His sacrifice altered our lives forever, doing what we could never do for ourselves.
Even under our current challenging circumstances, we can connect to the life-altering sacrifice of Jesus and his desire for us to love each other the way he loved us. Out of gratitude for who Jesus is and what he has done, we alter our lives so that the lives of others can also be changed. The sacrifices we are making during Rice & Beans Month are reverberations of Jesus’ love in our lives, inviting greater healing and wholeness into a broken world.
God our Savior, we love because you first loved us. Your loving sacrifice has changed us, and we pray it never stops changing us. May we live to see lives altered by your love, even when that means making sacrifices on behalf of others. Thank you for being enough to meet all of our needs, and for sharing out of your abundance so that we are able to give. Amen.
To reflect on the theme of LIVES ALTERED by God and by our fellowship in the faith, spend time with these scriptures this week:
- Romans 12:1-13
- Exodus 20:22-24
- Exodus 29:42-46
- Hebrews 10:1-18
- I John 4:7-13
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