Tuesday of the Week of Lent III
Today’s readings: Jeremiah 7:21-34; Romans 4:13-25; John 7:37-52
But this command I gave them, “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you” (Jer 7:23).
The Lord God of Israel continues to speak to His people through the prophet Jeremiah. He makes clear what He wants and expects of His people: that they obey His voice, walking in the way that he commands, that it might be well with them. Simple, straightforward, easily understood. But the Lord goes on, “But they did not obey or incline their ear, walked in their own counsel and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.”
Christians sometimes cringe when we speak of “expectations.” Some have come to believe that being saved by grace through faith apart from works of the Law means God expects nothing of us! Jesus Himself says, “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom, but the one who does the will of my Father…” (Matt 7:21).
God wants us to obey His voice, to walk in His way. This is how life may go well with us. It is for our benefit that we are to keep God’s commands. But sometimes we do not obey or incline our ear. Sometimes we walk in our own counsel and the stubbornness of our evil hearts. Being clear about what God expects of His children helps us to obey and move forward in life and not back. And what does that look like in daily life?
Shall we say it again? Abiding in God’s Word, loving God and neighbor, being His witnesses, being disciples and making disciples. Simple. Straightforward. Easily understood!
Prayer: Lord God, open my ears that I may obey your voice and walk in the way that you command, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Lenten Response: Write the verse above on a sticky note and place it where you will see it and read it throughout the day.
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.
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