The Inner Life

-by Tim Bias

Our Lenten journey begins tomorrow. Yesterday we were reminded, Jesus and the cross come first. Jesus consciously chose a path of trust in God’s plan and purpose.  He made his decision to meet us and reach out to us in our moments of weakness, sin, and failure. He set his face toward Jerusalem, anticipating what awaited him there. His focus on the inner life is undeniable.

In giving himself totally to God’s plan and purpose, Jesus comes to us with a love that makes us new from within.

The inner life is where Jesus puts the emphasis. He does so because it is there that God aims to restore our lives. The inner life is the place where motive, conscience, trust, and love are all rooted. The renewal of our inner lives is the source of our freedom. It is from the healthiness of our inner lives that we are able, by God’s grace, to engage in holy living in everyday life.

Only when that inner life is alive in Christ can we truly fast, pray, give our offerings, speak our prayers, and serve God with authenticity. Then, it doesn’t matter who is or who isn’t looking. What matters is that we are conscious of standing before God, being accountable to God, entrusting ourselves to God, and looking only for God’s eye of approval upon us.

This is a great and wondrous thing, not laying up for ourselves treasures where they can rot away and consume our souls. Day after day we are confronted by forces which tempt us to give ourselves for the temporary. But in our hearts we know that these things cannot ultimately satisfy.

Tomorrow we begin our Lenten journey. Let’s begin the journey with a deep sense of peace and hope in God. What guides us through is not what we give up, or what we take on, but the sacred life given for us upon the cross. Whatever we choose to lay aside and do without, our Lenten journey is a response to God’s grace. It all hinges upon God knowing us and our knowing God in and through Jesus Christ.

Prayer for Today

O God, we want to be totally honest with you. By your grace, give us what we need to grow deeper in love so we can love the people around us the way you love us in and through Jesus. Amen.

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