Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dust To Dust: Lent, A Time To Man Up And Consider The Cost

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust... Lent began today.

The time to repent.  The time to consider the brutal beauty of the Cross of Christ.  The time to ponder the timeless truths of sin, forgiveness, and redemption.

By grace are we saved, through faith; and this is not of ourselves, it is a gift of God.  Ephesians 2:8

Make no mistake though...this is a pricey grace.  Not some cheap, often strictly Western notion of the happy, prosperous Christian, looking too hard at our naval's and self actualizing ourselves to spiritual death.

I'm not judging anyone but myself.  I'd still be on that wide road had not the severe mercy of Christ allowed that which is evil to do its work of good in my little life.  Believe me when I say I'm still in first grade with this.

Before the Rude Awakening, (which came many years after the Great Awakening), I had a pretty shallow view of life with God.  Everything was going to come up roses now...now that I was heaven bound and delivered from death and hell.  (Hallelujah, by the way!)

Thank God for His mercy on fools like me.

Lent reminds me of the great cost to the Father in sending the beloved son to His obscure birth and bloody death. All the wealth of all the ages of men is a grain of sand on the great beach of the credit union of our redemption.  And we get mad when something in life goes wrong.

All fingers may point this way.

I'm sobered in the affection I have for my Egyptian friend, a Coptic Christian who arrived in this country about 10 years ago to escape persecution from Muslim extremists in his home country.  He tells me how the family members of one of the 20 Egyptian Christians beheaded this week expressed to the world how happy they were for their brother.  Happy, through agonizing tears of grief.  Happy that he stood firm to the end, and now was receiving the goal of his faith: life eternal with His beloved Jesus. Happy that the costly gift of grace was not in vain.

Don't get the idea that I'm minimizing the pain in our lives because we have the comforts of a culture nurtured and planted with blessings from the very hand of God Himself.

I'm just saying, while we anticipate the crushing price tag of our spiritual pardon, let's man up a bit with the complaints about our sufferings, and rest assured that like our biblical ancestors our "light and momentary troubles aren't worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."  It's unlikely someone is going to march you about in an orange suit and chop off your head because you are a "person of the Way".  Oh, how I love preaching to myself!

Blessings friends, in this most Holy of seasons for us who believe.  We are thought of as fools by many.  A small price to pay.  Some of us are positively shunned for our trust in Christ.  Still, what does it matter?  Others are paraded on national television and martyred before a yawning audience. Hebrews 11 says it all for those beautiful Egyptians: "the world was not worthy of them".

Grab hold of your great worth during this season.  The Savior paid an indescribably price.  We were not worthy of the cost.  But He paid it joyfully and completely.  Blessed be His name.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


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