A Lenten Devotional, Day 29

A Lenten Devotional, Day 29

This season, we’re blessed with a set of Lenten devotionals by contributing author Lee Hinkle.  Find out more about Lee at the bottom of this article, or at hinkledownunder.com.

Reading

John 12:1-7 (ESV)

Meditation

It is about this time every year that I begin to think about Judas, U2, and an article I read many years ago about Judas being our patron saint. This passage shows us the heart of Judas and perhaps a little of our own hearts. If it were not for the explanation from John about why Judas makes his statement, we would think that it is a perfectly legitimate thing to say. Giving to the poor is a good thing, a righteous act, a wise use of the money. But his real intent was to keep the money for himself. He was a thief.

The real danger is when we begin to believe that our outward acts of goodness make us good even when our hearts are only turned toward ourselves.

We can hide our own selfish desires behind altruistic acts. Some have argued that there is no such thing as a selfless act, and that may be true; but the real danger is when we begin to believe that our outward acts of goodness make us good even when our hearts are only turned toward ourselves. At some point Judas may have decided that he knew best how to use the money that had been coming in (which may have even been true), but he takes his eyes off of the work of Christ and puts them on his own method for righteousness. It could be that he was just a big con artist all along and never thought of anyone but himself, but even then Christ had him close to Himself. Christ had him near.

He has us near as well. We may hide behind our good deeds but Christ knows our heart. He knows what we truly mean when we do good works. He understands we are either pulling the wool over the eyes of those around us in order to gain something from them, or we are pulling the wool over our own eyes believing our good doing can gain us something that we desire.

Mary, on the other hand, came to worship. She came empty of self with a need to honor Jesus. Doing something she didn’t even know she was doing.

Prayer

Father, teach us to worship. Teach us to love you like Mary loved you. Help us to move from gaining our own righteousness to giving you all glory because of the righteousness you give us. Keep us near to you, even as we have the heart of Judas, that we may hear of your love for us. Amen.

Lenten Action

I know I have linked to this song in past meditations,* but it is so great. Take a listen sometime today to hear the Gospel. God loves you.

*ed. note: not in this set of Lenten meditations, but a previous set of meditations.
• • •

Lee Hinkle is an American pastor who, with his family of 7, felt God’s call to pack up and plant a church in Fremantle, a town in Perth, Western Australia.  Last Summer, the Hinkles left Indianapolis and arrived in Oz to begin their work.  You can follow their adventures at hinkledownunder.com.

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