Lent Devotional • Day 4

Saturday March 5 • Day 4

First Four Days of Lent: “Be Transformed in Christ”

Today’s Truth that Transforms:

“Confess Your Self-Righteousness-Claim Christ’s Righteousness”

Scripture from Luke 18.

9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

How are we “Transformed in Christ” and shaped to be more like Him?

Humility is a foundational ingredient to spiritual growth. How do we get it? By trying to become more humble? Not quite. Let’s instead examine our hearts and be more honest. We find several versions of self-righteousness that rely more on our own performance than the perfect righteousness of Christ. Here is what they sound like. “I’m not really that bad. At least I’m not like those people.” “God should be more generous with me, look how much I do for Him.” “If I continue to just be a better Christian, God will do more for me.” All of these diminish the perfect righteousness of Christ. His perfect life in our place is what merits our life in Him. Our identity is secure in being found in His righteousness not our own.

How do you see this “Truth that Transforms” working in your life?

The following is an application story written by Angela Farrell. After you read it, ask yourself the same question. “How do I see this ‘Truth that Transforms’ working in my life?

It’s easy to see self-righteousness in others who blatantly say “I did this–not God!” or even to see the person who says “I’m a good person, so I’m going to heaven” as relying on their own works for justification. But what about that “private pride’ that tells me “I’m so amazing because of ________” (anything that we tell ourselves that makes us more important or more special than others)?

It was no coincidence that PRIDE was revealed to me as a huge heart problem of mine by the Holy Spirit. I’m a people-pleaser and very kind, so this revelation really challenged my self-important “because I am so helpful” persona that I had come to rely on. Transformation progress is leaning into God and seeking HIS work for my life. This means God oftentimes wants me to do His work WITHOUT telling the world. Why? Because it’s NOT ABOUT ME, it’s about God! I didn’t understand why Jesus would do a miracle and then say, “Don’t tell anyone.” There are a lot of reasons, I’m sure, but since I have been working on my humility, I wonder if Jesus was asking for humility from the disciples. When I put aside my “look what I can do” attitude and really listen, God shows up and is there to remind me of the TRULY AWESOME things HE has done and how HE is the righteous one and through HIM and only HIM are we truly righteous. Thank you, Jesus, for making us new!