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Lent Devotional • Day 35

Day 35: Monday, April 11

Holy Week: “Follow Jesus to the Cross” 

 

Today’s Truth that Transforms:

“Let Jesus Clean Away What Needs to Go Away!”

Scripture from Matthew 

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,

“‘From the lips of children and infants
you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night. (Matt 21)

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

In sacrificial ritual, there was always a cleansing and preparation to ready the act of sacrifice. Jesus clears the moneychangers as a type of cleansing the temple, preparing for the sacrifice. What was it about their practice that was so grievous? Was it just greed? More than that. The money changers were necessary because sacrificial animals could only be bought with Hebrew coin. Money had to be exchanged. But where they set up was blocking the access of the people to worship and prayer. That is an offense worth cleaning out! Jesus can clean out what blocks us from the Father. So it is, especially during this Holy Week. What distractions might have I set up that are blocking access to the Father? Lord Jesus, please clean away what needs to go away! 

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

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

How many times have I said tomorrow I will start my day with the Father? Tomorrow, I will prioritize Him first. Tomorrow, I will spend time in His presence. Then, tomorrow comes, and the To Do Lists, the work, and much more steal my attention and this precious time. It all starts swirling in my head the minute my feet touch the floor. These tasks consume every last minute of my day until I fall into bed exhausted with nothing more to give. My Bible, in its fancy, colorful bag, sits next to my bed, once again, unopened.

There are so many things in this world that block my access to the Father. I am constantly bombarded with roadblocks that I allow to reroute me and steal precious moments with the One that loves me unconditionally. The constant notifications that grab my attention start to fade and become background noise. Is that email, Facebook post, Instagram post, or phone call so important that I should allow them to block me from the Father who wishes to clean away these distractions and guide me to His purpose for my life. 

We often use the action of blocking something or someone in a negative way. We block people on our social media sites, guarding our hearts and minds from things we feel do not provide a purpose or encourage us in our lives. 

This made me think… Have I blocked Jesus out of my life at times? Has His pruning, His cleaning, caused me to want to “block” Him? If I am honest with myself, there have been times when I attempted to “block” Him from my life. Often, when I have felt the Father start to work on an area in my life, I have attempted to limit His access by filling my schedule, taking on more work, and becoming too busy to allow Him to do the important work of transforming me more in His image. It is always a futile attempt to “block” Him from my life. He always finds a way to remove the distractions, to return the focus to Him, and to transform my life in ways I never thought possible.

I invite you to look at the things, the distractions, the deterrents in your life that “block” your access to the Father. Ask Jesus, to clear the path to a relationship of full access. Full access to the love of the Father. Full access to His grace, peace and mercy.

Let’s pray. Father, thank you for always shining the light on those areas where I attempt to block You from accessing my life and my heart. Help me to be vulnerable to You and see where I need to remove things that block access to You. I know You see it all and know my heart better than anyone else. I give you full access to my life. Please help me clear the roadblocks and pave the way to more time with You. Open my heart and allow nothing to block my access to You and your unconditional love. In Jesus name, Amen.