Lent Devotional • Day 36

Day 36: Tuesday, April 12

Holy Week: “Follow Jesus to the Cross” 


Today’s Truth that Transforms:

“Pay Attention to Your Heart, Not Just Your Actions”

Scripture from Matthew 

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matt 23)

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

Jesus’ teachings throughout his ministry did not merely focus on outward actions or behaviors. Jesus spoke most often about what was in the heart. Out of the heart flows our desires and actions. In this final week of Jesus’ life, He strongly denounces those who try to look religious on the outside but have their hearts set on their religious social status. What about us? What is our heart condition? How do we prepare our hearts as we walk with Him on His way to the cross? We surrender our hearts to Him even if they too are filled with self-centered motives. We admit that we also in so many ways pretend with our actions just to look better to others. Jesus can purify our hearts with His forgiveness, so we are freed to be filled with pure motives to offer our actions to him. 

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

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

How can Christ be more formed in me today? When I think about being transformed by Christ daily, it’s about a heart attitude in me and towards others. 1 Samuel 16:7 comes to mind, But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

The Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts, so we must surrender our hearts to Christ daily after all this is what Christ looks at. How many times have you had a name come into your heart, maybe someone you haven’t thought of or spoken to in a long time? What did you do? Did you ignore the feeling that you should reach out to that person? Were you obedient? Did you drop a quick e-mail, write a note, or make a call? Luke 12:34 says where your treasure is there your heart will be also. If you followed through, how many times did that person say they were so glad you reached out since they were going through something hard and needed to know someone was thinking about them?

When I’m obedient to the nudging of the Holy Spirit in my heart, I’m blessed too. I have a close friend who lives in another state. She lost both of her parents during the pandemic and has been going through the trials of all the legal and estate matters for almost two years. When I reach out to her, she usually says, “ I needed to talk to someone or I’ve been thinking about you too.”

Let’s be obedient servants of the Most High and pay attention to the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts with actions that are pleasing to Him.

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