.:i am giving up myself for lent:.

I am giving up myself for Lent.

Myself for all that He is

My ashes for His beauty
My guilt for His mercy
My sorrow for His joy
My wounds for His healing
My chains for His freedom
My weakness for His strength
My heart of stone for His heart of flesh
My sin for His righteousness
My death for His resurrection
My life for His glory

A beautiful exchange
A holy transaction
A living sacrifice

He is my portion and my inheritance
My very great reward

Whom shall I desire besides Him?
Is there any other more worthy of my affection?
One who is more deserving of my sacrifice?

This is the journey of sanctification
From dust to glory
From the Garden to the Eternal City
From the House of Slavery to the Promised Land
He guides us with a cloud by day and a fire by night through the wilderness of this life
The sorrow and joy in the land in between

He prepares in our hearts the way of the Lord
A highway for our God
The path of righteousness
As we walk down this narrow road
He is the voice behind us saying,
“This is the way, walk in it.”
The way of humility
The way of love
We follow where He leads

This is a fast unto feasting

It is not about something being withheld from us
But the laying down of that which is holding us
That we might lay hold of Christ and all that He has stored up for us
It isn’t a contest of will power
It is the surrendering of our will to receive His power
The emptying of ourselves
That we would be filled to overflowing with His life, love, and eternal power

To identify with Him in His death, that we might live with Him in His resurrection

There is no resurrection without the cross
There is no life without death
There is no strength without first being weak
So we humble ourselves that He would be exalted in us
We boast in our weakness, that He might display His powerWe are confronted by our need for Him

The wounds that must be healed
The debt that must be repaid
The brokenness that must be restored
The life that must be rescued
The soul that must be redeemed
The heart that must be regenerated

May we live like Him in every way
As He lives in us
As He loves through us
We are conformed into His image
Transfigured into His likeness
As we journey to the cross
Climbing the steep hill of Calvary
We see Him more clearly
We know Him more fully
We love Him more deeply

Let this not be a season, but a cycle
Not just 40 days, but a lifetime of repentance
Of glad submission to the Father
Of obedience to the Son
By the power of the Holy Spirit

Amen.

Trust in the goodness and generosity of God

He is ever-giving.
Even in the taking, He does so to give something exceedingly and abundantly better.
He only gives good gifts to His children (James 1:17)
He is good.
Even when everything else is not.
And He is working for our good.
So in the midst of evil, we have the assurance of hope.
Even evil is subject to His will.
It is as clay in His hand.
Conforming to His commands. Submitting to His sovereignty. 
He redeems all for His good purposes.
That your suffering may lead to joy and your joy may be perfected and complete in Him.

Trust that He is good.