Welcome to Lent meditation and worship with Westside church. During this Lenten season, meet us here each day as we read scripture, worship and rest in the presence of God together. Know that as you listen today, you are doing so with others whether in the same space as you or not, and we pray that the Holy Spirit permeates the places we each find ourselves in right now.
Let us start today by clearing our minds and opening our hearts and minds to what the Lord wants to speak to us through His word today. Take a deep breath in and out. And another in and out.
Peace is something I am continually striving for in my life. Peace in relationships, peace in circumstances and peace within myself. I want peace around me so much that I will forfeit my own inner peace to ensure someone else’s. And there in lies the problem with my cyclical search for peace. I alone try to conjure the peace in my world. In Romans 5, Paul speaks of the security we have in our relationship with the risen Jesus and the peace that comes along with it.
Since we have been acquitted and made right through faith, we are able to experience true and lasting peace with God through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.2 Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. 3 And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, 4 which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. 5 And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love.
6 When the time was right, the Anointed One died for all of us who were far from God, powerless, and weak. 7 Now it is rare to find someone willing to die for an upright person, although it’s possible that someone may give up his life for one who is truly good. 8 But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display—the Anointed One died for us. 9 As a result, the blood of Jesus has made us right with God now, and certainly we will be rescued by Him from God’s wrath in the future. 10 If we were in the heat of combat with God when His Son reconciled us by laying down His life, then how much more will we be saved by Jesus’ resurrection life? 11 In fact, we stand now reconciled and at peace with God. That’s why we celebrate in God through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed.
Paul spells out clearly the gifts and blessings through our justification. Justification is a legal term that means acquitted, cleared of charges, found not guilty. In the first chapters of Romans, Paul clearly talks about our sin and guilt and there is no getting around that. We sin. Sin and disobedience it’s our reality. But here in Chapter 5, we are told of that in spite of our guilt, God the Judge of this courtroom, our world, he declares us righteous. He not only does this because of his great love for us, but also because of the sacrifice of his Son and the gift of grace through Jesus’ death.
With this righteousness and this not guilty verdict comes, as Paul writes, “experiencing true and lasting peace with God through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King. Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory.”
True and lasting peace. We will go through trials and suffering, but inside of all that we have hope and peace. It is one of the many gifts we have in Jesus. Because we are at peace with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have peace in our lives as well. We can follow in the leading of Jesus to the places we don’t understand. We question, we wonder, we doubt but inside of all of that, as our character is being shaped through these experiences, we know peace and hope as constant companions, “And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love.”
Go into your day or your evening carrying the hope of Jesus Christ, allowing it to satisfy the depths of your soul.
Enduring Presence, goal and guide, you go before and await our coming. Only our thirst compels us beyond complaint to conversation, beyond rejection to relationship. Pour your love into our hearts, that, refreshed and renewed, we may invite others to the living water given to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
WRITE and DISCUSS