" We all, with open face beholding as
in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are
changed into the same image, from
glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord."...
Let us run with patience the race that is set
before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and
finisher of our faith."
"Looking to Jesus" is the only way we can completely
deny ourself. All other surrender than that which
is based upon love to Him, and faith in Him, is but
surface work and drives our sinful disease deeper
into our bones.
The man that tries to wash off the external dirt,
or give up a bad habit, to hammar and tinker himself
into what he thinks a "perfect" man might look like,
is doomed to fail miserably.
What will he have made of himself? A "whited
sepulchure" outside adorned and handsome
but inside--full of rottenness and dead man's
bones! That which has been whipped into shape
on the outside slinks deeper into the citadel of
the heart, there to fortify its venomous position.
The only answer is to look to Jesus. Put everything
on the altar and tell Him "All is lost without You!
Bring Him what is dark and maimed and broken
and He will give back to you that which is whole
and blessed and beautiful from the inside out.
The hand that is cut off, the eye that is plucked out,
the possessions that are given up, the idols that
are abandoned....from the graveyard of these tainted
offerings a new man emerges, a person made new
in Christ! We cannot change ourselves through
willpower or hope, all we can do is "look to Jesus."
Renew us in our inner parts, O God!
We look to You!
New Hopes for a Holy Lent (abridged and adapted)