Lent 4 Midweek “Christ’s Walk: Wanting” Matthew 20:20-28

Merry Lent! In the Name of Jesus, Amen. What do you want to happen? What is your will? “Be more specific, Pastor” you say “What do I want concerning… what?” Concerning anything. What do you want concerning a snack tonight? Or, a grocery trip tomorrow? Or this virus to be over? Or going back to Mexico? What is your will? I’ll venture a guess that your will has to do with things going your way. Things not being too difficult. Everything working out perfectly for you and anybody who is against you being speedily removed from your way. I am willing to guess that a lot of your Will has to do with increasing things that are pleasurable in your life and avoiding, at all costs, things that are painful and hard. Sound about right?
Your will is often affected by, what God calls, our sinful flesh. Our sinful flesh is so focused on pleasure and easiness it will hurt God and others to get it. Do you want a HUGE snack tonight that will taste soo good.. but probably hurt your body later? Or how about a grocery trip? You have a pretty bad cough, you find it really inconvenient to cover your mouth, and hand sanitizer makes your skin feel all funny, but you really need groceries and, well, you don’t really care if someone else gets sick – it’s not hurting you…
Lent is a time when we turn away from our sinful flesh. Lent is a time when the Holy Spirit turns us to God and what He has done for us. Lent is a time when we fix our eyes on Jesus who came down from a place of perfection – no hurt, no pain, no bad – to be with us on earth to suffer hurt, pain, and the worst evil, in order to rescue us from it all. Jesus’ Will is exactly the same as His Fathers’ Will. Our Fathers’ Will is that none of us should die and go to Hell but that we all take on, in faith, the forgiveness Jesus won for us on the cross. God’s Will is the hard road. God’s will involves loving those who don’t deserve it. It means forgiving those who hurt us. It means giving up what your sinful flesh wants in order to do what God wants. Easier.Said.Than.Don
God’s Will is what we pray our Wills would be. We pray in the Lord’s Prayer “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We pray that God’s Will would be done in our hearts, minds, and actions. We pray God would throw out the sinful flesh in us with its selfish desires and make us more like Him. We pray this, and He does it. Jesus’ Lent to the cross forgives all your sins. Jesus kicks out the sinful flesh, makes us new and aligns our Wills with His own. You are forgiven. That forgiveness makes this Lent, and every Lent, a merry Lent. Merry Lent, in the Name of Jesus, amen.

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