FOREVER TRIUMPHANT, Day 21—Lenten Devotional
19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:19-23
This week I am going to leave behind my grandfather’s book to write my own ideas. We have come, as he said, to the nub of the question: How does one live a perennially and consistently victorious Christian life? I find that in answer to this question, I cannot allow the words of another to express what I have found to be true—even a writer as near to my heart as my own grandfather. I have six points in answer to that question.
1. VICTORY IS THE NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THAT JESUS GIVES US.
The whole point of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus was to offer us a whole new relationship with God. Those who open their hearts to Jesus by acknowledging their own sinful inability to draw near to God by their own efforts and who accept His sacrifice on their behalf by inviting Him to be their Lord and Savior, are adopted into God’s family. For us, God is no longer judge but Abba—Father.
The victorious Christian life is not earned, won, deserved, or gained—it is offered in grace. We have it by virtue of the fact that Jesus has answered the call to be our High Priest, a High Priest who brings us with confidence into the presence of God by the once-and-for-all sacrifice of himself. Victory in Christ is first and always simply the fact that in Christ we have access to God, our prayers are heard, our lives are shared, and in all of our adventures, misadventures and adversities God is there to catch us. Because we belong to God in Christ, nothing can separate us from Him and we are guaranteed a happy ending.
This is a victory that no one can take away from us, and it is a victory that is permanently built into our lives. We are victorious in this unending access to God, regardless of what happens and regardless of how we feel.
PRAYER: Dear God,
I thank you that your son Jesus has opened the way for me to enter into a new relationship with you, a relationship in which you are my Father forever. Grant me to live with the constant awareness and appreciation of this new relationship, to understand that communion with You is in itself the greatest victory that could be given to me—and that it is mine regardless of my own performance or achievements. Although sin made me a “born loser”, the sacrifice of Jesus has made me a “reborn winner”, confident that whatever happens my life has a happy ending ultimately in You. Thank you for this promise. In Jesus’ name. Amen.