40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week Three: Friday)

Friday

Confession: Psalm 143:1–6

O Yahweh, hear my prayer;

listen to my supplications.

In your faithfulness answer me,

and in your righteousness.

And do not enter into judgment with your servant,

because no one alive is righteous before you.

For the enemy has pursued my soul;

he has crushed my life to the ground.

He has made me dwell in dark places

like those long dead.

And so my spirit grows faint within me;

my heart within me is desolate.

I remember the days of long ago;

I meditate on all your doings.

I muse on the labor of your hands.

I stretch out my hands to you;

my soul longs for you like a dry land. Selah

Reading: Mark 12:38–44

And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like walking around in long robes and greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets, who devour the houses of widows and pray lengthy prayers for the sake of appearance. These will receive more severe condemnation!”

And he sat down opposite the contribution box and was observing how the crowd was putting coins into the contribution box. And many rich people were putting in many coins. And one poor widow came and put in two small copper coins (that is, a penny). And summoning his disciples, he said to them, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow put in more than all those who put offerings into the contribution box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in everything she had, her whole means of subsistence.”

Reflection

An ungodly world may reckon the poor in spirit to be contemptible, but God writes them down among His peers and princes. His judgment is true and far more to be esteemed than the opinions of men or angels.

Only if we are poor in spirit do we have evidence that heaven is ours. But having that mark of blessedness, all things are ours—whether things present or things to come. To the poor in spirit belong all the security, honor, and happiness which the gospel kingdom is calculated to give upon earth; even here below they may eat of its dainties without question, and revel in its delights without fear.

Theirs also are the things not seen as yet, reserved for future revelation, theirs the second advent, theirs the glory, theirs the fifth great monarchy, theirs the resurrection, theirs the beatific vision, theirs the eternal ecstasy.

—Charles H. Spurgeon

The Beatitudes

Response

The Pharisees’ pride shows their self-sufficienct spirituality. Are there areas in your life where you feel like you do not need God’s intervention? Write those areas down and ask God for His help in becoming reliant on Him in all things.[1]

 

[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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