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This week’s note from Rev. Bill

HALFWAY THROUGH LENT – AM I HALFWAY LIKE JESUS?

               On Ash Wednesday we challenged ourselves with the questions – “Forty days from now, do I want to be more like Jesus than I currently am? And if so, what do I want to do to get there?”

               In United Methodist terms, this is what John Wesley called, “sanctification”. Every day we become a little more of what God dreams of us being.

               You’ve heard me say, “We don’t accidentally become more like Jesus.” It takes a deliberate effort on our part to trust Jesus each day, and to surrender those parts of our lives which are still resistant to Him. Our human pride, fear, and anxiety keep trying to wrest control back from the Lord, and we have to choose each moment to act in faith, not in fear. 

               So right now – halfway through Lent – am I halfway more like Jesus? 

               Okay, so that’s a silly question! But behind it is the intent – Am I serious about surrendering more of my life to Him? 

               Can I think of one thing that is different about me than I was a few weeks ago? Any habit that we try to start up – exercise, Bible reading, prayer, tennis – takes time to become engrained. At first, we start with excitement – “I’m going to do this!” But that novelty can wear off if we don’t follow through on those days when we don’t feel like it. When I planned on going running, but it’s raining; when I intended to read my Bible, but I’m tired; when I’m trying to be less critical, but this person is being a jerk – THAT’S when character is built!

               I heard someone say once that “When it’s the hardest, that’s when it’s doing the most good.” It’s not the first 20 minutes of exercise that build the muscle; it’s going that last 5 minutes and pushing yourself one more time when you want to stop. It’s not dealing with the nice people that causes us to become more patient; it’s dealing with the difficult ones. It’s not memorizing scripture verses that creates spiritual growth; it’s finding a way to integrate the challenging ones into our daily lives. 

               I want to be more like Jesus. I want to inspire hope, change, welcome, possibility. I want to invite people to come meet this Jesus that I know, so that they can find peace, too. And I need your help – I am going to be more successful when I submit myself to others who are wanting to head in the same direction. 

               So how are you doing? Are people around you starting to notice the change? 

  • Rev. Bill
 
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