- On Thursday, the Lenten Catechesis in TDP gave this quote from the Large Catechism: "It is not as though [God] did not forgive sin without and even before our prayer. (He has given us the Gospel, in which is pure forgiveness before we prayed or ever thought about it [Romans 5:8])." Now picture the Prodigal father in Luke 15 embracing and kissing his found younger son before the son has said one word. And read this (from a sermon by William Cwirla):
We make our confession within the embrace of our Father’s forgiveness. That’s what the Bible calls “grace.” Undeserved, unmerited kindness, love, mercy on the part of God all for Jesus’ sake. When you confess your sins, when you admit that you are a poor, miserable sinner, when you acknowledge the worst of what you’ve done, you are doing it in the embrace of a Father who has already run down the road to meet you with open arms. You confess within the embrace of God’s acceptance in Jesus. Got it?
- Again on Thursday, we read in the Gospel (Mark 10) of James and John's request. Follow them beyond the condemnation of the Savior, beyond His baptism of fire and His drinking the cup of God's wrath against our sin, see them dying and rising in Christ, and you will see a huge difference in these brothers. They stopped seeking their own greatness, and, following in the footsteps of Jesus, become servants, giving their lives for others. The change in these two is incredible. And it means there is hope for you and me. Do you think the change that needs to occur in you is too great - from loveless self-glory seeker to servant of all? Too much for even God to work and do in your life? It was a huge change for James and John, from sons of thunder (Mark 3:17) to love. The Lord who did this good work in them and brought them to Heaven has begun this same work in you