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  • Ben Mueller

MEANING | Mar 18-24, 2024



To catch up with our Lent journey, check out this post that explains our practice.


We can all relate to the desire to be important. To be valued. To have something to offer. The unique thing about humans among the created order is that we’re all on a quest to find meaning for our lives.


For some, we may chase prestige in our careers. For others, it may be filling up our schedules to the brim, because the busier we are, the more we have to offer. For others, we may try to find our meaning in our families, in a cause, or by investing time in activities that we’re good at.


I know what this is like. Being only a year and a half into full-time pastoring, I’ve felt like I have little to offer and a lot to prove. In my pursuit of importance, I become entangled in all kind of ways of trying to accomplish as much as I can and prove my competency to others. I bet I’m not alone in feeling like this.


The way of Jesus is different. Jesus himself, the king of kings, taught us what being a servant looked like (Mark 9:35). Jesus, who had the busiest, most demanding schedule in the world, still took the time to seek solitude and intimacy with God the Father (Luke 5: 15-16).


His worth and meaning were not dependent on what he accomplished and were confirmed by God at his baptism (before he even started doing ministry!) when He said, “You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1: 11). Jesus did not need to validate or broadcast his own importance because the meaning of his life depended solely on his identity as God’s son.


God longs for us to know that our purpose and identity in him is secure, eternal, and rooted in love. By following the Jesus way of servanthood, we get to exchange striving for importance with resting in the meaning he gives us.


 

READ

Matthew 23:11


REFLECT

How is the wanting of importance expressed in my life?

What entanglements are showing up in my life as a result of chasing after this want?

If my wanting of importance is actually a shared longing with God for meaning, what might pursuit of meaning over importance look like?


RESPOND

Start with a confession. Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal barriers to surrender that arise in you.

I confess that I have wanted ____ more than ____.

I confess the ways that I have become entangled by this want and renounce the lie that ____.

Now, choose repentance by turning toward God.

I confess that you are God and I am not and that your longing for ____ is actually my deeper longing.


FAST

As a way of living into your repentance, consider fasting from work this week.

Take a true, full day sabbath to be reminded that you are not what you produce.


RECEIVE

Read Psalm 23. Right in the middle of our entanglements (our enemies), Jesus meets us with love and provision.

Holy Spirit, what do you want to give me from the table you have prepared for me?


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