PRE-LENT / QUINQUAGESIMA / TUESDAY
LESSON: MATTHEW 26:26-35
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
This life is nothing else but a life of faith, love, and the holy cross. But these three never reach a stage of perfection in us as long as we live here on earth, and no one ever reached perfection in this respect except Christ. He is the Sun and has been given to us and set up for us as an example whom we must imitate.
There are always some to be found in our midst who are weak, others strong, and still others who are stronger. Some can suffer only a little and others much. But we must all continue in the likeness of Christ. For this life follows a course in which we proceed continually from faith to faith, from love to love, from patience to patience, from cross to cross.
It is not a matter of being righteous but of being justified. We have not yet reached our goal; we are all on the path and on the way, but some are further along than others. God is satisfied when He finds us at work with a definite purpose. If He so wills it, He comes quickly and strengthens our faith and love, and He can translate us in a moment from this life into heaven. But as long as we are on this earth, we must bear with each other as Christ bore with us, always remembering also that none of us is ever quite perfect.
PRAYER: You know all our weaknesses, shortcomings, failures, and sins, heavenly Father. Help us in your means of grace to the improvement and progress which is a characteristic of your children, through Christ Jesus the Savior. Amen.