, via Wikimedia Commons. Text added by author.
The first Sunday of Lent, we heard the Gospel reading where Jesus was led into the desert (by the Holy Spirit!) and endured temptation from the devil. Who here hasn't had that experience during Lent? The Holy Spirit prompts us to acquire a discipline, to fast from something, and the devil is there taunting us.

For me, this Gospel, rich in theological meaning, also serves as an important reminder that I have to be rooted in the Word, in Jesus, and know what He says about me. Otherwise, the voice of the evil one knows just how to attack my vulnerabilities and my own temptations to try to lure me away from God. Too often he gets his way when I am distracted from returning to the letters of love that God has left me in Scripture. Reflecting on the constant Lenten experience in my life, I am so thankful that I have a husband who is devoted to the reading and study of the Word, not only for himself, but with our children. They may only be five and three right now, but they are learning to develop the habit of turning to Scripture every night . . . even if it is an iPad game.

Keeping their eyes focused on the beauty of what God has left us in the Word is so important as we prepare them to face their own battles. It makes it easier in the future to help them remember in times of heartache and despair, which will surely come, that they know a deeper truth. I can more easily way to them:

Stand firm in what God says about you. You are His beloved. He will never lead you astray. Even if you are in the middle of suffering and nearing despair, He is there. You are never alone. He loves you. He has great plans for you. You are His sons and daughters. 

As we struggle with discerning the voices that come at us each day, these Scriptures rekindle my memory of the truth of who I am, of who God has created me to be. I hope they bring you peace as well.

You are a child of God.

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13

You are created in the image and likeness of God.

Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness. . .So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27

You are victorious with God through Christ Jesus. Nothing can separate you from the love of God.

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long;  we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:35-39

You are intentionally and wonderfully made.

It was you who formed my inward parts;   you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.   Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. Psalm 139:13-14

You are a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Praying this Lent you know more deeply the love of God in Christ Jesus.

What helps to refocus your spirit when you begin to wander or get led astray? How do you help your children learn the truth about themselves? 

Copyright 2016 Rakhi McCormick