Whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease,
without fear of harm. Proverbs 1:33
Life Question: Who Do We Obey??
We are two days into our Lenten Journey.....and what lays ahead for us?? A time of prayer,
confession of sins, repentance for sins, charity and self-denial. So why is the Lenten journey so important to take?? Let's look at that shall we.
We all have our ways of approaching how we observe Lent. For me, I like to start with
prayer and meditation(The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him
in truth. Psalm 145.18). Prayer is the beginning of our conversations with Jesus, our
time to tell our Father what a blessing he is to us, what great things he's done for us
and most importantly, what can we do to further serve him and his kingdom.
To do this, or continue doing it, we must also confess our sins to him(for the wages
of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord(Romans 6:23), to not do that, means our relationship with Jesus cannot grow and mature so that He can
take us to where he wants us to be with him. Along with our confessions, we must
show our remorse(repentance). Confession to God without remorse for the act of
what was done is useless.
Okay, so I explained why the first three things are so important in our relationship
with God, the last two elements further enrich our relationship with God, charity and
self-denial. Here's why.
Between commercials on television and stores advertising the latest gadget, appliance,
cell phone and what-have-you our home could, if we allowed it be going crazy buying
up everything fancy "must have" thing until we crowd ourselves out of our homes
altogether. I've noticed that there are more commercials about satisfying ourselves
with "stuff" than there is commercials about the importance of giving of ourselves
to others(notice giving is only a holiday mention?).
Yes, there is lots of need in this world! No matter what your wealth, from king all the
way down to garbage man/woman, if you give even a little in the life of someone else
or even an animal, you are make God's world a more welcoming and peaceful place
(do not neglect to do what is good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16), after all, all any person or animal wants is to be loved
and care about.
The last element is the hardest of all.....self-denial. Perish the thought! WHAT???? You
want me do DENY MYSELF SOMETHING?!? Is usually the response we get or the
one we give. What's the point of denying ourselves? Think of denying our selves as
taking a step toward being appreciative toward God for what we have, being content
in where we are and when we deny ourselves, we can use that to serve others(And
those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with it's passions and desires.
Galatians 5:24)Sometimes what we desire is not what will bring us closer in
relationship with Jesus, in fact, it can strain or destroy it altogether. We need
to look inside ourselves during this Lenten journey we're taking and see this as a
time to get back to the basics of our journey with Jesus and ask HIM what we
need instead of listening to all the rest who tell us what is good for us.
As always, draw near to God, and he will draw near to you as he has promised
in His Word.