As we go into the season of “Lent”, I would like to pose a question. Is Lent about us or about what Jesus did for us?
If it is about the latter– The I would also ask which is better: “To give up something we probably should give up anyway; OR to “give-in” fully and completely to being the LIGHT of Jesus to the world and showing those HE places in our path what the LOVE of Jesus is really about?
Personally, I don’t believe in “giving up” anything!
The question should be are we willing to “GIVE-IN”?
“Giving up” to me, seems to suggest sacrifice because of an inner rebellion in our carnal nature. (“Physically”—-There is NO sacrifice I can give that will mean anything.)
However, I do believe in “Giving-IN”!!! “Giving-in” is about “OBEDIENCE” and submission.
The Bible clearly tells us that to “obey is better than sacrifice” (1 SM 15:22) and “The GREATEST thing of all is LOVE”. (1 Cor 13:13) The Bible is also crystal clear that the greatest act of “LOVE” that one can show another is to lay down their life for them.
The truth is the Bible speaks more about obedience and love than it does about sacrifice. So, the question I ask myself is “Who can I show the LOVE of God to?” AND “What is the obedient act of LOVE that God desires me to do for them?”
I want to bring a challenge to all those that will consider the TRUTH— Instead of worthless fast that will only help yourselves by giving up something like TV, sports, junk food, etc this Lent season, take some time and seek the LORD about what HE would have you “GIVE-IN” to as an act of obedience to HIM and a act of LOVE toward a fellow man?
Perhaps a GREAT place to start would be reading & meditating on Isaiah 58. Then ask the LORD who you can so the LOVE of Jesus to over the next few weeks.
If you’ve taken the time to read this post and support what I’ve said, I ask you to please share it with all those you love.
Despite a low turnout, we had a great day in the Lord today. Today was “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” I learned a few things today and all I can say is “God is AWESOME!” (I found out that more than 1600 churches across America came together in one accord today to talk about TRUE marriage and why God considers it sacred!)
While I was listening to the service, a thought came to me and I’m thankful the Pastor gave me time to share it with those in attendance.
Here it is:
The most “spiritually” powerful thing this side of Heaven is blood bought, Spirit-filled” husband & wife coming together in a “Covenant” of marriage with God.
You see in a marriage it’s not only the union of man & woman. But, it’s the “covenant” union of ONE man, ONE woman and GOD. This, in turn, got me to thinking about the “3” most sacred covenants that we will probably ever enter into as Christians:
The first and most important covenant we will ever make is/was initiated by God and His desire to see us restored to HIM. This is the covenant we enter into when we received Jesus as our Lord & Savior.
The second most important covenant most of us will make in the eyes of God and before man is the covenant of marriage. A good marriage can be the most spiritually POWERFUL things we can be involved in as believers. The marriage covenant is initiated by “mutual” agreement. But, usually involves a man asking the woman he loves to enter into it with him.
Finally, the third most SACRED covenant we will ever enter into in the eyes of God and before men is the covenant we make to our church”. Unfortunately, many christians do not see church membership as something SACRED in the eyes of God. But, our membership in our local church is indeed a SACRED VOW in the eyes of God!
So, if God has led you to join a local church, you need to consider your membership SACRED and important to God. The Bible tells us “NOT” to forsake the assembling of others (Heb 10:25). We also see that Jesus considers Christians who are carrying out the will of God to be even more sacred & important as blood relatives. (Luke 8:19-21) There are countless other scriptures that reveal the importance, sanctity and esteem to which GOD holds HIS Church. It is vitally important for us to do likewise and hold our church, our Pastor and our church family in SACRED esteem. However, the tragic & harsh truth is most christians today see church almost as a non-issue in their walk with God.
While it’s true that going to church can’t save you, becoming more involved in your local church can help us live more victoriously in Christ. Holding our relationship with our church in higher esteem and realizing that the church/Christian relationship is one that GOD considers SACRED will also help open up doors of blessing & effectiveness in our walk of FAITH.
I want to encourage you in the Lord today! If your relationship with your church is not where it should be, you should ask God to forgive then change things in your life so you will begin to see “church” as something SACRED, HOLY and Important to God! Get involved today and you will begin to see changes in your life tommorow.
There is a WAR taking place. As we go about our daily lives, BATTLES are being fought all around us. We are not always aware of what’s happening in the “Heavens”. BUT! Make no mistake WAR is RAGING!
1. Do you remember the first argument you ever had in your life?
(It was most likely with a parent or sibling. But, do you remember it?)
2. Do you remember your first “physical” fight? (Again, it was probably with a parent or sibling.)
3. Do you remember your first “spiritual” battle? (Few people do!)
Not many people can remember any of these events. It’s only “IF” the event was traumatic enough to be remembered, that we remember them.
Soldiers ALWAYS remember their first REAL battle! But, for most of us, it’s easier to remember our “LAST” confrontation.
HORRORS of WAR:
To our own detriment, most of us spend the majority of our life turning a “BLIND” eye to the horrors happening around us. So MANY people have a “Live and let live” attitude. We tell ourselves; “If it does not have a direct effect on my life, so what?” (We MUST realize THIS is a TRICK of Satan!)
SATAN DOES NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW THERE IS A WAR GOING ON AROUND YOU!
All we need do is look around at the rest of the world to realize; “Going along to get along” will eventually, DESTROY us!
Satan would like nothing more than to have Christians (empowered of the HOLY SPIRIT), adopt the attitude of “Live and let live– we need to “COMPROMISE”– let’s go along to get along.” When we sit “passively” on the sidelines, OR willingly “compromise” the principles of GOD (for ANY purpose), we SIN!
The reason the WORLD is in the mess it is in today is “solely” because Christians have “COMPROMISED” on the principles of GOD (in the “guise” of tolerance). We have let ourselves be led to SLAUGHTER!
DESTRUCTION has been allowed to take place all over the world, (and more recently in America); because Christians (empowered of the HOLY SPIRIT) have fallen PREY to the enemy’s schemes. They have FALSELY believed that JESUS was a “pacifist”. JESUS WAS (and is) A WARRIOR!
It is true that JESUS is the “Prince of PEACE”. But, we sometimes forget that Jesus said he did NOT come to bring “peace”. But, Jesus says HE came to bring a sword. [Matthew 10:34] He even goes on to state some extremely HARSH realities of why he came to EARTH. He emphasizes the point that we are in a WAR; and a loyal WARRIOR is the only thing he will accept.
REWARD for FIGHTING:
Thank GOD Jesus also tells us he will reward us for being loyal. (See Mark 10:29-31)
RIGHTS of the ENEMY:
We MUST understand the enemies of God have NO rights! Time after time we see in the Bible where God instructed COMPLETE and total annihilation of HIS enemies. It’s important to realize GOD is the SAME: then, NOW and FOREVER! GOD WANTS US TO UTTERLY DESTROY THE WORKS OF SATAN!
Satan has NO rights; except for what God allows him to have; and God only allows Satan the right to reveal our flaws, our carnality and our SIN. (That’s ALL Satan is allowed!)
Go back through the OT and see that Satan was used to reveal weakness in the men and women of God. The wonderings in the Wilderness, the trials and tribulations of Job, the hardships of David, and others, reveal that Satan was really used to show people their carnality; their SINs; their weaknesses.
Read the NT where Jesus told Peter; “Satan has desired to sift you as wheat.” [Luke 22:31] The “sifting” revealed to PETER, his PRIDE and his FEAR!
We, as Christians, have give Satan WAY too much credit. The Bible makes it ABSOLUTELY clear that Satan’s power is limited. It is our “passivity” and our willingness to compromise that emboldens him.
It is WE (ourselves) that have given Satan the RIGHT to bring all manner of tribulation upon our household. AGAIN; it’s the SIN of PASSIVITY and COMPROMISE that opens the door and empowers SATAN.
CHRISTIAN RIGHTS and AUTHORITY:
There is NO reason for “Christians” to live in FEAR or DEFEAT. There is NO reason that we have to ALLOW Satan to DESTROY our family, our homes, or our lives. JESUS is our PROVISION! The POWER and AUTHORITY that HE demonstrated for us, IS ours.
- The POWER of the “Holy SPIRIT” is ours for the taking.
- The AUTHORTITY of the name above ALL NAMES is ours to proclaim!
- The BLOOD that heals, the BLOOD that saves, the BLOOD that purifies is available anytime we desire.
We need to hold on to TRUTH! [Philippians 4:8][2 Timothy 2:14] Satan’s power is limited. [Job Chapter 1]
He has limited RIGHTS! [Job Chapter 1]
It is “only” by petitioning GOD that he can “DO” anything! [Job Chapter 1]
The only thing he CAN do is reveal our SINs and Flaws. [Job Chapter 1]
ALL other “power” he seemingly has is FALSE; and it is given to him through our “OWN” ignorance [2Cor 2:11] or sinfulness [James 1:14].
WE HAVE ALL THE AUTHORITY AND POWER OF HEAVEN AT OUR DISPOSAL “IF” WE WALK IN OBEDIENCE!
This past week we were talking about how we treat our children when they fall down & get a boo-boo. As parents (or grandparents), we bring our children inside to us & sit them down to clean up their wounds. We lovingly wash and apply antiseptic to clean & sterilize the wounded part. (Cleaning it up mat “sting” just a little. But, we know it’s what’s best for them.)
After we lovingly dress our child’s boo-boo to protect it from further infection from the outside world; tell them to be more careful and send them back out.
Isn’t that how our loving FATHER deals with us when we have boo-boos in our life?
When we come crying to Him about our hurts & boo-boos of life, GOD will lovingly take us unto Himself and sit us down in a place of rest. Then, HE will lovingly clean & disinfect the wound we have received from a stumble or fall. (Sure, it may sting a little going through the clean-up & disinfectant period. But, our FATHER knows what’s best.)
God will dress our wounds with a bandage of LOVE, tell us to be more careful and send us on our way. Our Father loves us so much more than we can ever imagine or think. HE is truly an AWESOME God!