Sunday, February 14, 2016

Reflections for the 1st Week of Lent, Part 1

Monday – Dare to Be Holy

Do you dare to be holy? 

Do you dare to have faith in God? To believe in His self-revelation? To realize that He has a plan for your life? To trust Him to do exactly what is best for you? To surrender yourself into His arms?

Do you dare to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself? To respect the persons and property of others? To be honest? To speak positive words rather than negative? To let go of grudges and forgive? 

Do you dare to hope? To anticipate eternal life with God? To long for Him above all else?

Do you dare to pray? To enter into an intimate relationship with God? To praise and worship Him? To thank Him? To intercede for others? To ask for your needs? To share your joys and fears? To confess your sins? To talk to God as you would to your best friend?

Do you dare to obey? To accept and abide by God's objective moral law? To speak, think, and act as a child of God? To follow His will rather than your own?

Do you dare to be different? To say “no” to the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil? To be set apart for God, consecrated for His purposes? 

Do you dare to be holy?

Tuesday – Your Father Knows

“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” These words from Jesus could spark several different reactions. Some might think, “Well, why pray at all then?” Others might feel a little worried that God knows so much about them. Still others might be comforted that they have such a loving God Who pays close attention to them and cares for them so much. 

These words are meant to remind us that when we pray, we are praying more to get Someone than something. While God wants us to ask Him for everything we need and even things we desire, while He wants us to intercede for others, while He wants us to thank Him for all His blessings, while He wants us to praise and worship Him, He mostly just wants us. He longs for us to give ourselves to Him fully, like trusting children who cast themselves into their Father's arms. He desires our prayers to be, above all, acts of self-giving love for the God Who gave Himself completely for us. 

So when we pray, we must always remember that our Father knows what we need, and what we need most of all is Him. 

Wednesday – Repentance Works!

The people of Nineveh recognized a warning when they heard one. Jonah was only one day's walk into the city, proclaiming his message of “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,” when the people woke up and smelled the proverbial coffee. They realized that Jonah was a prophet, and they decided that it was much better to believe him than take the risk of being wiped off the face of the earth.

So they repented. Everyone from the king down to the lowest stable boy and even the animals fasted, prayed, put on sackcloth, and sat in ashes as a sign of their renunciation of their sins. “Who knows,” the king concluded, “God may relent and forgive, and withhold His blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.”

He was right. The Ninevites ended up as living proof that repentance works. God immediately acknowledged their contrite hearts and forgave them with great love.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This is powerful. Need to read it more than once, there is just so much in there to think about.