Sunday, March 5, 2017

Reflection for the 1st Week of Lent, Part 1

Monday – Why Be Holy?

God gave the Israelites a message through Moses: “Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.”

Why should we make an effort to do the right thing? Why should we be devout and prayerful? Why should we strive for a life of faith, hope, and love? Why should we be holy? Because God is holy, and we are to be like Him.

We are made in the image and likeness of God. We are His children whom He has adopted into His covenant family. We are set apart as God's own. As our God is, as our Father is, so must we be: holy.

Lord, make us holy now through Your grace that we may reach the perfection of holiness in Heaven. Amen.

Tuesday – Delivered

“I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”

I seek You, Lord. I pray to You. I ask You for Your mercy and grace. I diligently inquire into Your Word. I take care to investigate Your truth. I call upon You for help.

And You answer me, Lord. You hear my every prayer. You pay attention to me. You testify to Your love for me. You help me and support me. You dwell with me, closer to me than I am to myself. You pour out Your grace upon me.

And You deliver me from all my fears. You rescue me from danger. You snatch me out of harm's way. You preserve me for Yourself. You protect and defend me. You save me from danger.

Lord, I seek You, and You answer me, and You deliver me from all my fears. Thank you.

Wednesday – Behind the Fast

When Jonah strode through Nineveh announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,” the residents of the city took him seriously, and they proclaimed a fast. It wasn't a little, easy fast either, like cutting back on a couple meals or foregoing a favorite food. It was a major, serious fast. All the people, from the king all the way down to the poorest beggar, put on sackcloth, sat down in ashes, and refused to eat or drink anything at all.

But there was more to the Ninevites' fast then these external actions. There was something else behind the fast, something deeper, something greater. The people of Nineveh turned away from evil.

This internal shift, which was expressed by external penance, made all the difference in the world for the Ninevites. God saw the sincerity of their repentance, and He forgave them. He did not carry out the punishment He had planned. He didn't need to. The Ninevites had already changed their ways and their hearts.

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