Many Christians observe Lent, the forty-day period before Easter beginning on Ash Wednesday. Participants are to imitate Jesus, who spent forty days in the desert in prayer and fasting before beginning His public ministry. Observing Lent helps to cultivate the spiritual discipline of making personal sacrifices, reminding us of the importance of spiritual truths over earthly goods.
As we approach Easter, it is fitting that we meditate on the serious subject of the sacrifice that Jesus made to save us from eternal death and separation from God. He willingly and single-mindedly embarked on His mission to teach the truth and to die on the cross as the ultimate and lasting sacrifice for our sins - the sacrifice that God required.
- This passage tells us that the result of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.
His resurrection proved His power over sin and death. Eternal life is the gift that will be given to those who believe and trust in Him.
For some, Lent is a time of fasting and prayer. Many others observe it by giving up a special indulgence, such as candy, soda pop or TV.
This may be a good time to think about the blessings we have and about the frivolous things we tend to hold onto. It may be a good time to give up something we enjoy as a reminder of the true meaning of Jesus' sacrifice. However, in the Bible,God tells us what we should sacrifice.
- Michah asks what can we give to the LORD to make up for what we've done? Should we bow before God and offer Him food or valuables?
- Micah answers, No, the LORD has already told you what is He considers good. This is what He requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
- The psalmist says that the sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart. That's the sacrifice that God loves.
- Isaiah speaks God's words,
"I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word"
[Mercy - compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in your power
Humble - modest; not proud or arrogant; - low in rank or importance]
[Contrite - overcome by a sense of guilt, desirous of atonement
Atonement is satisfaction for a wrong or injury. It is making amends]
It seems that God is more interested in us giving up our pride than in the trivial things we give up for Lent. Find out more about what is right in God's eyes, by reading the Bible regularly.
Comment on this article in our Christian Living forum.
(You may also be interested in A Good Friday Thought)
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