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When I Woke Up This Morning! (Lent)

Please read Matthew 4: 1-11

When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t help but reflect on those days on this Christian journey when Lent meant absolutely nothing. It was barely mentioned in the Church. We knew that Ash Wednesday was the beginning of something special in other denominations, but we were not sure exactly what those black ashes meant and why people went through such sacrifices to get them on their foreheads.

To my wonderment, I began to discern as to whether everyone understand why we are having Wednesday night Lenten services. It is important for us to have a clear understanding of why we do what we do. Too often, even in the church, we go through the motions, but not fully comprehending why and the benefits of it all.

Lent for Christians start on Ash Wednesday lasting for 40 days (not including Sundays) representing the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness. For Christians it is a time to reflectfast and give penance in preparation for (Resurrection) Easter Sunday morning. Please read Matthew 4: 1-11.        

We now understand that Lent is a time to reflect on what it means to be a follower of Christ. It is an opportunity for us to get it right once and for all. A time for us to renew and repent for our sins, spend more time in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving with the Christian community. Lent provides an opportunity for us to be honest with ourselves and God. Simply stated, it is an opportunity for us to come clean and renew our relationship with God. He already knows our faults and failures, but He loves us so much that He is ready to forgives us.

Now is the time for us to be in fervent prayer like never before. It is true that every generation has had to deal and cope with unbelievable actions and uncertainties from our leaders and others. There are so many unbelievable and unprecedented things happening before our own eyes that we have begun to understand that only God can fix this foolishness. Too often we freeze up when asked to pray, but what we must realize is that prayer is simply telling God what you want Him to hear. If we believe in prayer, we should expect miracles to take place in our lives. Prayer also draws us closer to God. There is power in prayer my brothers and sisters, just try it.

Just imagine the breakthroughs we would encounter if we prayed more corporately. We would see the lives of people change for the betterment of our homes, churches, communities, government, etc. This should be a time for spiritual growth in all of us. It does not matter how holy and religious we might think we are, for there is always room for greater growth. 

During this season, we are expected to practice almsgiving and fasting. If you love to serve and share with others some of your time, talents and treasures, then yes you are on the right track. Sharing and serving with others are acts of love and compassion. Try it during this Lenten season and you will hopefully find yourself getting closer to God.

Usually during Lenten season, we give up something in hopes that we will receive blessings from God. It is expected that we will grow and mature in our faith during this Lenten season. Did you decide to give up anything for these 40 days? Just remember, if we can go the distance for 40 days, the rest of the journey will result in success and a breakthrough.   

Most of us probably know the story referencing Jesus being led by the Spirit into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days and nights. It was a time of solitude for Jesus as He went without eating. It was a time and place for spiritual preparation for His public ministry. While in the wilderness, Jesus faced three temptations: Turning stones into bread, bowing to Satan, and putting God to the test. Scripture reveals that Jesus never gave into the temptations and Satan had to flee.

We too can overcome our temptations if we put our lives totally in the hands of our sovereign God. We are expected to practice self-control.       

In summary, Lent is a time of repentance, reflection, prayer, scripture reading, almsgiving, self-control and fasting. Hopefully this season is rewarding and is providing opportunities for spiritual maturity.

Just my thoughts!

Robert Earl Slade, Pastor

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About Genesis

Genesis Covenant Church is a non-denominational, faith-bearing church. We put our faith and trust in God in all that we do, exalting and worshipping Him. We believe in the Holy Trinity—The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as we create a climate of acceptance and Agape love.

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“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful and effective.”
James 5:16