While I was writing my blog as a Lent Offering today I received a notice which turned out to actually be about a very nicely written article by a fellow Christian blogger about Lent Season, which helped to inspire me to focus my writing upon this subject with fervor and try my best to explain what my personal perception about Lent is, and making such an offering to our Father in heaven during this Lent Season.
Good advice here and words of wisdom. This got me thinking about the difficulty of separating ourselves from sin especially those sinful little pleasures we grow so accustomed to throughout the years. Such a huge challenge at times because why? Well the basic truth is we are fallen and not in a pure state of grace or good enough as we are to be in the presence of absolute holiness which God is and we are not. The good news is He created us in His image having an eternal spiritual nature within us to make us heirs, to become all we can be as members of His glorious eternal kingdom in Heaven. The gap between here and there is huge and impossible a chasm to cross on our own and another huge culprit in all of this is temptation which you helped me to think about right now during Lent! My dad would always tell me as a teen and on into my mature years, that there is too much to be had out there and it doesn’t take much to get into trouble real fast if we don’t strengthen our faith continually. And that is where you came in with this very nice blog which speaks to the directive or marching orders put before us, these orders or the edict is simple and clear; Will You Follow Me? Good Lord knows I want to and have tried and failed often enough like all of us do, sometimes appearing to be so messed up that if we had tails we certainly would be chasing them! But here is the good news, God made it so simple and guaranteed that we can be where He is in splendor and peace forever, if we as my mom always said, just keep trying our best because Jesus took all sin away and tossed it into hell where it belongs and He knows if we have sincerely tried our best or not. The purest human heart that has ever existed, completely perfect and without any sin is pleading to us to follow and does all the pleading of each of our cases before our heavenly Father to forgive us for our transgressions or lack. See that is the amazing thing God does through Jesus Christ He is searching out every heart to know it perfectly as to whether that heart belongs to Him or is running a scam or charade playing both ends against the middle, like having the best of both worlds if you will, to party it up for the short term appeasement this world can offer which the evil one uses continually against those of us who figure as far as heaven goes I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, because Jesus is so loving and will cut me enough slack to get through the gate. Many of the politicians we actually witness these days are a prime example of this folly and deception they play with grabbing all they can now while they cause nothing but ruin and misery around them. “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23 Any self-serving or becoming puffed up with one’s own interests and worldly power or pleasures is guilty of this transgression from God and will never reach His kingdom following that path to perdition and eternal damnation. The polar opposite of this is what Jesus himself stated to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23)
I refer now to a faithful servant of Jesus who dedicated his life to serving God’s will on earth, Rev. Billy Graham.
“What did Jesus mean when He said we have to carry a cross? I’ve heard people talk about a problem they have and say it’s a cross they have to bear, but is this what Jesus meant?”
“No, this isn’t what He meant—although it’s not necessarily wrong to refer to some problem we are having as a “cross” we must bear. In Jesus’ day, a cross was a symbol of suffering, and we all have trials and afflictions that may be very hard for us to bear—even with God’s help.
But Jesus meant something far deeper than this when He told His disciples to carry their cross. He said to them, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). In Jesus’ day, a cross wasn’t just a symbol of pain and suffering; it was mainly a symbol of death. What Jesus was telling them is that they needed to put to death their own plans and desires, and then turn their lives over to Him and do His will every day.
You see, Jesus doesn’t simply call us to believe that He existed, or even to believe that He can save us. He calls on us to commit our whole lives to Him—to trust Him alone for our salvation, and then to follow Him as His disciples. He said, “Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).
Is Christ the master of your life? Have you put to death your own plans and committed yourself to His will for your life? Don’t be satisfied with anything less, for there is no greater joy in life than following Christ every day”. billygraham.org
Reading Rev. Graham’s words to others who desire to know and serve Christ reminded me of something my grandfather would say many years ago when I was a boy, “don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today!” Which leads my thoughts back to what I believe this other blogger elicited in my thoughts about lent; And that reminds me of what you’re saying here, how Lent Season should be looked upon; how we are not to waste this golden opportunity to get into alignment with the Lord!
“Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it.” Matthew 7:13
So yes it is a difficult road we travel but we can make it much more difficult than it need be and indeed impossible to overcome or we can make it a journey of “Fulfillment and Victory” over all that is against us, yes even death itself; to become champions at being His “humble servants” though Jesus Christ for God who is in heaven, our Father Who is waiting to embrace us in our everlasting New Life when we join Him there.
Jesus is still here leading us to the Father by His Holy Spirit, to our New and Everlasting Life if we will just follow Him our Good Shepherd.
God Bless You and Keep You.
Post Script continuation Part II
I needed to share here a potion of what I had to say to another fellow Christian blogger yesterday while having a conversation about a dog I rescued and this too also serves as evidence demonstrating how, Jesus is the Master Potter and He will shape our lives to suit what purpose our Father sees as best for each one of us as long as we turn our lives over to Jesus and are truly letting Him lead us by our right hand.
Thank you so much for having the interest in Penny and sending out all of the good thoughts you do! Yes, she was a very confused panic stricken animal when I came along, that was about to have her life taken away by a too busy not always caring world, but God gave her a chance by allowing me and Penny to act as a message of “Salvation and Hope” when God brought us together, so in time that example would be observed or even duplicated through the hearts and minds of others that hear about her story! God gave me a chance to serve as an instrument to that end appreciating life and every little blessing even more this example of Penny, because having her as a friend has actually changed me for the better too! God’s power and infinite love is at work all around us and that is where our attention should be focused as much as we possibly can.
I do believe that we children of God are much like Penny in that when she had no direction or hope, feeling that way because of her confused and lost emotional state when I found her, through what I know was “God’s deliverance and Divine Intervention.” To move from despair to hope and onto salvation! This is an example of God’s daily handiwork in our lives to shape each of us to bring about His Great Plan which is unfolding every second, He does actually have; “the whole wide world in his hands!”
The other thing that immediately captured my attention in your comment was when you mentioned Brother Lawrence and his writing who I actually never heard of and this was very intriguing to me, so I actually got to thinking about him a bit looking him up here online as I was telling you about the seagull I rescued, and now I want to read about his beautiful, as I see it methodology of communing with God continually from a very basic simple focus and complete openness with due diligence, being able to know His presence first hand and in the way that God allows one to manifest a very close relationship with Him, in what I would call a state of attuned connection with the Holy Spirit moment to moment, sort of being on the same frequency, by being free and trusting through genuine belief that He will talk to you if you are willing to let yourself go and allow Him to lead, trusting Him by faith alone. You and I do this because now I know we were meant to converse, and little special dots are being connected as we just do like this, whereby you told me about this fascinating Monk Lawrence that I’m so inspired to read about now, and will get this book of his, “The Practice of the Presence of God.”
“The Practice of the Presence of God is a book of collected teachings of Brother Lawrence (born Nicholas Herman), a 17th-century Carmelite friar, compiled by Father Joseph de Beaufort. The compilation includes letters, as well as records of his conversations kept by Brother Lawrence’s interlocutors. The basic theme of the book is the development of an awareness of the presence of God.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Practice_of_the_Presence_of_God
“Brother Lawrence retreated to a place in his heart where the love of God made every detail of his life of surpassing value. ‘I (Brother Lawrence) began to live as if there were no one save God and me in the world.’ Together, God and Brother Lawrence cooked meals, ran errands, scrubbed pots, and endured the scorn of the world.
So, as always God is in control and we are continually being guided and molded to suit His purposes for each of us and if we pay attention and are willing to let Him lead the way it will become all the more apparent as we move forward. spirituallyhungry.com/christian-challenge/
“I regard myself as the most wretched of all men, stinking and covered with sores, and as one who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King. Overcome by remorse, I confess all my wickedness to Him, ask His pardon and abandon myself entirely to Him to do with as He will. But this King, filled with goodness and mercy, far from chastising me, lovingly embraces me, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the keys of His treasures and treats me as His favorite. He talks with me and is delighted with me in a thousand and one ways; He forgives me and relieves me of my principle bad habits without talking about them; I beg Him to make me according to His heart and always the more weak and despicable I see myself to be, the more beloved I am of God.”
Just today I had spoken with a sister about some events in the news and my “Lent Offering” blog which she said inspired her not only because of how it was written but that as usual I had prayed to Jesus to help me with the body of the article, from my most genuine thoughts, feelings, and desire with my heart through Him, to know what words to say and even the right photos to add which seem to come along easily. Then today an email notice had arrived at the same time my sister and I had talked, which was about one of the very topics we had been discussing since my writing the “Lent Offering” article and how this article that addressed the unfairness of President Trump’s impeachment had definite tie-in to what we discussed; but most remarkable was the fact that the photo I felt directed to add to my blog when I wrote it was of Rev. Billy Graham taken many years ago in the early days of his evangelizing which now along with the photo that accompanied the article I received about President Trump connected profoundly in my way of seeing these two photos and men; especially in spirit and intent of both men being called to a higher purpose in order to serve God for their fellow man! I see dots being connected all of the time lately as God sees best, in order to reach and help each of us to see Him and the truth he is revealing over time about our personal journeys in serving Him; our unique part that each of us has in His plan, day by day and bit by bit or as I say “dot by dot!” I’m adding the photo for your discernment and I appreciate how we are so richly blessed to be able to share this way in fellowship for Him, especially when we consider how often times we actually make it through the gauntlet of life here on earth each and every day! 3/2/2020