Radcliff United Methodist Church
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An Ash Wednesday Devotional

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 View Comments Comments (0)
AN "ASH-WEDNESDAY" DEVOTIONAL

Lent is a season for forty days, (not counting Sundays) which begins on "Ash-Wednesday" and ends on "Holy Saturday" (the day before Easter Sunday). Historically in the Church, Lent has been a season of fasting and preparation for the great Resurrection celebration of Easter.

"Ash-Wednesday" emphasizes a Duel-encounter. In it we confront both our own mortality and our own sinfulness. The use of Ashes as a sign of mortality, and repentance for sin is found throughout the Bible.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 says, "Have nothing to do with godless and old wives tales; rather train yourself to be Godly. For physical training is of some value, but Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (NIV)

We have often said that the goal of the Christian life, is to become more and more like Jesus in character. It is to "be more like Jesus today than I was yesterday, and more like Jesus tomorrow than I was today." The Scripture calls that kind of growth in Christ's character the Fruit of the Spirit. (see Galatians 5:22-23)

Now, while it is true that only the Spirit of the Living God can grow these kind of "fruits" (characteristics) within us, we also have a role to play. As followers of Christ, we have both the free-will and the opportunity to COOPERATE with the work of the Holy Spirit within us to enhance the growth of these characteristics in our lives. That's why the Bible tells us to "...train yourself to be Godly".

Train yourself? There is a real intentionality about that. It implies choice and work and discipline. The Lord has given us certain core disciplines to help us in our Godliness training. Some of these foundational ones are: Scripture, and Prayer, fasting worship and service.

So, as we begin this season of Lent, I would like to challenge each and every one of us to intentionally work to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and "train ourselves" to be more and more like Jesus. Commit to spend some time in the Word each and every day. Commit to spend more time in prayer daily than you have been. Practice some form of fasting (give something up during this season). Find new and fresh ways to serve. Make worship a priority.

May God give you and I a Holy Lenten season, so that we may become more and more like Jesus in our character to the Glory of God the Father!
Love-Faith-Hope
Darren

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