Marsh Grove Community Church

Ash Wednesday Day 1 of Lent

Ash Wednesday begins the first day Lent which last for 40 days until Easter. In the days of the early Church new converts to Christianity would during this time would be encouraged to emulate the Lord Jesus Christ during His time in the Wilderness when He was tried and tempted by Satan, during this time Jesus spent His time in prayer and fasting. New converts would also be encouraged to spend time in prayer and periodic fasting in order to draw closer to the Lord God so that on Easter morning they would be ready and fully prepared to be baptized in the likeness of Jesus’ death, burial, and raised up in new life from the waters in likeness of Jesus; resurrection.

This is a tradition many, many churches especially here in America have moved away from, holding baptisms on Easter Sunday for new converts. Lent was the time that these early believers would spend studying, if there was availability to the Scripture, and prayer. And in most cases these prayers would center around submitting oneself to God in an effort to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal things that still may have been tucked away in ones heart. This could be anything that from a spiritual perspective could eventually lead one away from the Lord or slowly lead one to sin against the Lord in which case severing the intimacy of the relationship each believer should have with the Lord God.

This is my desire for each and every one of us the season as we celebrate Lent, that each of you would spend some time in your day reading Scripture—of which I will supply you with. And allow the words of the Lord to churn our hearts and minds as the Holy Spirit moves and works through our life as we turn it over to Him for inspection. Much like a drill instructor would do, to and for new recruits in the military. I know many of you are seasoned Christians and have a firm faith and reliance upon the Lord in and through your life and walk with the Lord. But none the less we are all vulnerable to the attacks of Satan and sometimes he sneaks in unaware masquerading as something good when in reality it isn’t (2 Cor 11:14). Also, in recent times it has become customary for some during Lent to give up something for 40 days. And if that is what you would like to do that is certainly ok too.

But my primary focus is going to be centered on growing closer to the Lord God through mediation and reflection on Scripture, through prayer and letting ourselves (myself) be drawn in ever more closer to the Lord through the relationship we already share with Him. If anything, I want, and it is my desire for you to grow ever more faithful, trusting, and obedient in our relationship with God. And that is only possible if we begin to reflect and look to what Jesus has done and remember what He did on the Cross for us in order that we may have the same kind of relationship with God the Father that He has always had. Toward the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, when He knew it was time to realign His focus towards what He was born to do Luke 9:51 says “He set His face to go to  Jerusalem.” As we celebrate Lent this is precisely what I want us to do, “to set our faces to go to Jerusalem” because it was where our Savior went, and it is there where we will have our souls restored (Psalm 23:3).

Read Matthew 4:1-11

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