Lent: Day 31 – The smell of certain foods are so delectable to us that we are drawn towards it, to the point of desiring the taste simply for the pleasure it provides our tastes buds. Sweet baked goods are like that for me. The smell of a pound cake is usually enough for me to want to wait for, so that I can have a slice while it is still warm. We can have a similar kind of attraction to the “aroma” of possibilities and opportunities that life has to offer until we realize their initial attraction soon becomes an empty possibility with no foundation and no real hope. With the exception of God’s Word, Love, and Presence everything is temporary. The aroma we get from God is not only pleasurable it is sustainable by our presence and love that we show one another as children of God. It is important for us to know that God is eternally attracted to his own creation. God first loved us (1 John 4:19), and from our innocence as children through the imperfectness of our knowledge of him; his love for us gives him joy (Psalm 149:4). God’s love for us is our hope that we too will know the glory of Christ resurrection. We can’t get that with cake or empty possibilities, which is why when we eat cake that we don’t like or it affects our health, we stop eating it or cut back. When opportunities in various relationships become a burden we let them go. The good news is that God never lets us go. As we become who God wants us to be, we strive for that delectable “aroma” that emanates from Christ to be the same aroma that goes forth through us for which others will take delight and be eternally drawn. Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8)! Thank you Linda T.
2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing…
Lent: Day 29 – Christians, God has given us ears to hear his voice, eyes to see his face (in the image of each other) and a mouth to proclaim his Word, which reveals his faithfulness and his steadfast love for us. In doing so we give praise glory and honor to his name. Christ continues to be lifted up and is revealed so that those who have not heard, seen nor speak his truth will come to believe. This is all that is required of us, our bodies. When we think of the benefit of peace, strength and courage that we are enduring as we journey in this life lived through Christ we can and will be assured that it is the one sacrifice worth making. Don’t be fooled by what the world values (burnt offerings). To give up material and physical pleasures means nothing, if we are not also willing to live for Christ in our bodies to the glory of God’s name. Praise be to God!
Luke 1:26-38 ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’
Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt-offering and sin-offering
you have not required.
I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.
Hebrews 10:4-10 ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me’…
Lent: Day 28 – Some strongholds can become so entrenched that all we can do is pray. Their goal is to limit or make ineffective our faith, conjuring up doubt and fear. Prayer is our direct communication to the one who bears, believes, hopes and endures all things on our own behalf. God’s love has absolute authority in all matters particularly those we simply cannot control. When we call on God in prayer we express our faith in his love and his will for our self and for others. God sees and knows what we cannot see or attempt to know. So we entrust our cries to him and let his steadfast love take over.
Exodus 2:23-3:13 But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’
Mark 9:14-29 ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ He said to them, ‘This kind can come out only through prayer.’
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 It (love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes.
Lent: Day 27 – How many times have we found our selves alone and “sitting by a well,” not realizing that in the well there is life-giving water? Even in his fear, God provided for Moses. We mistake a lot of things for love and we mistake love for a lot of things. Christ was despised, rejected, suffered death and was buried. In spite of all he endured, he simply loved them more. No matter our circumstance, we must be transformed by his love, not by what we think it is but rather by what we know and believe it to be according to God’s word. Then his resurrection will be our resurrection.
Exodus 2:1-22 Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid and thought, ‘Surely the thing is known.’ When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses.
Mark 9:2-13 …for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’
1 Corinthians 12:27-13:3 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way…if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
But you, O Lord, are enthroned for ever;
your name endures to all generations.
You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to favor it;
the appointed time has come.
Lent: Day 22 – All storms, famines and turmoil in our lives serve (intentionally or unintentionally) for the purpose of separating us from God’s Love, that being Jesus Christ. Abundant blessings can have a tendency to allow us to forget that attacks on God’s Love within us do exist. If we find ourselves struggling to endure them, Paul reminds us that even our biblical ancestors were blessed abundantly and yet struggled with fear and doubt. He also assures us that the guide, who led them out, is also our guide who will lead us to the way out and onto the peaceful side of those storms. What exactly is the way out? Jesus Christ within us is the way, the truth, and our life. We must be careful not to let our response to these attacks change who we are and forget that Christ within has not left us and will forever be with us when the storm passes over.
Genesis 47:27-48:7 Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the region of Goshen; and they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied exceedingly.
Mark 7:1-23 …‘there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.’
1 Corinthians 10:1-13 No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures for ever…
who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures for ever;…
It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
for his steadfast love endures for ever;…
O give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures for ever.
Lent: Day 21 – Who among us has not felt afraid? Our emotions, particularly fear overwhelms us. While trusting God is always an option it is usually the furthest thing from our irrational thinking. Even though God hears our cries, the reality is that there are storms, famines and turmoil we will just have to endure. But rest assured, take heart, when it feels as though Christ is not with us he is always waiting for us at the other side.
Mark 6:47-56 When evening came, the boat was out on the lake, and he was alone on the land. When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the lake. He intended to pass them by. …they thought it was a ghost and cried out;…. But immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’