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roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 A Lenten Journey to Blessing


Matt 25:15
“To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, to another one talent, each according to his ability.”

2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” NIV


Imagine your neighbour: Day after day she comes over and begs you for a scrap of bread. Yet you know that she has a fine stash of food supplies in her basement. You’ve donated it to her. In fact, you’ve given her a generous supply of everything she could ever need for a rich, meaningful life. But she’s storing all those items in totes; never opened; never examined; never used. You grieve as you watch this neighbour remain undernourished and unproductive. This woman represents all those professing Christians who, in their impoverished, defeated condition, perpetually ask God for the very things that they can possess in abundance IN CHRIST. Such prayers do not arise out of faith, but out of unbelief.

I am speaking about a grave sin, one which we must not take lightly. Jesus didn’t! After all, our rich inheritance cost Him His life; and our failure to embrace it has severe consequences. Consider Jesus’s parable of the unmerciful servant who gets thrown into prison for withholding mercy from his debtor, even though mercy had been given to him. Consider the servant whose talent was confiscated because he buried it rather than investing it. Scripture contains an abundance of such sobering warnings. It’s important that we know what gifts we have received IN CHRIST– and use them!

Regrettably, I myself fail to fully apprehend the provisions of Him “who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing IN CHRIST.” Eph. 1:3 Oh - how I need to know and grasp our inheritance IN CHRIST – and use the gifts more effectively. After all, this is our Lord’s command! Indeed, it is our high calling. It is to put on the armour of God, to abide in our risen Lord, to rejoice in the Lord, to make every effort to add to our faith goodness … and so forth. To shun God’s gifts through salvation is to refuse to walk in the Light, to hide it under a bushel, or to bury the Master’s gift. Let us remember that “we have this treasure in jars of clay” to show that this all-surpassing power is from God, and not from us”. 2 Cor. 4:7

In this Lenten season I invite you to join me in a two-fold journey of repentance:
1) To resolve to unpack our rich inheritance IN HIM, and
2) to use it - for our well-being, to bless others, and bring glory to God.

As you see here, I have begun tapping into an avalanche of scriptures that say essentially this same thing over and over again. As you discover other scriptures, feel free to share them with me.

Prayer:
Lord, work in our lives till we want nothing more than what you have provided us IN CHRIST – as revealed through Word and Spirit – that we may be filled to the measure of the fullness of God –that Your kingdom may come and Your name may be hallowed through our lives.

DE


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Diane

 2014/3/15 12:07Profile
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Joined: 2005/5/2
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 Re: A Lenten Journey to Blessing

In this reading I’m not merely referring to the promises of temporal provisions, or of spiritual gifts for ministry. I’m speaking of provisions that transform us from the inside - such as God’s joy, grace, and above all, the power of His Spirit.

What do we possess IN CHRIST which can help us live increasingly effective in our calling? Our ability to know this requires diligent focused effort. Oswald Chambers wrote:

“We must continually take stock of what is ours in Christ Jesus because only in that way will we understand what God intends us to be.”

We'll also need to take stock of all that distracts our minds. A distraction I would list is the preoccupation with specks in other people’s eyes. It’s congesting clutter in the closets of our minds.

Diane


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Diane

 2014/4/2 9:39Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
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 Re:

What's a Lenten? Is it some sort of Japanese Lantern?


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Dave

 2014/4/2 9:51Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
What is Lent?



Good question! According to church tradition, Lent is the season prior to Easter. It's seven or so weeks long. During this season the focus is on repentance.

Of course, this can deteriorate into silly promises and rituals that do little to draw the heart back to God and to the resurrected Christ. Maybe that's why some churches abandon the tradition.

My aim is to restore the meaning and purpose of Lent - for those who observe the tradition. Personally, I see "Lent" as a life long process of repentance. But this discipline tends to go by the wayside, and so holding intentional seasons of Lent is not a bad idea.

Heyday, Do you think my reading is helpful in this regard?


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Diane

 2014/4/2 10:39Profile









 Re: Diane

Dear sister I think your reading is helpful. Very nicely explains the reason for Lent. Thank you for sharing.

Blaine

 2014/4/2 10:46
MaryJane
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Joined: 2006/7/31
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 Re:

Greetings Diana

Lent (Latin: Quadragesima - English: Fortieth) is a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar of many Christian denominations that begins on Ash Wednesday and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Day. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial. This event, along with its pious customs are observed by Christians in the Anglican, Reformed, Lutheran, Methodist, and Roman Catholic traditions.[1][2][3] Today, some Anabaptist and evangelical churches also observe the Lenten season.

_______________

The scripture that comes to mind at first reading and the idea of taking part in "LENT" is Mark 7:13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

The RCC focuses on the idea of Lent and its traditions, the idea of repentance and penance. This tradition has its roots in a works base notion that I don't believe is really good for us. I don't believe we need to be about following traditions, we just need to be open every moment of each day living unto JESUS. If we would concern ourselves with HIS KINGDOM, take up our cross and follow after HIM then there would be no need to look to man made rituals and traditions...

God bless
maryjane

 2014/4/2 10:52Profile









 Re:

I have come to learn in my walk with the Lord that many Christians who are not former Catholics don't understand how repugnant Catholic traditions can be to former Catholics (who have been born-again). And to be sure, not all former Catholics are repulsed but many are. The Catholic church has created many schemes to fool their "faithful" into believing the RCC has a rich history of spirituality and that no other Christian religion possesses what they have.

As a former Catholic and one, now born of the spirit I am responsible for being receptive to the Holy Spirit, daily, actually minute by minute.

This is not a condemnation to anyone that utilizes the Lenten season or any tradition for heartfelt spirituality. I believe God sees the heart and judges righteously. This is a personal testimony of one that has been freed from the RCC traditions to walk with a dynamic, living Lord, each day, endeavoring to rely on His Spirit alone. This is not a statement of superiority at all as I have gone on record many times to caution against comparing ourselves among ourselves and that we are all nothing without Christ.

May you all be blessed with more of Him, whether you observe religious traditions or not. It is very obvious that some traditions blessed people in a wonderful way as a guide to inward spirituality. It is not a sin to observe outward traditions as long as your inward man is one with Christ. A tradition is only bad when it takes you away from Christ as your Head, your Lord and your King.

 2014/4/2 11:45
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
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 Re:

Roadsign,

I guess you know I was just 'joshing' with you. No ill well meant. What your wrote was good!

It's just the whole thing of Lent that I don't connect with. I was brought up in the CofE (Anglican) church and in the main it is a dead religion. Most people I heard about gave up such trivial things as chocolate or candy for lent. So I don't like such traditions. I don't even much care for Easter, Good Friday etc, as even the Evangelical churches become all religious during this time. We should be focusing on the death and resurrection of Christ ALL year.
But for those who do use it and find blessing that's fine.


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Dave

 2014/4/2 12:17Profile
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

It’s interesting to see the various comments. I wasn't expecting the word “Lenten” to draw attention to religious tradition in itself. In that sense, my title is a bit of a bunny trail. My goal was to use the word strategically in a context where Lent is observed. But where that is not the case – as here, it can be a distraction.

My question for you: If you read my article, bypassing this odd-ball word “Lenten”, how would it's message resonate with you?



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Diane

 2014/4/2 23:28Profile
MaryJane
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Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re: A Lenten Journey to Blessing

Greetings Diane

I thought what you had written was well said. We should share the things of JESUS with others and be faithful servants. There have been many occasions when I have failed to walk in the things that HE has shown me, times I repent of. I pray for the strength to live and walk each day unto HIM regardless of what is happening around me because as you said I do believe it is important to the LORD and what is important to HIM should be to me as well.

My issue or conflict in the spirit came in when I read this part of your post:In this Lenten season I invite you to join me in a two-fold journey of repentance:
1) To resolve to unpack our rich inheritance IN HIM, and
2) to use it - for our well-being, to bless others, and bring glory to God.


As a former RC I have no desire to take part in the traditions of the RCC. I have seen what following Lent means to other Catholics around me, the teachings of reflections and penance. The idea of sacrifice and good works all with the thought that I can some how earn God's favor and my salvation. Catholics are taught that there is no assurance of going to Heaven to be with the LORD. Rather the teaching is if your good enough, do enough of the right things, and come to church, take part in Lent, Ash Wednesday, Easter Sunday as well as other Holy Days then God might accept you. This is why I do not follow after that tradition any longer, its to easy to get caught up in thinking I can add a list of good deeds and works to my life's journey instead of place my complete trust and faith in the work HE did on the cross and continues to do in my life daily. Praying and seeking HIM to help me live a righteous life is something I want and need to be doing every day not just for a forty day period each year.(Edit: not saying you were advocating that either. Just clarify the conflict I had :)

God bless
mj

 2014/4/3 8:29Profile





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