Lent Questions Day 40

lent 2014

46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Luke 23:46

 

With what is Jesus asking you to trust into His hands?

 

With today being Resurrection Day, what connotes “good, new life” to you?

 

Now that Lent is over, how do you see that your prayer has changed? Fasting? Spiritual awareness?

 

What does Christ want you to do in this next season of life?

 

 

Lent Questions Day 39

lent 2014

30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30

What did Jesus mean when He said: “It is finished”?

 

With Easter one day away, how do you feel about your Lenten season? Will you finish well?

 

Is there anything which you have started that you did not complete?

 

How can you work on that?

 

What task is Christ desirous for you to complete?

 

As Lent ends tomorrow, what will you walk away thinking was the most memorable?

 

Was there anything extremely difficult about Lent for you? Anything easier?

 

What lesson will  you take from Lent this year that you feel is the most memorable or life-altering?

 

Lent Questions Day 38

lent 2014

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is,“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46

 

How have you felt abandoned? Alone? Desperate?

 

Where have you turned on those occasions? To whom or what have you looked to for peace, satisfaction, or relief?

 

Have you ever felt like God has turned His back on you?

 

Have you ever turned your back on God? Another?

 

How have you been crying out to God this Lent season? In what ways has God met you in your times of “abandonment”?

 

 

 

Christmust: Fear Is Not A Factor

 

I remember my early days as a follower of Jesus. I was as sincere as I could be, but oh how I feared that God was gonna zap me with a celestial lightening bolt out of rage toward some sin I committed. I remember my own bouts with doubt and fear that sometimes paralyzed me and would send me spiraling downward into a gulf of despair. Even though I’m older now, the fear of rejection and failure, among other things, can still find their way into the crevices of my heart.

These are some of the very reasons Jesus came. He came to demonstrate God’s immense love for us and toward us. He came to reveal a heart that was governed by love, not simply restrained in disgust. God sent His Son as a peace offering, hence “Peace on earth”. Now there was a way to have peace in our hearts, to be able to live at rest with ourselves and with God. Now we could live and love and be loved without reservation or hesitation.

Did you know that there are more than 365 times in the scripture where God tells His people to not be afraid or “fear not”? That’s one for each day of the year! Could it possible that God wants to deliver us from the fear that resides in each of us? Could it be that one of God’s greatest desires is for us to have a relationship with Him and others that celebrates unconditional love? Could it be that God has made a way for fear to not be a factor for us?

Of course we should have a reverence for God! God is holy. He is far and above all that any of us could ever fathom to know. Yet, He became one of us! He became tangible. He became personal. He became approachable in a different kind of way. Why? To eliminate our fears of death, rejection, failure, etc. He came to set us free.

Fear is no longer a factor because love has come to save us. Read Matthew 1:18. This tells us that Jesus is called “Jesus” for He will save us from our sins. Jesus came to seek and to save according to Luke 19:10. When fear causes to run and hide, as in the case of Adam and Eve, love comes after us! God does not want fear to be a factor in our lives.

Fear is no longer a factor for love is with us. Matthew 1:18 This paasage points out that not is His name “Jesus” but “Emmanuel”. When this is translated for us, it means: “God is with us”. In my mind this puts fear at bay in two ways:

1) We don’t have to fear anything because someone is with us. It’s always better to not be alone. It’s always great to face challenges and problems with someone else. Who better to have with us than God Himself?

2) We don’t have to fear because the One that we should really be afraid of has chosen us. Not only has He chosen us but He is for us, not against us! What a relief. It is amazing that this is part of what God is trying to convey through the Christmas story: that fear does not have to be a factor for us!

Fear is no longer a factor for us because love is here. Tenth Avenue North has a song called “Love is Here”. Let me encourage you to spend some time meditating on the song and lyrics this week.

Come to the waters, you who thirst and you’ll thirst no more.
Come to the father, you who work and you’ll work no more.
And all you who labor in vain and to the broken and shamed:

Love is here.
Love is now.
Love is pouring from
His hands, from his brows.
Love is near, it satisfies.
Streams of mercy flowing from his side.
Cuz love is here.

Come to the treasure, you who search and you’ll search no more.
Come to the lover you who want and you’ll want no more, no.
And all you who labor in vain and to the broken and shamed,

Yeah:

Love is here.
Love is now.
Love is pouring from his hands, from his brows.
Love is near, it satisfies.
Streams of mercy flowing from his side.

Yeah

And to the bruised and fallen,
Captives, bound, and broken hearted.

He is the lord
He is the lord,
Yeah

By his stripes he’s paid our ransom
From his wounds we drink salvation

He is the lord
He is the lord

Love is here.
Love is now.
Love is pouring from his hands, from his brows.
Love is near,
It satisfies.
Streams of mercy flowing from his side.
Streams of mercy flowing from his side.
Cuz love is here
Love is here.

It is my prayer that this week and this month, fear will no longer be a factor for you. May the presence of Christ be your greatest gift this holiday season.