“Repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15
Fasting from our flesh and world to feast on the Word and Person of God – Jesus Christ.
Today, Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance. True repentance results in a change of mind and heart, and ultimately a change in action. When one “repents” he “turns away” from previous sinful behaviors and seeks salvation & restoration from God. “Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of mourning and repentance to God.” (Wikipedia) Today (really any day one can get serious about seeking God!!) Christians all over the world are called to mourn for their sinful state, turn away from their sins and to the living God. (Matt 5:4) It is a day to get serious and examine our hearts before God. King David wrote, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24) In the New Testament we see an example of true repentance when Peter weeps after coming to his realization of his own rejection of Jesus. (Luke 22:62) Do we not reject Christ daily when neglect Him? Do we not reject God when we live consumed with ourselves and our selfish ways?
I believe this act of repentance is in direct contrast with our pleasure seeking, self indulgent culture. It’s not fun and it’s not an easy thing to do. True repentance is a gift from God. I pray that God would have mercy on us and open our eyes to our true states. That He would show us our need for repentance and lead us to Himself. “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2)
As we enter this season of Lent 2011, I pray that God would pour down His righteousness and awaken His people. May we not merely go through the motions! Let’s own our faith, read His Word, and follow Him.
“You will seek and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
“Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessings and praise. You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their hose, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the lost of heaven worships you. You are the LORD…” Nehemiah 9
Bible (the whole thing, can start with the book of John or Romans)
Radical, Taking back your faith from the American Dream, by David Platt
Let the Nations Be Glad, John Piper