Create in Me a Clean Heart

Does it take you some time to get your house ready for an important guest?  Maybe someone of importance is coming over or someone you love tremendously and you want everything to be perfect.  I know for me it takes days to prepare.  Things that are usually skipped are squeaky clean.  My oven sparkles like new even though no one is going to open the door to check.  Sound familiar?

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The same is true for getting our heart, soul, and mind prepared for Easter.  This time of preparation is called Lent and begins today on Ash Wednesday.  This is the first day many people from something.  It can be a food or drink such as candy or coffee, but it also could be a bad habit such as gossiping or complaining.

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Lent is a time of reflection and self sacrifice.  We deny ourselves or give something up to remind ourselves of what Jesus gave up for us.  Ours is a small token compared to the suffering and torture endured by Jesus.  Scripture tells us that when we fast it should be between us and God.  We shouldn’t boast about it.

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Lent is a time to draw close to God, to worship Him, and to repent of our wrongdoings.  Like Spring it is a time of newness.  We get rid of our dirt and cleanse ourselves with God’s help.  Ask Him to help us have a clean heart.  On Easter we celebrate our rebirth, our new selves.  Hopefully our transformation will last.

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I hope you have an amazing Lenten Season as you prepare yourself for Easter and the beautiful gift of salvation the  Lord has for anyone that just asks.  He is such a gracious, loving Father.  If you don’t know Him, I urge you to contact a minister and find out more.  He is so worth it.

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Ash Wednesday Thoughts

It is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, a time of reflection and preparation.  Just as Jesus took forty days to do that in the dessert, Lent gives us those days to spend before Easter Resurrection Sunday preparing our hearts, minds, and souls.

After researching it, I found what I already knew to be true.  There is no mention of Ash Wednesday or Lent in the Bible.  We are not commanded to observe either.  However, we are to observe communion.  Taking bread and wine/juice in remembrance of Christ’s body and blood that was beaten and shed for our salvation.

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What love He had to do that!  Unfathomable, uneverlasting, pure love.  Mind-blowing love.  I can read about it and see movies, but I am certain it was much worse that I can ever imagine.  What about you?

Thinking about Ash Wednesday brings me full circle to creation.  Reading the account again in Genesis, I am awed at God’s power to mold and shape man in His own image and then breathe life into him.  Do you feel that way, too?  Think about it.  We are made from dirt, but after Almighty God fills us with His breath then we come alive!  Miraculous.

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“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”   Genesis 2:7  Genesis 3:19 says “for dust you are and to dust you shall return” reminding us that this body is temporary.

Even though we do not read about Ash Wednesday or Lent, the Bible does mention ashes and dust in several times. Ashes and dust represent human frailty, suffering, sorrow, and mourning.

The ashes used in Ash Wednesday services are normally from the previous year’s Palm Sunday’s services.  Taking the palms of joy welcoming King Jesus and turning them into ashes because of what was done to Him for us is one reason this is done.

Do you use Lent to prepare for Resurrection Sunday?  Are you fasting to remind you to pray and grow closer to Jesus?  Some churches participate while others don’t.  Same with people.  It is a personal choice.  Personally, I think it is good to stay close to Jesus every single day.

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