About You

You are LOVED by God. There is nothing you can do, or can't do to make him love you more or less. He loves you because he loves you. Because you are His child.

More then your past
Worth it
A treasure
You matter.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rituals for lent.

I hope this post is of the Lord.  I pray it is. There were some other things that I read this morning that I thought God was speaking to me about. Matter a fact, I know he was speaking to me about them. Although, I thought he was showing me something for my bible study group, and that it could be a post for a different day.  I saved the info with book marks in my bible. I shared before that we are doing a study on Craving God instead of craving food, which in essence, could be about anything, about craving anything more then God.
Today I saw a few comments on face book about people giving up things for Lent. This got me thinking, and praying. Let me state something really clearly here, I know I am not perfect. I have many faults, I am a sinner, and I need Jesus to forgive me and guide me and lead me.  I hope this post doesn't make anyone upset, but if it does, I'm sorry and I'm not trying to "start" anything. lol..
For some reason, when this time of year rolls around, I get a little bit "irked" with rituals. Or maybe I should say people that just live by rituals, people that do things because that's what the church does, or because that's what they were taught to do.
I see people saying that they are giving up this or that for lent, or that they can't eat meat on Fridays, only fish, and then I think, what about the rest of the year? What about how you live your life every other single day? Do you think God doesn't care about that?  God doesn't only want you to live for him at lent time. He doesn't want you to give up things at all if your heart isn't in it. If you give up chocolate for lent, just because it's lent, that means nothing to God. Nothing. If you are doing it because you want to please him, and you love him, and want to live everyday of your life for him, that's different.  If you are advertising that you are giving up something for lent, you are doing it for show, for people's approval, not for God.  Are you observing rituals or do you have love in your heart for God? Are you giving up baked goods but then having sex without being married? Are you giving up face book but then cheating on your spouse? Giving up things for God isn't just for lent.

 This morning my daily devotional led me to the book of Galatians.
 I started in Gal 5:16~ So I say, live by the spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
 Gal 5:19-21~  When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,  idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,  envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
In the commentary it says this~ Those who ignore such sins or refuse to deal with them reveal that they have not received the gift of the spirit that leads to a transformed life.
Another ouch.

So, the bible study we are doing is basically about Idolatry.  Anything that we put before God, is more important to us then God, maybe we feel we can't give it up or live without it, it's an Idol to us. That's idolatry. So for me, yeah, food is an idol and I need to watch how much I eat and don't be a glutton.
Sometimes I have selfish ambition, I put myself and my own needs before others needs, like my kids, or my husband, or Friends.  So yes, I sure am a sinner, and i need to repent of these things and try not to live by my flesh. The next verses are the fruit of the spirit~
Galatians 5:22-25~
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

The commentary says this- If we want the fruit of the spirit to grow in us, we must join our lives to his. We must know him, love him, remember him and imitate him.

So what does that mean? I need to spend more time with God. Read my bible more, pray more, sit at his feet more and listen to him. I can't muster up the fruit of the spirit by myself. I need Jesus for that.

I guess my thought is, we need to give up things for God everyday of the year, and because we love him, because he sacrificed his son for us so we don't go to hell. If something is an idol for you, you should work on giving that up everyday, not just for lent.  Don't give up something for lent and advertise it to impress people of this world, God is not impressed.
Maybe instead of giving up something, give him something. Give him some of your time, spend some time with him, read his word, get to know him.  Prepare your heart for Easter by getting to know your Savior.

1 comment:

Lori Mueller said...

I totally agreed with your words--every day should be a "what can I do for you today god" and "how can I serve you better through my actions?" Rituals with 1/2 meaning or "because that is what we are suppose to do, is not the way to glorify god. Food is an evil to many, but it doesn't have to be. Our bodies need food to live, we do not need to live for food.
Amen Amy--God's blessing for your cancer free scan!!