Season of Repentance

The Coming Season of Repentance 

2 Timothy 2:21 

     Do you have problems dealing with sin? Now I assume that most of you reading this haven’t committed murder or robbed a bank or anything that most people would consider big, but most of us have had issues with anger, lust, envy, greed, selfishness, stubbornness or any number of things that cause inter-relational stress. We indulge ourselves in these actions or thoughts because…well … we maybe really want to indulge in them. Or perhaps we think that well they really aren’t too bad, and God will forgive them. After all I am saved by grace. And that is true, we are saved by grace.     Fred Smith, a great Christian leader, once said “You are the way you are because that’s the way you want to be. If you really wanted to be any different, you would be in the process of changing right now.” Take a second and ask yourself is that you? Are you hanging on to the sinful things in your life because you really don’t want to change? You kind of enjoy their pleasure and company?     And Randy Alcorn, of eternal perspective ministry wrote, “Any concept of grace that makes us feel more comfortable sinning is not biblical grace. God’s grace never encourages us to live in sin, on the contrary, it empowers us to say no to sin and yes to truth.”     Too often we see grace as an out that allows us to do nothing about our sins. I don’t have any easy answers to help us in this area. In fact, I realize that rooting sin, particularly those that we have grown comfortable with, is not an easy task. But as John R. W. Stott wrote “Sin and the child of God are incompatible. They may occasionally meet; they cannot live together in harmony.” But the first step is recognizing that it is sin and taking it in penitence to God. This is what the season of Lent is about.     I know that Lent is not something most Evangelical Protestant Churches practice, but I believe it has value for us all. Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. The Lenten season is a time when many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ—his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial, and resurrection. Please notice the underlined words, fasting and repentance and self-denial is what we do and while doing this we reflect on Christ’s sacrifice and death. Lent is a period of 46 days that begin on Ash Wednesday. Many count it as a 40 Day period of time because the Sundays are celebrations of the Resurrection, reflecting Easter Sunday when Christ arose.     I am calling you to participate this year in practicing this period of sacrifice and moderation as we consider our sins and the death of Christ for those sins. On March 6, we will have an Ash Wednesday service here at the church at 6:00 PM to begin this time. On April 19 we will hold a Good Friday Service at 6:00 PM in preparation for our Sunrise and Easter Celebrations on April 21. Let us do as Paul recommended to Timothy: Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Timothy 2:21 

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