guilt, sacrifice, desires, life & peace

Over these last few days before Easter, I’m going to use The Mom’s
devotionals from last year’s Lent, mixing some of them together and
paraphrasing. (She was simply making comments and sharing from other
people’s devotionals.)

To start, there is a caution for being guilty about guilt…

“One can look inward so much that there is no looking outward–in other
words, being far too absorbed with oneself to think of others. We are
looking at ourselves instead of to God.”

With that caution, here is The Mom’s “Reasons for ‘giving up’ things for
Lent”, with an added note that we don’t expect everyone to follow this
practise, it’s a personal thing that changes in every situation.  In
fact, ‘we’ didn’t give up anything while we were away in Florida.
(Well–maybe they ‘gave up’ dieting!)

   “My reasons for ‘giving up’ something(s) for Lent:

  • Helps me identify, though in a VERY small way, with Christ’s suffering (“I am crucified with Christ..”)
  • I can identify, again in a VERY small way, with Christians who suffer persecution (or those who are suffering in any way)–and thereby be inspired to pray for them more fervently
  • Prepares me to experience (and remember) the joy and life that comes at Easter, when the time of Lenten sacrificing is over
  • Encourages me to find that it is possible to conquer certain carnal desires
  • Failure reminds me that it’s not possible to conquer without God’s help
  • Reminds me of just how little I can do on my own, without His help

Also, if I become accustomed to satisfying every material want, I will be less likely to exercise restraint in any area of my life.  So practise is always good.”     

  “If our minds are ruled by our desires, we will die.  But if our  minds are ruled by the Spirit, we will have life and peace.” (Romans 8:6, CEV)


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