LED BY THE SPIRIT INTO LENT
"...because he loves me...I will rescue him..." Psalm 91:1 (what has happened to all the obligations of religiosity)
"...so the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with miraculous signs and wonders..." (Deuteronomy 26:8)
"'...because he loves me,' says the Lord, 'I will rescue him...I will protect him, because he acknowledges my name...He will call upon me, and I will answer him...I will be with him in trouble...I will deliver him and honor him...with long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation...' " (Psalm 91:14-15)
"...if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved...for it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved..." (Romans 10:9-10)
"...Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.." (Luke 4:1-13)
PRAYER FOR LENT
Dear Lord God,
On this occasion we take a breathe of fresh air and, with fullness of heart, submit to your Lordship. It's because you are worthy, and our utmost trust is in you, your beloved Son, and the Spirit. We want to become more like your beloved Son. We want to develop the resolution, vision, and strength Jesus had. In the process, we need to be ourselves, not lose track of our unique identity, and come on as authentic persons---yet redeemed.
We readily submit! In fact, we surrender. We withhold nothing from you, dear Lord! Totally forgive us all our sins. Renew and cleanse us inside and out. Make us ready as prayer warriors to do sacred battle with the Evil One, and yet, not lose track of being in the world, and yet, not of the world.
Lord, take possession of our total being. In upcoming days, incline our hearts to your indwelling presence, speaking to the deepest part of who we are...and who we can be.
Help us to slow down sufficiently to be able to clearly hear your voice...to take full advantage of the very reason we---intellect, heart and soul---can fully honor you, while we focus in on your gentle means to draw us near.
As we like to be treated, help us to treat others likewise...
We promise to set aside things we normally would put first---to reflect upon your divine nature and our human condition---and allow you access to our inmost being. We need transformation.
What is it, Lord, you have been trying to communicate with us? Thank you, Lord, for loving us and inviting us to share in your great salvation, yes, your call to our lives that we may be agents of divine compassion. We ready ourselves for the journey.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
It's right there in plain sight...right there in Saint Paul's Letter to the Romans... chapter 10 and verse 9...if you confess with your mouth..."Jesus is Lord"...and believe in your heart that God the Father raised Him from the dead...you will be saved.
We get it, Lord. We want to be saved and we need to be saved. We are grateful for blessed "security" provided us by the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself as a perfect, sufficient sacrifice to save us all from our sins...yes, many...
Lord, we accept your kind offer. We acknowledge our sin, and God the Father will take it all from us for the sake of His Son. Jesus died for what we should have been punished for. We need not suffer any longer for the pain, many times, we have caused to others and to ourselves.
A good, powerful confession along the way clears the deck for us...smooth sailing for a brilliant, eventful future...
We can start anew. The horizon is bright for us because of Jesus and what He did for us, what He can still do for us...daily...for eternity...
Our response will be no "dry" acceptance.
We truly love you for accomplishing what we could not accomplish by or for ourselves... the salvation of our souls...a worthwhile life... a comfortable dwelling place in everlasting life...
Obviously there are only two conditions to recognize in getting right with God and receiving the assurance of eternal life:
As Lord Yahweh through Moses brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt... As Ezra and Nehemiah brought the Jews out of bondage in Babylon to Jerusalem... the Lord brings us out of our bondage to possessions, addiction, selfishness, fame, greed, foolishness, self-centeredness, food, endless entertainment---whatever---into a life of service to humanity, precious relationships with other believers, loving relationships with non-believers, and the blessed assurance that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
I can do nothing but praise God for the powerful comments of Saint Paul in that tenth chapter of his letter to the Romans. It has been a saving grace for me and for millions over the centuries.
May the peace of the Lord touch your heart.
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Rev Sue Ann Yarbrough