As we prepare our hearts for Easter, many people are contemplating what sacrifice should they make to please God. Years ago I met a woman who made me laugh telling me that to prepare for Easter she was giving up “nagging her husband”. I guess after Easter the “nagging” was back on.
Some people fast or impose dietary restrictions during this time, and if those sacrifices are truly for God, then they will surely please Him. But if these dietary restrictions are motivated by desires for weight loss, then we may need to reflect more on how to please God. Are these sacrifices for us or for God?
What God wants the most from us is our hearts, truly contrite, desiring of His forgiveness:
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
The other thing God really wants from us is our TIME! God wants QUALITY TIME with us!
“Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10
Time is one of our most precious gifts we can give to God and to one another. Let’s ask ourselves how much time do we reserve exclusively for Jesus?
I encourage you as we journey towards Easter to carve out of your schedule some time to be alone with God. Maybe this will only occur at night when you have put your children to bed. Turn down the lights, light a candle and listen to your Lord Jesus speak to your soul. Be so very quiet that you can hear your heart beating, for that’s where He lives, inside your heart.
Silence can sometimes feel uncomfortable, but ultimately we discover the sweet peace and quiet of feeling the awesome presence of God in the stillness of the moment dedicated solely to Him.
Allow God’s gentle, powerful presence to speak to your soul. Trust in God and give Him your heart broken by sorrow for your sins. Ask God to help you to reflect on your choices – what are you doing that pleases God; what are you doing that offends Him; what are you not doing that God would desire you to do. Be confident that God loves you so deeply! God wants to forgive all your sins and help you to become the person of dignity and honour He knows you can be if you follow Him.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
In the stillness of your quiet moments with God, I urge you to do this: see your Saviour Jesus Christ crucified for your sins!
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
It took many years for me to meditate upon the Passion of Christ. I will admit that I was afraid to think about Jesus being tortured and killed for me.
An Important Question for you to consider as we journey towards Easter:
Can we properly honour Jesus if we don’t remember every day the great suffering He endured to save us?
Jesus is calling you to listen to Him:
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Is there someone you need to forgive? Are you burdened by the hurt someone has caused you?
Let Jesus heal your heart by helping you to forgive, for forgiveness is freedom, freedom from the grudge, from the anger, from the pain and the disappointment caused when someone betrays and hurts us.
Perhaps it’s the ultimate human error to want to be forgiven by Jesus, but not to be willing to forgive one another.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7
In the stillness of our quiet contemplation, let us give ourselves completely to Jesus. Let’s repent and give Him the trust He so desires. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2
God has a plan for us, but we will not discover that plan unless we spend quiet time with Our Lord Jesus listening for His inspiration and reflecting on His will.
God loves you and He wants to talk to your heart. Dedicate some quality, quiet time to God and listen to His voice guiding you to know His will.
Peace be with you! Enjoy your quiet time with Our Saviour Jesus Christ! Pray that God helps you to become the person He wants you to be and pray for others too. So many souls are separated from the love of God. Let’s come together as One Body of Christ everyday at 3pm (in our local time zones) for 3pm is the time Our Lord Jesus died for us on the Cross. Let’s give God glory by remembering His holy sacrifice. At 3pm (in your local time zone or another time zone that works for you), let’s unite in prayer and contemplation on the Passion of Christ (if but for a few moments). Jesus suffered so much for us, let’s unite to give Him glory, to thank Him for His infinite sacrifice of love and to pray for all souls, especially those most in need of God’s mercy!