Fair are the meadows, fair are the woodlands, robed in the flowers of blooming spring; Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer; He makes our sorrowing spirit sing. "Beautiful Savior" author unknown
The word Lent comes from an Old English word for Spring (“lengten,” the time of the year when the days grow longer). For the last 1700 years, the Church has set aside the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter as a time of special preparation. It is a time of repentance and renewal. Our theme and weekly topics throughout this Lenten season capture the fact that at its essence, Christianity is about serious matters that make an eternal difference.
Get serious about temptation
Each of us battles with temptation every day, and the results are too obvious to mention. Oftentimes, we succumb to temptation simply because we don’t take it seriously. Christ was no stranger to temptation, either. He battled, yet was without sin. Through faith, we claim his righteous as our own. This message of victory gives us confidence as we journey through the wilderness of sin in true repentance. It empowers us to give temptation the serious consideration it deserves.
Christ faced serious opposition and so will you
At the heart of Scripture is a message that says to be saved, you must accept how completely flawed you are… embrace the reality that because of your weaknesses and sins, a good man had to die. Moreover, Scripture calls us to leave behind those sins that caused Christ’s death, engaging in sincere, daily repentance… denying the desires of our sinful flesh. Sinful man hates everything about that message. Therefore, it is not surprising that throughout history, believers have faced serious opposition. Jeremiah faced it. Jesus faced it. We shall face it too, if we heed Christ’s call.
Take God’s call to repentance seriously
Repentance is more than being sorry. It is being sorry for the right things. One who is repentant is not sorry they got caught. They are not sorry about the fact their reputation may now be tarnished, or that there may be consequences for their wrong actions. The seriously repentant soul is sorry that he did anything against the will of a God who has been nothing but good and gracious. So the seriously repentant individual now struggles to produce “fruits of repentance,” avoiding the sins that caused the death of our beloved Jesus.
God is serious about forgiveness
Lent shows us that God is serious about punishing sin. You look at the cross, and you can conclude nothing other! But the cross also shows us that God is serious about forgiving sin, too. It is a forgiveness so great, it almost seems recklessly foolish. God forgives those who least deserve it by instead punishing the One who has done nothing wrong for the sins of others. This morning, Jesus tells us a parable that teaches the astonishing depth of the Father’s serious desire to forgive.
Taking God’s Son lightly is a serious mistake
When it comes to Jesus, there really are only two options. You can reject his claim that he is the Son of God, thinking him either a lunatic or a liar. If that is the case, then just be done with Jesus entirely. However, if you believe that he truly is the Son of God and your Savior, then you need to take him and his Word seriously. You must build your life entirely upon him. To believe he is the Son of God but make him a small part of your life — that is not an option acceptable to God or commensurate with true faith. Taking God’s Son lightly is a serious mistake.
Jesus took your salvation very seriously
Throughout this season of Lent, we have seen that we do not often take our faith or our Savior various seriously. We often make Christianity a part of our lives, when it is convenient for us. How different Jesus’ approach! He takes our salvation very seriously! We see that so clearly on Palm Sunday. He humbly enters Jerusalem, fulfilling the prophecy and knowing he was marching to his death. But he went gladly and willingly, because he was serious about your salvation. May his love move you to seriously love him back.
At 720 Old Trolley Road in Summerville Sunday worship is at 10:30 am with Christ Light for Kids and Bible Class at 9:15 am.
At 134 Foxbank Plantation Boulevard in Moncks Corner Sunday worship is at 10:30 am with Christ Light for Kids and Bible Class at 9:15 am.