The Lenten period is here with us again, and I am happy, proud and excited to participate in this year’s Lenten period. The Lenten period has become something I look forward to every year because of my Lent Testimony from three years ago (read it here: https://kaessuman.com/2016/04/02/my-lent-testimony/). However, as believers, we should treat every passing day as the Lenten period and not wait for the period to draw close to God. We should seek to draw closer to God everyday and in everything we do.
For those reading and thinking, “what is Lent,” allow me to try and explain what it is. Lent is a 40-day period in the Christian calendar, just before Easter, where Christians are expected to fast and pray and be charitable before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. During the Lenten period Christians wait on God; they seek God and draw closer to God.
There are many Biblical references for lent but the most pertinent of them all is that which Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights before beginning His ministry on earth. In Matthew 4, we are told that Jesus was led into the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights; after which He was tempted by the tempter (Satan) and when He overcame Satan’s temptation, angels came and ministered to Him and He begun His ministry thereafter. So during the 40 days Lenten period, we fast and wait on God to give us the strength and grace to overcome temptation. We must also be charitable and give to those who are less privileged or who are in need.
This year’s Ash Wednesday falls on Independence Day. May I encourage you to consider it as independence from sin and all its consequences as we enter the 2019 Lenten period. God bless us all!
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32 NLT
People who tell lies live in bondage because they are subject to the lie they told. They always have to remember the lie and make it consistent with subsequent events. When they are caught, they tell another lie to cover up the first lie and on and on until they are unable to tell anymore lies and the truth is revealed. The guilt they carry when they tell a lie keeps them in a mental and emotional prison – bondage.
There are also people who have no guilt when they tell lies because they tell lies so effortlessly. Those people don’t even know that they are in bondage. The ignorance of bondage in itself is bondage.
But then there is something about the truth. When you tell the truth you carry no burden of guilt. You walk around with a free and clear conscience. You don’t have to think about consistency with subsequent event because the truth is one. No one can change the truth. The truth indeed sets you free.
The truth in this verse, however, goes beyond that. It is the truth about salvation – that Jesus Christ came to die for ALL sinners and reconcile us to the Father. Jesus Christ is the truth (not Paul Pierce lol). In John 14:6, He said that He is the way, the TRUTH, and the light. When we know Jesus, He sets us free from bondage.
I pray that you will know the truth today, so that you shall be set free. Have a blessed day!
“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” – 1 John 4:10
This Lenten season is full of LOVE. God wants to reminds us of His love for us. That is the real love. The kind of love where sent God sent His ONLY Son to come and die for us so that we could be reconciled to Him. Do you get it? I mean, imagine using your last 5 Cedis to buy medicine that saves a child, at the expense of your lunch. That sacrifice is what God appreciates and sees as real love. As we pray and fast during this Lenten season, let us show real love to all those who need it.
There is a reason why this year, #AshWednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, falls on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is a day set aside by the world to celebrate love. Meanwhile, in Christianity, love is the greatest of all and should be shown to everyone and in everything we do.
I believe that in this Lent season, we are to demonstrate love to everyone in the world; that is why I do not believe it is a coincidence that Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day.
The verse for the day on BibleGateway.com is John 13:34-35, and states: “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
The verse of the day on the YouVersion Bible App is from 1 Corinthians 13:13, which states: “Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.“
I encourage you this Lent season to be loving in your fasting, praying and giving. Let the world see that God lives in us and therefore love lives in us; for love is of God.
I leave you with the words of the Hymnist (MHB 444), “Beloved, let us love: for love is of God; in God alone love has its true abode.”
So tomorrow is a day of perfection and completion. It is Covenant Sunday in the Methodist Church and also the first Sunday of 2018. I encourage you to sow a great seed of sacrifice because, you see, 7 means perfection and I feel the Lord saying that He will perfect everything that He has started in our lives this year.
But that’s not the only reason why I am encouraging you to sow a great seed of sacrifice. I am also encouraging you because there are some very serious spiritual benefits when you make a covenant with God and keep your side of the bargain because God will always keep His side of the covenant.
Let me share a testimony with you. Last year, I made a covenant with God during the Covenant Service at the Methodist Church of Resurrection, Kpeehe in Accra. I used God’s word (Genesis 17:1-2 and Exodus 23:25) as the basis for my covenant. I even wrote these verses at the back of the cheque that I wrote as my sacrifice. During the sermon, the Holy Spirit possessed a lady, who rose to her feet and started prophesying in Fante. I knew immediately that it was the Holy Spirit that was speaking through her because of the kind of things the lady was saying. She prophesied that the Lord will see us through the year 2017, and this is the part that stood out for me. She said, “Yes, there may be challenges but know that I, the Lord your God, has already overcome those challenges.” I felt she was talking to me at that time.
I remember this incident vividly because I wrote the account in my journal and added, “In 2017, I know the Lord will make me flourish for His own sake.” I can say boldly that this prophecy came to pass because for me 2017 was a great year of testimony of God’s providence in my life, and yes, He made me flourish for His own sake. Oh, and there were challenges but He kept reminding me that He has overcome them so why am I worried.
So tomorrow I am going to renew my covenant with God, and also ask Him to perfect every good thing He has started in my life. I am ready for another year of testimony in 2018. Are you?