Give Up

Give Up

Why giving up chocolate isn’t enough.

Ok, so maybe in my carb craving mind it is indeed a huge choice to give up….as I am quite literally sitting here snacking on a chocolate covered macaroon.  Two days before Lent and my mind immediately goes to the need to give this habit up. This year, I want us to consider this season and what it means to us and what it may mean to God.

The season begins with Ash Wednesday, a day many “give up” something for Lent, but what is another word for “give up”? Sacrifice. What did Jesus do? He sacrificed himself for mankind.

Have you considered giving up or sacrificing something?

I remember the days when I would give up chocolate…and thought that was indeed a sacrifice and I miserably failed at it! 

Thinking back on those “sacrifices” I made (and many never completed), I realized they were done not for Him but for me. I gave up things because they were bad for me or I wanted something in return – like to get healthy. With that also came this realization  –  God has never made a promise and not kept it.  Ugh! How guilty can I be of unkept promises each Lent!

Be encouraged to spend time and think on what your gift of sacrifice can be for Him; yes, give up something of yourself, just as Jesus gave up of himself.

You might be asking what part of myself can I give up? What about some of your Time, Talent and Treasure?  Things like: committing to start each day with prayer, or Bible reading, commit a random act of kindness each day, or serve a local charity, even increase your giving to the local church is an option of how you can sacrifice for Christ.  Just using our time, talents and treasures for His glory and not our own is a step in His direction. God wants a relationship with us and what better gift can we give than ourselves.

Give up
Give up to the One who gave it all

Be compelled to commit to the One who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf; for we would never be able to sacrifice enough, nor humble ourselves enough, to ever earn our way into His presence. Whatever it is, be sure your reason for your sacrifice is not for you but for the sake of Him who called us to be His own by His shed blood.

I would love the opportunity to see how you plan to sacrifice this Lenten season.   When you share your commitment in the comments,  I will commit to praying over you this Lent.

With the Love of Christ, 

JoAnn

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Love At First Sight

Love At First Sight

Divine providence and prayer, sounds kind of wonky if you don’t believe in a supernatural being – but it’s a good thing God is not a make believe character In a fairy tale.

Looking through the story of Rebekah and Isaac we see God’s mighty hand aligning the events from promises & prayers, to kneeeling camels & thirsty servants at a well, to the servant searching for just the right woman for His master & the unsurpassed generosity he experienced by Rebekah’s kindness, followed by the servant who gifts her with jewelry & the recognition of God’s role in the provision of a wife for Isaac.

Then we have this scene:

“Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he dwelt in the South. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel; for she had said to the servant, “Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took a veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭24:62-67‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
http://bible.com/114/gen.24.62-67.nkjv

 

How romantic!  It’s like a scene from a romance novel with the soon to be lovers locking eyes for the first time.   From beginning to end, the bride and groom were destined to be together by our Divine Creator who orchestrates even the movement of the stars.

Love Finds Joy
Love At First Sight – even the heavens have been arranged by Him

And yet we sometimes question His influence over our lives.  Why? Why would we question where God places us? Do we not have the faith that enables us to have joy in every situation?

 

Love in the Beginning 1983
Our Wedding Day of 30 years ago

The excitement in Rebekah and Isaac’s eyes as they encounter one another for the first time would make any wife envious of such a relationship. But think how stressful meeting a total stranger must have been for her. She was offered a groom she had never met, her family even had given her an opportunity to decline the offer, yet she boldly stepped out in faith to meet her groom with expectation and joy. The result of all these choices was the recognition by them both that this was a match made in heaven. Rebekah and Isaac had faith and did not deny that God had his hand over them. There were no questions, just acceptance and faith in their God.

 

 

This Valentine’s Day I would challenge you: to think on your spouse as the predestined man of your dreams, look upon him with eyes of excited joy and choose to recognize him as your match made in heaven. For it is in our choosing of the path laid out by God where we find the lasting love of our lives. May you see your spouse with new eyes this Valentine’s Day.  I would love to hear from you! In what ways can you seek to see your spouse with new eyes?

My Love Ed
My Love My Life My Husband for Life
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