Wednesday, March 1, 2017
The Secret Garden Chronicles ~ A Lenten Devotion
Today is the beginning of the season of Lent... click HERE for more information about the meaning of Lent (according to Wikipedia).
And then click HERE for one of my previous posts regarding this topic.
As I have stated in my previous post linked above,
"My approach to Lent is that it is not so much about making a "sacrifice", as it is about moving forward in the right direction, a new beginning; a clear resolve to obey rather than sacrifice."
12. "Now, therefore, says the Lord,
Turn to Me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.
13. So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.
1. "I beseech you therefore brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that you present your bodies a living sacrifice,
HOLY, Acceptable to God,
which is your reasonable service.
2. And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable
will of God."
And then in verse 6 it says:
"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,
let us use them..."
Instead of sacrificing some thing for Lent, my prayer is that I would turn to the Lord with ALL My heart...truly "rend" (tear open, look inside) my heart, and be that "living sacrifice, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE TO THE LORD; and that I would be more fully committed to using the gifts that God has given me for His honor and glory. I pray also that the Lord would transform me, renew my mind, and create a clean heart within me. (Psalm 51:10)
In the past few days I have been contemplating the word "Quietude". Click HERE for a previous post about that. I truly didn't realize that this was a real word that we use in our vocabulary. I thought it was a Latin word for quiet, and actually I believe that is where it originated. But here is the definition of the word according to Dictionary.com"
My "One Word" for 2017 is "REST". It would appear that "quietude" and "rest" go together quite nicely. I'm wondering how the Lord is going to dovetail these two words as I approach His throne during this season of opening my heart before Him...
"For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
'In returning and REST you shall be saved;
In QUIETNESS and confidence
shall be your strength.'"
"The work of righteousness will be peace,
and the effect of righteousness,
quietness and assurance forever."
"You will keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You."
I believe that God is leading me into a place of "perfect peace", as I REST and TRUST in His Word, and in "quietness and confidence" be assured of God giving me the strength I need to face whatever challenges may lie ahead.
I look forward to experiencing what the Lord is going to show me during this time of "quietude", as He prepares my heart to remember Christ's great sacrifice for my sins...and the
gift of eternal life that He gave to all of us who would believe, on His Resurrection Day!
Hold on friends,
Easter is coming!
(All photos were taken as I sat in the Secret Garden today contemplating these thoughts and passages. I found it to be a very tranquil and serene setting watching the Cardinal and the Chickadees...as they watched me as well. God is so good! Amen?!)