1st Week of Lent | Elle Sanders

Psalms 50, 59, 60
Deuteronomy 9:23-10:5
Hebrews 4:1-10
John 3:16-21

This Lenten season, let’s go beyond a gesture of will power expressed through the suppressed appetites, for the Lord does not desire sacrifices (Psalm 50:6-15). Instead, He desires eternal intimacy with his beloved children (John 3:17). So then, if life is not meant to be defined by sacrifice, surely there must be something else which sets the season of Lent apart from others. According to the Word, Christ spent 40 spirit-filled days and spirit-filled nights fasting in the desert. At the end of this time, the enemy begins to tempt him with everything from physical comfort and eternal glory, to control over the heavenly army of angels. In his craftiness, Satan even quotes the scriptures in an effort to confuse Christ. However, the Lord Jesus is not fooled, for He is close to the Father’s heart. He prevails over Satan, but not through superior intellect, a quick wit, or unparalleled will power. He wins against the enemy because He has just spent 40 days seeking the Lord’s will with such sincerity and fervor that even food has become irrelevant. He triumphs over powers of darkness because His strength is from God.

This story appears in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In all three accounts, there is a pattern: the preceding passage heralds the beginning of Christ’s ministry (Matthew 4:12-17, Mark 1:14-15, Luke 4:14). Twice, the subsequent passage announces the calling of Christ’s first disciples. The next lines, without fail, describe the fruits of His ministry. This is no coincidence! A quick study of the Gospels will prove the fact that they each reveal the same Good News, but in different capacities. The fact that these particular anecdotes are captured in consecutive order not once, but three times, should be a HUGE red flag.

Our savior’s last command to us was this: that we should go make disciples of all nations and never forget the presence of the Lord (Matthew 28:16-20). According to the beautiful roadmap laid before us by the Lord Christ Jesus, we know that we can only fulfill this command by first spending intimate time with the Lord. This season of Lent, do not make sacrifices to the Lord your God. Instead, seek to know His heart in earnest desperation, and if anything stands in your, way cast it aside, for the Lord your God is the only one worthy of your attention.

ELLE SANDERS
Sophomore, Commercial Voice

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