Lenten Meditation: Dust to Dust

Lenten Meditation:  Dust to Dust

I grew up in a liturgical church.  So from my childhood into my early adulthood, I observed the church calendar.   Ash Wednesday marked a real turning point in the calendar year.  It was a turn from comfort, frivolity, and enjoyment (think Mardi Gras) to a time of repentance, self-denial, and mortification called Lent. Ash Wednesday was a day when we all remembered that someday we would each die and face our Maker.  The priest would put the sign of the cross on our foreheads in black ashes and say,

Remember, Man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return. [based on Genesis 3:19]

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Lenten Meditation: Dust to Dust

I grew up in a liturgical church.  So from my childhood into my early adulthood, I observed the church calendar.   Ash Wednesday marked a real turning point in the calendar year.  It was a turn from comfort, frivolity, and enjoyment (think Mardi Gras) to a time of repentance, self-denial, and mortification called Lent. Ash Wednesday was a day when we all remembered that someday we would each die and face our Maker.  The priest would put the sign of the cross on our foreheads in black ashes and say,

Remember, Man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return. [based on Genesis 3:19]

A  very sobering reminder...and I took it all very seriously.

Even though I'm not a part of a liturgical congregation now, I think it's a good thing to remember that death is up ahead for each of us.

But why death?  The Bible says,

The wages of sin is death...  Romans 6:23a

But the good news is

...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:23b

Pastor and Bible teacher, Chuck Swindoll, takes the symbolism of the ashen cross a step further.  He says,

The mark is a sign of Christ's ownership of the person and a symbol of sorrow for sins...We are His possessions and a true appreciation for the cost of our salvation begins with an understanding of the seriousness of sin.

So while Ash Wednesday reminds us of our sin and our mortality, we can look ahead to Good Friday and Easter Sunday because we are His possession.  We know the end of the story, and (as someone has said) "We win"...because HE won!

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1Peter 2:24

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Hebrews 2:14-15

Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” ...thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 15:54-57

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For more about Lent and Ash Wednesday, visit the Voice blog.

Coming soon: 

Lenten meditations:  Jesus' Last Words from the Cross

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The Rest of the Gospel: the Swing (chapter 7)

Dear Book Club friends,This week we will be reading and studying chapters 7 (The Swing).  At the end of the week, we will post a summary of section 1: Union with Christ. What a glorious mystery is this mystical union of Christ with us His loved ones!  Thank you for following along in amazement with us!

swing
swing

Chapter 6The Swing

Key Verse

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NIV

Key Question

What is the difference between soul and spirit?

Read chapter 6 and answer the following:

1. What is the difference between soul and spirit? Why is the difference important to how you live as a Christian?

2. Why has God given you a soul? What is it designed to do? What is it not designed to do?

3. What is a typical example in your life of living out of your fluctuating feelings? What is the usual result? In this example, what would it look like for you to live out of your spirit instead?

4. In what sense are your temporary thoughts and feelings not the deepest you? If you believe they are the deepest you, what will you conclude and how will you likely live?

5. Describe how the Swing helps you better understand your identity in Christ, why the Christian life can be a struggle, and how to live by faith in Christ in you and rest in Him.

6. How are the fluctuations of your soul necessary in God’s training of you (p. 73)?

7. Do you experience self-condemnation because of feelings or thoughts you have? What is an example? What does God say about that (see Romans 8:1, 33-34)?

8. In what way can you relate to the story of Elijah? What did God say to you through the story?


The Rest of the Gospel: Doublecross {what you died to}, chapter 4

Chapter 4  Doublecross {what you died to} Key verse: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  Now all things are of God... 2Cor 5:17-18a NKJV

Key question: What did I die to?

1. Why is it difficult to accept the fact that we died with Christ?

2. If we think that we didn’t really die with Him, what are we looking to that tells us that? What tells us we have died with Christ? Which is more reliable?

3. What does it mean that you died to sin?

4. Look up Romans 7:22. In your deepest being, do you want to be obedient to God, or do you want to sin?

5. Because of the body side of the cross, what is your true identity now?

6. Why is having died to sin critical to you living the Christian life?

7. What does it mean that you died to the Law?

8. Why is that critical to you living the Christian life?

9. What does it mean that you died to yourself as your point of reference?

10. Why is that critical to you living the Christian life?

For an excerpt and ordering information, click here:

Lenten Meditation: Dust to Dust

I grew up in a liturgical church.  So from my childhood into my early adulthood, I observed the church calendar.   Ash Wednesday marked a real turning point in the calendar year.  It was a turn from comfort, frivolity, and enjoyment (think Mardi Gras) to a time of repentance, self-denial, and mortification called Lent. Ash Wednesday was a day when we all remembered that someday we would each die and face our Maker.  The priest would put the sign of the cross on our foreheads in black ashes and say,

Remember, Man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return. [based on Genesis 3:19]

A  very sobering reminder...and I took it all very seriously.

Even though I'm not a part of a liturgical congregation now, I think it's a good thing to remember that death is up ahead for each of us.

But why death?  The Bible says,

The wages of sin is death...  Romans 6:23a

But the good news is

...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:23b

Pastor and Bible teacher, Chuck Swindoll, takes the symbolism of the ashen cross a step further.  He says,

The mark is a sign of Christ's ownership of the person and a symbol of sorrow for sins...We are His possessions and a true appreciation for the cost of our salvation begins with an understanding of the seriousness of sin.

So while Ash Wednesday reminds us of our sin and our mortality, we can look ahead to Good Friday and Easter Sunday because we are His possession.  We know the end of the story, and (as someone has said) "We win"...because HE won!

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.  1Peter 2:24

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.  Hebrews 2:14-15

Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” ...thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Cor 15:54-57

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

For more about Lent and Ash Wednesday, visit the Voice blog.

 

 

A "must view" by the author of Almost Amish

 

 

 

 

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Coming soon:  Lenten meditations:  Jesus' Last Words from the Cross

Subscribe via email (right) or RSS (top right)

Lenten Meditation: Dust to Dust

I grew up in a liturgical church.  So from my childhood into my early adulthood, I observed the church calendar.   Ash Wednesday marked a real turning point in the calendar year.  It was a turn from comfort, frivolity, and enjoyment (think Mardi Gras) to a time of repentance, self-denial, and mortification called Lent. Ash Wednesday was a day when we all remembered that someday we would each die and face our Maker.  The priest would put the sign of the cross on our foreheads in black ashes and say,

Remember, Man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return. [based on Genesis 3:19]

A  very sobering reminder...and I took it all very seriously.

Even though I'm not a part of a liturgical congregation now, I think it's a good thing to remember that death is up ahead for each of us.

But why death?  The Bible says,

The wages of sin is death...  Romans 6:23a

But the good news is

...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:23b

Pastor and Bible teacher, Chuck Swindoll, takes the symbolism of the ashen cross a step further.  He says,

The mark is a sign of Christ's ownership of the person and a symbol of sorrow for sins...We are His possessions and a true appreciation for the cost of our salvation begins with an understanding of the seriousness of sin.

So while Ash Wednesday reminds us of our sin and our mortality, we can look ahead to Good Friday and Easter Sunday because we are His possession.  We know the end of the story, and (as someone has said) "We win"...because HE won!

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.  1Peter 2:24

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.  Hebrews 2:14-15

Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” ...thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Cor 15:54-57

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

More Lenten meditations to come:  Jesus' last words from the Cross Subscribe via email (right) or RSS (top right)