Well, today is a famous date on the Christian calendar. Unfortunately it’s highly misunderstood. Typically, people say this is the day Christians are supposed to act like pagans and lose themselves in fleshly indulgences. Seriously? While it may be an awesome excuse for a party, it couldn’t be further from the truth. These “festivals” are not really in line with Scripture in any way. The most likely Christian origin of Fat Tuesday was that rich or fatty foods were not to be in the homes of Christians during Lent, a season of fasting and special devotion. So any rich foods that couldn’t survive for 40 days had to be consumed in order to not be wasted. So people would feast, usually at home, clearing out the pantry for Lent.
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”
(Romans 14:17 ESV)
But for biblical Christians our focus shouldn’t be on food. Today, as everyday, our focus should be on life in the Spirit. Shrove (repentance/absolution) Tuesday is a more fruitful path. Take a moral and spiritual inventory. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of any areas where closer obedience is required. Commit these areas to God and prepare to focus on spiritual growth for the Lenten season beginning to tomorrow. We all need renewal. Don’t just give up vices for Lent. Be done with them. Period. From the ashes of defeat could rise a burning fire of devotion to God above all.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, reminding us we came from dust and we have an appointment with death. This life is not about fleshly indulgences. Whenever we lean on fleshly pleasures or human will, we fail. God’s grace (love, forgiveness, spiritual power) alone can save us. God’s grace alone (through prayer, Bible, worship, communion, holy hanging out, sharing your faith, serving others, etc…) can fuel a Christian life that overcomes.
Tomorrow we’re beginning a journey called Ashes to Fire. Today, identify those places of disobedience and defeat. We’ll be asking God to breathe on these ashes, that we may rise in the power of the Spirit. Apart from God we have only death. With God true life is given. Real change. Deep joy. Peace. That’s what God will bring to those who seek him.
Join us at 7pm Feb 22, 2012 at NewHope Community Church of the Nazarene
So what areas of life need attention? Where is Jesus calling you to “cut the fat” in your spiritual journey? Are you headed toward righteousness, peace, and joy or is a detour necessary? Let God supply the power. Give it all to God and learn how to obey all the way from Ashes (Feb 22) to Fire! (May 27) Join thousands of Christians on a journey of transformation!
Posted on February 21, 2012, in CotN, Spiritual Formation and tagged appointment with death, ash wednesday, ashes to fire, christian calendar, Christianity, devotion, fat tuesday, fruitful path, holiness, holy spirit, Lent, lenten season, life in the spirit, mardis gras, prayer bible, sharing your faith, spiritual inventory. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.