God's Valentine: John 3:16
“Love one another. As I have loved you.” John 13:34
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the forty days leading up to Easter, not counting Sundays, which are considered “mini-Easters,” and ends on the Saturday before Easter. The word, Lenten, is derived from an old English term for the "lengthening" of days, which occurs in springtime. Lent recalls the forty days and forty nights, following Jesus’ baptism and God’s approval of him, when he was sent into the desert by the Holy Spirit and was tempted by Satan. During those forty days, Jesus fasted and prayed—he denied himself—and defeated Satan by using the Word of God. Jesus proved he was ready and worthy to begin his ministry to bring in God’s Kingdom. Jesus set his sights on the ultimate purpose for coming to earth, that is: to die for our sins to make us right with God and rise from the dead to defeat death; thereby, creating a family of God who are also worthy to live in and ready to serve in his Kingdom.
During Lent, many people give up something they enjoy doing or eating as a way to remember how Jesus denied himself and gave up his life for all people. It is also a great time to renew our commitment to him, and then put our devotion into action by participating in a special service project in the community. “By this all people will know that you are his disciples, if you have love for one another” John 13:35
John 3:16 is God’s love verse to us. How wonderful that this year, in 2018, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day!
“For God so loVed
the world that
He gAve His
should Not perish,
but have Everlasting life” John 3:16
Jesus, Thank you for your great sacrifice of love. Help us to deny ourselves
and follow you. May our words, thoughts, and deeds, be pleasing to you, not
only during Lent, but throughout the year as well. Help us to love one another
as you have loved us. Amen.”
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