Say “Yes” to Jesus

Say “Yes” to Jesus

“Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Repent and believe the Gospel.”

What a powerful night we had on Ash Wednesday. It has become one of my favorite events that we’ve held in The Warehouse, as we embarked side by side into season of Lent.

Ash Wednesday hasn’t always been a part of my life. I grew up as an evangelical pastor’s kid which meant, “no, we did not have ashes placed on our foreheads.”

Every year in the early part of March I would notice that certain people were walking around with “dirt” on their head. I wanted to be that brave guy and tell them there was something on their forehead, but I never did. I also would notice that Chick-fil-A offered fish sandwiches during a short window of time. I never understood why – I just questioned why someone would buy a fish sandwich from a restaurant that was known for its chicken.

The first Ash Wednesday service I actually attended was at Grace Community Church. After attending Ash Wednesday for the first time and even leading a portion of it, I still did not understand the purpose. I left confused that evening, and felt even worse that I failed in giving something up for Lent.

Over the past few years, there was one question that helped me better understand lent: “What sin in my life is preventing me from walking more in the image of Jesus?”

Rather than asking what we are giving up for Lent, we at Grace like to ask, “How will you return to the Lord?”

I was able to ask a question during this year’s Ash Wednesday gathering that directed us to this idea, that I believe will help us see the different sins and idols in our life that prevent us from walking more in the image of Jesus.

What do we have to say “no” to in order for us to say “yes” to meeting with Jesus?

We are obsessed with “doing.” Our culture loves it, our friends love it, our families love it, and we love it. It makes us feel accomplished, productive, and successful. Little do we know that it can prevent us from being with the Lord.

This past Monday the Lord brought me to Galatians 1:10 which says, For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Over the last three months the Lord has been revealing to me that I would rather please man than please Him. I didn’t realize that I idolized man’s approval so much in different areas of my life. I didn’t realize how it paralyzes me in my obedience to the Lord.

In the very first week of Lent the Lord yet again brought the idol of man’s approval to the surface. Even though it might be difficult when our sin is confronted, we can hold fast onto the promises that the cross and Jesus’ resurrection bring us.

So my challenge to you: how are you returning to the Lord? What are you saying “no” too in order for you to say “yes” to being with Jesus?

I pray that you are journeying into the Lent season side by side. I pray that the Lord continues to create a new heart in you and renew a steadfast Spirit.

“Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Repent and believe the Gospel.”