Thursday, March 9, 2017
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations —“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
The most popular thing to "give up for Lent" is CHOCOLATE! People love chocolate. They love the sweetness of it. They love it because it makes them feel good. They also realize that chocolate, especially if one over indulges, can definitely lead to a good sized tummy ache. That is one of the reasons why people choose to give up chocolate for Lent.
At the same time, there is a bigger issue with the indulgent behavior that we exhibit sometimes with chocolate. The bigger issue is giving in to the indulgence. I remember getting the BIG bag of M&M Peanuts for a Christmas present. I love M&M Peanuts. So I would eat the entire bag of them, or close to it, that afternoon. And my stomach paid for it. Then the guilt. Then the, "I'm not going to do that again." Then I do it again the next Christmas. Sound familiar?
Now, God is telling us that we died to those pulls, desires, and wants. He is also saying that we have no way of stopping them. Only through God and the strength that He gives will we resist the indulgence. Only through the power of God through the Holy Spirit by means of faith are we resistant and resilient. By means of the grace of Jesus, we have life that does not, and will not, crave the desires of CHOCOLATE. Through faith we crave the freedom that God gave to not indulge. So let s live by God's grace. Let's pray.
Dear Father God, lead us through the cravings and desires for indulging in chocolate. Lead us to indulge in the freedom we have in Jesus from "sin and every evil." We pray in Jesus' name. And all God's children say...
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.