Tuesday, February 12, 2013

SOAP: Ash Wednesday and Lent begins!

Ash Wednesday is tomorrow, which marks the beginning of lent. I found this great video from Busted Halo that sums up Ash Wednesday and Lent in 2 minutes.





It is tradition for Catholics to "give something up" during lent as a sacrifice and repentance. This year I am doing something that I have tried to do unsuccessfully.  I am setting my alarm and waking up BEFORE my children in order to have time for scripture reading and prayer time.  I need to make God the biggest priority in my life, and I am having trouble carving out the time. No more excuses- get to bed earlier so that I can wake up with the Lord.

S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. If you want an explanation for these sections, please read my first SOAP post.


Scripture

Deuteronomy 6:4-9
"Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone!  Therefore, you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength Take to heart these words which I command you today. Keep repeating them to your children. Recite them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them on your arm as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates."

Observations

 We must love with an undivided heart. The greatest and the first commandment is to love God. This is further bolstered in Matthew 22:37-40 “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” This is the basic principle of the Bible. Love God. Love everyone. Why is this also one of the hardest commandments to keep?

Application

Love the Lord above everything else. Just as Abraham was ready to sacrifice Isaac, we should be able and willing to sacrifice anything for our God.  What am I willing to sacrifice?   I know that my body is a gift from God. My life is a gift. I should be taking care of it better.  Since my operation in September I have yet to start exercising.  That is going to change. Along with waking up in time to read the Bible and pray, I will also be exercising a few times a week. My goal is to exercise three times a week. I know that it will be difficult for me since this is a new routine, but maybe this little tiny sacrifice will bring me closer to Him.  I want to honor Him by taking care of the gift of life He gave me. The biggest thing I can do is to teach my children about God, and let them learn about His love through my actions and what we do together as a family.

Prayer

God- I love you!  Thank you for loving me, even though I am a sinful human.  I pray that my actions praise You, my words Praise you, and that Your love is seen through me everyday.  May you hold my family in Your arms and guide us through lent as we make sacrifices together in order to be drawn closer to You. Amen.
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