I read the verse of the day at Gospelcom.net. It is Romans 5:6-8 – You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
I grew up in a denomination where church traditions were very important. I am no longer in that denomination, however, having been infused in the traditions for 9 years – going to the church’s grade school from kindergarten through 8th grade – I remember clearly the traditions.
Holy week was one of the important holidays. We would go to school through noon on Good Friday. At noon there would be a church service and then we would go home. If I recall correctly, every Good Friday was overcast and often stormy.
I held Good Friday in high esteem. Even though I didn’t have a relationship with the God of the universe, I knew He existed and I was fully aware of what transpired on that first Friday. I was always so sad. I knew the reason for His death, I knew I would be lost without that death, but I was so heartbroken that Jesus had to die such an awful, painful, long death. Maybe I never realized that He would have done it only for me if it came right down to it. I wasn’t angry at those who actually put Him to death. That’s good, because later, I would have had to be angry at myself, realizing that I would have had to be angry with myself. But it’s interesting looking back at my days in grade school and thinking on the traditions of long ago.
As soon as I got home, there was Easter to look forward to and, of course, a week off of school. Good Friday was over and I didn’t have to think about the death of my Savior anymore.
Sometimes I run across something that asks what our regrets are. I spent 18 years in a denomination that didn’t believe one could have a relationship with God. We prayed, but didn’t really expect an answer to prayer. Maybe on the large scale, for the denomination, for missionaries, for countries, but not really for our own personal requests. My denomination didn’t believe in the supernatural workings of our God. Well, at least, they didn’t believe that regular people could walk in those workings. They didn’t want kids listening to Christian music. It was explained to me that it would encourage those kids to think outside denominational teachings. The denominational teachings were preserved in hymns of long ago and there was no danger of us learning wrong theologies through the hymns. Christian music is written by people of many different denominations and learning about different theologies is a big no-no in that denomination.
I am no longer a part of that denomination and I am thankful for that. It’s a wonderful thing to have a relationship with God. It’s wonderful to see His awesome workings in my life and answered prayers and to see Him work in the prophetic words He gives me for others. I would not want my life to be any different. Well, I would love for my relationship with Him to be deeper, but that will come. I do not regret my time spent in that denomination. I was able to learn important biblical truths that I know helped lay the foundation of my faith. I knew without a doubt that Jesus was real, that He is God and that He died so that I might live, and I knew without a doubt that when I died I was going to Heaven to be with him. I was not looking forward to spending forever in Heaven. I thought it would be boring, but I knew I’d be there one day.
This holy week, what will my heart ponder upon? Will I look to this week as putting to death my flesh so that I can rise in glory with my Lord. So that I can rise above my circumstances and walk in confidence in who I am in Jesus? It sounds like a good start to my week.
i’m off to take a walk to put to death my flesh and reflect on the goodness of God.