Ash Wednesday

Daily Devotions For Wednesday: by Christina Farris 3/1/2017

Ezekiel 20:1-49 KJV
(1) And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to enquire of the LORD, and sat before me.
(2) Then came the word of the LORD unto me, saying,
(3) Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye come to enquire of me? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.
(4) Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them? cause them to know the abominations of their fathers:
(5) And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD your God;
(6) In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands:
(7) Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
(8) But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
(9) But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.
(10) Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.
(11) And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.
(12) Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.
(13) But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.
(14) But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.
(15) Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands;
(16) Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.
(17) Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.
(18) But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols:
(19) I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;
(20) And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.
(21) Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.
(22) Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.
(23) I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries;
(24) Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.
(25) Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;
(26) And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.
(27) Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me.
(28) For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drink offerings.
(29) Then I said unto them, What is the high place whereunto ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day.
(30) Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations?
(31) For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.
(32) And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.
(33) As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:
(34) And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.
(35) And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.
(36) Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.
(37) And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:
(38) And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
(39) As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.
(40) For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.
(41) I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.
(42) And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers.
(43) And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.
(44) And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
(45) Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
(46) Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field;
(47) And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
(48) And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.
(49) Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?

God never claimed after salvation that there would never be a time of sanctification for the believer. Isaiah said, “Though our sins be as scarlet scripture, He would wash us as white as snow.” Jesus would wash us as white as snow, speaking of the cleansing power of God. Jesus first being the very word of God that would come in the flesh to die for the sins of all mankind. Today is Ash Wednesday. In ancient Jewish custom when repentance come they would repent in ashes. They would repent at the time of fall of their cities and also country. Yet it more then practice but ash would be placed on the head to represent sin and remorse for sin. A symbol or sign of true repentance. It was act of humility.

As the call of repentance continues on our nation it also is on the individual. Without Christ sanctification there is no repentance forth coming. Ezekiel in this chapter is repetitive about the need of repentance and that destruction was coming on Israel because of sin. God also talks about his mercy and grace to deliver anyone that would repent. He would deliver his nation, if they would repent.

The call of repentance is needed to remind the believer though our sins be forgiven, and we become a child of God, we must continue walking by His Spirit and His grace. People do backslide and turn from God, only to have God call to them to repent. To turn away from sin is to repent. To turn away from evil, or to do evil. It s a continual call on a believers life. It not a one time thing to turn from sin, yet it is the beginning to say I am sinner, but it is a continual process to say I am turning away from sin that I see, hear and experience. One mistake could cost you your life in a war zone. Christians you are in a war zone of faith. To continue to turn from sin, despite the temptation of friend and even the devil. You are protected and warned by God’s Spirit not to sin. Listen to His voice. Let your voice speak back in obedience to God by saying Yes Lord I will follow you and not the tempter.

Fall on knees daily is only a begin for the believer, it is act of humility but it must begin in the heart. Your knees to feeble and hands hang down, so your knees hurt badly bending, yet your heart is right, God is not going to chastise you for not bowing literally to your knees. God is going to chastise you for your mistakes. God in Ezekiel is calling once more to His people to repent. Just like He does for every believer.

Dear Heavenly Father, forgives us of our sins, remind us not to follow the evil one. To follow your word and submit to you in all things. In Jesus precious name, Amen.

Continual Scripture Study For Devotions: Ephesians 5:26-27 KJV
(26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
(27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

A Short Interview With Member Of The Episcolpian Church In Northern Virginia,

by Christina Farris
3/10/2015 originally posted front page of turtle30cshell.com

John Crouch I asked John maybe I should ask you about the traditons of lent. After all you are Episcolpian. Yet few people I know study lent. I know about forty days of fasting to commemorate the time of Christ fasting. Yet is not a tradition I grew up with.

John replied”We do a little bit. The episcopal a have a long thing called the great litany from the 1500s. Once a year we have a procession around and through the church led by the priest who reads it and everyone else injects the Amens or other responses. For Ash Wednesday and Good Friday we have services that are solemn but still geared toward kids. They get to ask questions, answer questions, and hold props, but they still have to be respectful and often silent.”

Thank you John for your help.

The Lectionary: A traditional Reading for the Third Sunday in Lent B RCL can be found Here. From St. Peter’s Episcopalian Church in Arlington VA

Turtle30c Thoughts for Today

2/19/2015

Lent (Tradition of Christ Forty Days of Fasting: Concentration on God’s Mercy, Repentance to God, Healing, as well as Prayer)

by Christina Farris
I grew up In a Christian home, that did not practice but two religious holidays a year. Easter and Christmas were our main focus and all the rest were heard about on television by way of the News, but seldom discussed in the home. I happen to think of all these tradition I have been having to learn to keep up with other groups of Christians as far as traditions, and still find myself lacking. So brothers and sisters in Christ, I humbly ask your forgiveness. Because simply put some of these traditions really need to be highlighting as far as focusing on our faith on a daily bases. There is something about traditions that helps one stay focus, but is those same traditions that can cause legalism. Whether or not you are a traditionalist, legalistic and faithful at the heart to Christ, or just focusing on your faith without legalism, consider why you do so. If it takes time from you true faith in God then consider removing the stumbling block but if it enhances your individual faith then look forward to each tradition.