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Lent by Pastor Alex Ruelo

Len is a season that is celebrated 40 days before the Holy Week, remembering Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. There is a lot of tradition concerning lent, but you do not really need religion; all you need is Jesus Christ. The goal is to realize how much you need Him in the midst of everything that is going through in this world.

In the book of Psalm 139, it says, ”You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.“

This verse is called a lament, “Qina” in Hebrew, a song o mourning. In David’s lament, it shows how much God is the god of his life. Many times, when you listen to it, you will feel his guilt over the sins that he did and his awe over the Creator who made all things. Many people worship and pray like a robot. Everything is pre-set. You are so used to the program every Sunday that it simply becomes a routine. That is when it becomes religion and tradition. God knows everything you are going through and everything you will go thorugh. He sees your failures and the promises you were not able to fulfill.  He knows that you feel bad over all of these things. That is why you should lament over the sins that you have committed. Sin is sin, whether it be murder or feeling proud over something.

Sin is the reason for the fall of man and separates you from the Lord. What is sin? In the scriptures, it means missing the mark. Jesus has a standard; that is the mark. If you miss the mark, you commit sin. It does not matter whether you killed a person or you said something bad to your neighbor. If you missed the mark, you committed sin. When Cain killed Abel, was there a law about killing? There was none. But why was killing Abel a sin? Because that is the standard of God. Even if there was no written code, God put it in man’s heart that it is wrong to take anybody else’s life. If God asks you to do something and you do not do it, you are sinning. James 4:17 says, ”If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.“ Everytime you do not do what God wants you to do, you miss the mark. David said in Psalm 139:23-24, ”Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.“ I pray that this is your desires, that you do not become self-righteous. When you know the truth and you do not do it, it is a sin. If you want to become right in the eyes of God, ask Him to search you and be ready for His revelations.

God knows everything about you. (V.1-4) He knows all the hairs on your head; that is how much He knows you. He knows everything you are going through and even what you are already thinking. God is omniscient - He is all knowing. He knows when you will commit the sins you will be committing. God knew that Eve will eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that is why He reminded them not to eat of it. But He also gave them a choice. That  is why man should learn how to trust in God 100% because He knows all things.

God is everywhere. (V7-10) Man thinks he can hide from the Lord when he sins. But God makes a way for man’s wrongdoings to be revealed because He loves him so much. God does not want you to get in trouble so makes known to you and to others your sin so that you may flee from it. God is omnipresent - He is everywhere. He is always looking out for you, wiping the tears from your eyes. He gives you many ways out of the dire situation you are in so that you may become victorious. No matter how far you run, you will encounter God more sooner than later because He is everywhere.

God is the most powerful of all. (V.13-14) There is none more powerful than Him. Man can do many things but God is the most powerful of all. Before your parents decided to have babies and a family, God already knew you were going to be born. There is a reason why you are here. There is a reason why your church exists. And there is a reason why you are in your church. Still many times you miss the mark. Romans 3:23 says, ”for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Even if you did all the good in the world, it is but rags to God, according to Isaiah.

Since man cannot reach the standard of God, God provided the standard for man to be able to join Him in paradise. God is omnipotent - He is all powerful. No religion and tradition can bring you at par with His standards.  Before the world even began, Jesus was already chosen to die for the sins of man.


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