Tag Archives: Ash Wednesday

Matthew 6- Heart Exam

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.  Matthew 6:16-19

As we are now going through the “Lent Season” we can see that some of our man made traditions and practices are really not Biblical. I wrote an article a few years ago on “Is Ash Wednesday Biblical”? and  most Christians would instantly say Yes, because its become a Church tradition. However when you examine the practices of Ash Wednesday and Lent season, compared to Jesus teachings it’s really not

Jesus said “When you fast, don’t be like the hypocrites, that disfigure their face to prove to people they are fasting” this is essentially what we do during Ash Wednesday. We dump ashes on our face to prove to people we are fasting or mourning our sins. What are we trying to accomplish here? Yes it’s mostly just a Church tradition , but why? 

Jesus goes on to say “When you fast, anoint your head with oil and wash your face” So this is actually the opposite of Ash Wednesday, Jesus instructs us to wash your face. Why? Because Christ wants you to have a personal relationship with him. You don’t need to put on a show for other people or try to demonstrate your relationship with Christ. Now I’m not condemning anyone who practices this , we each regard one day above another as long as we regard it to The Lord (Romans 14) but something to examine and meditate on when we’re doing things.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21

The next thing Jesus teaches us is to store and collect stuff, because this world is temporary. Storage sheds have become a big business, why? Because people love to keep buying stuff that they don’t even need or can’t store. The world  is obsessed with accumulating possessions, however we need to think eternally, we need to think about the Kingdom of God

The reality is that a fancy car will eventually one day end up in the junkyard and it won’t save your soul. However, you’ll spend years paying off the debt. As Jesus said “Where your treasure is, your heart is also” Again it’s all about a heart issue. The same with fasting , praying, and your financial decisions. 

Jesus came to make us Born Again (John 3) to give a new and clean heart so we can worship God in Spirit and Truth, Amen (John 4:24)

Mark 1- Baptism of Christ

And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Mark 1:9-11

Often we hear people say “The Bible never mentions the Trinity of God” well here in our gospel story today, we see the Father, Son , and Holy Spirit all coming together at the Baptism of Christ. The Son being baptized in the water, as an example for us, the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on the Son, and the Father declaring “Jesus is his beloved Son”!

One question may arise, why did Jesus need to be baptized? I believe Jesus did this as an example for us, Jesus has never asked us to do anything that he hasn’t already done! The baptism of Christ, is like a kick start to his ministry which would eventually lead to the cross and then the tomb. Everything Jesus did was for a purpose, it wasn’t necessarily done for his benefit, but for our learning and understanding

Just as the Father, Son , and Holy Spirit came together at Creation, they come together at the formation of the New Covenant, to redeem humanity from the penalty of their sin

And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.  Mark 1:12-13

Next Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. This was a 40 day period of fasting and testing. Satan tempted The Lord day and night, to try and get him to sin, but the sinless Lamb of God would never submit to Satan and overcame him , just as Christ finally defeated Satan at the cross!

 Finally when Jesus passed his test, he was comforted by the angels. Just as it is written in Psalm 91 “The angels will keep guard over you” (Psalm 91:11) The same scripture Satan tried to use to deceive Jesus , was fulfilled as Satan’s defeat!

The ministry of Christ has now begun, and will deliver us from the slavery of sin and death forever! Amen!

Is Ash Wednesday Biblical?

“Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. Matthew 6:16

Is Ash Wednesday Biblical? Many Christians around the world and from many denominations will practice the ritual of “Ash Wednesday”, where they will put ashes on their forehead, but is this really Biblical?

Jesus taught us when we fast, not to let anyone know about it. Don’t neglect your appearance or put on a gloomy face so people will recognize you. Christianity always comes down to the heart, are you doing this to please God or to please man?

“But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face Matthew 6:17

Jesus goes on to teach us to wash your face and anoint your head with oil not ashes.. Most importantly “Ash Wednesday” or even “Lent” is nowhere mentioned in The Bible and are man-made traditions. Should Christians follow these practices? We must remember the root of Jesus teachings. Praying and Fasting are not to be public spectacles to prove our righteousness. They should be done in private with your personal relationship with God

so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:18

God knows everything we do, in public or secret. If your participating in customs like “Ash Wednesday” make sure it’s not to be noticed or prove your holiness. So is “Ash Wednesday” Biblical? No. Although I respect everyone’s proclamation to display their faith in Christ, I think we need to be careful not to be hypocrites and doing it for the wrong reasons. Ultimately its everyone personal decision between them and God to make.


40 days in the Wilderness

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. Matthew 4:1-2

For forty days Jesus wandered the wilderness, he faced many challenges hunger, tiredness, but his biggest challenge was Satan.  Thru this journey we learned a lot.

We learned how Jesus persevered even though he was physically and mentally exhausted, he didn’t let his guard down. He pressed on.  We also learned about Satan, how thru his deceit and manipulation tries to twist the Word of God to trick people into following him.

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:3-4)

Notice Satan is called the tempter here, this is how Satan tries to get all of us thru temptation. He knew Jesus was hungry so he wanted to attack his weakness.

Jesus could have turned the stones into bread to prove he’s the Son of God. But would have that accomplished the will of God or fall into Satan’s egotistical trap? Jesus also pointed out food might get the physical body life but the Word of God gives our souls spiritual life.

Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Matthew 4:5-7

Again Satan challenges Jesus and tempting him into proving himself. Notice also Satan uses the Word of God to challenge Jesus.  (Psalm 91:11 “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”)  But Jesus corrects him the correct scripture, Deuteronomy 6:16” Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God”  Beware of other false prophets and religions that twist scriptures like Satan to follow them

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.” Matthew 4:8-10

Satan promises the kingdom of the world to tempt Jesus to worship him, it shows you were Satans kingdom is located, right here on Earth.  And notice Jesus commands Satan to go away and he leaves. We can also follow this principle (James 4:7)” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” When Satan is after you resist him and tell him to leave.

“Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”  Matthew 4:11

After this long ordeal Jesus is mentally and physically exhausted. Notice the angels come to be with him, during hard times we should comfort and minister to one another also (Proverbs 27:17)” Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

So as you worship this “Ash Wednesday”  remember Jesus 40 days in the wilderness and the lessons and perseverance he showed us all in Jesus Name Amen