Summary: Instead of giving something up for Lent let's try adding something instead!
Lent Upside Down
Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together …
“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”
And our memory refresher verse(s) for today is(are) …
“May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.”
Please open your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 9:19-27
Did you know that on three separate occasions the Old Testament has this command:
“Do not cook (or boil) a young goat in its mother’s milk.” - Exodus 23:19
That does sound kind of heartless, doesn’t it? A mama goat gives birth to a kid. A few days later you want some tender meat and you don’t need another goat so you go and slaughter, skin and prepare the newly born baby goat for a meal. You want to cook the meat of the young goat by boiling it in milk. So you go and milk the mama goat and use her milk as the fluid for boiling her own young offspring.
Now, culturally, most of us do not eat goat meat, especially from baby goats.
And, most of us do not boil our meat especially in goat milk, but food tastes change from culture to culture.
Now, you will notice that there is no prohibition against cooking a young goat in goat milk. The command only prohibits the cooking of the young goat in ITS OWN MOTHER’S MILK.
Do you know that based on this one command that is repeated three times, strict Jews will not eat a cheeseburger? Even if both the cheese and the meat are kosher they will not eat a cheeseburger because of a tradition that comes from this one Old Testament command.
Now, why would we be talking about such an odd thing today?
Hopefully it will become clear later in the message …
With that in mind let’s go ahead and read: 1 Corinthians 9:19-27
Do you see how the apostle Paul spared no effort in order to please the Lord?
Paul was consumed with his passion for Christ and His kingdom!
Was Paul just a crazy, psycho Christian or was he what we should be?
Here’s what we are to be …
We are to be a people who belong to the Lord; heart, soul and body!
We are urged in 1 John 1:7 to, “Walk in the Light as He is in the Light!”
We are called in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 to be, “sanctified through and through!”
We are commanded in Mark 12:30 to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength!”
1 Peter 1:15-16 it says,
“But just as He [Jesus] who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”
And in 2 Corinthians 7:1 it says,
“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”
Finally, 1 John 3:3 tells us,
“All who have this hope in Him [Jesus] purify themselves, just as He is pure.”
We as Bible believing Christians are charged to live pure lives. We are charged to live holy lives. Lives that are not only pleasing to God but are useful for Him as well. And, of course, we accomplish this by being filled with and cooperating with the Holy Spirit!
This is a pursuit of holiness in which we are to be continually engaged!
In a few days the season of Lent will begin.
Where did Lent come from? It’s not in the Bible. At all. Anywhere!
The apostles did not just write the words that are found in the Bible. They wrote many other letters as well and lent is not found in any of them either!
So, where did Lent come from?
Do you remember when we talked about the tradition of Jews not eating meat and milk products at the same meal? Do you remember that that tradition was derived from one command in the Old Testament about not boiling a young goat for food in its own mother’s milk?