We are now at the beginning of Lent. Forty days following, excepting Sundays, is Easter Sunday. Lent is a time of preparation for Christians, a time when we need to do much soul-searching, repentance whenever necessary, deeper commitment to Christ. Never in the history of man has need been greater, the hour more challenging than the time in which we live. Our generation has much to do with the charting of the course of history. United under Christ we can lead the way to a greater tomorrow. Divided by inner turmoil, crippled by apathy, led astray by the blinding lights of self-satisfaction, we cast ourselves upon the same heap of garbage that has characterized so many generations of the past. Today belongs to us, tomorrow history records our failures and our successes.

We cannot speak for all of life. Our lives do not touch the whole of humanity, but our lives can touch the Creator of that humanity. We have an opportunity to walk in fellowship with God who created us, and who desires our friendship in all of life. Am I too busy to take time for God -- are my hands grasping so many things from this world that they are never free to take Godís hand -- am I walking so fast and furiously down the path I have chosen, that I cannot even see that God has a plan for me? These are only some of the questions I might ask myself.

During Lent we need to prepare for Easter. Our central scripture is the word Jesus spoke when he said, "Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.Ē

How can I follow Jesus today? He did not say it would be easy. He demonstrated the cross in His own life and challenged us to follow Him. The way of the cross may not be easy, but its dividends are very high in the kingdom of God. The Cross only preceded the Resurrection. A cross borne for Christ bears fruit that will not die.

Jesus actually faced the reality of the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed, "Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." He was accepting Godís way for His life. During the Lenten Season we should be in preparation for any test that may come to our lives. We are tested by temptation, by trial, by sorrow, by defeat and many other things, but if we can be surrendered to the will of the heavenly Father, we can meet the test successfully, even as Jesus faced the cross.

The hour on the clock of eternity is too late for us to dillydally with the real important issues of life. If I fail in my surrender to God, all of life will finally be futile. Use this Lenten Season to prepare your heart for victory in Jesus. He was raised from the dead, a complete conqueror. In submission to Him you enter His victory.

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