Each week we’ll post a short snippet from Ashley’s sermon from that Sunday. Here’s a few lines from what he said this week as we continued our Lent Series looking at Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness.
In Babylon Daniel and his friends said ‘No’ to the rich foods and wine of the Empire. In the wilderness Jesus went without food for 40 days. Both denied themselves, not because these things were bad for them, but because of their commitment to God.
Sometimes we have to say ‘No’ simply as a way of challenging the all-prevailing influence of the culture around us. Sometimes we have to say ‘No’ simply to remind ourselves that we belong to a different kingdom and are following a different King.
Lent is often a time of self-denial and I mentioned last week that I think the challenge of giving something up, however small, should be applauded as an effort in self-control, which is part of the fruit of the Spirit.
But this morning I am not really talking about giving up something small, or just giving up something for a short period of time, rather I am talking about self-denial as part and parcel of what it means to follow Jesus.
I wonder what it might mean for us to learn to say ‘No’ a bit more than we do.
[Reflecting on Luke 4.1-13 and Daniel 1]