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Ash Wednesday

Jimmy Cochran Columnist

  Today is Ash Wednesday. Also known as the beginning of Lent. This is the season where Christians all over the world begin to reflect on the sacrifice God made in allowing His Son, Jesus, to be killed in order to provide a way that all people might be saved from an eternity in hell. An eternity of separation from the love and care of God. The important point on which the faith community focuses is not that Jesus died, but that He rose from the dead after three days. In this act, God defeated death. Nothing can any longer stand in the way of people being a part of God’s eternal Kingdom. All we have to do is believe. Just believe. Only the decision to not believe in this gift from God can deny you the eternal life God promises us.

  As we begin to prepare our hearts for the resurrection of Jesus, I find the easiest spot to begin is at the beginning. And that beginning is Love. “God loved us and sent His Son.” (1 John 4:10). God. Loved. Us. More. Than. Imaginable. To draw closer to God, we have to put ourselves aside and let this Love fill our bodies, souls, mind…every fiber of our being. In my experience, this is much easier said than done. There is a whole lot of Jimmy to get (and keep) out of the way before God can take complete occupancy. And, this same Jimmy, can be pretty selfish about “his space.”

  As I look at the love-gift of God in Jesus, I know I do not deserve it. Never have, never can, never will; yet, God still gave it to me. That’s the beauty of grace which I recently wrote about and will be one of my focus points during Lent. On my webpage and my Facebook page, I will be writing daily about my journey through Lent. If you want to follow my daily thoughts, just visit or re-quest to be my Facebook friend. For now, on day one, I encourage you to just focus on this one truth. God loves you. Don’t worry about your warts, poor grades, lack of a job, stupid mistakes you make...that’s all overshadowed by those three words. God. Loves. You.

  Also, don’t let the term Ash Wednesday scare you away. For those of us who may choose to attend a service where ashes are applied to the forehead, it is simply a sign of humility before God. Ash Wednesday is a day of reflection on what needs to change in our lives if we are to be fully Christian. It begins my journey to be a more effective Christian…a more effective man of God.

  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes on Him will not die for eternity, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

  Don’t forget to remind yourself today. God Loves You. And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.

  Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, author, musician and minister.



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