Pastor's Column - March 5, 2014

First Byline: 
Rev. Mark Watford - Seven Pines Baptist Church of Snelling

Prepare for Easter at Lenten services

Today begins the season of Lent - a religious observance for many Christians lasting for a period of about six weeks leading up to Easter Sunday.
For Christians it is a Holy time of year and a time of preparation through prayer, repentance of sin, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial. For many it is a time of fasting or giving up certain type of luxuries as a form of penitence. Today, strict fasting is no longer imposed upon the Christian church, but I believe for those who practice fasting it will draw them nearer to the heart of God.
Here in Barnwell, we have the privilege to attend Lenten Services sponsored by the Barnwell County Ministerial Association. It is made up of different denominations joining together to share their Christian faith. Let me encourage you to join in on one of these services each Wednesday beginning at noon with lunch and then a time of worship ending at 1 p.m. Today's service will be at the Barnwell Presbyterian Church and next week at First Baptist.
I cannot think of a better way to help us prepare our hearts for the Easter season than to attend the Lenten services and allow the Spirit of God to speak to our hearts. It may be possible that you have never experienced the love of God that He shares through the forgiveness of your sins. I want you to know today that God loves you and desires for you to be apart of His life and kingdom. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Today is a great day to put your trust in God and experience his love, friendship, forgiveness and begin a new life filled with joy and happiness. 
I look forward to seeing you at the Lenten services and if you would like to know more about the love of God, his Son Jesus, or his forgiveness then join us today. 
Rev. Mark Watford is the pastor of Seven Pines Baptist Church in Snelling.