How's that for a title? lol Lots to share today so I'm jumping right in, grab your coffee and chocolate and get comfy! I'm doing a special type of Lent Study this year. As most probably already know Lent is a time of preparation for the death of Christ on Good Friday and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. The period of 40 days of repentance with prayer and fasting are to mimic Jesus' 40 days and nights of fasting in the wilderness and the temptation by the devil.
As we choose to give up something for Lent it doesn't have to seem like a major undertaking or racking your brain for some incredible, newsworthy, life-threatening vice. We are not Jesus....don't try to fast completely for 40 days. I doubt you would survive. ;o) However, find something that is a crutch to you. Something you depend on way more than you should. Something you indulge in, yet don't need.
I am addicted to pop.
There, I said it. I think I need Dr. Pepper everyday. Rather than just saying I'm giving up Dr. Pepper I'm giving up pop. Period. I don't want to say Woo, I did it! I gave up Dr. Pepper yet everyday decide I'll have a Pepsi or Mt. Dew instead. Pop. That's my vice. That's my crutch. I'm prepared with a new bottle of Excedrin for when the caffeine withdrawal and headaches set in. I'm prepared with my study.
Jesus was tempted after his 40 days of fasting. When he was hungry and thirsty. When he was vulnerable. Giving up something for Lent is not God testing us, but a way for God to provide wisdom through experiences that test our faith. Our strength. Our endurance. When we are most vulnerable is when we tend to fail. When we tend to rely on our own understanding rather than leaning on God. After all, the Lord's prayer says, "Lead us not into temptation". I think God uses the temptations we are confronted with by the devil to serve a greater purpose to glorify Him. So when I am having sugar withdrawal from that sweet dark carbonated liquid love in a can...I'll be looking forward to the great things He has in store for me. That He opens my eyes to during this lent season.
WHICH.... leads me to my study. The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. You can go to the site by clicking the book title, there you will find information about the book, how to obtain it (at a discount price!), video clips about Richard's message and there are links to a reading guide and study actions to do everyday during Lent. Did I mention their FREE?! :) Bonus!
I know this is going to be an awesome book and will share my thoughts as I'm reading, but for day one we are to tell close friends or family if our Jesus is God-sized or if we've shrunk Him to our size. Y'all are some of my close friends! Yes, believe it. You are.
An anonymous quote from the book says we have shrunk Jesus to the size where He can save souls, but now don't believe He can change the world. Well, I'm here to tell you CLOSE FRIENDS my
Jesus is God-sized!
I've seen first hand some of his miracles and know that with Him ANYTHING is possible. If the world had more faith in, and a relationship with Jesus I believe the 'changing the world' would be much more obvious! What 'size' do you think Jesus is? We need to put our faith and belief into action.
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
1 John 3:17
Okay.... now for the R.A.K.! Some people aren't even aware what RAK's are.... It's Random Acts of Kindness. Seems kinda fitting for the study too. I'm challenging everyone (and I hope I get the McLinky to work), I'm calling you out!!! All you LURKERS who read but never comment. I know you're there. ;o) At 50-60 hits a day this should be fun! I'm finding something in my home that is close to my heart to give away.
Yep, GIVING IT AWAY! Once a week. All you have to do is leave a comment, say hi, share your thoughts or just put I wanna win! Every Sunday afternoon I'll let the computer pick the random winner and ship your FREE RAK gift to you! If you want to participate and do the same on your own blogs, use the McKlinky and join along! I think it would be awesome to go to your mailbox and get a gift, just because. Just because I think you're special and because it pleases God. :)
Week one: a new favorite coffee mug and some java! The grocery store had them in the clearance bin because they are 'valentine' related with hearts, but I'm a coffee mug junkie and had to have one because they are so darn cute!!! One lucky reader will get a new mug and a packet of Gevalia Coffee! Shipping is on me! Absolutely FREE I tell ya! Just leave some comments! Delurk!