If you are a devout Catholic, you may have already decided what to give up for Lent this year. The churches I attended when growing up did not really put much emphasis on the Lenten season. However, this year, my paster gave us a challenge – a new perspective on what to give up for Lent. I am accepting his challenge and I hope you will too.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” -Matthew 4:1-4
What is Lent?
In the Catholic church, the faithful often “give up” something for Lent. They fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and abstain from eating meat on Fridays. Not all Christian denominations put the same emphasis on abstinence and fasting. We obviously can’t go forty days in the desert without food or drink like Jesus did, but giving up a favorite food or activity is the modern way of celebrating the season (about 40 days) that leads up to Easter.
What to give up for Lent?
Last Sunday my pastor preached on the power and the importance of the Word of God (the Bible.) He emphasized Dueteronomy 32:46-47, which says that the Word is “your very life“. (See my notes in photo below.)
God’s Word is alive and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. – Hebrews 4:12
The Bible is unique from every other book in the world, in that the words contained in it are actually ALIVE! The Word of God is one of the primary ways by which God speaks to us, His children. Also, we learn from John 1:1-14 and Revelation 19:13 that Jesus actually IS the Word of God. Therefore, the better we know the Word of God the better we know Jesus. And the better we know Jesus, the more He will reveal Himself and His Word to us. (See my previos posts about that here and here.)
So my pastor had a great idea about what to give up for Lent. He suggested that this year, instead of giving food or TV for Lent, to actually give up some time… and he challenged us to…
DAILY spend unrushed, alone time with God and His Word… for these 40 days of Lent, leading up to Easter.
He also challenged us hold our meeting with God at the same time and place every day. Even though I love God with all my heart, and delight in His Word, I struggle with having unrushed alone time with Him daily.
So I am taking my pastor up on his challenge of what to give up for Lent. I talked it over with my husband, and decided that my meeting time with God will be at 9 – 10 PM every evening. It will be either at the kitchen table or in my bedroom (depending on if my husband has gone to bed yet or not.)
Will you take the challenge too? If so, please comment below with your meeting time and place.
My Pastor went on to talk about a couple of different methods we could use to study the Bible during our unrushed alone time with God. The first method is the 3 R’s. No, not Reading, Writing and aRithmetic. The 3 R’s stand for:
- READ the Word s – l – o – w – l – y
- RECORD your observations, questions, revelations, etc.
- RESPOND to what you read (by writing down an action item – and then by actually doing the action item)
Another method is the SOAP method:
Look for a post from me soon where I will discuss one method I use (utilizing my Happy Planner) that is kind of a combination of these two methods. If you’d like to learn some Bible methods in detail, I recommend Arabah Joy’s “Bible Study Methods – 7 Ways in 7 Days” course.
This 7-day course is designed to teach you 7 different Bible study methods that will revolutionize your time in God’s word, equip you to nourish yourself with the Scriptures, teach you how to develop your spiritual senses, and discover fresh intimacy with God in the process.
I am convinced that in giving up an hour of my time each day, I will gain so much more than I give up. I’m so excited and looking forward to spending daily unrushed alone time with my Jesus and The Word of God.
So what will you give up for Lent this year? Will you join me in the challenge to DAILY spend unrushed alone time with God and His Word?
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