The season of Lent is upon us! The 40 day period between Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Easter officially began yesterday.
It was also the day that many people gave up Twitter, chocolate, swearing, alcohol, soda (top 5 last year according to Twitter), and more.
I didn't really start observing Lent until I was in college. However, it wasn't until this year, that I realized I was doing it all wrong. Well, for me at least.
Sure, I was giving up facebook, soda, or fast food and doing this was only going to be beneficial.
But, was it really preparing me for Easter?
Was it really drawing me closer to Jesus?
Was it allowing me to understand God on a deeper level?
Was the Spirit guiding me more intensely than he ever had?
It may have not been easy to give up Dr. Pepper those first few days, but eventually I stopped thinking about. It was easy to log myself out of Facebook and remove the app from my phone. Not too mention, I saved some money not eating fast food for 40 days. I mean, I was a college kid, that is what I lived off of!
I was removing something from my life that I thought I couldn't live without, but I wasn't replacing it with what I really couldn't live without.
So, this year, I'm going completely different.
I'm giving up the ultimate thing.
I'm giving up sin.
Yeah, you read that right.
But, want to know a secret?
I've already failed.
That's right. I've already completely given in to what I was trying to stay away from for 40 days. Not even 24 hours later.
Yet, this year, there is something different.
See, there is no way that I can possibly give up sin for Lent. Sin is in my nature. I literally give into it each and every day. As hard as I can try, there is no denying it.
Yes, that is frustrating.
But, instead of beating myself up over the fact that I've failed again. Instead of telling myself more lies. Instead of...
I'm filling the holes with Jesus.
I'm letting his love in.
For Lent this year, I am instead going to be focusing my sight on Jesus. The author and perfecter of my faith. The One who lived his life in obedience and died on a Cross for me. The One who redeemed me. The One who loves me. The One who calls me to love others and to tell them of the good news. The One who has called me to spread the Gospel.
Now, as much as I would love to go on a plane to a new place every day for the next 40 days, I don't think it is going to happen. I just don't have the money and the mentality (right now). Plus, I would miss another youth event that I'm really looking forward to this weekend.
Since I can't get to the nations, I can pray for them.
For the next 40 days, I'm going to be reading through the Gospels and praying for nations around the world that contain unreached or unengaged peoples.
In order for me to be able to share the gospel with the nations, even the people around me daily, I need to allow the Gospel to change me. This isn't something that happens just once and then it's over. We aren't called to be believers who stand still.
Our feet are made to move.
Our tongues and mouths are made to speak words.
Our hands are made to serve.
For the next 40 days, my tongue and mouth will speak words of prayer for people around the globe.
For the next 40 days, my eyes will read the Gospel as my heart and mind try to comprehend, only by the Spirit's guidance.
For the next 40 days, I pray, I will draw closer to Jesus. As I watch my sin fade fast away.
Do you want to join in?
It's not too late.
It's never too late.
If you are interested in reading through the Gospels, praying for the nations, and drawing closer to Jesus, I hope you will join me.
I've created two calendars. One for March and the other for April. Each day (except Sunday so you can reflect and observe the Sabbath) there is a reading as well as a country to pray for. I recommend looking up facts about that country and starting from there. Here are some places to help with that: joshuaproject.net and The World Factbook. Google and wikipedia work nicely as well. Then, start praying. All of these countries are ones that have never been reached with the gospel or have no missionaries currently working with them.
Prayer is powerful. The Gospel is life-changing.
Reading the Gospels.
Praying for the Nations.
Drawing Closer to Jesus.
Feel free to pin this image on Pinterest or pass along the link to your friends!
If you would prefer me to e-mail you a better image and file of the calendar, let me know in the comments or e-mail me with the subject line LENT. I promise not to spam you. :)
Enjoy this season of Lent and drawing closer to Jesus!
Are you going to join in with the plan above? Already have a plan? Did you give anything up for 40 Days? Have you never observed Lent before? I'd love to know what all you guys are doing!
Follow Me :)
The idea of reading the Gospels in 40 days was inspired by a reading plan on biblegateway.com. I changed the chapters around to specifically fit in with the forty days of Lent and added the countries to pray for.