Day 39 ~ Matthew 28:18-20

Lentcover

If you ask a Christian what it means to make disciples, you might get a variety of answers: blank stares, jumbled thoughts, statements that it is not necessary to our modern culture, or maybe that making disciples is a task for church staff, seminary grads, and other “experts.”

Matthew 28:18-20 The Message (MSG)

Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

I love the way this passage is translated in The Message. We have been commissioned. We are on a mission. That mission is to “train in this way of life” and “instruct them in the practice of all [He has] commanded.” Our mission is simple: train and instruct. We are called to share the Gospel. We are also called to train and instruct disciples.

We can’t lose sight of the fact that we are called to be disciples first. Jesus called the twelve saying, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men,” before He told them to “go and make disciples.”

What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ?

“Discipleship is a call to be with, know and enjoy the Master. In this sense, the call to Biblical discipleship presupposes salvation, i.e., that a person has believed in Christ as Lord and Savior and continues to believe in Him. But discipleship is also a summons to follow Jesus and this is, at times, no easy matter. He demands exclusive, complete, and unflinching obedience to Himself. This is where his summons to discipleship is so radically different from Plato who stressed the freedom of the student from the teacher or even the Jewish religious leaders who focused more on the Torah and steered their disciples away from themselves. Jesus, on the other hand, pointed people to himself9 (and still does) and calls them to radical commitment to him.” – Bible.org

Day 39

When we are disciples ourselves, being trained and instructed through the teachings and presence of Christ, we can then pour out into the lives of others. I used to think “making disciples” was this intense process where we needed a curriculum or something. I just recently realized that much of Jesus’ training of the disciples came through relationship. If I am in God’s word, learning and growing in my relationship with Christ, why not just start there? I changed my devotions with my kids to be more of “this is what God has been teaching me” or “listen to what God’s Word has to say about____.” This has freed me from feeling like I have to follow a set plan or check items off an imaginary discipleship list. It feels natural and real. I wonder if this is what relationships were like in the early church – a process of instructing from overflow and mentoring through life together.

This passage makes one thing very clear:

MAKING DISCIPLES IS NOT OPTIONAL.

Jesus very clearly said “go” and “make.” There were no caveats for whether you feel like it. No loopholes for not having the gift of “teaching.” No red tape for those who feel they aren’t mature enough in the faith yet. If you are a follower, you should be a disciple-maker. You should be sharing your grace story, being honest about the beauty in the broken places of your life, and modeling a life of devotion to your Savior. Of course, all of that is anything but easy or comfortable.

That is why Jesus ended with a promise. “I will be with you always.”

I don’t have to do this in my own strength. I don’t have to do this perfectly. I don’t have to check off boxes.

All I have to do is follow and be teachable. Jesus promises to meet me, work through me, and bring glory to Himself.

signature

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 34 ~ Luke 22:66-71

Lentcover

Jesus makes several extremely important statements in this passage. When asked if He is the Son of God He replies, “You are right in saying that I am.” We have looked before at the need to examine the claims Jesus makes about Himself from the Old Testament. Now, Jesus tells them what His future will look like:

“But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”

So what does it mean that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God?

In Romans 8:34 it states, Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”

Jesus is now very much alive and active. He is interceding before God for US.  I don’t know about you, but for me that is just MIND BLOWING!

I have had many times in my life where I felt unprotected, alone, exposed.

But before the throne of God we have a ADVOCATE on our side.

1 John 2:1 states, My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” In Greek the word is Paracletos, one called alongside to help; or intercessor. “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”~ Hebrews 7:25

Right now Jesus Christ is interceding before God for YOU. You are never defenseless or alone.

Jesus can intercede on our behalf because:

  1. He was tempted by Satan but did not sin (Matthew 4:10)
  2. He can sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrew 4:15)
  3. He came to do the will of the Father (John 6:38-40)
  4. Christ’s sacrifical death made it possible for His righteousness to be given to us (2 Corithians 5:21)
  5. Unlike the priests of the Old Testament, who had to continually offer sacrifices, Christ’s work of redemption is finished (John 19:30, Hebrews 10:12)

Day 34

Only one sacrifice was necessary, because the sacrifice that Jesus offered was his own perfect blood and it perfected the recipients for all time. He did not and does not need to do anything else to secure our redemption, so he sat down….because of Jesus’ one sacrifice we have been perfected for all time. “But don’t I still sin, and don’t I need to change?” Yes! But in God’s sight, because of Jesus’ one sacrifice, you are ‘complete’—not lacking anything. In terms of your relationship with him you are perfect. There is nothing more that needs to be done to reconcile you to God. Nothing more that needs to be done to pay for your sin. Nothing more that needs to be done to deal with his wrath. As Christians we need to continually remind ourselves of the cross, but we also need to remind ourselves of Jesus sitting at the right hand of God, because that reminds us that his death on the cross was effective and that we are now perfect in God’s sight.”- Peter Orr, The Briefing

You are complete BECAUSE of Christ.

You are loved BY Christ.

You are defended THROUGH Christ.

You are raised up WITH Christ.

You are seated in heavenly places IN Christ.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. ~ Ephesians 2:4-7

 

signature

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 33 ~ Matthew 26:47-56

Lentcover

As we move into our last few days together leading up to the climax of this Lent season, we cannot bypass this profound truth demonstrated in the garden. Here, Jesus faces the betrayal of His disciple and friend Judas, being handed over to endure unspeakable torture, and bearing the sins of the world while dying on a cross. His followers can’t understand it and don’t want to accept it. Yet, Jesus enters willingly into God’s plans and purposes.

For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.  John 10:17-18

The magnitude of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection cannot be measured. The Son left the glory of the heavens and the Father’s side on a rescue mission. He was chosen, commissioned, and empowered by His Father to bring back the children of the Kingdom of God! He gave Himself entirely to God’s sovereign plan, which was prophesied and recorded in the Scriptures thousands of years before His arrival. The earthly life of Jesus was one of willing submission to the will of the Father, which included unfathomable suffering and scorn. John Piper shares,

“I have to work hard in my imagination to keep before me what iron will this required. Humans recoil from suffering. We recoil a hundred times more from suffering that is caused by unjust, ugly, sniveling, low-down, arrogant people. At every moment of pain and indignity, Jesus chose not to do what would have been immediately just. He gave his back to the smiter. He gave his cheek to slapping. He gave his beard to plucking. He offered his face to spitting. And he was doing it for the very ones causing the pain.”

Day 33

Jesus walked in full obedience to the Father because He had complete trust in the One who sent Him. Never once did He doubt that His Father was good, faithful and just. He knew that God was working out an eternal plan which was perfect in every way and that all would be made right in God’s timing. 

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:23

Finally, His motivation was love. First, His love for the Father, which demonstrated itself in complete obedience. Second, His love for His sheep. Radical, relentless, forever love. The love of Jesus for you and for me knew no bounds and knows no end. Whatever it takes.

When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.  John 13:1

What, then, is our response to this kind of sacrificial love? To Christ’s life of willing submission and obedience unto death on our behalf? How do we follow our Savior’s example in life and in death? Paul sums it up,

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that One has died for all, therefore all have died; and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Jesus, Son of God, Savior of the world,
Words cannot express our gratitude for the life You lived and the death You died.
How You came to rescue us when we could not rescue ourselves.
When we question Your plan, remind of us Your unwavering trust in the Father.
When we doubt Your love, remind us of Your suffering and death on the cross.
When we are tempted to give up, remind us that You loved us to the end.
May Your love control and compel us every day of our earthly lives.
Because You suffered to give us life eternal.
To You be the honor and the praise and the glory forever.
Amen.

Held by Him,

Leslie

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 29 ~ John 15:18-25

Lentcover

In recent years I had the privilege of teaching middle school history to homeschooled students. We were studying the early church and the Middle Ages, which is truly a fascinating time in history. Quite honestly, I’ve been shocked by how little I really knew about the early church. I feel that, as the modern church, we are missing something…something deep in the roots of people, our brothers and sisters, who came before us. A life and time so radically different from ours that I can’t help but be awed and inspired and troubled and unnerved. I read their stories:

The bold courage in the face of death and torture

The radical love towards real enemies and radical generosity with each other

The miracles and healings

The complete abandonment of homes, families, plans, and comfort to proclaim the truth of grace…

I am humbled and convicted

day29

I wanted to tie the persecution of Christians in the first 300 years of the church to what is going on in the world today, and I was struck. Struck across my head and my heart with my own selfishness. Yes, I knew Christians were being persecuted around the world today. I got updates this Summer about Meriam in my Facebook feed. I hear the reports coming from ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But I was deeply convicted with the starck truth that I really didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to know what was really going on. And I had to ask myself, “why?” After praying and processing and watching countless youtube videos trying to find one that was tame enough to show my class, I realized the truth. I didn’t want to know because when I encounter the suffering my brothers and sisters are going through I’m convicted….

Convicted with my idolatry of comfort

Convicted with the lukewarm status of my faith

Convicted with my lack of boldness in proclaiming Christ

Convicted with my non-persistence in prayer

Convicted with my quickness to complain and not seek joy in trials

I didn’t want to know, but I’m so glad I do! Because seeing the realness of this persecution, that has changed ME! Remembering and praying for THEM, has changed ME! Reading their stories has challenged my thinking and deepened my faith in the amazing power of God.

If you are like me or just want to know more, here are a few places to start:

1. This video is 2 years old, but gives a good overview of the persecution in Asia and a testimony to the power of prayer

2. If you are on Facebook regularly, you can follow gospel for asia and voice of the martyrs, both post prayer requests regularly.

3. You can sign up for VOM emails at https://www.icommittopray.com

4. The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted church is November 2. Spread the word

5. Read the stories. I have read several missionary biographies this summer which I highly recommend:

Through Gates of Splendor

God Smuggler

Bruchko

Jesus Freaks: Martyrs

Jesus Freaks: Revolutionaries

Kisses From Katie

On my list to read next-

Peace Child

Unbroken

6. PRAY!!!! I wasn’t really sure what to even pray for or if prayer really made a difference. Then I saw the stories. I read countless believers saying how they were encouraged to stay strong and have hope because of the prayers of others. I read of miracles and healings and jailers coming to faith, and I knew that praying is not in vain!

Here is a list of ways to pray for the persecuted church:persecution

 Matthew 5:10-12  (NIV)

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 

Hugs,

Julie

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 23 ~ John 8:48-59

Lentcover

They picked up stones to kill Jesus because in their eyes he was committing blasphemy (Leviticus 24:15-16). He used the name of God “I am” for Himself. 

“I and the Father are one.” Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”  

“We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” – John 10:30-33

If Jesus is a mere mortal, solely a good man or a wise teacher, who met a tragic end on a Roman cross, there would be no reason to rejoice this Easter. A detailed reading of the New Testament must make us wrestle with the claims Jesus made of Himself and those the apostles made of Him. Jesus claims to be one with the Father (John 10:30), sent from the Father (John 20:21), going back to the Father (John 16:28). He says He is the Christ, the Son of Man, the Son of God. If Jesus is just a man, then He is a liar or a lunatic to make such claims. Liars are not “good” men. Lunatics don’t make trustworthy teachers.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. . . . Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 55-56)

The New Testament writers say this about the divinity of Jesus:

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. – Hebrews 1:3

For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. – 1 Corinthians 8:5-6

“Before Abraham was. As unbelievers judge only from the appearance of the flesh, Christ reminds them that He has something greater and higher than human appearance, which is hidden from the senses of the flesh, and is perceived only by the eyes of faith; and that, in this respect, He might be seen by the holy fathers, before He was manifested in the flesh. But He uses different verbs. Before Abraham was, or, Before Abraham was born,  I am. 251251    Our Author’s idea, to which he merely alludes, appears to be that, instead of saying, ἐγὼ ἐγενόμνη, or, ἐγὼ γίνομαι, Christ purposely said, ἐγώ εἰμι, because the verb εἰμῖ, standing contrasted with γενέσθαι, would convey the idea of underived existence.  But by these words he excludes himself from the ordinary rank of men, and claims for himself a power more than human, a power heavenly and divine, the perception of which reached from the beginning of the world through all ages.” – John Calvin

Day 23

The true joy and hope of Easter is not in the life and death of a great prophet or a wise teacher. The joy and hope of Easter is in the sacrifice of God Himself. That God the Son would leave the throne room of Heaven to be born in human flesh to make a way for His beloved children to be close to Him once more. God knew that our good would never be “good enough”, so He lived the perfect life we never could. He gave the ultimate sacrifice of Himself to take the punishment we deserved. That is a love so inconceivable, so indescribable, so uncontainable.

signature

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 18 ~ John 3:19-21

Lentcover

“Darkness doesn’t have anything on light, on hope, on faith.

The darkness that sucks at the prodigal kid doesn’t have anything on the light of his mother’s prayers.

The black of pornography that threatens at the edges doesn’t master the blazing light of Jesus at the center.

The pit of depression that plunges deep doesn’t go deeper than the love of your Jesus and there is no place His light won’t go to find you, to save you, to hold you.

That low lying storm cloud that hangs over you can’t master the light of Christ that raises you.”      

– Ann Voskamp

Light and darkness are prominent themes in the Gospel of John. From the very opening we learn that Jesus is the

“light of men (4)” and that “the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it (5).”

Jesus picks back up on this theme in today’s verses. John 3:19-21

It is interesting that Jesus uses the metaphor of light and darkness as he talks to Nicodemus. Did Nicodemus come to talk to Jesus at night because he was afraid to be seen with the one the religious teachers (like himself) hated? Jesus has just revealed to Nicodemus many truths about who He is, why He came to Earth, and about the kingdom of God. He ends their conversation with these stark words, But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

If Nicodemus really wants to follow Jesus, he will need to come into the light. He will need to let go of the fear of the condemnation of others. He will need to let go of his own self-righteousness. He will need to be willing to expose his sinful heart to his Creator. He will need to let go of his prestige and become a humble follower.

Jesus calls us to this place.

Are you willing to come into the light?

Guilt and shame delight in keeping us in the darkness. God calls us to Himself, the Light of the world.

Day 18

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brene Brown

As believers, we can stop hiding in the dark and live authentically, because we have the gospel.

Just as the smallest pin of light can illuminate the greatest expanse of darkness, the Light of the World, can shine into the darkest storms of our life.

Will you walk in the light?

signature

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 13 ~ Luke 7:36-50

Lentcover

In this passage, we see what it means to be vulnerable. This woman has seen the depths of her sin and, in faith, risks rejection and scorn to powerfully worship Jesus. She could let her sin overwhelm her with shame and guilt and then spend her life hiding in the shadows, but she doesn’t. She courageously goes into the house of a Pharisee, who, as we see by Simon’s thinking, would not have accepted her. Caring more about what her Savior will think of her than what others might say about her, this “sinful woman” cries so hard that she has enough tears to wipe the dirt off of Jesus’ feet. Broken. Exposed. Vulnerable. And in that place, bowed down before the Creator of the world, she hears these healing words, Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.

Being vulnerable is not easy. It takes a great amount of honesty, courage, and authenticity. I used to think being vulnerable meant you were weak. Now I see that the opposite is true. Numbing, stuffing, and pretending are easy. Being willing to be broken is HARD and painful.

 

woman washing Jesus' feet

So what do I mean by vulnerability?

The dictionary defines the term as being capable of being physically or emotionally wounded, open to attack/damage. It comes from the Latin word for wound.

Doesn’t sound like something to strive for, does it?

Yes, living authentically means we may be wounded. But living in vulnerability is the pathway for deep healing. Courage, trust, love, and hope are strengthened in the fertile ground of risk and brokenness. There is deep healing that comes when we are vulnerable with ourselves, before God, and in community.

Vulnerability is:

  • Having the courage to show up and be truly seen
  • Being honest about your hurts, struggles, joys, and dreams
  • Choosing authenticity over comfort
  • Passionately pursuing heart change before behavioral change
  • Practicing honesty, confession, humility

We live in a culture that values strength, rugged individualism, and self-determination.

What we don’t realize is that we are all already vulnerable. We are messy sinners living in a broken world. We are always capable of being wounded. As believers, we can stop hiding in the dark and live authentically, because we have the gospel.

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” – Timothy Keller

We all know the superficial feeling of being loved but not truly known. We have the nagging fear. “If they only knew, they might reject me.” But Christ, who knows all things and sees all things, He fully delights in us.

In Hebrews 3:13-16, It says this:

And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Our great High Priest can sympathize with our weakness. Jesus is the ultimate example of vulnerability.

I can’t think of anything more vulnerable than being stripped, beaten, and mocked, while hanging nailed to a cross for all to see. In vulnerability, Jesus was wounded for us, so that we may be healed.

Christ gave sight to the blind and, metaphorically, gives sight to every blind sinner who comes to Him in humility. Seeing is the catalyst for change. You can’t begin to heal a wound you pretend isn’t there.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  Psalm 147:3

We don’t have to fear vulnerability because Jesus promises to draw close and bind up our wounds.

Day 13

As the body of Christ, we should be the most vulnerable people. We should be known for our honesty and humility.

We don’t need to shield ourselves in self-protection because we are shielded under the wings of the Most High.

We don’t need to fear rejection because our Savior was rejected and scorned that we may be redeemed.

We don’t need to hide our struggles because we have the promise that when we are weak, Christ’s power is made perfect in us.

We don’t need to pretend or wear masks because our Heavenly Father knows us completely and says “I delight in you.”

We don’t need to fear being vulnerable with others. We can take risks and step out of our comfort zone because Emmanuel left the throne room of Heaven to be with us.

We don’t need to hide in shame because Jesus called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light

In this world, we are always vulnerable. We are always open to rejection, criticism, attacks, and wounding. But in Christ, we have hope. In Christ, there is no risk. His love will never fail. This relationship is eternally secure. If there is one place we should be completely vulnerable, like the woman in Luke 7, it should be before the feet of our Savior. There we will hear the words, “Your sins are forgiven. Go in peace.”

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Day 8 ~ Matthew 7:1-5

LentcoverUse your judgment, of course: the verse implies that you will judge in a right sense. But do not indulge the criticizing faculty upon others in censorious manner, or as if you were set in authority, and had a right to dispense judgment among your fellows. If you impute motives, and pretend to read hearts, others will do the same towards you. A hard and censorious behavior is sure to provoke reprisals. Those around you will pick up the peck measure you have been using, and measure your corn with it. You do not object to men forming a fair opinion of your character, neither are you forbidden to do the same towards them, but as you would object to their sitting in judgment upon you, do not sit in judgment upon them. This is not the day of judgment, neither are we his Majesty’s judges, and therefore we may not anticipate the time appointed for the final assize, nor usurp the prerogatives of the Judge of all the earth. Surely, if I know myself aright, I need not send my judgment upon circuit to try other men, for I can give it full occupation in my own Court of Conscience to try the traitors within my own bosom.” – Charles Spurgeon

The command to “not judge” doesn’t mean we give license to sin or universal acceptance with no delineation between right and wrong. In fact, we are called in verse 5 to aid in the removing of our brother’s speck. In 1 Thessalonians 5: 21-22, it states, Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.

Jesus is warning against hypocritical judgement. We cannot play God in our judgements. We can’t know the intentions, motives, or desires of another. Only our omniscient God can see into the hearts of men. We can’t make assumptions or jump to conclusions. This is a very humbling truth for me, as I can often make assumptions about another’s motives. It is much harder to bravely approach someone and get to the truth of their intentions. It is much harder to give people the benefit of the doubt. It is much harder to give grace before character evaluations.

Day 8

We are called to humbly search our own hearts.  When we do the hard work with God toremove the plank in our own eye, we are changed. Our spiritual blinders are removed and we can see the depths of our own sin. When we taste this grace, our hearts melt. We melt from being judgmental, hypocritical, and self-righteous to become meek and humble. We see the glorious riches we have received in Christ Jesus and that treasure brings delight to our souls. We can then move in step with the Spirit and offer this treasure to others. Rather than judgement, we can offer the mercy, comfort, and grace of Christ.

signature

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Welcome to the 2016 Lent study!

Lentcover

We are so excited you are here for our 40 Day Lent study that starts Wednesday, February 10th.

If you are subscribed to receive our daily blog posts, you will receive the devotion that corresponds with each day’s reading sent to you the night before (Monday-Saturday). There are 40 days starting on Ash Wednesday and continuing to Easter Sunday. If you are not signed up to receive our daily posts, you can sign up here: http://eepurl.com/bmDz6v

There is a FREE 45 page workbook that corresponds with the study. You can access that in the email. If you subscribed, but haven’t received any emails from calledforsuchatime@gmail.com, please check your spam folder or promotions tab.

This video explains more about this study:

Lent Study from Calledforsuchatime on Vimeo.

We want to connect with you! You can join our private Facebook group HERE. Here we can discuss what we are learning, ask questions, encourage one another, and simply journey together in God’s word!

If you have any questions during the study, you can reach us at calledforsuchatime@gmail.com.

We are praying for you and can’t wait to hear what God is doing in and through you as you purposefully carve out time to study the words of Jesus this Lent.

Blessings,

The Called For Such a Time team

facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Announcing our 2016 Lent study!!!!!

Lentcover

I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time sitting still. Even if I squeeze in some sitting at the end of the day, I’m usually reading or working on my laptop. Purposefully sitting, reflecting, being still is a discipline that I must intentionally cultivate.

Luke 10:38-42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,  but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

So this story always kinda bothered me. Being a Martha – getter done, easily distracted by my to-do list – kinda gal, I felt like she got a bad rap. It wasn’t until recently that I realized Jesus was saying that Mary chose what was BETTER. Not that one was good and one was bad. One was good and one was better. Also, that Martha wasn’t admonished for serving, but for being worried and upset over her many distractions.

Serving God is good. Sitting at Jesus’ feet is essential.

As we look forward to the season of Lent, we are asking you to join us in a new study as we purposefully carve out time in our day to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear the words He spoke in the Gospels. Each day of Lent we will have a passage to read and a guide to help us spend time meditating on the red letter words of Christ. We are confidently asking God to meet us in this quiet place and speak truth to our hearts.

Why a Lent study?

Lent is a tradition that began in the early church. Since the 500s Lent has traditionally been set apart as the 40 days (excluding Sundays) from Ash Wednesday to Resurrection Sunday. The 40 days is symbolic of the 40 days Jesus was tempted in the wilderness.

“Lent eventually became imbedded into Christian tradition as a season for the church to symbolically follow Christ into the wilderness.  Rather than skipping over the events that led up to Jesus’ crucifixion, Lent is a season to prepare ourselves for the joy of Resurrection Sunday as we enter the sorrow and pain that preceded it.  It is a time of fasting and self-denial, though not for denial itself, but to empty ourselves of lesser things that we might be filled with the greater things of the gospel.” – Matt Grimsley

Lent is a time to withdraw, remember, repent, and be changed.  A time to ask God what we need to sacrifice in order to purposefully be still and know He is God (Psalm 46:10). An opportunity to strip off our filthy rags of pride, sin, and self-righteousness and let Christ clothe us in the beautiful robes of Himself!holy-season-of-Lent

We invite you to join us for this FREE 40 day Devotional study. If you are not a current blog subscriber, you can sign up here:

Sign up here for our FREE Lent Devotional Study

* indicates required


You will receive a downloadable workbook that you can use to follow along each day of our study. In addition, every day of Lent, you will receive a devotional that corresponds with the scripture reading sent straight to your inbox.

We want to connect with you! We have made a Called For Such a Time Community Facebook group so we can build relationships with all of you! Send a request to join here. We hope to “see” you there.

Matthew 11:28-30 The Message (MSG)

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

facebooktwitterpinterestmail