This is the beginning of the season of Lent. Lent is the period of preparation for the celebration of the greatest gift of hope and life to all mankind. The death of Christ on Good Friday and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is a 40-day period marked by prayer, fasting and abstinence, and giving.
As a Foursquare Pastor, it is not usually our tradition to observe this season in a similar fashion as some our friends in others churches do. However, I love a season designed to fast, to seek God and to hear from Him.
This is a season is a time to seek God to set some things aside that might get in the way of that activity. I found a list, and then added to it some things of my own to consider giving up this Lent and beyond:
1. Fear: God is on my side. In Him I am more than a conqueror. (Romans 8:31-39)
2. Envy: I am blessed. My value is not found in my possessions, but in my relationship with God.( Psalm 73)
3. Anger: If I live angry, everything and every one will fuel that anger. I will chose to replace those angry feelings with love and compassion towards others and situations I cannot control. (Ephesians 4:26-31, Colossians 3:8)
4. Bitterness and Resentment: The only person I am hurting by holding onto these is myself.(Hebrews 12:15)
5. Blame: I am not going to pass the buck. I will take responsibility for my actions. (Psalm 32:5)
6. Gossip and Negativity: I will put the speak kindly and well when it comes to other people. I will also minimize my contact with people who are negative and toxic and bring other people down. (Psalm 15:1-3)
7. Comparison:I have my own unique contribution to make and there is no one else like me. (Psalm 139:14)
8. A Mindset of Poverty: Believe with God that there is always more than enough and never a lack. (Philippians 4:19)
9. Doubt: Believe God has a plan for you that is beyond anything you could imagine. The future is brighter than you could ever realize. (Jeremiah 29:11)
10. Self-pity: God comforts us in our sorrow so that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (1 John 4:18)
11. Retirement: As long as you are still breathing, you are here for a reason. You have a purpose to influence others for Christ. That does not come to an end until the day we die. (Psalm 92:14, Isaiah 46:4)
12. Excuses: A wise man once said, if you need an excuse, any excuse will do. Let’s decide to do what we have been putting off. (Romans 2:1, Joshua 1:9)
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. Proverbs 31:24