Beginning February 18th (Ash Wednesday) we move into a time of spiritual challenge. The forty days (not counting Sundays) leading to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection is known as Lent. Christians around the world prepare to experience the victorious life that is ours because of the power of Jesus Christ to overcome death, hell and the grave on the most important day of the year to His followers. The world would celebrate Easter as a time to purchase a new outfit of clothing or just another family holiday. However, for Christians to fully grasp the magnitude of what Easter is…we must prepare. We do this by observing spiritual disciplines such as prayer and fasting. We will have extra services known as Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunrise.
Matthew 16:24 is the text that leads us on this journey. Worship will call us to the cross and the empty tomb. We will focus on three things: self-denial, understanding and being willing to carry our cross and completely and obediently following Jesus. Beyond our times of worship we are calling our church family to a time of prayer and fasting corporately. Beginning on February 18th, would you purposely pray and fast together with us?
The challenge is to pray daily for these four requests:
- Lord, teach me…show me how to deny myself – take up my cross – and follow you.
- Pray that people you know-(make a list) – will hunger to know Jesus and come to Him.
- Ask the Lord to prepare all of our hearts for forgiveness…that He might heal hurting relationships. Marriages–Parents and Children–Siblings–Friendships.
- Lord, use me! Work in me and through me to see these requests accomplished.
We long to see God move in His church…globally…in our local church…and in you and I as we share in this journey to the cross and the empty tomb. Self-denial is not popular in our culture. Our challenge is opposite that of society. Will you accept the challenge? It won’t be easy…but the outcome is significant today and forevermore!