What to give up for Lent? Giving up Ourselves and Giving Ourselves to God’s Word

March 20, 2014

An excellent reminder and exhortation from Fr. Charles Erlandson at Give Us This Day last Friday:

But what should we give up during Lent, since this is a time of penitence and abstinence, and an intense season of fasting?  The answer this year is the same as every year: we should give up ourselves.  This is the true fast of Lent; this is the true fast of our lives.  Every other fast in this life is so that we may stop depending on ourselves and give up ourselves to the Lord, weaning ourselves from our terrible addiction to self.

This morning, God is asking you to give up yourself to Him in a particular way: by giving up yourself to hearing and living by His Word, and not your words.

The “meat” of the devotional entry from which the above is excerpted centers upon 1 Timothy 4 and provides practical teaching in how we may apply the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy in our own lives.  I particularly appreciated this section:

You have the same sacred obligation to guard the Word of God with both your lips and your lives, as did Paul or Timothy.  Paul is saying to you, “be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed” (verse 6.)  God, through Paul, says to you, “be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (verse 12.)

God is speaking to each of us when he says, “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (verse 15.)  And He is commanding you to “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.  Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (verse 16.)

God is just as insistent with you as Paul was with Timothy that you give yourself to God by giving yourself to His Word.  God has entrusted to you His words of life: are you teaching them and living by them?

Note also the questions for reflection and a suggested “resolution”

To what degree can you say that you have given yourself to God and His Word?  If you have not given yourself as fully as you like, examine the reasons why you fall short.  Resolve to find one practical way to give yourself more fully. 

Resolution:  I resolve to find one practical way in which I can more fully give myself to God’s Word, either in word or deed.

The full devotional entry is here.

The Rev. Charles Erlandson is a Presbyter of the Reformed Episcopal Church and is an assistant at the Good Shepherd RE Church in Tyler, Texas

Note:  I’ve added Fr. Erlandson’s Give Us this Day site into my list of daily Lenten devotional sites.  I’ve linked it in other years, and I had not meant to exclude it this year, but somehow it slipped of my list when I was working on the 2014 compilation of links.  It’s a good site for daily online Anglican devotionals, in Lent and throughout the year.

Mark 4:35-41

March 20, 2014

[Personal note from Torre: On February 20th I slipped on the ice and it turns out that I have a fractured vertebra. It will take about six months to heal. Prayers for healing appreciated. On or about March 10th my computer got well and truly hacked. I just got it back from the computer store today. That is why there have been no prayer notes. Please pray for the protection of my computer.]

On the same day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took him along in the boat as he was. And other little boats were also with him. (Mark 4:35-36)
      Jesus, please help us take you “as you are”, not as we want you to be. You are the one who ever lives to intercede for us. Please intercede for us now.

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:37-38 )
      Lord Jesus, we are in the midst of many great storms in our lives. Please help us in our weakness and fear.

Then he arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But he said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:39-40)
      Lord Jesus Christ, speak those words, “Peace, be still!” to our hearts and to the storms we fear.

And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey him!” (Mark 4:41)
      Holy Father, through the work of your Holy Spirit, please help us hold Jesus in revernt awe and remember all that he has done and is doing for us. Thank you.

A word received: My word is faithful.

Thursday: [70], 71 * 74; Gen. 42:29-38: 1 Cor. 6:12-20: Mark 4:21-34
Friday: 95* & 69:1-23(24-30)31-38 * 73; Gen. 43:1-15: 1 Cor. 7:1-9: Mark 4:35-41

Albany Intercessor

Lent Quotes: Leslie Newbigin

March 20, 2014

If anyone tells you that the life of prayer is one uninterrupted experience of being happy with Jesus, do not follow him. He is not a safe guide. Those who follow the Lamb know that there are stretches of darkness and loneliness and perplexity along the way, and they know that Jesus himself went that way. …Lesslie Newbigin

H/T  Pat Dague at her wonderful devotional blog “Incline Your Heart”

%d bloggers like this: