Celebrating Lent Authentically

How will you walk out this Lenten season?

God has been sending a refreshing to his people at Culpeper UMC. The prayer event prepared our hearts for what I believe God is going to do over the next 40 days.

During the Ash Wednesday service this week, Pastor Randy reminded us of the most important tools we have in our walk with God: the Bible and prayer. It was the word of God and prayer that Jesus used to defeat the enemy during the 40 days of testing in the desert. And God's timeless word still has the answers for us when we are tested, too, as we seek truth from God daily.

But sometimes we can fall away from the disciplines and forget our great need of God's enlightenment for His people. After we have come to understand our need of salvation and have placed our hope in Christ, sometimes we can get a little lost applying by rote the disciplines or by the world's influence undermining God's truth and can become religious rather than walking out our faith as a relationship with our LORD.

As we go through our Lenten season, each laying down our sins afresh and seeking to remember what Christ did for us by bearing all of our sins, may we run to God's word and pray, as well, for the answers we need. The word of God is timeless and speaks into our lives. Are we seeking and listening in His word? The new Lenten study, "40 Days of Prayer" is a great way to revive our prayer life and there are lots of opportunities to join small groups. Don't miss out!

Some of us might find ourselves feeling like we are in a desert of our own, tested and weary. If that is you, know that Jesus is there with you. Our Savior demonstrated joy in the midst of the harshest circumstances. If you find yourself struggling to have joy during this Lenten season, this podcast is a reminder of how we can find joy at all times.

God might call some of us to fast during this season, as well. As we walk by faith in whatever God has called us to do, may we do it with joy and remember why we do it all in the first place. The words of Isaiah remind us of a true fast. How we live as we seek to abide by God's word and be a light to this world matters. Go with God, friends. May this be the best Lenten season ever as we draw near to our great God.

Isaiah 58:6-11

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

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