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Forty Days and Forty Nights

“Let us occupy ourselves entirely in knowing God.” – Brother Lawrence

Lent is a period of forty days and forty nights that leads to Easter.  The forty days represent the time that Jesus spent in the wilderness facing temptation.  The season begins with Ash Wednesday.

During this period we are to focus on our mortality, our sinfulness, and our need for a resurrected Savior.  At times, this involves giving something up like sweets, second helpings, or social media.  Other times, it involves taking on something new like devotions, study, fasting, or service.  The aim is to do whatever it takes to bring you closer to Christ.

A general way I approach Lent is to simply focus on “time.”  I need to spend more time with Christ.  On occasion, this means giving something up.  Other occasions, this means taking on something new.

One of the best ways to spend time with Christ is to simply read the Bible.  The stories and teachings of Jesus found in the Bible did not originate as documents on which theological positions and creeds were formed.  The stories and teachings emerged as reports from real life.  People who encountered Jesus shared these stories.  Within time, the Gospel writers gathered these accounts and put them into written form.

Eventually, the Gospels were read aloud in worship services and were always intended to evoke responses and emotions.  Though centuries have passed since the Gospels were written, the stories still evoke responses and emotions . . . and change lives.

During this Lenten season, we are sharing some of the stories and teachings of Jesus found in the Gospel of John.  In particular, we are focusing on the “I Am” statements of Jesus.  Jenny and I will have a preaching series entitled, “Knowing God.”  The series connects with the book we will use in some of our study groups.  The book is The God We Can Know, by Rob Fuquay.

Our hope is that we will become better acquainted with these “I Am” statements and make these sayings an essential part of our Christian way of life.  Christianity is more than a religion.  It is a living relationship with Jesus that desires care and devotion.   It is strengthened with obedience and reverence.  The “I Am” statements encourage us to move into that deeper walk with the Lord.

I look forward to being on this Lenten journey with each of you.  We have so much to learn from the Holy Scriptures.  We have so much to learn from God and others!

A Thousand Blessings to each of You!  Scott