So! It’s Lent.
Yay! For me Easter season is one of the most important and powerful times of the year. Literally, everything church is about centers around Easter.
The issue that I have been presented with and asked about the past few weeks has been what to “give up” for lent. And it is totally valid. But, before I jump into this, let's back up.
Lent's purpose is to commemorate andforce us to participate in the experience that Jesus endured when he was in the wilderness. Do you know what you eat in the wilderness? air. Do you know what you do in the wilderness? Pray. The wilderness for Jesus was not God punishing him, it was the Spirit of God driving him into the wilderness to prepare him for something much greater. Something that would give life to all of us...Calvary! The reason we can rejoice over salvation today is because Jesus accepted the challenge that started in a wilderness. God uses the wilderness to prepare us, not to punish us. What does that mean?
Too often Lent has been seen as a punishment or tradition. Something you have to give up. Personally, I’ve gone through the gamut of things to give up. Food, spending, eating out, social media, television, etc. Each time I learned something. But frankly I couldn’t wait until Easter Sunday to use it all again.
Over the past few months I have tried something different. What if instead of giving up something for lent, you gave God something Extra?
-An Extra 15 minutes a day in his word
-An Extra 15 minutes a day meditating in His Presence
-An Extra 30 minutes of working out - Taking care of your temple
-Gave him an Extra 5% at church
-Gave him extra time serving in the community
What if you gave God extra, adding to what you already do?
Why? When you give extra, you begin to see the opportunities in your life that you can delete. For example, my wife and I spend an extra 30 minutes a day reading. We realized there were certain television shows and activities we engaged in that we could get rid of to pursue knowledge. That pursuit led to awesome conversation that continues to grow our marriage. All of this because we gave God an extra 30 minutes.
What about you? Instead of giving up something that you will pick back up on April 16th, what if you gave God something extra? I guarantee what you don’t need, you will find a way to get rid of it.
God bless you this season as you celebrate and anticipate the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior!