Lent

Greg Gosselin

We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way. And we should remove the sin that so easily catches us. Let us look only to Jesus. He is the one who began our faith, and He makes our faith perfect. Hebrews 12:1-2 (International Children’s Version)

I was in my mid 20s when I first heard of the words Lent and Ash Wednesday. Lent is the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter and lasts for 40 days. It is a time of sacrificing something that takes away our time to free us up to focus on His suffering. I was a Missionary on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation in upstate New York. I was also working in a department store in Buffalo. I noticed most of our customers and employees had smudges on their foreheads and asked what it was all about.

They soon started talking about “giving stuff up for Lent.” They said that they give up something for 40 days as a sacrifice to God. I was assuming it meant fasting. But I was soon corrected. They were giving things up like ice cream, which I did not feel was such a big sacrifice because it was 10 degrees outside. Some gave up candy, some gave up sweets. One lady said that she was sacrificing chocolate milk. I asked her how often she drank chocolate milk, she said almost never.

The people I worked with were some of the most immoral people I had ever met. I asked them if they had ever thought of giving up some of the things that kept them separated from God. I asked if maybe giving up drinking and carousing might be a better “sacrifice” than giving up “pop” or ice cream or going to the movies?

Lent is a time when we focus on God through prayer, reading our Bibles and helping others. Sure it’s about sacrifice, but it is sacrifice to free us up to worship.

Our ministers are reading the book “Growing Up”, how to be a disciple who makes disciples. This week’s lesson was on the importance of prayer. Some great points in this chapter were:

When was the last time you asked the Lord to reveal to you the things that matter most to Him? Usually, we have one sided prayers focusing on our needs and wants.

When the Disciples could have asked Jesus to teach them anything in the world, what they said was, “Teach us to pray.”

Because we do not make prayer a priority in our lives, we wonder why we aren’t growing in our relationship with Christ. We wonder why we are not seeing more of God in our lives. We wonder why churches are not filled with the presence and power of God.

To remedy this in our lives, we need to identify and eliminate what it is that is distracting us from prayer. Start small, like 5 minutes in prayer a day, with your phone and electronics turned off. Then increase your time with God. How much time do we spend on social media vs. how much time we spend in Bible Study and prayer?

So this Lenten season, let’s sacrifice sweets, etc., so that we can feel better, but let’s sacrifice some distraction that will allow us time to grow closer to
God.

Greg Gosselin About Greg Gosselin

Greg was born and raised in Miami, FL. He is affectionately known as “Father Goose”. He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at the age of six at the First Baptist Church of Perrine, FL. Greg came to Eastern Hills Baptist Church in February of 2004 from the First Baptist Church of Paris, TX.