By: Karyn Bridges and Heather McGugan Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter (the day of Jesus' resurrection from the grave). Christians observe Lent by setting aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ through fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline.
By stripping down to essentials, Lent enables us to focus on our individual relationship with God, let go of the bondage of sin and celebrate freedom from the bondage of slavery. During this time, Christians meditate on the great sacrifice Jesus made by dying on the cross to pay the price of everyone's sins and His ultimate triumph over the grave through His resurrection from death!
Lent 2011 begins Wednesday, March 9th and will continue until Saturday, April 23rd.
Let's use Lent this year to not only change/renew/rejuvenate our relationship with Christ BUT also change the lives of some children and families in Ethiopia and give all the glory to God!
This Lent, we invite and challenge you to:
ACKNOWLEDGE what Jesus Christ did for you through His death on the cross and ultimate triumph over the grave through His resurrection (Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord")!
SACRIFICE or fast from something you really enjoy or do regularly throughout Lent (March 9 - April 23), withholding that thing from yourself as a way of practicing self control, freeing ourselves from material things, relating to Jesus' 40 day fast in the wilderness (Matt 4:1-11) and identifying with Christ's ultimate sacrifice on the cross (Luke 23:44-47).
Examples of things you can sacrifice:
- Your favorite beverage- sodas, Starbucks, Gatorades, bottled water
- Shopping for clothes, purses, shoes
- Lunch out
- Dinner out
- Your birthday money
- Special trips/treats for your kids
- Favorite snack/dessert
- Time spent on Facebook, Twitter & other social media (I know this is radical J)
- The elevator (use the stairs instead)
- Date night
- Your favorite TV show or TV in general
- Etc, etc. Get as creative as you like!
PRAY/PRAISE -Whenever you are tempted to partake in the thing(s) you have chosen to sacrifice during Lent. Pray that the Lord strengthens you and enables you to continue your sacrifice and focus on Him. Praise Him for his continual work in your heart and life. In addition, use this time as a reminder to PRAY for the children and staff of The Forsaken Children and Onesimus.
Specifics you can pray for:
- Pray for your own relationship with Christ.
- Praise Him for the freedom His death has provided.
- Pray for the beneficiaries/children of Onesimus who know Christ that they mature in their faith.
- Pray for those beneficiaries/children who do not yet know Jesus as Savior.
- Pray for the Onesimus staff as they seek wisdom from God and minister to the children/families of their country. Staff names: Nega, Alex, Ribika, Emu, Netsanet, Sodo, Mesfin, Fitele, Abezu, Alemayehu, Seble and Wanashet.
- Pray for The Forsaken Children’s Board Members as they seek wisdom and His direction for The Forsaken Children.
- Pray for Central Church’s Short Term Ethiopia Missions Team: Pray for the leader, Kelly McGugan, the people who join the team, fundraising, team building/fellowship and God’s plan for ministry while in Addis Ababa.
GIVE - If you chose to fast from something of monetary value, consider giving what you would have spent on the item/items you gave up during lent to The Forsaken Children. Give however works best for you and keeps you accountable: give weekly or at the end of Lent. Every little bit helps, whether large or small, and enables TFC to continue transforming lives in Ethiopia.
If you accept the invite and join the challenge, we encourage you to invite others to join you clicking "LIKE" at the bottom, as well as testify to what God does during your experience. Please feel free to comment on this blog or email us at email@example.com to testify about your experience, as well as share with us a prayer you have offered for the children, staff and TFC. We hope you will share what God does through this process with us and your friends!