We have many different denominations reading these tid-bits everyday, so today I would like to talk about what some churches celebrate as Ash Wed. and then forty days of Lent. Personally, I think this would be a good practice for everybody, to spend a day in prayer and fasting (Ash Wed) and then to give up for forty days something that really makes you stop and think each day of those forty days about why you are doing without and Who you gave it up for, whatever it might be. If you give it up only to not ever think on it again after about the third day, then what have you really sacrificed for the LORD? Now I know that we are not to offer up sacrifices to GOD any longer because Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. But, this is more of a fasting for God for forty days, like Jesus did in the dessert. That is the way we should look at the forty days of Lent, not as a sacrifice but as a fast. And we should not go around puffed up proudly telling everyone what we are doing without. The attention is not to be brought on us, but on GOD.
One thing Rob and I have done a few times is give up TV. We do not turn it on for a period of time, forever how long we are doing a fast. We have found this to be extremely helpful in giving us more focused time on God and His word. You may say, how will we know the weather, or how will we know what is going on? Trust me, there are many people all around you that will be happy to share the weather and even more happy to share bad news with you. Maybe you can not give TV up completely, so maybe you will only watch the news each evening. Or maybe you will just turn it off for one or two hours during your favorite TV programs so you can spend time with GOD during that time instead of your favorite program???
The reason I bring up the TV fast is because like many of you have heard me say before, it is a cleansing in a way for your mind. Sometimes we need to clean out our minds of all the junk we hear all day everyday. Like I have said many times before, what goes in must come out at some time or other. It is a fact of life. What you eat you get rid of each day through bodily functions. It is the same with what you hear, you have to get rid of it at some time. If all you hear is bad news, and negative things all day, then you will be negative all the time. That is what I mean by it has to come out. If all you hear is about sickness, and diseases all day, then get rid of it, cleanse yourself of it. Go home and say Lord, take everything I heard today and wash me free of it. And then do not go around talking about it. Don't keep speaking it into existence and giving it life.
Find a scripture that really means something in particular to you and your situation, and meditate on that scripture during your time of fasting from the TV. Speak it out loud over and over so that you hear it instead of the TV. Stay focused for an hour or two each day just on what GOD is saying to you in particular. I promise you after your forty days in the dessert, God will bring you out with a new sense of who you are in Christ. Try it, you'll like it!!!!
Jon 3 v 5.-10....So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, 'Let neither man nor beast nor flock taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth and cry mightily to God; yes, let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.......
You see it doesn't matter who we are, the best scholars in the word, the priests, pastors, or evangelists, or even the new baby Christian who has just accepted the Lord Jesus for themselves as their Savior. It doesn't matter what denomination we call ourselves. We all need a day of prayer and fasting in our lives. We all need our personal time with the LORD to seek His will for us. We all need to spend more time with His word everyday. We all need JESUS to be our main focus each day. Then maybe we will be able to walk in His ways more easily toward others. Maybe then, we will be able to show the compassion and love and kindness He has for others toward the strangers in our lives. AMEN!