Lent

Posted: February 15th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I Believe God small 187x300 Lent

Whether you observe the season of Lent or not, I want to make a resource available to you. It’s a 40-day devotional written to help strengthen your faith. Circumstances, feelings, discouraging news and negative comments from others can sap our faith. It can start to feel like God is far away and unconcerned about what we’re going through.

“I Believe God: a 40-day adventure” will help you reject the lies we’re told by the enemy and the world and replace them with the truth of God’s word. If you’d like a copy, you can get one by clicking here. The suggested price is $1.99, but I have it set up so you can name your own price. If you want to pay nothing, you can do that.

I know sometimes Lent is viewed as a season “to give something up.” So let’s give up believing our feelings and circumstances and start believing God.


Lent

Posted: February 16th, 2010 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Truth | Tags: , , | No Comments »

When I was growing up, my Catholic friends would always talk about giving something up for Lent. Chocolate always seemed to be a popular choice. Other than that, all I knew was that Lent was the period leading up to Easter.

As an adult, I attended non-demoninational churches for about twenty years where we never talked about Lent. It wasn’t until about five years ago when I began attending a Methodist church (before my current role as Executive Pastor at The Church at Arkansas) that seasons like Lent and Advent even hit my radar again. Old rituals that had no meaning to me now were significant reminders of what was most important to me.

If you’re a little unfamiliar with it, Lent is the 40 day period leading up to Easter and has historically been a season of fasting, prayer, self-denial, Christian growth, simplicity and other disciplines. It’s actually 46 days, but the six Sundays aren’t counted since those would be considered days of celebration, not denial.

Whether Lent has been a meaningful part of your life, has become a stale tradition or is a relatively new concept, I want to invite you to participate in Lent this year. In particular, I invite you to draw near to God.

James 4:7-8 says:

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you.”

As I have recently been reading through the Old Testament books of Isaiah and Jeremiah, I am struck with how quickly and easily God’s people, the nation of Israel wandered away from Him. Time after time, they turned their backs on Him and gave their attention and devotion to idols and other “gods.”

And time after time, God would call them to return to Him.

Sadly, I find myself to be very much like Israel.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Are you feeling weary and burdened? Do you need rest?

Come to Jesus.

Would you be willing to commit to a season of drawing near to God? Of coming to Jesus to experience rest for your soul?

Drawing near will cost something. You will have to give something up. It’s probably the thing that causes you to be most distracted or eats up most of your free time.

My wife, Robyn, has begun setting her alarm about an hour earlier so she can spend more time with the Lord. It will cost her some sleep.

If you just can’t get up any earlier, then maybe you will need to turn off the television at night, so that you can enjoy extra time seeking Him before bed.

For some, it may mean choosing to ignore the phone, Twitter, Facebook and email long enough to truly be alone with Jesus. Long enough to experience His presence.

Drawing near to God will first mean identifying and setting aside our idols, our distractions, those things that have competed for and won our attention.

But it’s not just about giving something up.

Drawing near will mean investing intentional time in reading His word, talking with Him and even more importantly–listening to Him.

Will you choose to draw near during this season of Lent?

I will post regularly over the next 40+ days along the theme of drawing near and experiencing God. I invite you to join me and many others in seeing what God has in store for us.

Are you in?