40 Days With Jesus - The End of a Lent Journey | Enduring All Things

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

40 Days With Jesus - The End of a Lent Journey

On Ash blessWednesday, I started going through my 40 Days with Jesus journal from Naptime Diaries (the journal is not dated so you can still get one and start it any time). This study was such a blessing. Not only was the content great and I learned a lot, but since other bloggers were doing the same study, I was motivated to stick with it. At least at first.
For the first half of the journal, I didn't miss a single day. I would wake up, make coffee, and read the bible every day. But for some reason, about halfway through Lent, I started slacking. I kept forgetting to read or I'd wake up late and never find the time for it that day. I'd skip a couple days then read three passages in one day to catch up.
This is not how the study was meant to be done. I need that pick-me-up every day. On days I don't read, I can tell. And on days when I read three passages in a row, I don't get as much out of each passage as I could. And why does this happen? Because I am lazy and I put other things ahead of my relationship with God. There is no excuse for that! Sure I'm human and I will mess up sometimes, but He deserves so much more than our best effort. And since my best effort is all I can give Him, I should be doing just that.
Since I finished the Lent journal, I've been doing this promise journal (above). My grandma gave me this back in 2009 and I never used it and forgot about it for a while. When I was at my mom's a few weeks ago for work, I found it again and decided to bring it home withe me. I'm excited to get into it. I plan to keep it up until it becomes second nature to wake up and immediately open my bible.

As far as the Lent study itself, I certainly learned a lot. I learned that true biblical Hope can be defined as the confidence that what God has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future. What this means for me is that I hope in His Word which says Jesus was here on Earth and that He is coming back and I should eagerly wait like a watchman waiting for morning [Psalm 130:5-6].
I also learned that Jesus can make me bold like he did with Peter and John in Acts 4. There are so many times in life that I feel inadequate and think I don't know enough to teach or bring others to Christ. But I have the Holy Spirit and I have Jesus by my side to help me along the way. Why do I not display confidence in Him? Also, even when I don't see or feel Jesus with me, I have my brothers and sisters. The church was meant to be a community where we all help each other along [Acts 2:42-47]. We should take advantage of that.
And lastly, I learned that "blessed to be a blessing" is such a recurring theme in the Bible. I've heard it before, but I never realized how much it is threaded through the pages. The theme of the entire bible, of course, is love. But being a blessing to others is so much a part of that love. It is taking the love a step further and showing it. This concept should be entwined into everything we do. Just one example from Jeremiah 29:7f shows us that God wanted these people to bless the city they have been exiled to! It would be human nature to be bitter toward the city and to sit there in self-pity, but these people are not only supposed to find joy in their suffering [James 1:3], but they are to seek out the needs of others around them and bless them in any way they can. What a concept!
So from now on, I am going to seek out the needs of others on a daily basis. I will find ways to bless people whether it be in a big way or a simple way. Every day I will strive to be that blessing to others because God tells us to, but also because I may be the only bible someone ever sees.

What did you learn from your Lent journey? Go link up with Oak and Oats this week!
Thanks for reading!

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