So we do not lose heart.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

16 So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.

How often do we find ourselves feeling broken, frustrated, pushed down and wonder how we can get back up?  I find this passage comforting because it tells me that I am feeling normal. We all go through this, we all should be able to recover from this, but we all need help to do it. Lent is a time to remember that help. To look back on the times we’ve been down in the dark and saw light reaching out for us. It is a time to allow that light to renew our inner nature.  To reclaim Jesus as our savior in our heart, not just in image or robotic motion.

Pray through verse 16 with me this week.

 

There’s more?

Continuing our Lenten exploration with a question from Rachel Held Evans

“Is there a spiritual discipline that I’ve always wanted to try?  How might I alter my daily routine to include one of these disciplines? And how can I engage all my senses—sight, sound, taste, smell, touch—as I practice them?”

Spiritual Disciplines are the intentional development of authentic Spiritual life and intimacy with God. Some examples are:

  • praying the hours,
  • lectio divina,
  • stations of the cross,
  • fasting
  • meditation
  • worship
  • service

You can find a deeper explanation of the Spiritual Disciplines here.

So now that we know what a Spiritual Discipline is, we need to figure out which one we want to do and when we can fit it into our endlessly busy life.  Fasting is a common discipline for Lent – i.e. not drinking Cokes or eating chocolate. But will that change our life? What will we embrace in the void that is no coke drinking?

Needs vs Wants

We are in the middle of the Season of Lent, so we will return to our study on Proverbs after Easter.

The second question to ponder this week is from a blog by Rachel Held Evans:

“What are some things in my life that I tell myself I need but I don’t? Can I give one or two of them up for 40 days?”

My husband and I are trying to sort out our needs versus our wants in our budget. This is our Lenten challenge. Our wants seem so necessary, yet we have to put them in perspective. Our God wants the best part of us and so often we give God the last part. The idea behind “giving something up for Lent” is to give it up so you can spend more time with God.

Scripture to ponder:

Deuteronomy 10:12

So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul..

 

A little deviation from Proverbs for Lent

I couldn’t ignore the season we have just begun, so we will return to our study on Proverbs after Easter.

The question to ponder this week is from a blog by Rachel Held Evans:

“Is there a habit or sin in my life that repeatedly gets in the way of loving God with my whole heart or loving my neighbor as myself? How do I address that issue over the next 40 days?”

Sit

Think

Write down 3 things that come to mind

Think deeper

Decide

Plan accordingly

Scripture to ponder:

Deuteronomy 6:5  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being, and all your strength.

Exodus 20:3   You must have no other gods beforeme.

 

Easier Said Than Done.

Proverbs 9:7-9
Whoever instructs the cynic gets insulted;
whoever corrects the wicked gets hurt.
Don’t correct the impudent, or they will hate you;
correct the wise, and they will love you.
Teach the wise, and they will become wiser;
inform the righteous, and their learning will increase.

“The wise are not wise because they make no mistakes. They are wise because they correct their mistakes as soon as they recognize them.”
― Orson Scott Card, Xenocide

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”
Laozi, Tao Te Ching

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
Albert Einstein

“He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.”
Confucius

“We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.”
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

If wisdom is not knowing, or knowing you don’t know, then we will be constant learners. We will lean on the words of the Bible, of people we trust, of wise sages. We will not get caught up in our own ego, but continue to learn in humility.

Easier said than done.

Lord, help me to enter this time of Lent with an open and willing heart. Remind me that you are the great Teacher and I am your humble learner. Amen.