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Posts tagged ‘lent and the daniel fast’

Entangled or Established?

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2, NLT).

What does that scripture mean? How is it possible to not “copy the behavior and customs” of the world when it surrounds us and everything we see and do is affected by the world in which we live?

A key to not being so attached to the world that we conform to it in every way is the next phrase: “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

How can we let God accomplish this? How can our minds be renewed? Paul gives a hint: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5, KJV).

When we receive Jesus in our hearts, He doesn’t want to just be a doorway to heaven at the end of our lives. He wants to renew our minds and recreate us in His image. As we allow him to do so, our minds will be renewed and transformed, and our lives will be completely changed. As such, we will avoid copying the behavior of the world and becoming entangled with the things of the world.

This is what the Lord desires of us: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1, KJV). He wants us to experience the freedom that comes through knowing Him and patterning our lives after the example He gave us. When we become more like Him, our lives will be purposed to further the kingdom of God.

This means something different for each person. When Jesus was on earth, not every individual who believed in Him became a full-time disciple. Joseph of Arimathea believed in Him, but the part he played (providing the tomb for Jesus’ body) was very different from the part Mary Magdalene played, whose calling to follow Him was very different from that of the 12 disciples.

You have a unique calling from God, a purpose that only you can fill. How can you learn to know and understand that purpose, to know “God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect?” You know it by allowing your mind to be transformed through the power of Jesus. As you do so, you will come to know His will in your life, and you will have the strength to follow it.

This is how you keep free from being entangled with the things of the world, even though you are in the world. This is how you become established in the Kingdom and help others to do the same. This is how you fulfill your God-given purpose.

Question . . . how are you doing? Do you find yourself caught up in the trappings of the world? Do you feel like you have to fight off the easy outs that the world-system offers? Believe me, you are not alone. We are called to be very intentional as we open our hearts to the comfort, understanding and direction our Lord generously provides. And then we can be intentional about living our lives according to God’s ways . . . and discover and live in the peace and rest only He can provide.

Lent and the Daniel Fast

 Lent 2008 – February 6th – March 22nd

The season of Lent is the period in the Church Year between Ash Wednesday and Easter. It originated in the very early days of the Church as a time of preparation for new converts. They would receive instructions about their faith, the church and Jesus Christ before being baptized and receiving their first Holy Communion which took place at a Mass on Easter Eve. This is still practiced in most liturgical churches throughout the world. Easter, or Resurrection Sunday,  is the most significant day in the Church Year as it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

All churches that have a continuous history extending before AD 1500 observe Lent. This includes the Lutherans, Episcopalians, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Methodists, and other Protestant denominations.

Forty Days of Lent

Lent is a forty-day period; however these days are not consecutive. The reason is that Sundays are not included in the count since they commemorate the resurrection of Christ. These 40 days remember Christ’s 40 days in the wilderness when He was tempted by Satan.

Today other members of churches who recognize the liturgical year practice Lent, along with those coming into full communion. It is a time for reflection, repentance and drawing closer to the Lord. During Lent, one makes sacrifices to observe the 40-day fast Jesus experienced in the wilderness. The most common food that is “given up for Lent” is meat, making the Daniel Fast a common way of eating during the 40 days of Lent.