On February 10 at 6:30-7:30 PM
Lent is an opportunity to practice the key spiritual disciplines of reflection, prayer and fasting that help us focus on Jesus. Traditionally Lent is the 40 days of fasting before Easter. We invite you to enter and practice the Lenten season in the following ways:
- Choose to fast from an idol or false god that you serve, depend or rely on, put your hope in and sacrifice for. The focus of Lent 2016 is this: Fast from an idol to focus on Jesus.
- Use the questions in this guide to help you reflect and identify the idol you’ll fast from. It could be spending, a relationship, anything we use for hope or comfort. You might find it helpful to journal thoughts to each question.
- Use the extra time and energy you have when fasting from your idol or god to pray. Replace the idol with time and attention toward the true God. Let him be your comfort, fill your hunger, be your hope and be the true God you worship. Journal any insights from your prayer times.
- Use the 2016 Bible Reading Plan. During Lent we want to hear from God through his Word.
- You have the option to receive ashes on your forehead or wrist at the station at the end of the service.
Discovering Our Idols and False Gods
How do we identify idols and false gods in our lives? Below are some questions that can help us discover our idols. As you REFLECT on these questions, do your best to be brutally honest with yourself and God. Fight off feelings of embarrassment or shame. Idols and false gods intentionally operate “off the radar” and can be buried deep inside us. Take the time to reflect on these to let the the idols surface. Journalingor writing out your thoughts to each
- What is your great disappointment or what has disappointed you most in your life? Where did you put your hope and where was hope crushed? What we put our hope in is often a god or idol.
- For what or to whom do you sacrifice your time, money and effort? To whom or where does your energy and attention go? Who or what do you serve? What you sacrifice for or serve as a slave is often a god or idol.
- What do you worry about? What do you obsess about protecting? What scares you? What do you fear losing? What is the source of your anxiety?
- When you are hurt, depressed or down, to whom or where do you go to find comfort? When we hurt, we end up bowing down before something to worship seeking comfort. What we turn to first is often a god or idol.
- What makes you mad? Who makes you mad? What situations frustrate you? From where or from whom does irritation, resentment, anger or rage come?
Message from Glen Elliott
“Lent is the 40 days of fasting before Easter. This is a powerful spiritual season to focus on the discipline of fasting and prayer which Jesus and the apostles spoke about and practiced. It helps prepare our hearts for the coming of Easter. Traditionally the main practices and key aspects of Lent are prayer, fasting, alms giving and receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday. At the Lent service, I will challenge you to fast from an idol to focus on Jesus. We’ll help you identify a false god or idol that you can intentionally “fast” from and use the extra time and energy to talk to and focus on Jesus.
The Lent season is paralleled by a weekend teaching series and small group study called God’s At War. We are looking at the gods and idols that fight for our allegiance. There are gods and idols that are at war to capture our hearts and lives. We end up worshipping these idols and make significant sacrifices to them. They take control of parts of our lives. There’s a spiritual battle that is waging for your worship and allegiance between God (capital “g”) and false gods and idols of this world. Idolatry is an issue for us today. It is a real issue. So notice the very last sentence the apostle John writes in what we call his first letter in 1 John 5:21 – Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.Yes, that is how his whole letter and teaching ends. It is a big deal. It summarizes our spiritual challenge. Join us this Lent to fast from an idol to focus on Jesus.” – Glen Elliott, Lead Pastor