Today is “Ash Wednesday.” The day when Christians for centuries have started the season known as “Lent.” During this season, as Christians we seek to deny ourselves in one or more areas in order to seek God and hear from Him clearly between now and Easter. I think many of us as Protestants have neglected this valuable spiritual discipline down through the years. We’ve just said, “That’s something the Catholics do, but we’re free from that.” And I think that because we haven’t taken fasting seriously, we’ve missed many opportunities to become more like Christ.
“What is God calling you to lay aside for this season between now and Easter so that you can focus more fully on Him?”
Have you asked Him?
I hope that we as a church can all follow God’s leading and fast in at least one area of our lives between now and Easter in order to seek God. It might not mean giving up all your food between now and Easter. But it might mean giving up a certain kind of food or drink between now and then. Or maybe it will mean giving up a form of entertainment or social media. Whatever God leads you to give up, remember that it is between you and God. And the purpose of giving it up is not to punish yourself, but to want God more that whatever it is that you’re giving up.
I’ve found that the times that I’ve “advertised” my fasts were some of the most miserable seasons of my life. On the other hand, many of the times that I have approached a season of fasting with humility, privacy, and a genuine hunger for God have been some of the richest, most powerful seasons in my life. Sometimes the simple act of denying yourself in a specific area will help you to hear God’s voice more clearly as you take that extra time to read the Bible and pray. How clearly do you want to hear God’s voice over the next six weeks?
Prayer goes hand in hand with fasting. As a church we’ve set up at least two different times to gather as a church body and pray: Wednesday night at seven and Friday evenings at seven during our Fellowship time. We’d love for you to join us at one or both of those times and pray! We have much to pray about and many decisions ahead of us as a church. I am convinced that true growth both personally and as a church body will only come when we commit to prayer.
Please join us in person on Sunday at 9:28 for English and 11 for Chinese as we discuss our next fallen father: Joshua. You can still join us online by going through our website: www.tcbcf.org then hit “watch livestream.”
1. We need as many people as possible (at least 100) to subscribe to our YouTube page. You can do that by going to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgbRGVzvKD53vjQziNRl1ww . That should bring you to “Tucson Chinese Baptist Church.” Please hit “subscribe,” and you should be all set! This will give us greater control over how we manage our live stream capabilities. Thanks in advance!
2. Friday night virtual fellowship. We’re going to be discussing last week’s sermon on Moses. Let me know if you need the link, and then join us Friday night online at 7!
3. Business meeting with “state of the church address” has been moved to this Sunday after church to accommodate Rodeo weekend travelers. I hope you can stay around after Sunday school and join us then for an important message!
Until we meet again, by God’s grace, may God lead you to give up something you like in order to focus more fully on Him!
See you soon!
Electronic copy of this week’s sermon outline:
A. Fallen Joshua
1. Learned by ____________ and ______________
2. __________ and _____________ weren’t enough to _____________ others
3. Stopped short of completely ____________ _____ the land
B. Gracious God
1. __________ Joshua up to lead
2. Gave Joshua __________ and _______________
3. Gave Joshua specific _______________ and brought the children home using him.
C. So, what can we learn from Joshua?