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Why I Like Lent

[14] But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:14 ESV)

Today is Ash Wednesday. This is the first day of 40 days of preparation, what we call Lent or the Lenten season, for the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Paul’s final words from Romans 13 were part of today’s section from the “Read Through the Bible” plan our church promotes and they spoke to me of what Lent is all about.

During Lent I practice the removal of something from my life that I have been struggling with or that I take for granted or that I use too frequently. “Making no provision for the flesh” through the absence of that food item or that habit, I “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” through greater devotion to him in prayer or Bible reading. I know that God uses the practice of greater devotion through fasting and prayer and giving to mature my faith and draw me closer to him.

Those that know me well know that I love salt. I use salt on almost every portion of every meal that I eat. When I go to a Mexican restaurant, which I do as often as possible, I dip every chip in salsa and then salt it before popping it in my mouth. I know! Crazy! And my blood pressure is just fine! Knowing I had a salt “addiction”, a couple of years ago I fasted from salt during Lent. I ate every meal just as it was served with no additional salt. At each meal and at each opportunity in which I would have used salt, I meditated on Colossians 4:6,

[6] Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

My desire was to please the Lord Jesus Christ through gracious speech seasoned with salt. I noticed a change in my behavior and my speech because I was actively conscious of my speech. But I didn’t change my behavior. God did. He is the one who works in us to conform us more and more to the image of Christ. By his grace and prompting, I was more devoted to him, more conscious of my speech and he produced the change.

I can’t wait to see what he will do this year!

[23] Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. [24] He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 ESV)