I grew up in a Southern Baptist church, so like most of my Baptist friends, we didn’t celebrate Lent. In the last few years, I’ve come to appreciate this season and its deep meaning for us today.
Lent leads us away from the Mount of Transfiguration into the valley with Jesus and takes us all the way to the cross and then onward to the resurrection and I think there’s value in repeating that process year after year.
Whether you’re in a church that formally recognizes Lent or not, I think there’s growth to be enjoyed in reading the Lectionary texts, meditating on the earthly ministry experiences of Jesus, and pondering the messages of the gospels for our lives as disciples.
In the message notes I am sharing for this coming weekend’s gospel reading based on the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, I share about how Jesus was a man who became hungry, but a man who hungered for more than mere bread. He thought cosmically and spiritually about everything, and there’s a lot of life for us to enjoy beyond what we’re used to if we’ll adopt that same kind of thinking.
When we look attentively for the activity of God behind the scenes and beyond the natural realm, we’re able to experience God’s very best intentions for our lives.
That’s my encouragement to you this week. Look beyond the physical. Think past the natural. Listen for the Voice that utters underneath the silence. And be ready for whatever challenge the Spirit has for you in the days that lie ahead!
In the meantime,
Keep on growing!
This Week’s Big Sermon Idea
A sermon idea based on Matthew 4:1-11.
The tactics the enemy uses to tempt us away from God’s purposes aren’t new. They’re actually very old. And so are tools God provides us to overcome temptation. Anything that lures us away from God’s ultimate purpose for our lives – becoming part of his forever family, being shaped into the image and character of Christ, etc. – is a temptation. And the best way to deal with temptation is to think like Jesus.
Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass
My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:
From the Description:
This seven-part series is intended for use during Lent. Lent is a time for us to pause and consider a foundational tenet of the Christian faith: we are all sinners in need of Jesus. During this series, congregants are invited to find their grounding by contemplating their sinfulness and prepare themselves to see the significance of God’s loving sacrifice.
Resources for Leaders
Most Pastors, Churchgoers See More Than Monthly Attendance as Standard
From LifeWay Research
The Most Important Job of a Leader
By Scott Monty
The Mountain is You
By Brianna West
7 Paradigms Which Can Encourage Church Growth
By Ron Edmondson
If you have a resource relevant to pastors and church leaders that you’d like for me to include, feel free to message me. I can’t always promise inclusion but I’ll definitely take a look.
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About the Cover Art: JESUS MAFA. Jesus is tempted – Matthew 4:1-11, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.