In this 4 part series, I’ll be posting a recent sermon that I delivered entitled “Lent Time”. This is an important topic to me. I believe that we are stewards of our time and that we should use our time wisely. I hope that this sermon rings true in your heart as well.
Title: Lent Time
Key Verses: Galatians 6:7-10
Topic: Following the calling of God’s spirit in our lives
Part 1: Introduction
I’ve been given the next 20 minutes to share this message with all of you this morning. I’ve been given 20 minutes to share God’s word with you. This 20 minutes isn’t something that I’ve freely taken, it has been given. It’s been lent to me. By all of you. And by God. It’s my responsibility to use this 20 minutes wisely. There’s a sense of stewardship in this opportunity. In a way, we could say that I have been lent this time to do God’s work in his community of believers.
This isn’t taken time or stolen time or stumbled-upon time… this time has been given to me, lent to me, so that I can share this message with you.
Time isn’t something I can create on my own. The past, present and future that I live in has been lent to me by my creator. Through the grace of God, I have been given the freedom to live with this lent time in any way that I please. It’s up to me what I do with this time. Should I squander this time? Or should I use this time wisely?
I might be getting ahead of myself though… let’s come back to this thought in a moment…
It’s New Years Eve. New Years resolutions. How many of you have or will be making some resolutions? Saving money, losing weight, quitting smoking, eating healthier… We’ve all got habits to kick or more disciplined approaches to living to commit to.
How many of us use a financial budget? How many of us set yearly goals? Julie and I do both of these. It’s sometimes fun, sometimes not so much… But, it helps keep us on track.
Does all of this sound familiar to you? I’m sure that this is familiar ground and that most of you can relate. We all make plans. We all anticipate the future. We all look forward and try to maximize what we are doing now to make us more comfortable in the future. In this way, we use our “lent time” to live our lives to the fullest.
But, I’m not here today to talk about financial goals… I’m here to talk about something much more important. Something else that requires upkeep, planning and long-term decision-making. Something that impacts more than our material needs and our short-term challenges. I’m here to talk about our spiritual well-being. Do we use our collective lent time to enhance our spiritual lives? Do we have spiritual goals? Do we have good spiritual health? Do we feel a close relationship with God? Do we understand the gift that Christ gave us on the cross? Are we using our lent time to make the most of that gift of salvation that we have been given?
What are our spiritual goals? Do each of us have them? Do we plan our spiritual growth in the same way that we plan other parts of our life? Many of us make budgets. Many of us make exercise plans. And many of us make school or career plans. But how many of us take the time to sit down and identify where we want to be spiritually and build a plan to achieve our spiritual goals?
I like to call this intentional living. It is about consciously living our lives for the things that we believe. We all believe that we need a financial plan because we need money to survive, to buy food, to pay the mortgage, etc.. We all believe that we need a school or career plan in order to obtain a better standard of living. And since we’re all here this morning, we are in agreement that God plays some part in our lives. In the same way that we plan in other areas of our lives, do we plan spiritual health, growth and well-being? My challenge for you this morning is this: Do you have a spiritual plan and if not, why not?
Coming up next: Part 2: Contextualize the letter to the Galatians