What Will You Give Up?

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings
Exodus 21-22, Matthew 19

LentRedo2017_04_05

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I assure you that it will be very hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24  In fact, it’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.”

25 When his disciples heard this, they were stunned. “Then who can be saved?” they asked.

26 Jesus looked at them carefully and said, “It’s impossible for human beings. But all things are possible for God.”

27 Then Peter replied, “Look, we’ve left everything and followed you. What will we have?”

28 Jesus said to them, “I assure you who have followed me that, when everything is made new, when the Human One sits on his magnificent throne, you also will sit on twelve thrones overseeing the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And all who have left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or farms because of my name will receive one hundred times more and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first (Matthew 19:23-30, Common English Bible).

Well, it is just about that time of year again. Lent is upon us. It begins two weeks from this Wednesday, and yes, Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day happen to fall on the same day this year.

Growing up a Baptist kid, I heard of people giving up something for Lent but I didn’t really understand it. I just knew that my Catholic friends’ plate lunches on Fridays didn’t look as good as mine. Theirs was something that looked like fish and smelled like the dead fish we talked about a few days ago. I also heard that they couldn’t do things like eating chocolate or drinking a Coke. It always made me glad that I wasn’t a Catholic (if you are Catholic, please don’t take offense, it is just something a kid would think).

I was actually quite surprised when I became a Methodist and about nine months rolled by and I started hearing about giving something up for Lent and Lenten worship services. I honestly don’t remember what, if anything I gave up that year for Lent.

For way too many of us, we are like the rich young man in our lesson today. We might be like the little girl in today’s graphic.

I recently ran across something about the rich young man that I hadn’t considered before. The rich young man really wasn’t willing to give up much of anything. He was willing to go and do, but he wasn’t willing to give up his earthly goods.

Though childlike, the little girl in the graphic is much the same way. She is willing to give up something for Lent, however, she is only willing to give up something she really didn’t want to start with. Brocolli isn’t really much of a sacrifice.

Our Lenten sacrifices should be something that is actually a sacrifice for us. It may even be that what you give up is nothing more than time but you take that time and reach out and do something for others with the time you sacrificed.

What we give up, what we sacrifice for God should be more than what we want to do. It should be more than that food I don’t like. I shared with someone recently I don’t like liver or eggs. Giving them up for Lent would be no sacrifice because I’m not going to eat them anyway.

For many people, giving up Facebook or Twitter or their computer is a real sacrifice. Others choose to give up some food item and others that quit smoking (I once knew a woman who quit smoking every year for Lent and then Easter Sunday, she was smoking again).

I would challenge you to be in thought and prayer about how you can be more disciplined by the sacrifice you make or a new discipline with which you will engage. Make it a sacrifice. Make it something that has real meaning. You will be blessed by your effort.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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