“Give Up and Give”
Dear sweet people of Redeemer —
One question that pastors are guaranteed to be asked at least a few times each Lent is, “Should we ‘give things up’ for Lent?” My protestant-theology response is that we are encouraged to give to one another as much as to give something up in a Lenten penitence practice.
The ultimate sacrifice was given for us by Jesus on the cross. Many find giving small sacrifices during Lent as an exercise to offer thanksgiving for the ultimate sacrifice of resurrected life given to us at Easter. In this time of pandemic and quarantine when opportunities for giving up might be difficult, here are 40 Lenten ways to “Give up & Give” in new ways in our 40 days of Lent (Feb 17-April 3):
1. Give up worrying. 2. Give God your troubles.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
3. Give up losing hope. 4. God is hope.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
5. Give up grumbling. 6. Give your time to positively talking with someone needing some uplifting words of life.
Philippians 2:14-16 Do everything without grumbling or arguing…. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.
7. Give up arguing. 8. Give an ear to listen.
2 Timothy 2:23-24 “the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone.
9. Give up negative thinking. 10. Give a positive spin to your thoughts.
Romans 14:19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
11. Give up speaking ill of someone. 12. Give a special effort to cheer someone.
Ephesians 4:29 - “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
13. Give up troubles of the heart. 14. Give your heart to dwelling on God’s love for you.
Ephesians 3: 16-19 I ask that out of the riches of His glory He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Then you, being rooted and grounded in love, will have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
15. Give up bitterness. 16. Give special thanksgivings for unexpected blessings.
James 3:17 - But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
17. Give up fear. 18. Let God give you the courage to face anything.
Numbers 6:24-26 - “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."
19. Give up frowning. 20. Give a smile.
Psalm 43:5: “O my soul, why be so gloomy and discouraged? Trust in God! I shall again praise him for his wondrous help; he will make me smile again, for he is my God!”
21. Give up saying or doing anything unkind. 22. Give kindness away freely.
Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
23. Give up wasting time on strife. 24. Give your time to actively seeking peace.
Romans 12:18 - If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
25. Give up gossip. 26. Give loving thoughts to one another freely.
Hebrews 12:14 - Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
27. Give up complaining. 28. Give God compliments on all of your blessings.
James 1:2-4 - “Count it all joy…when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
29. Give up feeling frustrated with yourself. 30. God will comfort you as we care for one another.
Matthew 11:28 - “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
31. Give up making excuses. 32. Give yourself the gift of time to accomplish a goal.
Philippians 4:12-13 - “In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
33. Give up whining. 34. Give your concerns to God who will lift you up.
Psalm 103:2-5 - “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."
35. Give up procrastination. 36. Give your time to accomplishing tasks God’s put before you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
37. Give up discouragement. 38. Give God the chance to lead you and encourage you on life’s journey.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
39. Give up time focused on worldly things. 40. Give God prayerful attention.
Matthew 6:9-13 (the Lord's model prayer) – "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."
As the Coronavirus continues to dictate how and when we are able to worship — inside/outside, small group/25% capacity — we will resume as soon as the Covid numbers move Orange County out of the most restrictive purple tier.
Our Feb/March Lenten-themed newsletter gives us a chance to concentrate on Lent 2021. In addition to this newsletter, you will be receiving a packet of ashes to administer to yourself on Ash Wednesday, February 17th. Social distancing regulations have dictated we cannot get within 6 feet of each other to administer ashes in-person safely, and the bishops have advised sending out packets instead. Prayers and instructions will be included.
Blessings to you this Lenten Season,