Each Friday, we pause to explore how our fasting is going and to consider an action item inspired by the week’s devotions. Check out Week 1: Friday if you need a refresher on the what and why.
In week one, you were encouraged to give up something that gives you joy and to try to locate your joy in Jesus. How has this been going for you this week? What have you learned so far about yourself and/or about God during this fast? Were you able to “relocate” the joy and fulfillment from this item or activity into contemplating Christ and the nature of his sacrifice for you? If not, what do you think is holding you back? Pray for strength and encouragement to find joy in the sacrifice.
You were encouraged, as long as there isn’t a medical reason against it, to fast from either lunch or dinner on Fridays. Have you been able to use this time in prayer and contemplation of the cross and Christ’s sacrifice for you? How can you focus your physical hunger to consider hungering and thirsting for God’s righteousness in your life?
This week, we looked at biblical texts from Exodus, Mark, and 1 Corinthians as well as the life of Lottie Moon alongside 2 Timothy 4:6–8. Through these texts, we explored the Passover that pointed toward the perfect Passover lamb; the institution of the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, that revealed Christ as the perfect Passover lamb; and our responsibility to proclaim his death, which has a built-in self-sacrificing humility. Lottie Moon demonstrated an example of someone who did this even to the point of her own self-sacrificial death.
Few of us are in danger of dying from our own generosity and self-sacrifice as Lottie Moon did, and I don’t believe that we are called to do so. However, we are called to be generous. How can you fast from your own materialism or life of plenty this week to further the Kingdom of God through generosity? This is not a question of amount but rather of the sacrifice itself (Luke 21:1–4).
What might you do this week to put generosity into action? One idea would be to purchase groceries for someone in need and have the store deliver them anonymously. Be sure to buy quality items that you would feed to your own family, and buy an amount that will cause you to go without something from your own list this week. Another idea would be to put cash in an envelope with a note that says, “To be used for someone in need.” Anonymously, slip the note under your pastor’s door. I guarantee they will know someone who can use it.
Heavenly Father, thank you for providing the perfect Passover lamb, a sacrifice of indescribable proportion. Give us strength to proclaim this sacrifice in word and in deed with humility and with our own self-sacrificing nature. In Jesus’s name, amen.