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 Isaiah, Luke, and Romans, as well as the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer alongside Luke 9:23–24. Through these texts, we explored Jesus as the Suffering Servant and Christ’s call on our life to take up our own cross in order to find true life to become children of the King. In joining Jesus in his suffering, we have the promise of joining him in his glory.
Scripture memorization is a great way to grow in one’s spiritual life. Of course, everyone memorizes at a different pace. But please consider fasting from a regular activity for three hours over the course of the next three days (one hour today, one hour Saturday, and one hour Sunday) to begin memorizing passages that reveal Christ’s self-sacrificial nature.
A passage to start with during this time is Philippians 2:5–11. If you memorize quickly, you can increase your challenge by adding Isaiah 53:1–6 to this exercise. If you struggle with Scripture memorization, just read the passages deeply with the intention of memorizing the key points. Even if memorizing is a struggle, don’t give up. Keep working on it throughout our journey under the shadow of the cross and beyond.
Heavenly Father, thank you for providing your written inspired Word that reveals to us your Son, the Word become flesh. May we lift him up as King of kings and as the Suffering Servant. In his name we pray, amen.