LENTEN CONSECRATION 2015
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and at the end of them he was hungry.” Luke 4:1-2
The 2015 Lenten Period begins on February 18, 2015 and ends on Easter Sunday, April 5th, 2015. The period of Lent commemorates the time that Jesus spent in the wilderness fasting and praying, it is our custom to follow that example as we prepare to embark upon or continue the various ministries that God has set before us. Fasting and prayer strengthens faith, increases discipline, unlocks spiritual power, and prepares us to do fruitful ministry and Live More Abundantly. It helps the believer to be more attentive to God and the things of God. It increases spiritual stamina and releases power in the lives of those who spend time in his presence. Thus it is spiritually beneficial for the individual and the corporate church of God to commit to this period of consecration in which all those who participate will strive to experience personal spiritual cleansing and growth. These are the spiritual goals we are hoping will be accomplished during the Lenten Period:
I. Increased Study of God’s Word. Every member who is not currently in Bible Study is asked to make a commitment to attend either our Tuesday night prayer beginning at 6:00 and Spirit and Life Study at 7:00pm. If you are already attending one of the Bible Studies, increase your personal time at home or at a designated place where you customarily study. Attached you will also find the 2015 Lenten Devotional Scripture Calendar. Also, select books that will facilitate personal spiritual growth as they speak to particular needs or interests.
II. Increased Prayer. Prayer and fasting go hand in hand. We ask that you pray continually, without ceasing as the word suggests, but a personal commitment to stop and pray three times a day will cause you to receive strength during this journey in consecration.
People’s Intercessory Prayer Service is held Every Tuesday before Spirit and Life Study from 6:00 to 7:00 pm
III. Total Obedience. Please remember that while prayer and fasting are valuable in the life of the Christian, it is not more important than being totally committed to the will of God. “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” Let us all sincerely consider our behaviors, attitudes, relationships, etc. and confess those areas of disobedience in our lives. WE ALL HAVE THEM!!! Then let us proceed to conforming to the will of God in every area that needs to be addressed. In 2015, we are “Seizing the Possibilities”.
This Is The Time To Give in Obedience!
If you are not a tither, this time of fasting, prayer and reflection will increase your faith and obey God in your area of giving. We are commanded to give first to God a tenth, of our fruits also known as our first fruits. If God freely gave his first-fruit Jesus Christ his only begotten son to suffer bleed and die for us, why should we be unwilling to give our first-fruits back to him? The cost could never compare!!
This Is The Time To Break Yokes of Bondage!
If you are challenged with an addiction (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, compulsive eating, pornography, etc.), this is the time that you should commit to breaking the addiction and tearing down the stronghold that has held you bound one day too long!
This Is The Time To Eliminate Excessive Behavior!
If you are given to excess in certain areas (shopping, television/soaps/reality television, telephone, Internet (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) seek to change behavioral patterns during this time of fasting and consecration. We must be balanced and moderate in all things, not given to more than we should!
THE CONSECRATION FAST
“Then the Israelites, all the people, went up to Bethel and there sat weeping before the Lord. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings unto the Lord.” (Judges 20:26)
During this Lenten Period in 2015 we are calling the membership body of People’s to band together for a “corporate fast”.
Fasting is the process of “abstaining from” particular things.
Fasting does not always necessitate food, although food fasts are commanded throughout scripture.
Fasting is more than saying we are giving up food, it is the giving up of something in place of wholeheartedly seeking God’s face in our lives.
Fasting cleanses our bodies (temples) and helps to prepare our hearts to receive God’s anointing and God’s will for our lives.
Fasting is a means by which we worship the Lord and offer ourselves to him in humility and love.
Through fasting, we are always striving to insure that God gets the glory in all that we do. Genuine faith and the desire to please God is what God wants from every believer.
The Consecration Fast through Food
In fasting through food, here is a list of what people tend to eliminate from their diets:
Fast Food, Junk foods or fried foods.
Red meats, sea scavengers (shrimp, lobster, etc.) Some will tend to eliminate poultry as well
Food and Drinks with high sugar content (e.g cakes, cookies, candy pastries, custards, punches, etc.
All coffee and teas with caffeine and soda
Note: Fasting is individual so one group or item that you crave or enjoy may truly suffice but remember every sacrifice should cost. David said, “ I will not offer to the Lord that which costs me nothing”…
If you have never fasted or have any questions about your physical capability to fast, please consult your physician.
It is recommended that all who are physically able maintain a regular schedule of exercise in some fashion. Walking, aerobics, biking etc. will help in regulating your metabolism, and will prevent sluggishness and rapid weight gain after the fast is over.
Note: GIVE NO PLACE TO THE DEVIL!!!
Should you have absentmindedly or intentionally violate the fast by eating what you vowed not to eat, you may repent and return to the fast, remaking your vow to the Lord. If it is within the first two weeks you may choose to re consecrate yourself.
Breaking the Fast
We will break our corporate fast on Resurrection Sunday at the 6:00am and 11am Worship Service with gratitude rejoicing and praise.
Remember after you break your fast it should not be business as usual. You should be more liberated to walk in the Spirit, more committed to the Lord and more energized to serve and SEIZE YOUR POSSIBILITIES
“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word. And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer. Amen.
~Book of Common Prayer