Thursday, February 14, 2013

Use Lent as a Season of Deepening Relationship with God

The 6 week period preceding Easter called Lent can be a time set apart for focused attention on deepening your relationship with God. This year I’ve created a plan that is designed to assist me with addressing specific areas of my life as I relate to God.

Maybe you have had experiences in times past around Lent and Easter that felt negative to you or full of guilt-inducing “shoulds”. I’ve prepared my plan because I “want” to grow in Christ. I share the plan with you in case you’d like to similarly engage these weeks in what I expect to be a powerful season.

I’m going to prayerfully respond to the items below by making fresh commitments to Christ, asking for His transforming power, and then I’m going share those commitments with trusted others with whom I do regular accountability.

1.  Describe your sense of connection with God.  Do you feel close or far away?  Do you have meaningful conversation with God or are your prayers dry?  Is God pleased with you?  Are you pleased with God?

2.  Describe your sense of connection with your family.  Is there closeness or distance? Is communication strong or lacking?  Are you enjoying one another or are you strained?

3.  Describe your sense of connection and involvement with your church family. What is fun and/or exciting to you about your involvement?  In what ways is your small group meaningful to you?  How does the Sunday gathering provide a quality worship experience and study of the Bible for you?

4.  What do you understand your spiritual gifting to be?  In what ways are you using your spiritual gifting to serve God and His church?  Is your service satisfying and energizing?

5.  Do you estimate your financial giving to be below, at, or above the 10% tithe that the Bible teaches?  Does this reflect growth in giving?  Does this reflect generosity in giving?  Does this reflect faith in giving?  Do you believe that God is pleased with your giving?

6.  Describe how you are building relationships with non-churched friends.  In what ways have you been able to share your faith?  Have you had influence or impact upon a friend in the last year so that they chose to also follow Christ?  In what ways are you discipling and/or mentoring another believer?

7.  Galatians 5:22-26 teach what the "fruit of the Spirit" are and how a believer lives when bearing fruit.  In what area of Christlikeness have you been especially "fruitful"?  With what area of Christlikeness have you especially struggled?