40 Days of Lent – A Time To Study And Reflect
By Janis Cox
Are you prepared to meet Jesus this Easter Sunday? Janis Cox shares with us how she is preparing her heart during these 40 days of Lent. She provides us with the insights and truths that she has discovered so far as she studies her way through the Gospel of John.
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To help me study through this season of Lent I joined Margaret Feinberg’s 40 Day Study through the Gospel of John. Beginning on Ash Wednesday which was March 1st this year I have been reading a selected passage in John each day. I print out each selection and using coloured pens I mark the verbs, names, timing and Holy Spirit connections. So far it has been fascinating. Because I like to draw, I also draw a sketch of the verse or passage that made an impact on me that day.
What has struck me the most through the first 5 days is the timing. John starts off with the word “beginning” – where it all started. All things were made. And He who made us came into this world. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. The words of timing then seem to march forward with a purpose, a drive. We have the words, then and now.
We meet John the Baptist who in no uncertain terms names Jesus as The Lamb of God, God’s Chosen One. We meet 5 of Jesus’ disciples. If we assume the unnamed one is John, the others are Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathaniel. Jesus chooses them. Then says to follow Him.
I drew a picture of John 1:51
He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
I could picture the gate opening in Heaven. Can you see it?
Do Whatever He Tells You
Time marches on and Jesus attends a wedding in which the wine runs out, a social mistake in those days. Jesus’ mother propels Jesus into performing His first miracle. This is found in John 2:1-12. His mother says: “Do whatever He tells you.” That made me stop and reflect. Am I doing what Jesus tells me? It was a time to pause in my reading and pray and listen.
Then the next passage led into Jesus clearing the Temple of the moneychangers. He predicted that He would raise a new temple in 3 days. The old one gone – the new one in. We are told in John 2:21 – “But the temple he had spoken of was his body.” Isn’t that what happens to us? When we accept Jesus – He clears out the old stuff in our bodies and makes way for the new. What a physical picture of Jesus using such zeal to clean the Temple and us! Sometimes the old stuff in our lives looks and feels like the pile of rocks, the rubble. But I picture a bulldozer coming in and removing the debris and a new home being built – that’s better isn’t it?
That’s my journey so far. I am being swept along through the story. I can see it as a video, as I pass through the events. But I also see how God is speaking to me each day during these times. What have you been doing for Lent? What preparation are you making to meet our Risen Saviour on Easter Sunday?
May I pray for you and me?
Father, as we walk towards Easter, help us to cleanse our souls of all the worldly yuck that clings to us. Help us to remember anew our walk with Your Son Jesus. Speak to us during this special season of remembrance. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Until next time prepare your hearts and souls for Jesus by reading His Word, praying and listening to His answers.
In 2001, Janis gave her life to Christ. She started journalling as a way to organize her thoughts, feelings, and prayers. She is a member of two cross-Canada Christian writers’ groups, The Word Guild and Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship. She has had several articles and devotionals published. Janis has been a regular contributor to HopeStreamRadio since its inception in 2015.
Janis has been blogging since 2008. In 2012 she published an award-winning children’s book Tadeo Turtle. She ran a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer for four years. Hope Stream Radio will be her first foray into broadcasting on a regular basis.
In addition to a career as a home-maker and teacher, Janis was a partner in a Canadian small business with her husband, Wayne. They currently reside in Ontario and winter in Mesa, Arizona. Janis and Wayne have three children with spouses and many grandchildren.
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Images courtesy of:
Bible – AgnieszkaMonk
Drawing – Adubost
Bulldozer – dimitrisvetsikas1969
Praying – Pexels
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