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Lenten Devotional
Scripture Verse : “But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:17-18 TNIV

In a Bible study that I lead, we had discussed fasting, noting that Jesus said not “if you fast”, but “when you fast…” I have given up chocolate during Lent, or from computer games, or other material things before, but never fasted from solid food. And I felt that this is a spiritual discipline that I should undertake during the Lenten season. I read up on the topic, and decided upon a 24 hour liquid fast, to be broken with a small serving of fruit, then about an hour later something more solid. During the fast, I spent a lot of time in reading and prayer and have now done this type of short fast several times. What is always surprising is how good that first solid food tastes! A simple slice of whole grain toast with natural peanut butter is a meal fit for royalty when it is the first solid food in over a day! It seems that we don’t always appreciate our blessings until we go without for a while. Maybe this is why Jesus says “when you fast,” knowing that we do not appreciate what we have until we do without it for a while. During this Lenten season, as we commemorate Jesus’ 40 day fast, let’s pray about our many, many blessings and give thanks. And perhaps give up some for a short while in order to better appreciate how blessed we really are!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for showing us your strength of purpose in your time of fasting and temptation. We humbly ask your guidance that we may need to fast from some of our luxuries or even from solid meals, in order to fully appreciate how much we have. Amen.
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