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Lent is more than giving up chocolate

Jimmy Cochran Columnist

  Way back in the day when my student pastor first mentioned the observance of a Lent Season to us, he talked about the many ways we could participate. The most common thought of participating in the Lent season is the traditional way of fasting, denying oneself, etc. That is always a good route to take. However, he also spoke of options by taking on more each day or periodically during the Season.

  One of those options is spending extra time in God’s Word. It sounds rather odd to encourage Christians to spend more time in God’s Word, when we should be spending tons of time. However, if the truth be known, I think most of us spend about as little time as we can (three fingers pointing back to Jimmy). Do you have some type of devotional book that you read in the morning, evening or both, read a few verses that it suggests, and then count yourself done for the day? Not to take away from that, because that is certainly a good thing, and it does begin or end your day with thoughts of God. How many of us may read our Sunday school lesson for the next week and look up all the scriptures and really, really study them? Do you ever use the cross-reference notes in your Bible to follow a theme or idea throughout the other books?  Do you keep a notebook or a journal to write down your thoughts and things you may have learned? Or you may be someone that does some serious Scripture reading and studying each day, or every day or two. Good for you … but, don’t feel so smug. There’s always more time to read and study.

  My thoughts and suggestions to you involve actually giving up time that you might normally use for a television show, a computer game, a Wii game, reading other materials and put the Bible in their place. After all, is playing “Teen Dancing Queen on Roller Skates” for two hours going to draw you closer to God and learning His way for your life. Give up some time for God’s Word. Write some of your favorite verses on sticky notes and put them on your bathroom mirror, your kitchen cabinet, your car dash, your desk at work, even your computer monitor. Wherever you will see them and be reminded all during the day. Since I graduated from college and got my first job, I’ve always kept a little piece of paper taped to the tape dispenser on my desk that reads “We are more than conquerors through Him that loves us.” (Romans 8:37). Just the reminder of that promise has gotten me through many difficult days. Even since I retired, that same little verse that I wrote down in January of 1975 is still taped on my desk here at home in my study. And believe me that I’ve (once again) claimed that promise over the past few weeks.

  Find your verse(s) and keep them close … on paper … but, especially in your heart. Let me encourage you to work hard in bringing God’s Word closer to your heart and life.

  And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.


  Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, author, musician and Minister.



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