I’m going to count backwards in my blog title through the 40 Days toward Easter, so here on the second of the 40 Days it’s T-39 and counting (but not counting Sundays).
I decided to start the 40 Days yesterday in stunning fashion by disregarding my wife, Tammy, in a way that quickly put us sideways. Great. Just beautiful. Instead of posturing for change, I decided to posture for decline! Needless to say, that wasn’t the way I was hoping to start out a season of spiritual discipline.
What are you hoping for as the 40 Days begins?
First, permit me to remind you that Christianity is a real-life, real-time deal. Spiritual transformation isn’t simply a dimly lit room with a few candles, a dog-eared Bible, journal, 20 minutes of quiet solitude, and a new revelation.
Although such moments can be beneficial, when the Spirit teaches he generally also provides opportunity to resolve knowledge with action. For me it meant apologizing for my selfishness. Confession is a spiritual discipline…in fact it will be the first subject we cover this Sunday morning in the sermon series.
Secondly, remember that any Godly initiative will always be met with resistance. Expect disruption. Expect failure. Expect real self-denying opportunities that require practical humility and action. But through it all you can also expect the grace of God. Strength of renewed spirit. Times of refreshing. New insights. And lasting transformation.
I’ll be reading through and commenting on 2 books: Keller’s Prayer and Smith’s Good and Beautiful Life if you’d care to join me in either of those choices. Although Keller embraces a practical theology he isn’t short on words…I suggest we aim at 1/2 the book during the 40 Days, the first six chapters, one chapter per week.
Smith’s book is even more practical and I’d like to afford us time to practice what he suggests. I’m going to skip around in that one, and you might want to as well…it’s set up with a different discipline per chapter. Go where your heart leads you, but let’s knock out the Introduction this first week of the 40 Days.
Sound good? Let’s do this.