Let the Fast Begin

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Lent begins today.

In 325 AD, the Council of Nicea met for three months to reach a consensus on Jesus’s divine nature and His relationship with God the Father.  Historians believe the practice of Lent came from that meeting. Initially, the fast applied to new converts to the faith as an opportunity to repent and reflect before entering the baptismal waters at Easter.  Some churches did 40 days, including weekends, while others did not.  Some fasted on Sundays, others didn’t.  Everyone did the same fast, whatever the structure of the days:  one meal a day after 3:00 p.m., with no meat, fish, or dairy.  Pope Gregory I (590-694) officially made the fast 46 days, starting Ash Wednesday, not including Sundays. Observed by Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglicans, Episcopals, and Methodists, Lent has participants from all walks of faith.[1]

As for me, I learned of Lent as a child and loved it.  Fasting before Easter helps me keep my eyes on Jesus and His work on the cross.  Giving up something for Lent helps break bondages, and I fast different things each year.  Sugar, an addictive food for my sweet tooth, usually makes the list.  In the last few years, I have also tried to add a positive habit into my routine, like getting 10,000 steps a day or adding evening devotional time to my schedule. 

People fast social media, Television, food, activities, and other things.  Typically, people choose unhealthy things that they want to eliminate from their lives.  Replacing it with a healthy habit, like daily Bible readings, helps them transform their lives as they prepare for the sacred holiday.  If you decide to fast from social media, you can sign up for emails of my daily devotions at honestreflections.net.

Prepare your heart by centering it on Jesus through intentional sacrifice.  Whenever temptation comes upon you, use it as a reminder to pray and seek God.  For instance, when I fast sugar, and someone tempts me with a sugary delight, I silently pray, “Lord help me resist.”  When we fast, we shouldn’t brag about it but do it privately as a spiritual activity to draw us closer to God.  Fasting takes connecting with God to a whole new level.  For the next 40 days, excluding Sundays, we’ll look at fasting from a Biblical perspective as we prepare our hearts for Easter.

Join me on the journey of a closer relationship with God through fasting and prayer.  Only the Lord knows what the next forty days will bring, but all things become possible with Him.

Journal Questions:

  • How can I apply today’s devotion to my life?
  • What could I fast over the next 40 days?
  • What could I add to my life to draw me closer to God?


Lord, thank You for Jesus and the opportunity to grow closer to Him.  Show us what we should fast over for the next forty days to help us prepare our hearts to celebrate Christ’s resurrection.  Strengthen us for the coming days as we submit our will to You, seeking Your guidance and direction.  IJNIP. Amen

[1] https://groundworkonline.com/blog/a-short-version-of-the-long-history-of-lent

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