On March 1 from 6:30-7:30PM
Lent at Pantano is an opportunity to practice the key spiritual disciplines of reflection, prayer and fasting that help us focus on Jesus. Traditionally, Lent is the 40 days (Sundays excluded) of fasting before Easter. We invite you to enter and practice the Lenten season in the following ways:
- Choose to fast from something that you are tempted to place your trust in for satisfaction, comfort or personal recognition. The focus of Lent 2017 is this: I offer Jesus my everything and nothing less. Fast from something that keeps you from giving Jesus your all. You can choose to fast from a meal or a certain kind of food or drink, social media, TV, gaming or anything that you rely on to bring joy or good to your life and distracts you from full dependence on God.
- Use the questions in this guide to help you reflect and identify your temptations and what you’ll fast from. You might find it helpful to journal thoughts for each question.
- Use the extra time and energy you have when fasting to pray and give extra attention to God. Let him be your comfort, fill your hunger, be your hope and be the true God you worship. Journal any insights.
- Use the 2017 Bible Reading Plan. During Lent we want to hear from God through his Word. While Jesus fasted and was tempted, he relied on God’s Word to overcome the temptations.
- You have the option to receive ashes on your forehead or wrist at the station at the end of the service. Please read aloud the following words as you receive the ashes:
I receive these ashes as a symbol that:
My hope and salvation were bought with a price.
Jesus gave his everything and nothing less.
Today I am marked as one who offers my everything
and nothing less for my Savior.
Everything and Nothing Less
Jesus faced three powerful temptations in Matthew 4:1-11. These are the same types of temptations Adam and Eve faced (Genesis 3:6). They are the same ones we face (see 1 John 2:15-17). They are the universal categories of temptation that the evil one has used for millennia to tempt us to question and violate our loyalty to God. Take the time to reflect on these temptations. They tempt us to withhold our full commitment and withhold our everything from God. Reflect on these questions. You might find journaling or writing out your thoughts to be helpful.
- Read and re-read 1 John 2:15-17 several times. You might consider memorizing it. What is God saying to you? In what ways do you find yourself loving the world or the things of the world? For you right now, what aspect of God’s will is most challenging or difficult for you?
- 1 John 2:16 (NIV) summarizes our temptations as the “lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life.” The Message version describes them this way: “wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important.” How are you tempted to want your own way, want things for yourself or wanting to appear important? How does this hinder you from offering your all and nothing less to God?
- Jesus was tempted in his flesh as he was fasting and hungry (Mt. 4:2-4). The devil challenged him to turn stones to bread. What is the “bread” that you rely on to fill you, satisfy you and make life good? How does this “bread” replaces Jesus, the bread of life, who fills your real needs?
- The devil challenged Jesus to put God to the test and throw himself off the highest point in Jerusalem (Mt. 4:5-7) to prove his importance. How is your importance to God being tested and challenged?
- The devil tried to tempt Jesus with immediate lordship over all while circumventing the cross (Mt. 4:8-10). How are you being tempted by the immediacy of something? How are you being tempted to take a shortcut in holiness?
Message from Glen Elliott
This is a powerful spiritual season to focus on the disciplines of fasting and prayer which Jesus and the apostles spoke about and practiced. This season helps prepare our hearts for Easter.
Traditionally, the main practices and key aspects of Lent are prayer, fasting, alms giving and receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday. As we look forward to Lent, we’ll challenge you to fast from something you’ve been dependent on. When we fast from these kinds of things, we often become more aware of our dependence on Jesus. We’ll help you identify those things which in fact tempt us with a false basis of support, protection, comfort or what we wrongly consider will give us “real” life. We’ll encourage you to “fast” from something that promises to provide what really only God can ultimately provide. Then use the extra time and energy to talk to and focus on Jesus.
Jesus began his journey to the cross by fasting for 40 days (Matthew 4:1-11). During that time of fasting, the devil tempted him in three powerful ways. The devil tempted Jesus through his human appetite, his pride and through the immediate comfort of what his eyes could behold (see 1 John 2:15-17). Right from the beginning, Jesus’ journey required that he sacrifice everything and nothing less to be God’s chosen lamb. How he began his journey would define his entire journey that led to the cross on Calvary. Jesus is Lord and Savior because he sacrificed everything and nothing less and gave his full trust and dependance to his Father. Jesus invites us to follow him and that requires we offer him everything and nothing less.