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Bible Verses to Live By: Lent Is a Time for Renewal

Contributing editor Rick Hamlin reminds us that Lent is a time to refresh and renew spiritually.

A man prays, Bible in hand, during Lent; Getty Images
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Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 5:6

Lent is here, those 40 days leading up to Easter (not counting Sundays). It has traditionally been a time of fasting, of giving up something mundane to focus on something bigger. I’ll never forget when my wife gave up worrying for Lent—just as our two college-aged sons set out on a trip through some dangerous areas. Now that was challenging. And humbling.

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free…? Isaiah 58:6

A Lenten fast, as this verse reminds us, doesn’t have to be about forgoing chocolate and sweets. You can reach deeper. I have friends who don’t “give up” for Lent but instead “take on”: dedicating themselves to a charitable cause or praying for a specific need in the world—working to make positive change happen. Whether their goal is achieved or not, they have changed and grown, and are ready to greet Easter.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

Putting God first in our lives can be a challenge. There are so many distractions around us. I’m grateful for Lent and the opportunity to recharge and refocus spiritually. Some might ask, “Shouldn’t you be doing all those good things anyway?” Perhaps, but it’s so much easier when you have it prioritized on your calendar and know that others are doing the same. Thanks, God, I can pray, for this chance to grow closer to you, as I share a greeting to one and all: “Happy Lent.”

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