2021 Lenten Season Information
2021 Financial Fast Message
Beloved, I greet you with the joy of the Lord, which is my strength. Through the grace and mercy of God, we are blessed and privileged to behold another Lenten season. As we continue to journey through the Season of Reclamation and Restoration, we want to position ourselves to receive all that God desires for us. Most of us are seeking restoration of some sort; whether it is physical, spiritual, emotional or financial. With that in mind, I am asking us to enter into a Financial Fast for Lent. Money is often a challenge, even in the lives of many believers. You may be thinking, “I don’t have money challenges.” Financial fasting is not simply beneficial for those who struggle, it can be beneficial for all. Even believers who do not have challenges with money management, giving and saving, can be blessed by the discipline and lessons gleaned from participation in our Financial Fast.
As we participate in this year’s Financial Fast, we must remember the two foundational spiritual disciplines of prayer and the study of God’s Word. During this Financial Fast, we encourage all of us to increase our prayer time with God, as we seek to grow, individually and as a church, spiritually, numerically and financially. We also encourage all of us to be consistent in our attendance at the Wednesday Night Bible Study online.
We are also asking all of us to pray over a special Thank Offering to be given on Easter Sunday, as an act of praise and gratitude for the ways we have been blessed during this year’s Financial Fast.
As we participate in our 2021 Financial Fast, I have the same desire and hope for you as the Apostle Paul had for the Church at Corinth, “Now as you excel in everything---in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in love---so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.”
2021 Lenten Financial Fast
Nehemiah fasted and prayed for the children of Israel when there was a need for the repairing of the temple. Daniel fasted and prayed for three weeks to draw nearer and hear from God. David fasted and prayed in a time of personal repentance. Paul and Barnabas fasted and prayed before presenting leaders in the church and Jesus spent 40 days in the desert fasting and praying before going into ministry. All of these experiences brought amazing and miraculous results.
We commend the book “The 21-Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom” by Michelle Singletary as a resource to assist us during our 2021 Lenten Fast. Listed below are 21 Pledges extracted from her book along with a few additional pledges.
For the next 21 days, I will be on a spending diet, I will not shop for anything except necessities. I will not use my credit card. I will limit or eliminate the use of my debit card when possible. I will use cash for purchases that I will make during the fast. In this way, I will strive to break the chains that keep me from achieving financial freedom. Every day I will pray and ask for strength to follow this Financial Fast.
To find the key to wealth, I have to understand that prosperity comes with conditions. I must follow God’s will and Word for my life.
I will identify someone --- a friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker --- who needs help either with cash (I can afford to give away) or my time. I will use God’s generosity toward me as an example of how to be generous to others. As I prosper, I will share my wealth with others.
I will commit to tithing or recommit to tithing.
Today, I’ll think about something in my life I did or purchased that I now realize was giving into a sense of entitlement.
Today, I promise I will not complain about anything I have.
I will be diligent and develop a budget so every penny I earn has a purpose.
I will commit today to set aside a percentage of every paycheck for my savings.
I will examine my investments to make sure I am well diversified.
I will work with my spouse to develop a set of rules to govern how we handle our money together. If single, I will work to develop a set of rules to govern how I handle money.
I will show my child/children or some other young person by example what it means to be a good steward over money.
I will complete a debt reduction worksheet.
I will review my credit card statements going back at least three months and examine my spending on my credit and debit cards.
I will not cosign with anyone other than my spouse.
I will take an inventory of what I own so I can guard against wanting more. I will be on the lookout for things that pull me in the direction of greed.
I will take some time to learn about long-term care insurance and begin planning for any caregiving responsibilities that may fall to me.
I will identify at least one aspect of my finance and decide today to stop stressing about it.
I will stop worrying about not having enough money because God has so richly blessed me.
I will commit that everything I have belongs to God.
I will begin to pray about donating an above and beyond Easter Thank Offering.
I will try to find at least one other person to help go through the 21-day financial fast.
Day 22 – Until Easter
Reflect on scriptures during the remaining Lenten Financial Fast.