Ginrich's Devotional Blog

February 23, 2012

Forty Days

Genesis 7:12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights

Exodus 24:18 Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights

Numbers 13:25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.

Matthew 4:2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry

Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Why does Lent last 40 days? This is a very significant time of preparation in both the Old and New Testaments. There are many other references in addition to the ones I’ve quoted here. All of the deal with preparation for something: 40 days of rain to prepare the earth for renewal, 40 days on the mount for Moses to receive the 10 commandments, 40 days for the Hebrew spies to search out the land in preparation for the Hebrews to enter and occupy it. Most significant for us is the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in preparation for His revealing His ministry as the Son of God and the culmination of the atonement for our sins. He balances it with another 40 days after His resurrection in preparation for the building up of the Church. Now we take 40 days to prepare ourselves to become more mature in our faith and ministry. Each one of us is called into ministry – ministering the Word, Light and Love of God to all those He brings into our path. We take time to prepare by refreshing in this way 2 times a year: Lent and Advent. Why do we need this? If Jesus, God’s Son, needed to do this how much more do we need to take these times to slow us down from the clutter of this world and renew our minds and spirits to “be about our God’s (our Father’s) business. Let us renew so we can go and serve preparing all for the coming of the Kingdom of God.

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