I'm challenging you to forget about giving up chocolate or other silly Lenten promise - take up something important instead. Take up the practice of spending a little time everyday in God's word.
Each week I will be reflecting on my reading of Matthew and you can add your thoughts or questions in the comments section. Lets do this together and grow in Christ!
Here is a suggested plan:
The Book of Matthew for Lent
28 chapters in 6 weeks.
Focus on creating a daily ritual of reading your Bible & praying for yourself and others.
Read about a chapter each day.
The last day or two go back and reflect on what you read - underline or highlight verses that have special meaning to you.
Chapter 1 - the ancestors of Jesus, recognize any of those names? & birth of Jesus
Chapter 2 - Wise Men & evil of Herod
Chapter 3 - John the Baptist (Jesus' cousin) and Jesus' baptism
Chapter 4 - Jesus is tempted then begins his public ministry
Chapter 5 & 6 - The Sermon on the Mount
Most of these are familiar stories - what surprised you this week?
Chapter 7 - Continuing Sermon on the Mount
Chapter 8 - Healings & storms stilled
Chapter 9 - Healings and calling of Matthew
Chapter 10 - The twelve apostles
Chapter 11 - Praise for John the Baptist
Lots of healing & calling of followers this week - how has Jesus healed you? How is he calling you?
Chapter 12 - Lord of the Sabbath
Chapter 13 - Jesus' Parables
Chapter 14 - Death of John - walking on water
Chapter 15 - what defiles? feeding of 4,000
Chapter 16 - who do you say that I am?
Jesus tells lots of parables this week - any that were new to you? Think about the question "who do you say that I am?" from 16: 15. Who do you think Jesus was & is?
Chapter 17 - Jesus is Transfigured
Chapter 18 - Greatness, sin & forgiveness
Chapter 19 - divorce & money
Chapter 20 - the last will be first
Jesus surprises a lot of people this week with his transfiguration, his teaching and his parables. What surprised you this week?
Chapter 21 - the story of Palm Sunday
Chapter 22 - parable of the Wedding feast
Chapter 23 - denouncing scribes & Pharisees
Chapter 24 - foretelling the destruction of the Temple & persecutions
Chapter 23 has lots of "woe to you"s in it - who do you think Jesus would say "woe to you" to today?
Chapter 25 - be prepare, judgment day is coming
Chapter 26 - the Passover becomes the Lord's supper
Chapter 27 - Jesus is put on trial and executed
Chapter 28 - Jesus is resurrected from the dead
Reflect on Jesus' trial and execution. How does it read compared with how you have imagined it in the past?