Weekly Lent Devotional: Week 5

Psalm 47: 1-2, NLT
1 Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise!
2 For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth.

1 Corinthians 2:10 , NLT

10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.

What spurs people to action? Whether making a purchasing decision or motivating a team of people on a project. Some call it a switch, others a shift, whichever there is something that prompts individuals to action. One thing is for sure, good leadership never leaves it to chance.

Simon Sinek, leadership specialist, claims when a leader leads with "Why," there is an appearance of a highway or even bridge between the heart and mind that allows resources and priorities to be aligned. So, the "Why" from the leader is the switch, the shift. If this is true about work, can it also be true for Worship? I believe so.

The Holy Spirit is not the "What" or the "How" of Spirit-Inspired Worship; it is the "Why!"

See Psalm 47:1-2 "Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth." Did you see it? It is simple to miss. One word—"for"—captures why we worship. (The Hebrew word, kî, which means "for," is even shorter.) So, we do not worship God because we understand or arrive at that conclusion. We worship because we are prompted to it, we are made "For" Worship, and God did not leave it to chance.

We worship God because God invites us, sustains us, and allows us to worship God. See 1 Corinthians 2:10 (NLT) "But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets." So, in this season of Lent, may you remember not to obfuscate things or, worst, try to control them; keep it simple. May you allow the Holy Spirit to prompt God's people into Worship.

• Who is the leader of Worship in your Church?
• Have you ever felt that something or someone has gotten in the way of Worship?
• In what way would your Worship improve if you considered the Holy Spirit as the "Why" of Worship?

Rev. Mario A. Bolivar
First Presbyterian Church-Eustis

The Best Lentil Soup

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
• 2 celery ribs, chopped
• 14- ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
• 2 cups dry green or brown lentils
• 7 cups vegetable broth
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
• 3 cups baby spinach, sliced into ribbons or kale
• 1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring frequently for about 4-5 minutes.
2. Now add the can of tomatoes (with juices), lentils, vegetable broth, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika. Stir to incorporate everything.
3. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the soup has thickened. For a creamier texture, use an immersion blender to blend a few times in the pot. Alternatively, add 1-2 cups of the soup to a regular blender, blend until smooth and then return to the pot.
4. Stir in the spinach and lemon juice. It will only take a minute for the spinach to wilt. Season with salt to taste.

1. For a thinner soup, simply add more water or vegetable broth until the desired consistency is reached.
2. Leftover soup will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
3. This soup freezes well. Either freeze in individual containers or a large container for quick future meals.
4. May substitute kale for the spinach, but you will need to cook the kale in the soup about 10 more minutes to get it tender.
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