Welcome to the 40acts Challenge! Are you ready to spend Lent on behalf of others? Having a verse in mind will help keep you focused, especially if your enthusiasm threatens to dip. Let’s surprise people with God’s goodness this Lent!

Green: Copy out this verse into a notebook or put a bookmark in that page in your Bible. Proverbs 3:27: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.

Amber: Read through Proverbs and find a verse or verses that leap out at you and leave a bookmark at that page.

Red: Read through Proverbs, write your verse out on Post-it notes and stick them in prominent places around your home or workplace. Memorise it if you can. Use social media to share the verse and your intentions this Lent, using the hashtag #40acts.

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” (Proverbs 3:27 NIV)

One chilly autumn morning, a man standing near me on the bus made three calls in quick succession.

At first, the message was gentle but direct: ‘It’s time to get up.’ Three minutes later: ‘It’s time to get up; get up now!’ The final call was more urgent: ‘It’s time to get up…you don’t sound like you’re up! You sound horizontal. Okay, let me hear water, so I really know!’ I assumed this was a father calling his child and he wasn’t satisfied with any mumbled response. He needed confirmation that his demands were being met! 

It can sometimes be hard to galvanise ourselves, let alone others, into action. Today marks the beginning of a 40-day journey. A journey that will encourage us to live the 40acts way of generosity, which might take us outside of our comfort zone. Are we ready to do this, or is the temptation to snuggle under a duvet of complacency and ease too strong?

It’s a challenge, that’s for sure. Yet, I am reassured knowing that another is journeying alongside us. Our fellow traveller is the only Son of a loving Father, whose destination is a wooden cross. On Good Friday, the greatest sacrificial act of all will be revealed.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that following 40acts has enriched my Easter experience. Jesus’ ministry was demanding and costly, but before He embarked on it, His Father declared: ‘This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’ God loves us all just the same. Doing 40acts won’t make Him love us more, but what an opportunity to show love to others just as Jesus did.

Ok, it really is time to get up, and get ready to act!

Frances has been with Stewardship since 2005. Frances initially worked within our Insurance team and more recently as Head of Giving Services.
Before joining Stewardship, Frances previously worked in recruitment, banking and local government. She is a member of a Central London Methodist church and is married to a Methodist minister. Frances and her husband are proud parents and grandparents, and they both support Fulham FC!
website: www.stewardship.org.uk
twitter: @frances_mil