The forty days of Lent are an opportunity for a season of renewal that culminates in Easter Sunday. It’s a time to focus on turning away from sin and to Christ our Savior and Lord.
Paul said, “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord… I want to know Christ… becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Phil. 3:8-11).
Of course, it’s one thing to want to live like Paul and it’s another to actually accomplish this! How do we do this? Paul answers, “Train yourself to be godly” (1 Tim. 4:7). We train ourselves with disciplines.
You can practice spiritual disciplines at any time of the year, but they can be especially helpful in preparing your heart for Easter.
Experience The Joy Of Lent explores:
- Spiritual Disciplines for delight
- A Meditation on the Cross and the Tomb
- Lent Resources to Shepherd Your Heart
Ready to experience greater joy this Lenten season? Let’s begin…
Spiritual Training for Loving Lent
Lent is a great time to experiment with a discipline for spiritual life in Christ. “Discipline” may seem like drudgery, but it’s what enables us to live with delight and dedication!
It’s a surprise to many people but the season of Lent is meant to be joyful. “For the joy set before him Jesus endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2). Jesus taught us to look our best when we’re fasting not because we’d be miserable and should pretend to be happy! (Matt. 6:16-18) He knew from experience that fasting can be feasting on God.
Picture the Cross and Empty Tomb
Here’s a discipline to try. It helps me to imagine the cross of Christ and his empty tomb…
Keep picturing these scenes, as if they’re open windows in your mind. Pray, “Thank you Lord Jesus for your cross… Thank you for your resurrection…” Meditate on the virtues of Christ’s sacrifice and eternal life…
Through this meditation, the Spirit of Jesus may invite you to experience the cross and resurrection more personally in your own life. You might look to deny yourself something — perhaps some food, rushing to get through a stop light, or speaking a word that might draw attention to yourself. This is “taking up your cross” to follow in Jesus and it strengthens your capacity to be generous and kind to others.
By contrast, you may notice the resurrection power of Christ in your life during this season. He breathes new life into dry bones. Perhaps the empty tomb is an invitation to reflect on the new life Jesus has given you and leads to a fresh inspiration to pray, give, and serve from an overflow of God’s grace.
Lent Resources to Shepherd Your Heart
My heart has been warmed and my life re-shaped by the stories of Jesus and his cross during Holy Week. I invite you to join me on the life-changing journey of my 68-page booklet: Unforsaken: Journey with Jesus on the Stations of the Cross. You and your friends will be blessed as you take time to reflect on Jesus’ empathy at the cross and empty tomb this Lenten season.
Our Lectio Divina Guides offer a meditation on Philippians 3:7-11 called “Give Up All Things For Resurrection Life.” This can be used for a small group or in your private devotions to experience life in Jesus’ resurrection power.
“Hungry Heart Scriptures” is a free article that features Bible verses to cultivate greater longing for God and introduces how fasting can be feasting! This discipline is powerful!
May you experience the joy of Lent this season and may it produce an abundance of fruit that remains long after the joyful celebration of Easter morning!