Preparation for Easter

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Lent is the time of preparation and reflection before Easter. During this time, we take time to draw near to Jesus and contemplate the incredible love, grace, and hope displayed on the cross of Calvary and through the Resurrection the following Sunday! This year, we were challenged to prepare and reflect on the message of Easter as we took the 45-Day Challenge through the Gospels. I am absolutely loving this journey and pray that Jesus would show you more and more about who He is as we undertake this journey together. 

We are now just about half-way through this challenge. I trust that you’re finding this experience rewarding. Reading Scripture never disappoints. The Bible is God’s Holy Word written directly to us. In it He speaks of great truths, messages of encouragement, and hope for a life spent with Him. While reading Scripture to know God more is a good idea, it’s not the real purpose of reading Scripture. I want to give you 3 things that take place when we read Scripture that go far above simple knowledge. 

  • We Read Scripture so that Jesus Can Transform Us. Simple knowledge isn’t good enough. If we were after knowledge, the Bible would be a textbook. But in fact, we see that the Word of God is used to make us into a new being; one that has encountered the True God and is being made like Him.
  • We Read Scripture so that Jesus Can Equip Us. The purpose of the message series, Knowing Jesus, is taking the opportunity for Scripture to impart life lessons on how Jesus would handle the situations in life so that our attitudes and actions glorify Jesus and draw others closer as well. May we be thoroughly equipped (2 Tim. 3:16-17) 
  • We Read Scripture so that We Can Be Encouraged. We all need encouragement. We all face difficult situations in life that cause us to question whether following Jesus is worth the trouble. But when we look to Scripture, we see the testimony of God’s faithfulness. He was faithful to believers of the past—ministering in times of distress and oppression. He is faithful to believers now and will continue to be in the future. One of the most encouraging things we see in Scripture is that Jesus tells us how everything ends—He wins. Sin is defeated, and an eternity awaits us. What can be more encouraging to our perseverance than knowing it all works out! 

This is what Scripture does. 

I want to encourage you to continue in seeking Jesus through the Scriptures. If you’ve fallen off the wagon of the 45-Day Challenge, let me encourage you to get back into Scripture. It’s never too late. God longs to transform you through the Word. 

Are You Ready?

Have you ever wondered why some denominations have certain traditions or celebrations that define their year and others don’t adhere to these same celebrations? Our district put on a conference in January called “Training Ground” where we had an opportunity to learn more about how we make disciples of Jesus Christ. At this conference we had the opportunity to hear from the president of The Alliance John Stumbo. In one of his remarks he stated that he often questioned why we “don’t celebrate the milestones of Christianity?” This statement got me thinking about the same thing—why don’t we celebrate the important dates and events in the life of a believer? That’s a question that baffles me. 

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been approached by some people asking me about Lent. If you’re not familiar with Lent, let me give you a little background on the subject. Lent is a 40-day period where we take time to focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s a time of preparation for this event; a time of repentance and refocusing on Him so that our relationship with Jesus Christ is healthy. 

With an event that is designed to draw us closer to Christ and strengthen our relationship with Him, I must ask the question, “Why don’t we celebrate Lent?” On one hand, I know that many who don’t observe it do so because in some Christian circles it has become rote or the message of the observance has been lost. But is this really a reason not to adhere to the Lenten principles of repentance and refocus? I don’t believe so. 

Easter is less than 40 days away now. But it is not too late to take time to repent of our sins—the ones that hold us back from enjoying true fellowship and communion with Christ—and bring our focus back on Him. Let this month of preparation make you ready to celebrate Christ’s resurrection with a new fervor and passion. Let’s be right with God. Are you ready?