Friday, March 3, 2017

The Beauty of Lent

{Beautiful painting and photo by Ruth Simons of Gracelaced}

So technically, we're only on our third day of Lent, but this is the week where set our intentions and commit to making this 40 days about more Jesus and less us. That's the whole point of this thing anyways- not to lose weight, to be "better," or to look good in the eyes of our brother or sister, but to enjoy Jesus more. I've so enjoyed the She Reads Truth "You Are Mine" plan through the book of Isaiah this week and am looking forward to learning even more. There are some thoughts from Day 4 of that plan that really captured me and keep rolling around in my head:

  • Followers of Christ no longer fear punishment because Jesus received it for us. The cross was enough and no further penalty is necessary. 
  • Pain or brokenness or even societal strife can be a severe mercy. This strange yet good brokenness is an opportunity to learn and repent and cling to God like never before. God beckons us to turn back from the path of destruction and choose the path that leads to life, and the good news is, it is never, ever too late.

And I loved these points from the Gospel Coalition:

  1. Lent affords us the opportunity to search the depths of our sin and experience the heights of God's love
  2. Lent affords us an opportunity to probe the sincerity of our discipleship.
  3. Lent provides us an opportunity to reflect on our mortality.
  4. Lent gives us the opportunity to move towards our neighbor in charity.
  5. Lent prepares us to celebrate the wonder and promise of Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday.
And lastly, this post from Life Lived Beautifully encouraged me to think about the real reason for Ash Wednesday. Rachael writes:

The Old Testament records ashes being used as a sign of penitence and mourning. Ash Wednesday is intended to make us pause and remember that we are human, we are sinful, and we are in need of a Savior. It was created as a way of relating to Christ in His suffering.

I'm looking forward to learning more, digging deeper, and enjoying Jesus in the weeks ahead. What have you learned so far during this Lenten season?

Don't forget! Today is the last day to win this beautiful 8x10 art print from Lindsay Gilmore Illustration! Be sure to enter today, and the winner will be announced tomorrow! 

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