I confess I’m not a Lent expert.
My experience with the season of Lent has been limited. But, I’m sensing a wooing in my heart by the Lord to accept His gentle invitation to simply say yes.
A friend of mine framed it in this way: Lent is about laying something down and picking something up.
“And calling the crowd to Him with His disciples, [Jesus] said to them, ‘If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me’” (Mark 8:34, English Standard Version).
Jesus doesn’t ask us to do anything He hasn’t already done. In fact, He is our model. Jesus perfectly denied Himself. He took up the cross we deserved to die on and followed the will of His Father. He did this because He loves us.
I’m creating some space during Lent to focus on God’s Word in a fresh way. I will need to lay down other things I usually read during that time. I can already feel the loss of it. But I have a feeling my gain will be far greater.
“Calling the crowd to join His disciples, [Jesus] said, ‘Anyone who intends to come with Me has to let Me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow Me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, My way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?’” (Mark 8:34-37, The Message).
“What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?”
The real you, whom Jesus loves.
The real you, who hears Him say “You are Mine” when you have the heart to hear it.
Stacey Thacker is a wife and the mother of four girls. She is a Bible teacher with a passion to connect with women and encourage them in their walks with God. Her books include “Hope for the Weary Mom,” “Fresh Out of Amazing” and “Is Jesus Worth It?” You can find her blogging at staceythacker.com and hanging out on Instagram and Twitter @staceythacker usually with a cup of coffee in her hand.
A few hours after Stacey originally posted this article on Feb 23, 2017, her husband, Mike, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. She says her Lenten season was spent in the hospital, clinging desperately to Jesus.
What does it mean to give something up for Lent? How does Lent prepare you for Easter? What exactly do people do during Lent? Find out the answers to these questions and more.
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