In high school, I attended a Baptist church “in-town” while most of my peers went to the Catholic church down the street. I always knew when the Lent season started—not just because of the ashes they wore to school—but because of the cafeteria food. They started serving fish. Every. Friday.

And high-school-cafeteria-style fish is not the most appetizing.

Somehow, this was all that Lent meant to me: black smudges and Fish Fridays. But then, I went to Bible college, attended a few churches, and went to some Lent services. I realized how much I had been missing out on.

THE BENEFIT OF CELEBRATING LENT

In case you didn’t know (like me), the Lenten season lasts for 40 days, mirroring Jesus’ time spent in the desert. Just like Jesus fasted during those 40 days, many Christians choose to give something up for that period of time. This is a practice of self-denial, discipline, and reflection. We take time to recognize that the ONLY thing that can quench our hunger, thirst, and desire is Jesus Christ.

Then, when Easter comes, our hearts are ready to rejoice. We do have and will always have a relationship with our Lord.

WHAT SHOULD I GIVE UP?

If you don’t answer this question before Lent starts tomorrow—don’t give up. You can still participate in this tradition!

Some advice I’ve been given that I found useful is to pick something that I think about a lot or find my identity in.

This is why people often give up a food, drink, or social media.

If you decide to give up something that you use or think about often, it will help draw your mind to Christ more frequently—reminding you that He is the one who sustains you.

WHAT ABOUT ADDING SOMETHING?

Yes, yes yes.

Adding a spiritual discipline to your daily or weekly routine during Lent is another great way to turn your heart toward Christ. This is a practice of self-denial and discipline as well—giving of your time and energy in new ways.

What should I add?

We’ve put together a Lent Reading Plan for all of you.

We hope you’ll find it as encouraging as we do during this season. You can find it here with all of the other reading plans:

We also put together a list of Lent Devotionals

You can check out the list by heading over to our website.

HAVE ANY ADVICE, TIPS, OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

Share with us in the comments! How do you celebrate Lent?

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for putting together a collection of books and devotionals for the Lenten season. I was raised Catholic and became Presbyterian as an adult but I kept the Lenten season in my adult life. I look forward to reading these resources.

  2. Daniel Goodlin Reply

    Galatians 5:1 (NASB Strong’s)
    1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

    When Paul wrote to the believers, He did not have very kind words for those who had crept into the church bringing with them traditions of men. In fact, he was astonished that they were being sucked into these traditions and angry with those bringing a different gospel, wishing they be accused and even mutilate themselves. They were insulting the Spirit of grace and diluting the power of the Gospel. Today is no different, in many of our churches today the power of the Gospel is weakened when these traditions and practices of men are mixed with the real message. In the verse above Paul encourages the believers to stand firm and not subject themselves to a yoke of slavery and obligation to laws and traditions. I have been a born again believer for forty years. I have concluded that God is not impressed with our grandiose practices of self-denial nor will it bring us closer to Him. What pleases God is simple; it is you, just because you are you. He was the only one who was successful at self-denial, just look at what He did for us. It pleases Him if we simply believe and receive His tremendous gift to us. You are free to eat steak on Friday and chocolate every night if you want. In fact, if Jesus were still walking this planet today He would probably join you. He is in love with us and is crazy about us. Stand in your freedom and just believe!

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