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Thoughts during Lent

Don't you love it when God seems to pull things together from various parts of your life to bring focus to what seem like disconnected pieces? I am so thankful that God is using His Word and music and books to focus my mind and heart on the Gospel during Lent this year.

A big part of this comes through the study of John that we are doing in the Tuesday Women's Bible study.  We just 'happen' to be in John 17-20 during Lent - the accounts of the trials, death and resurrection of Jesus.  The Gethsemane prayer of Jesus reminded me of His love and care of us as His sheep who need a Good Shepherd. He thought of us when He was anticipating the cruelty that He was about to suffer.  He prayed that we would be kept in Him, that the world might believe in Jesus through us, that we would be one in Him. He stood silent before His accusers, accepted the necessary guilty verdict, suffered the agony of the Cross, being obedient to His Father throughout it all. Read slowly through Scripture. Let it teach you, encourage you, make you cry and draw you to the glory of God in His plan of redemption.

Then there is music. Music is a powerful reminder to me of truths from Scripture. Right now I am listening and re-listening to Andrew Peterson's Prologue to the Resurrection Letters (perhaps a subject for another blog) and to Resurrection Letters 1.  The words and music allow me to meditate on the beauty of God's love for me shown in the reality of His suffering.  Let music fill your hearts this Lenten season. Let it teach you, encourage you, make you cry and draw you to Jesus.

Finally God is prodding me through reading.  In the Facebook ECC Women's Book Club, we are reading Rosaria Butterfield's book The Gospel Comes with a House Key.  I am being spurred on to look at my neighbors with new eyes. And to ask the question - Who is my neighbor? How can I serve them? Why am I so reluctant to share my time, my resources, my home? With the love of Jesus shown to me through His sacrifice of His very life, how can I not be bolder about extending that love to others? I am challenged to consider how God is calling me to open my heart and life to those around me, to encourage them and show them the love of Jesus.

Lent is a time of preparation. But I think God is showing me that it is also a time for action, for loving Him more and for loving others better.

Don't waste Lent. Let it inspire you to draw closer to the Savior who suffered, bled and died for you. And then let's celebrate joyously together on Resurrection morning as death gives way to life everlasting!