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Considering a Lenten Discipline?

January 31, 2023

Considering a Lenten Discipline?

Considering a Lenten Discipline?

By Brooke Holt

As the month of January draws to a close, we are called to set our eyes on a new season for the church – the season of Lent. Truthfully, this is my very least favorite season in the church year. I understand the significance of Lent and know the joy of Easter is enhanced by the observation of a holy Lent, but let’s be honest: Lent is hard!

Since early childhood I can remember being strongly encouraged to give things up for Lent – things like desserts, sodas, or television. In my more recent years, I have given up things like coffee, sweets, social media, and wine. None of which was fun to give up throughout the forty days of Lent. However, though I didn’t enjoy the challenge while in it, I did see the benefit coming out of each Lenten season. When those forty days were over, I had a new choice to make. Did that thing I gave up really add value to my life? Did it draw me closer to the Lord or lead me away from the Lord? Did I need it in my life?

I will never give up coffee again (unless seriously convicted by the Holy Spirit), but I have gained new understanding through each Lenten discipline. In addition to giving things up, I have also started to take on new habits: things such as speaking words of affirmation over people, purging my home of unneeded items, and making time in my day to meditate on God’s Word.
Why should you or me or anyone else in our modern age practice these Lenten disciplines?

Because they are so good for our souls. We are such comfortable people. Every week the church doors are open to us, and we are invited into worship, to partake of Holy Communion, and to fellowship with the people of God. We are abundantly blessed in our comfortable lifestyles, and we forget what it means to deny ourselves or to go without something we think we need or want.

What if we allowed the Lord to search our hearts, minds, and lives this Lenten season? What if we allowed him to convict us of things that we may be overly attached to or things that may hinder us in our Christian walk? And what if we surrendered those things to him for just 40 days? We may just experience him more deeply and find new freedom in our lives.

The early church used the season of Lent as a time of preparation for baptism. New converts would take the 40 days for prayer, repentance, fasting, practices of self-denial, and the reading of God’s Word. In many ways, it was a time of dying to self so that they could be raised again to new life in Christ; that is the great Easter celebration!

How might the Lord be calling you to observe a holy Lent this year? Maybe it is in giving something up or maybe it is in taking something on – something such as a Bible study or a small group commitment. Maybe it is serving the homeless each week or simply cleaning out your closets to donate to those in need. In big and small ways, each discipline teaches us what it means to deny ourselves, to pick up our cross, and to follow Jesus. That is the way of Lent, the way of the cross, and the means to resurrection.

If you are looking for Lenten resources, consider The Crucified Life or our new study entitled Waters of Baptism. You can study on your own, with a small group, or at church. Forty days of self-denial may not be easy or fun, but forty days can transform your life as you walk with Jesus!

Related Resources:


The Crucified Life
The Crucified Life small group Christian study is designed to reflect upon the Seven Last Words of Christ from the cross and what they mean for us today. Walk the road of Calvary with Jesus in order to grow closer to Him. The Crucified Life small group study examines human suffering as it is mirrored in Christ’s suffering on the cross and what His seven last words say to a hurting world. Find out incredible insights into these words as Jesus teaches us, even in death, how we can use our suffering and triumph over it for His glory. Begin your Crucified Life today.



Waters of Baptism

Jesus’ great commission to his apostles after his resurrection was to go into all the world to preach, teach, and baptize in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. From the very beginning, baptism has been understood as the doorway into this new kind of family. Explore what Jesus expects of this new family that finds its origin and purpose in him. The baptized are called into a new life of faith. From passages in Matthew to the shining examples of faith  in our passage from John, Waters of Baptism is a helpful resource for those seeking the sacrament of baptism or those who want a deeper understanding of their faith. This six week study will help us understand the importance of baptismal living.

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