Easter is approaching. Starting March 6th with Ash Wednesday we enter a time in the calendar known as Lent. Lent is 40 days of preparation. Preparation for what?  Lent is a time period where we are preparing our hearts and minds as we reflect on the death and resurrection of Christ on Easter weekend. During this preparation, we focus on prayer, repentance, and self-denial. It lasts 40 days because it replicates Jesus’ 40 day journey in the dessert.

One of the most popular things to do over lent is to fast. When you fast you choose to give up something. Usually it is food, but it doesn’t have to be just food. It could be something such as social media, coffee, or TV to name a few. Whatever you choose to give up, it is important to use that time as a way to reflect on Christ and seek to spend time praying or reading the Bible whenever you want to use social media or drink that cup of coffee. It’s not just sacrificing for the sake of sacrificing. It is to serve as a reminder for us to spend more time preparing for Easter.

While fasting is one of the most popular actions to take during lent, there are other things you can do to get ready for Easter. Here are a few examples:

  • Pray. Great things happen when we pray. In fact, if you look throughout the Bible, great things happen when people pray. So what can you pray for over the next 40 days? Who can you pray for? Whatever is in your heart to be praying for, commit to praying for it every day over the next 40 days and see what God does.
  • Join an Online Bible Study. Beginning March 6th, the Online Campus at New Life is doing a Countdown to Easter Online Group where each day we will post a Bible verse and short devotional designed to help you grow closer to Christ. You can join the group here.
  • Get Daily Bible Verses as Encouragement via Text. Whether you want to join a group or not, you can get daily Bible verses sent to you each day during Lent that will encourage you. All you have to do is text “Easter” to 703-454-5990 and you will receive a daily Bible reading and some encouragement.

Participating in Lent can truly be a great exercise to grow closer to Christ. But remember, what makes this the most effective is if you heart is in it and you are earnestly seeking Christ. For instance, if you give up soda, but have a lapse one day and have a can of Mountain Dew. Don’t throw in the towel and give up after that day. Simply start new the next day and as you feel that craving for chocolate, spend time praying to God and reflecting on who He is. It’s all about your heart and making sure you really desire to do this, even if you mess up one day or another

So, what are you going to do? How are you going to use Easter to grow closer to Christ? Share it below.