Thursday, March 07, 2013

Easter Reading 2013

It is high time we chatted about the Lenten season.

Since, you know, it has already started {weeks ago} and I’ve been reading this fabulous book and not telling you about it.

If you’ve been reading here in past years, you know that I do my own spin on observing Lent. My denomination does not typically observe Lent, but I think it is a shame for the celebration of Easter and all Christ did for us on the cross to be limited to one day. We spend weeks and weeks preparing for Christmas and celebrating Christ’s birth...why do we pass lightly over His death and redemptive work?

That is the short version of my feelings toward Easter. You can read more here if you want. :)

In the weeks leading up to Easter {call it Lent, call it the month of March...the name doesn’t matter, the point is preparing my heart for Resurrection Sunday) I normally read a book that deals directly with some aspect of Christ’s death and His redemptive work. In 2011 I read The Incomparable Christ and in 2012 I read Knowing Christ.

This year, I chose a book that has been sitting on my shelf for years: Salvation by Earl D. Radmacher. I had to read this book for a class in college, but I am ashamed to admit I couldn’t even remember what the book was about, let alone what I supposedly learned from it! For shame!

Flipping through it, I felt that it would be a perfect book to focus on this Easter...and I was right! It covers our salvation through Christ in detail, and breaks down words like justification, redemption, and propitiation in ways that are easy to understand. I especially liked the chapter on common grace - God’s Grace to the world as a whole. It gave me a whole new glimpse into the awesomeness of our God!

I also have been memorizing and meditating on certain verses that deal with this topic each week. These are normally verses that I am already familiar with, but in light of this season I want to focus on them even more! Two that I have chosen already have been II Corinthians 5:17 and Hebrews 2:10.

It worked out that in my normal daily Bible reading schedule I am still in the Gospels, so in addition to the Radmacher book, I am also reading the passages that detail Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Had I not already been reading these, I would have made them part of my study as well. I don’t like to focus only on man’s words (although Radmacher uses bushels and bushels of scripture in every chapter of his book) but to dwell primarily on His words! Those are the words that God has promised to bless and use in our lives.

So there is a little glimpse into my plan for the next few weeks. I would challenge you to spend some time prior to Easter Sunday dwelling on Jesus Christ and what He has done for us. In past years, I have seen this make a huge impact on my spiritual life, and give me a deeper sense of gratitude to the Lord. It can be a life-saver spiritually!

Do you typically observe Lent? What does it mean for you? Is there a way that you prepare your heart to celebrate the Resurrection?

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