Sunday, February 14, 2016

(Ten) Activities I'd Recommend for Lent

I do not believe that believers *have* to "GIVE UP" something for the Lent season. I don't. But I do think that believers would greatly benefit by ADDING something for the Lent season. Lent would be a GREAT time of year to add the spiritual discipline of daily Bible reading, for example. Or perhaps you read your Bible daily, but, you don't read much else. Now would be a great time to start, and, it isn't too late for this Lent season.

Bible-Based Activities

1. Read All Four Gospels. Crossway has published a lovely edition, ESV Reader's Gospels. Thomas Nelson offers One Perfect Life. Either book would get you through the text of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

2. Read A Gospel. Perhaps four gospels sounds overwhelming. Choose one gospel: Matthew or Mark or Luke or John and read it slowly, carefully, deliberately. Consider reading a commentary or devotional book about that gospel in addition. For example, Beth Moore's The Beloved Disciple: Following John to the Heart of Jesus, Exalting Jesus in Matthew by David Platt, Michael Card's Mark: The Gospel of Passion, Warren Wiersbe's Be Compassionate (Luke 1-13) and Be Courageous (Luke 14-24).

3. Read the Psalms--all 150! No special book required, of course, but they do make several editions if you're looking just for the book of Psalms. Here is one in KJV. Here is another in the ESV.

Prayer and Meditation

4. Read a book about prayer and commit to implementing/incorporating it into your life. I'd recommend Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney or Prayer by Timothy Keller.

5. You don't have to read a book about prayer in order to start praying! Set a goal, make a commitment. It might be "I will pray ten minutes every day" for Lent. Or. "I will pray for my unsaved friends and family" throughout Lent. Or. "I will pray with my spouse" throughout Lent.

6. Keep a journal. You might want to think of it as a 'prayer' journal, or, a 'meditation' journal. Or even--a journal-journal! One of the meditation tips in Donald Whitney's Spiritual Disciplines For the Christian Life recommends meditating on Scripture by writing down observations, insights, questions, etc. He recommends setting a 'goal' for your notes. You could meditate on one verse, a handful of verses or passage, a whole chapter. I'd recommend John 17:17, John 3:1-21, Proverbs 3:5-7, Psalm 23, Exodus 3, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Psalm 103:1-5, Psalm 103:8-13, Isaiah 53, Galatians 1, Romans 8, etc. I think you'll find that once you start this practice, this discipline, you'll find it life-changing, and want to keep it up.

Praise and Worship

7. Listen to your favorite album(s). Sing aloud. Make time every day to focus all your attention on praising God. You might want to create your own playlist of worship songs for Lent. It could be traditional hymns or contemporary worship songs. Whatever lifts your heart up to God in song.


8. Read 'from the cloud' -- the cloud of witnesses! I'd recommend:

The Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennet
The Root of the Righteous by A.W. Tozer
Holiness by J.C. Ryle
Pleasure and Profit in Bible Study by D.L. Moody

9. Read Christian nonfiction. I'd especially recommend:

Gospel: Recovering the Power That Made Christianity Revolutionary by J.D. Greear
Give Them Truth by Starr Meade
Newton on the Christian Life by Tony Reinke
A Tale of Two Sons by John MacArthur
Taking God At His Word by Kevin DeYoung

10. Read A Bible Story Book. A good story book Bible can be a refresher course on what the gospel is all about. It can also help you 'make sense' of how the Bible fits all together which might help you in your own Bible reading.

The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm
The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

No comments: