My heart’s prayer over the last six weeks has been to prepare my heart for the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Beginning on Ash Wednesday this year I began a journey unlike any other I have experienced on any other Easter.
I told my children yesterday on the way home from church that my heart was prepared much more this year than any other year. They immediately chimed in “Me, too!” I asked them why and here are some of their responses:
“We read Amon’s Adventure.”
“We did the Passover.”
“We prayed more as a family.”
“We did Lent.”
I couldn’t have agreed more with their responses and not because of “the right answer,” but because of the sincerity of their responses. They truly did have a different Easter experience this year.
Reading Amon’s Adventure did keep our family focused on the true meaning behind why we celebrate Easter. By reading through the book a couple of chapters a week in turn provided us the opportunity to pray more together as a family and read the biblical accounts behind the fictional story. During our time reading, the Lord led our family to give something up during the time of lent in order to, on a small scale, reflect on Christ’s sacrifice for our sin. One of the more profound times in preparing our hearts was when we celebrated the Passover as a family this past Thursday night. Using the book, Celebrating Biblical Feasts (highly recommend), we went through the process of what the Jews do to remember the work God did in delivering them from Egypt. I can’t even tell you what a blessed time we had for our 2 ½ hour dinner on our living room floor. The conversations and fellowships we had together will be cherished forever and I believe imprinted on the hearts of each of our children.
In addition to these times, the Holy Spirit walked me through the life of Christ His last week on earth beginning with Palm Sunday. It was a special time for me as I read through the gospel accounts with an open heart and allowed the Holy Spirit to reveal new truths from the Word. Many more connections were made for me as I journeyed through this time and I shared some of those thoughts with you this past week.
But Easter has come and gone now. What’s next? For most of us we jump right back into our work, school, or planning schedule. We will only occasionally reflect back on the work Christ did on the cross for our lives. It will be another year before we are intentional in remembering Christ’s death and resurrection. But is this truly the way Christians are to live their lives the other 364 days of the year? After the experience the Lord has brought me on, I am left with wanting more. What is that more to look like? The answer came this morning as I was reading through Philippians. The Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see that my life verse for this year, Philippians 3:10-12 (posted at the top of my blog), was answered in part through my Easter experience.
My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11).
Yes, Lord! That is it!! I have wanted to know God more and He has graciously allowed me that opportunity. Not quite knowing how I was to come to know the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, I believe He revealed just a small glimpse of that through the participation in Lent. While I have come through Easter with a deeper understanding of God, my true heart is expressed in the next verse.
Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12)
I do not have everything together and I am still so far from where I need to be, but do I just stop? No! Through God’s strength and power, I can make every effort to press on and take hold of knowing Him more. I can press on in taking hold of knowing even more the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.
It doesn’t stop on Easter morning!!
It continues on throughout the year.
There is so much more to share, but time is running out and I hope Z Bits will be back up this Friday for you hear from the hearts of His children, what Easter meant to them this year.
My Heart’s Prayer: Lord, what else can I say to you today than, “I will thank Yahweh with all my heart; I will declare all Your wonderful works. I will rejoice and boast about You; I will sing about Your name, Most High (Psalm 99:1-2).” Thank you for being faithful to answer the prayers of this sinful child. Thank you for sending your only Son to die on the cross for my sins. Thank you for loving me beyond what I deserve. I love you Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen.