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Saturday, March 30, 2013

A challenge for Easter



In my new devotional, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning, I offer a challenge. I ask my readers to get to know God better than they know their own troubles.

The tendency might at first be to think, Oh, yeah, I already know God well.

But how well do you know about the following:
* Your bills
* Your finances
* Your coworkers who drive you crazy
* Your neighbor who runs over your lawn with her car
* Your spouse's irritating habits
* The new house your friend just had built
* The sound of your children complaining
* The sound of your own voice complaining

Do these things---some of which might lead you to worry or become depressed----consume your thoughts? Do you get wrapped up in them?

Do you know how God loves you? Do you understand how much you mean and matter to him? Can His love and attributes come to mind and renew your mind over all your despair and confusion? Can you let that happen?

In Getting Out of Bed in the Morning, I also ask readers to "Push aside all the jargon you might have grown up with—“christianese”—certain phrases you’ve repeated that you aren’t even sure how to explain to a nonbeliever. Read the Bible, perhaps pondering on one passage over and over so that you can fully grasp its meaning for you. Discover ways to express both God and faith in your own words."

For example, can you tell the Resurrection Story in your own words? Can you explain the meaning of Jesus' death on a cross and coming out from the tomb in a fresh way?

Start with one word. Crucified. What are others words you can use in its place? Think: What does it mean to be crucified?

Continue on with other words and phrases we use excessively at Easter-----salvation, died on a cross, rose again, died for my sins, was buried in a tomb.

This Easter spend some time finding new and fresh ways to express how excited you are to know this Jesus Christ who loves you. Read your favorite Easter passage from a new translation like The Message.

Consider how you might tell the story of Jesus' death to someone who has never heard it, or to someone who is not a native speaker of your language, or to a child.

"Discover both God and faith in your own words!"

I challenge you!

To order a copy of Getting Out of Bed in the Morning, click here.

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