The Heart & Habits of Lent

The Heart & Habits of Lent

“I believe I can see the future
'Cause I repeat the same routine”
Trent Reznor - Nine Inch Nails

The orientation of the heart happens from the bottom up, through the formation of our habits of desire. Learning to love (God) takes practice.”

James K.A. Smith

“You are dust and to dust you shall return”
“Therefore, go and consider yourself dead to sin & alive to God in Christ Jesus”

A gospel paradox: in getting us ready to live, Jesus gets us ready to die. First he gets himself ready to die so that he can live. Then he gets us ready. Our habit is to think life first, then death. Jesus radicalizes our perceptions: first death, then life. This death is not primarily biological, although it will eventually include that. Jesus is leading us to the death of sin, and sin is a cat with nine lives. Jesus is leading us to the Lenten death that will catapult us into the Easter resurrection.”

Eugene Peterson

Matthew 16:24-26

The Heart of Lent

The early church was strikingly different from the culture around it in this way – the pagan society was stingy with its money and promiscuous with its body. A pagan gave nobody their money and practically gave everybody their body. And the Christians came along and gave practically nobody their body and they gave practically everybody their money.”

Timothy J. Keller
Devotion: Prayer

Matthew 6:5-6

Desire: Fasting

Matthew 6:16-18
1 Corinthians 6:13a

We fast to nourish our hunger for God and to reduce our hunger for the world.”

John Piper

The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It’s not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but mindless nibbling at the table of the world.”

John Piper

Three Habits of Lent

Giving

Malachi 3:8-10

Types of Givers:

  • Non-givers: 7%
  • Sporadic givers: 46%
  • Regular givers: 44%
  • Extravagant givers: 3%
Prayer

Praise
Repent
Ask
Yield
Entrust
Remind

Fasting

Matthew 5:1-11


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