Spiritual Growth

5 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for Easter {with Reading Calendar}

If you are anything like me, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of obligations around holidays. I’m already trying to formulate our plan for Easter morning as we head to church and then juggle time with our families. But this year, I want it to be different. I want to focus on the meaning and not just the must-dos. I don’t want to just attend the Good Friday and Easter services at church and then get on with my agenda and schedule.

I want to absorb it all. The purpose of it. The pain of it. The relief of it. The meaning of it.

I want to press pause and sit in what it means to be holy and how Easter changes everything for those of us who know Christ.

1. Immerse Yourself in His Story

What does this look like? I know myself well enough to know I need accountability, which is why I created a reading plan to saturate myself in the prophesies and stories leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection to help me meditate and soak in it all throughout the month of April.

Join me for 30 days of specific scripture reading leading up to Easter. We will look at Old Testament prophesies leading up to Jesus’ birth, we will learn the importance of passover and make important connections from the Old Testament to the New Testament. We will see the necessity of the resurrection and how we as believers are supposed to live on this side of the cross. Allow yourself to feel all the angst, joy, sorrow, devastation, relief, and celebration that these very real people felt in the beautiful story that we call the Gospel (the Good News).

Free Easter Reading Calendar

easter-reading-calendar

Click Here to Print the Easter Reading Calendar

Scripture is not a concept; scripture is a person (John 1:1,14). When you stand before the Word of God, you are not merely encountering a concept; you are standing face-to-face with God.

Henry Blackaby

2. Feel the Seriousness of Your Sin

Before Easter morning was the darkest day in history. Before Easter, we were dependent on animal sacrifices to atone for our sins. To experience and celebrate the joy and freedom of Easter, we must first realize the seriousness of the very sin that Jesus took upon himself on the cross. To think that our sin is no big deal is to say that Jesus’ death was no big deal. We cannot genuinely sing praises in the morning without feeling the heartache and seriousness of our own dark unrepentant hearts. Don’t minimize the power of the cross. Take time to confess your sins to God. Feel the sorrow that he must have felt . Feel the pain in knowing that our sin separates us from the greatest love we can ever know. Pray for a repentant heart and for quick conviction.

Although my memory’s fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior. This is faith: a renouncing of everything we are apt to call our own and relying wholly upon the blood, righteousness and intercession of Jesus.”

John Newton

3. Get Outside

The story of Easter begins way before the Gospels. The story actually begins at the beginning, in Genesis. It begins before creation itself. Make the time to be still. Go outdoors and recognize him as Creator. Relish in the heat of the sun, in the cool breeze. Marvel at the flowers, at the birds sing-songing their praise. As he created the earth, he created trees knowing he would one day hang from one. His crucifixion and resurrection wasn’t Plan B. God knew we would need Jesus. It was always the plan to save the people he loves so dearly.

4. Share Your Story

He’s not only the creator of new seasons, but also the creator of new hearts. Reflect on who you were and where he’s brought you. Take the time to write out your story. Write about the moment that he opened your eyes. Journal about the times he’s been faithful to you despite your own lack of faithfulness. Give him the glory for your story. Then pray for boldness and an opportunity to share it.

You will never cease to be the most amazed person on earth at what God has done for you on the inside.

Oswald Chambers

5. Live it Daily

Easter isn’t just a single Sunday that occurs every year. It’s the story of the Gospel. It’s a lifestyle of Christ-followers. It’s what makes us different. It’s what infuses us with hope. It’s what makes this life worth anything at all. Find ways all throughout the year to celebrate God’s great mercy and grace and the gift of salvation.

Easter Recommendations

Christ-Centered Easter Books

Christ-Centered Easter Movies

Christ-Centered Easter Songs

Throughout this month, I pray that we will prepare our hearts for Easter. That we will take the time to focus on what truly matters so we can still our minds and set our souls on Christ. If we’ve lost the joy and awe of the miracle of salvation, Lord, shake us awake. Infuse our souls with joy. May we never ever get over you.

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