Daily Devotion Wednesday, November 11, 2015
This week our daily devotions will be reflecting on the vision of my church, which is "To Know Jesus & Show Jesus"--a vision that was outlined in last week's sermon entitled, "Knowing & Showing: What It Means To Be Us" Every day this week we'll be focusing on our five core values (Worship, Pray, Grow, Love and Serve)--values that enable us to pursue our vision. If you would like to read the transcript of the sermon, click HERE.
Today we're going to take the time talk about the third of my church's five core values: Grow.
When I was a kid I had this Bible, called "The Picture Bible." It had all of the major stories from the Old and New Testaments in comic book form. I probably read that sucker fourteen times or more--cover to cover. But if you had asked me to devote the same time and energy to read the actual Bible--now that would have been a different story. I actually fell asleep reading the non-comic book version of the Bible on more than one occasion.
When I got older, I was on this Bible quiz team with my youth group at church. We would memorize entire chapters of books like Ephesians and James, and then we would go and compete with other youth groups from other churches in quiz team contests.
Not to brag, but I was pretty good at memorizing the Bible and competing in quiz team contests. That was kind of a humblebrag, I suppose, but it was the truth. Back then if you'd asked me to spend time reflecting on the meaning of those passages of Scripture, or to spend quality time reading and memorizing Scripture outside of quiz team, I probably would have laughed at you.
And so it went throughout my life. When I finally came back to church after a very long hiatus, I found myself leading youth group meetings and Sunday school lessons, which became the only time I really opened my Bible and tried to study it. If you had come to me and said, "Do you read and study for your own benefit every once in a while" I would have told you I didn't have the time because I was too busy doing ministry.
There were always excuses as to why I didn't devote myself to studying the Bible more--some of them valid, most of them bogus. It wasn't until I began to realize how incredibly dry my soul had become that I even thought about changing my habits. But it did get dry, and I felt like if I didn't discover something to quench my thirst, I might wither away and die inside.
For years now, I have done my very best to make my own personal Bible reading, study and prayer a priority in my life. Some seasons are better than others, to be sure, but for the most part I've kept it up. You can't imagine what a difference this discipline has made in my life. It really does feel like I am growing in my faith because of it.
If you want the seeds of your faith to grow... If you want grace and peace in your life to flourish... If you want to learn more about God's written and revealed word to us... then take the time to water your soul through time with God in prayer and study.
Create space in your schedule to pray and read Scripture and listen to God's voice. And you will see how you may grow in your faith and in the power of God's Holy Spirit through His Son Jesus Christ. Grace and Peace.