Our pastor, Jason Ewert, has recently begun a series entitled “Bystander”. I will give you the website for you to log on and listen to this. (hopeinjesus.org – messages). He posed an interesting and thought provoking question:
“Why is it you can believe something is good and true, but you don’t act on it and live it out?”
We all struggle with this dynamic in our lives. A perfect example is eating healthy and exercising. We all know that if you eat healthy and exercise, or stay active, you will feel better, perhaps live longer and in general, feel better about yourself. Yet, many of us struggle to either get started or maintain once we do. We absolutely know what to do, yet we don’t do it. And if most of us were asked why we don’t, we would have every excuse available. But the truth is, our choice is NOT to do it. It’s that simple.
One of the major areas that Christians struggle with (myself included) is making time everyday to be in prayer and Bible reading. The New Year may have brought new resolves to spend at least 15 minutes every day praying and reading. Week 3 comes along and you’re struggling to find even 5 minutes to spend. Many of us do the “pray as you go” method. Sort of like the relationship you have with a co-worker who asks a question on the way to a meeting. You “talk and walk”, and go on with your day.
I would like to help you with a tip from my pastor. For many of you, reading the Bible is like reading hieroglyphics. You know it has meaning, it just doesn’t have meaning for you. Pastor Jason broke down a simple method to read the Bible, and the great news is, anyone can do it!
When reading the Bible, start with John, if you’ve never read the Bible before. If you have spent time in His Word but are struggling to renew your time with Him, start in the Psalms and move on from there. Take one verse and ask these 3 questions:
1. What do I thank God for – Think it Out
2. What sins do I need to confess – Work it In
3. How does this lead me to pray – Pray it Up
Putting yourself in the place of the pronouns when you read will make the Scripture more real. For example: Psalm 119:1-2 (NIV)
“Blessed [are they] am I, [whose] my ways are blameless, [who] I walk according the law of the Lord. Blessed [are they] am I [who], I keep His statues and seek him with all [their] my heart.”
What does this say about me and my relationship to God? I am blessed, (flourishing in all ways; God shines on me) because I live my life according to His ways and I continue to seek Him and his ways in all things (what would Jesus do?).
Allow God’s word to enter your heart and mind in a new way this year. Then you will see a connection between knowing right and doing it. He guides, loves, protects, cherishes and leads us in paths where we should go, whether we need to start something healthy, maintain it, have better relationships or even a better attitude. He wants great things for you this year.
In His Rest,
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