Over the next several weeks I am going to be asking you all several questions. How you answer these questions six months from now will be more important than you initial answers as you read them.
I won’t keep you guessing. The reason your answer six months from now will be more important than the answer you give today is that, if the answer remains unchanged for six months, it will show that we are headed nowhere. We may talk a great deal about the who, what, when, and where of ministry, but the only thing that matters is if we actually engage in the ministries we have planned.
You had your first question last week. Here is your second question: When you consider all of your experiences at this church, what has contributed the most to your spiritual life? Think. Think very hard. Remember a time when you felt close to God? Remember things, spiritual practices that brought you to that place in your life? What things made the most difference in your spiritual journey?
While your answers may be quite different and varied from person to person, I can tell you one thing that always guarantees a solid return in your spiritual growth. That thing is time alone with your God and His word. God promises us that His word “will not return void.” This means that your faithful study of the Word of God will bring you closer to the God who gives humanity his Living Word!
Maybe your study comes with the rising of the sun. Maybe it is the last thing you do before you go to bed. It may be something you do with your spouse and family or something you do in a quiet place all by yourself. You may join a study formed at church, or you may use a book or guide you buy at a store and do it all on your own. You may read the Scriptures and meditate on a single verse all day, or you may read long sections of Scripture and drink in the larger flow of God’s interaction with humanity.
We usually stop our study of the Word when we feel the action has become something of rote. We may not get the same “feeling” we had originally. We wonder what we get out of our effort. We wonder if we are wasting our time. The Scriptures promise that we are not. God is in the reading, and if God is there it can never be a waste of time.
Whatever it was that meant so much to your spiritual life, don’t give up on it. Reclaim your first love. Remember the words of the One who cannot lie telling you that you will be blessed if you choose to spend time before Him, studying Him, learning His ways, and experiencing His eternal goodness.