God calls us to a real, meaningful and lasting relationship with Him.
What an idea?
I have found that the typical American Christian (ie…me and probably you) desires a real, meaningful and lasting relationship with Jesus. What we don’t desire is the effort and time it takes to actually have that. So instead, we fill our time with small groups, church and sometimes even one-on-one time with a fellow Christian, discussing how we can be better believers for Christ. Now don’t hear what I’m not saying! All of these activities can be fruitful and some are even required by God. What I am asking is, “are we making these activities fruitful?”, “are we growing?” and, “does the fruit in our lives declare it?”
At church, we listen to a pastor preach about Christ, what he did, how we should respond and in that response what our lives should look like. At small group we, I believe, genuinely seek our peers guidance, direction and accountability towards the Lord; and finally, even in our personal time with a friend, we try to understand how we can meaningfully fit in time with Christ everyday.
The following statement(s) are bold in nature and not suitable for non-believers, Sunday Christians or the like:
I would venture to say that the condition of our hearts is tragic! We spend a majority of our time with the Lord seeking Him, but are we really? We say with our mouths that we desire a realationship (an accidental misspelling, but I have decided to coin the word realationship in reference to having a real-relationship with God. If someone has already done this, please do not crush my spirit in public but rather a private email that will provide me with the opportunity to discontinue current self-praise I am bestowing upon myself for such creativity!) with God, but with our actions we declare much louder our true intent. Unfortunately these are rarely the same. Week after week we leave said religious gatherings with new, fun, creative ways to establish a realationship with God, but is it working? I will now boldly say, NO!
I have come to the sad realization in my own life that the previous predicament is entirely a condition of the heart. And a poor one at that. With my mouth I have declared a need and desire for the Lord, but with my actions I very convincingly prove otherwise almost daily. All to say that there aren’t any tricks to growing our realationship with the Lord. Good ole-fashioned Bible reading and prayer in conjunction with corporate worship and more personal interaction with believers is time tested and mother approved. Much like a popular breakfast cereal!
I have recently read through the entire New Testament (excluding Revelation) and found that I didn’t, nor will I ever, receive all that the Lord had for me, or any of us really, in these books. Therefore a friend of mine, as well as myself, have agreed to read through the New Testament again over the next three months. Starting January 30, 2012 we will begin to read about 4 chapters a day. We have set up a blog to post thoughts, insights, challenges and other tidbits we glean from our very intimate time with the Lord.
My reasoning for sharing all of this is two-fold:
1 - hope you will join us in reading through the New Testament over the next 3 months. I assure you this will change your life! It may take a few days for us to figure out logistics, but check out the blog @ http://newtestamentexperiment.blogspot.com/
Feel free to comment on posts as you read along with us and share what God is doing in your life.
- 2 - pray that from this day forward, rather than saying you want a realationship with Christ, you will instead, with your actions truly seek Him through good ole-fashioned Bible reading and prayer in conjunction with previously mentioned corporate worship and more personal interaction with beleivers. I promise that if you start by simply asking God to give you an insatiable hunger for His word that He will, and you will slowly but surely find that making time for Jesus will not be as hard as it once was!
Disclaimer: I want everyone to be clear that this is a struggle in my walk with Lord. While I assume and even generalize my experience as one shared by the whole, I do not intend to judge but rather encourage and motivate a generation that really serves Christ with our entire being!
I pray God that you will challenge all who read this to take part in this opportunity to read through your word with fervor and expectation that you will make yourself real to us. I pray that we would be convicted to pray with our spouses, with our children and in our quiet time, alone with you! I pray that in these times of direct connection through your word and through your Holy Spirit that our time corporately with other believers would be more meaningful and lasting in contribution to our walk with you. And finally Lord I pray that You would change us, that you would heal us and that you would rise us up as generation wholly devoted to you and your Kingdom. -Amen