yesterday in a staff meeting, my pastor said that at each stage of a christian’s life, one of the standards to growth is the Word. whether you’re a brand new believer or you’ve had a relationship with Christ as your Savior for 80 years, or anywhere in between, the Word never stops being a component to your growth. reading it, memorizing, studying it,… it’s across-the-board crucial.
i was later talking with my friend, jo, about how we don’t memorize things anymore. in my mind, my husband’s phone number is “1” because he’s the first person listed in my favorites. we don’t commit phone numbers to memory anymore. or addresses. or scripture, for that matter. memorization has been replaced by evernote.
and i’ve taken to using youversion reading plans during my morning quiet time. and they’re great, don’t get me wrong. but they also do a lot (all?) of the thinking for me. i can read the devo, click to read the corresponding scripture, then click to mark it all as done. the check mark just automatically shows up and i can get on with my day.
what happened to good old fashioned study? it’s like we don’t want to take the time to sit and think and cross reference and marinate and draw upon the Spirit’s guidance to discover the meat of the Word. we’d rather take someone’s pre-written thoughts and spoon-feed ourselves with it and move on – and that’s if we bother with it at all.
we live in a culture that wants everything faster and easier. we eat ‘food’ that is served to us through a window. we take vitamins instead of eating healthy meals. we are up for any gimmick that promises results fast and with minimal effort on our part, from getting rich to losing weight. we read cliff notes and then are disappointed when we get a C on our papers because we expect supersized results but we only wanna pay an extra 0.99 for it.
we look at ruth, in the bible, and want the blessings she received, but we aren’t willing to do the submitting and obeying and leaving behind everything we knew or was comfortable with to get it. we want a supersized faith, but we don’t want to spend time in the Word, we don’t want to carve out time of our busy lives, and we certainly don’t want to set down the smartphone.
we think what we are doing is good enough, or else we make what we think are legitimate excuses for where we lack. but ask yourselves…
he knows how much time you have (in fact he controls the day and the night), he knows the abilities you have (he gave them to you), and he knows the discrepancy between what you can do and what you will do.
he knows your excuses, he knows where your heart is, he knows how you spend your time. how much of that do you think might delight him? or grieve him?
i was talking with someone the other day about getting back into church and they said that they worked so much and were so busy throughout the week that sunday was ‘their’ only day. really? i thought sunday was God’s day.
but the truth of it is that when we give our time to God, he gives us back so much more in return. we just don’t wanna cause it’s hard or it hurts or it cuts into tv time or waah waah waah.
if we actually really lived a life of heavenly pursuit, what excuses would we have to let go of? what kind of efforts would we be willing to make? what kind of student of the Word would we be? and that discrepancy between what we can do and what we will do… it would be nil. we would get to say, everything i am and all that i do is for you, Lord.
when we finally get over ourselves and make God #1, how much of the way we are living now would change?
it may not be easy. and it may not be fast. but it will be the superest-sized thing you have ever experienced in your life. the all-powerful creator of the universe, of everything in the earth and above the earth and in the sea, the one who knows all and sees all, the one who entered his own creation to experience life the same way his created does, so that he could conquer death and save us to an eternal life with him… THAT God will give back to us immeasurably more than we can possibly pour out to him.
for the risk-averse it’s a no-brainer. it’s the best ROI out there. and it can be yours and it can be mine, by passing up the cliff notes and immersing ourselves headlong into the Word, devoting our precious resources of time and effort and heart towards a deep and sweet relationship with Christ.
do you think it’s worth it?
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.