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May212018

June 2018

It is hard to imagine that by the end of this month, the year 2018 will be half over.  When I was young, older people used to tell me that time goes by faster and faster the older you get.  I have found that to be absolutely true.  This year has just flown by.  With the beginning of another packed summer, I do not anticipate it slowing down in the slightest.

Since we are nearing the ½ way point of 2018, it might be to our benefit to take a moment and evaluate this year to this point.  You may or may not have made New Year’s resolutions.  Personally I gave those up a long time ago.  But, if you made some and they are still intact, you deserve to be congratulated.  If they have gone by the wayside, then you are in the majority.  But, don’t be too discouraged, you still have a whole ½ year left to do better.

But, rather than judging your success or lack thereof by a resolution, I think we would be better off viewing certain areas of our lives and see whether these areas have improved.

How is your personal relationship with God?  I’m not asking whether or not you are saved. (Although if you are not, then we have something really important to talk about.)  I’m talking about how close you are to God now, compared to how close you were to Him at the first of the year.  This may not seem to be a long time given for growth, but so far in 2018 you and I have had almost 6 months of prayer time, Bible study, worship, and service.  If these things have not produced some level of growth then your assignment for the second half of the year is to develop these things in your life, so that growth will naturally happen.

Let’s take a look at these one by one.

How’s your prayer life?  I know I talk about this a lot, but this is essential to everything you do as a believer in Christ.  Do you pray every day?  Do your private prayers include praise and petition?  Are you ever simply quiet as you pray, so that you can hear the voice of God if and when He speaks to you?  A healthy prayer life will set the stage for your personal spiritual growth.  This will be foundational as you live in the Father’s abundance.

How about Bible study?  Are you a part of a Sunday School class and/or a V-group?  These are excellent opportunities that will help you learn more about God’s Word which He gave us for our daily benefit.  If you regularly participate in one or both of these forums, that is great, but it’s not enough.  Much like prayer, daily Bible study is helpful when we do it often.  The Apostle Paul teaches us to “Pray without ceasing.”  While we may not be able to study without ceasing.  We can ponder on what we have recently studied.  This keeps God’s Word in front of our hearts and minds.  Also, it is a disadvantage to stress over what you do not understand.  Celebrate what you do understand.  Then trust the Holy Spirit to reveal greater truths to you when you need them most.

Is worship a part of your daily life?  I don’t need to dwell on this here (I talked about this some last month).  God invites us to worship Him.  We need to worship Him.  And when we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (John 4) then we will find that worship is fun.  This is true of public worship when we are with our Church family.  This is true when we worship God all by ourselves.

Where, when, and whom are you serving?  A Christian, by nature of who he or she is in Christ, must be a servant.  It stands to reason that a servant can’t serve without someone to serve.  So, go find someone to serve.  It doesn’t matter who they are or what ministry they may need.  If you can see their need for service, it is very likely that God is assigning you to them and them to you.  There are few things in life that will create faster growth than being a servant.  It is unexplainable and incomprehensible the power of serving.  Yes, those who are served are blessed by being served.  But, the servant is blessed even more!

So, here we go.  If the first half of 2018 was a time of spiritual growth for you, then great!  We need to praise the Lord for that.  But, if your growth has been slow or nonexistent, then it is time to take advantage of the second half of this year.  God is giving us this opportunity, let’s not waste it.

 

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