“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” Colossians 3:16
People sometimes say to me, “Pastor, I’ve been in church my whole life and I know how important being in the Word is, but I’m really struggling. Where do I start?” Or they’ll say, “I’m a Christian, but I’m really struggling to know the love of God. Can you help me?”
A great place to start
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s patience…” 2 Thessalonians 2:5
A great place to start is with a passage of Scripture like the one above. Here are three simple observations from this one verse: 1. I need love and patience when I’m tired of the battle, 2. God can give me the love and patience I need, and 3. I can ask God to give me what I do not have.
You can do a simple meditation like this for yourself as you read a few verses of the Bible every day. I encourage you to do this. Read a few verses. Then pick one, and write out two or three sentences to restate and apply what it says. Even children can do this!
Write out the verse. Then write out, in your own words, what the verse says and how it helps you. Get a hardback notebook. As you begin this practice, 20 years from now it will be your joy to look back on what God has taught you.
Is it in you?
“The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”Hebrews 4:12
Don’t just read the Bible and rush on. Take what God is saying into your life. Do this for a few minutes every day, or at least start by doing this a few times a week. It’s important to develop the habit of being in the Word. As you do this, you’ll get better at it, and you’ll begin to see God’s Word bearing fruit in your life.
If you’re in the habit of reading devotionals, that’s good, but if you’ve been doing that for many years, it may be time for you to move beyond feeding your soul on other people’s thoughts. Try feeding your soul on the Word of God directly. Ask God to help you. Get a friend to encourage you. A year from now, you will be amazed at how much you’ve grown.
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This LifeKey based on the message “The Love of God and the Patience of Christ,” by Pastor Colin S. Smith, February 20, 2011, from the series “Staying the Course When You’re Tired of the Battle.”
Colin currently serves as Senior Pastor of the The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He is committed to preaching the Bible in a way that nourishes the soul by directing attention to Jesus Christ.