July Message From Ruth Johnson “Different Doings? Or the Same Old Thing?”

Yes, I know we don’t usually have a newsletter in August. But, between the pandemic and working to transition through this interim period, there just seems to be too much going on to leave August blank.
At the risk of having you say, “I’ve heard all this before,” I want to remind us of our Relational Covenant, that passage in Colossians 3:

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:13-14, NLT)

Hebrews 2:1 says that we “must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.” I know how easily I forget God’s promises or how he has supported me in the past. I need to be reminded daily of his character, his purposes for my character, and his plans for my future. I need to be reminded to make allowances for the work he is doing in others, to obey him by loving them anyway, to refuse to be offended for minor slights, to forgive others, and to ask for forgiveness when I mess up. I need to be both kind and accountable for my behavior.

What can keep us from drifting?

Set aside a few moments every day to read part of your Bible. Read some chapters or a whole book straight through and think about it. What does it say and what does it mean for your life in Christ? Get and follow a plan to read the whole Bible; it takes a while, but it is worth doing.

Use a daily devotional guide. “Our Daily Bread” is on the literature rack in the South wing and many daily devotionals are available online, right on your cell phone (“The Upper Room,” “In Touch Ministries,” “The Covenant Home Altar,” etc.). I especially like to listen to Brandon Robbins explain the Scriptures.

Talk about what you are reading with someone else. Bouncing your ideas off someone else helps you to go deeper in the Word. Find a study partner. Join a Bible Study – or start one.

Pray every day. Morning and evening are good times to pray, before you jump into all your busy-ness, and again at the end to evaluate with God how you managed everything. Praise and thank God for being with you through it all. Ask him to show you himself. Lift up concerns for yourself and your loved ones. Pray for the needs of others. Pray the Lord’s Prayer or find out how others prayed in the Bible (check out Acts 4 or Daniel 9).

As Pastor Gary reminded is in a recent sermon, sixty minutes a week at a Sunday worship service doesn’t cut it. We need to deliberately carve out more time for “sitting at the feet of Jesus.” If we don’t, the other 167 hours in our week will overpower whatever truth and beauty we glimpsed on Sunday. And we will drift.

Don’t be a drifter. Be deliberate.

In Christ, Ruth Johnson

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