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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

July 19, 2012 - Summer Workout

By Jerry D. Scott

Some Christians seem to fall apart spiritually in the summertime. They just let up. Churches, historically, observe a summer slump in attendance as people choose the beach, backyard BBQs, and extra time to sleep in over getting to worship services. Bibles collect dust as daily routines are set aside, and with them, the regular intake of the Word. Time in prayer suffers as more time is spent pursuing leisure activities. As spiritual disciplines are neglected, spirits starve and grow weak, giving the sinful nature occasion to show up and influence our thoughts, words and actions.

Let me point out some positive ways to change the pace during the summer without lagging behind in your spiritual walk.

1. Make Sunday morning special by getting up a little earlier and going out for breakfast on the way to church. Or, even better, make plans to have a picnic lunch with another family from your church following the service.

2. Buy a new translation of the Bible and use the summer months to read through several of those books you don’t get to very often — Jeremiah, Deuteronomy, the Books of Kings. Perhaps you will still read a little less in your Bible, but do some research along the way. God can use more obscure texts to feed your spirit too!

3. Take a prayer walk through your neighborhood once a week, actively praying for those who live around you.

4. While on vacation, instead of just skipping out on church worship, go to a church of a very different tradition. Don’t go to criticize, but rather to see how God touches people using different forms of worship. This is a wonderful way to teach your children about the breadth of God’s church.

5. Write your daily prayers for a week! You might be inspired to broaden or deepen your conversation with the Lord.

6. Meet with the Lord in a different place occasionally. Drive to the park, walk by a river, hike into the woods, sit out in your backyard late in the evening. Let Him speak to your heart in those places.

Faithfulness to the practices that keep our hearts in touch with the Spirit is important. But be careful about being bound by religious rules. It is all too easy to confuse doing things like reading the Bible, saying prayers, and going to church with being spiritual! I do not mean to suggest for one moment that you should take some spiritual pride in your regular practice of these things.

But they remain vital to us as means of God’s voice being heard over the noise of day-to-day living. Just doing these disciplines doesn’t mean a thing unless we engage our hearts and listen. That said, there is a place to make a choice of the will to get up and get going — just like we must do if we want to keep our bodies healthy. It isn’t about what feels good in the moment; it is about what becomes possible because we make the right choice today and tomorrow and, again, the day after that.

“Do you see what this means — all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running — and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed — that exhilarating finish in and with God — he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Hebrews 12:1-3, The Message)

— Jerry D. Scott is senior pastor at Washington (N.J.) Assembly of God.



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