Paul says it this way in Romans 12.2, “…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” By spending quality time in God’s Word every day, the Spirit takes the truth that we have read and begins to transform us, so that whatever the situation, we can discern what it is that God would have us do.
There is no such thing as pause or neutral in life. We are either growing or not, progressing or regressing. We can train our bodies…we can go to the gym, we can eat right, etc., and we will see progress. We will get stronger, faster, more agile. But if you skip going to the gym for a time, or running or riding your bike, or whatever your exercise of choice, you will quickly find out how much you’ve lost. The same is true intellectually. If we stop learning, our brains begin to shrink. Emotionally, if we withdraw from people, we lose the ability to relate. If we don’t use it, we lose it. The same is true spiritually…if we are not growing spiritually then we are shrinking. We are moving backward. We are losing whatever ground we may at one time have gained.
So, if you suspect that might be you…that you might be a spiritual “infant”…how do you begin your path to maturity? Start training today with a simple Bible reading plan. For those of you who have trained physically for anything…sport, music, hobby, school…you know that you have to build up to your goal. Big gains are possible, but it’s gradual…slow and steady. Think tortoise and not hare. Training, not trying.
Where to start reading? Check out the Central app. We have a reading plan already set up that will take you through the NT this year. But if you want to strike out on your own…well, what do you like to read? Do you like poetry? Start with Psalms. Do you like wisdom literature, pithy sayings? Then, Proverbs. Action? Genesis or 1 Samuel or Mark. Pick a book and start. Work your way up to the heavier books like Isaiah or Ezekiel or Romans or Revelation. Pray before you start that God will help you put into practice what you’re learning. And if you miss a day? Don’t beat yourself up, just start again.
Two last words…first, while personal time in the Word is super important, pro tip…time in the Word with other believers leads to even greater gains. The Bible was written to a community of believers and that’s how it’s best understood and applied. If you are not a part of a small group but would like to be, we have a number of groups available. Just click on the small groups icon in the Central app, and Jared and his team will help you find the group that’s right for you.
Second, for you husbands and fathers, this is a great opportunity for you to begin to lead your families. Share with your wife and your kids what God is teaching you through His Word, and encourage them to do the same. Maybe read a Proverb a day together…
Let’s press on to maturity then, making time in God’s Word a daily practice, training our senses to discern good and evil so that we can more and more live and love like Jesus.
This post is based on a sermon from our All In series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster. You can also download our Central Christian app in the iTunes App Store.