Most Christians would probably admit that they would like to read the entire Bible at some time before they die. Most Christians would also confess that they haven’t been able to make it through more than a small portion of the Bible. I have passed out or made available some bible reading plans over the past couple of years. Maybe this will be the year that you get all the way through. Remember you don’t have to beat yourself up or start over if you miss a day. (In fact the reading plan that many of you picked up last week is designed so that you read selected passages Mon – Fri, and the weekend is catchup time if you did miss a day or two) The Bible is God’s word to us, and He meant for us to enjoy it, to savor it, and to live it. (No, don’t go stoning anyone to death because they missed some of the “thou shalt not’s” that are found in the Old Testament, but do delight in the love, grace and mercy that abound in the New Testament.
Prayer is probably one of the most important tools that we have in our “spiritual tool kits” Please consider using one or more of the prayer resources that have been made available. After 21 days, an action becomes a habit…try to spend some time with the Lord each day for three weeks, and it may be life-changing for you. Jesus prayed alone and in community, we should follow that example. Also I am sure that God’s heart breaks for the unreached people groups around the world. Every country, including the US, has some. This month we are focusing on the Ukraine. I hope you picked up a prayer card yesterday, and are using it during your daily prayer time. And by the way it’s really okay to pray for your church, the fellow members of the congregation, and don’t forget your pastor.
Fasting is one of those things that people wish had faded away in New Testament times. It didn’t, and it is sure a lot more than prepping for a colonoscopy. Fasting without prayer is nothing more than a diet. So skipping breakfast at 8 because you’re busy with the vacuum cleaner, and then having a big snack at 9 doesn’t count. I realize that as we get older many of us have health issues that mean we have to eat on a fairly regular basis (being hungry because you’re fasting is not a major health issue). A fast can be a wonderful thing, but if your diabetes doctor says you have to eat every 6 hours, then don’t try a 3 day fast from food. But maybe there are other things you could give up for a day, a week, a month. Giving up TV on Monday nights while you serve at a Christian based homeless shelter is a great way to fast. Other people give up their candy bars or Doritos (guilty as charged ☺) and send the money to a Christian charitable agency or to support a missionary in the field. There are lots of ways to fast. If you need some ideas, or wonder if you’re on the right track, get in touch with me and we can discuss it.