It is a joy and honor for me to prepare the first (of hopefully many!) blogs for the website of Heath Church. It has been a busy few weeks for my family and I, and sadly, many times the first thing that gets pushed out of our schedule during busy seasons is the vital spiritual disciplines that is important for every self-professing Christian to practice. By spiritual disciplines, I mean the actions performed that facilitates a relationship with God. Christianity is unique in that the spiritual disciplines practiced by us center on the relationship with our Lord and the relationships with those around us. Other religion’s spiritual disciplines almost always focus on the fickle external; a religious devotion that only manifests itself in merely religious devotion.
Although there are many spiritual disciplines, the two that perhaps are most vital for the Christian is prayer and reading of Scripture. Prayer is quite simply you speaking to God, and since Scripture is God’s word, the reading of Scripture is God talking to you. Therefore, each day we ought to be spending time in prayer and reading of Scripture; doing so, quite literally, creates a dialogue between you and the Father. When you read Scripture, I encourage you to read it out loud, this will cause it to become more real and vivid as God’s word pours forth from your mouth. Likewise, when you pray, it is important that you pray out loud. Praying out loud (though awkward at first) has a way of forming your prayers into organized and concrete thoughts which causes your prayer life to become more fluid.
One last thought: if you were to tell me that you had a great relationship with a friend but yet it turned out that you never spoke to your friend and your friend never spoke to you, I would question the validity of your statement. Or if you were to tell me that sometimes you guys do talk, but it’s on a rare occasion and the conversations are never that satisfying or last that long, I would again wonder if you truly have a great relationship with your friend. Likewise, if you say that you are a Christian, you are saying that Christ is everything to you. Is this really the case if you fail to have dialogue with Him? Beyond that, is it a meaningful dialogue that acts as the very lifeblood of the relationship that you profess to have? I challenge you (and myself) to always be striving to make Christ Jesus the One to Whom we love to hear speak—through His word—and to speak to, each day.
June 1, 2017
Assistant Pastor – Andrew Beebe