What was a parting challenge at the end of Pastor Tom’s sermon Sunday became a movement in miniature among a number of us at Bethel. The challenge was simple: read a chapter of John’s Gospel a day for 21 days, which is exactly how long John is. Take time beforehand to pray, and reflect after. In essence, give yourself the time and space for a simple task (approximately 8 minutes) that will dramatically impact the rest of your day.
The reasoning for this is two-fold. By embracing a habit of reading the Bible daily (since it takes about 21 days to form a habit), we open ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit to shape us in his image through his Word. We also embrace these acts in the context of community. Not only do we become more like Christ through reading but we also grow closer to one another.
The Word of God has been a central theme for Pastor Tom and me during our recent messages. It has taken this focus because Scripture both directs us to our ultimate direction (God himself) and provides us the means to get there. If our ultimate goal is to seek the presence God, where else should we be going if not to the source where he has chosen to reveal himself.
To be sure, this takes work. With young kids at home, I struggle some times to find the space to read, pray and reflect. However, the available blessings and benefits of pursuing this time with God far outweighs the challenges and limitations. I’ve heard from many on this 21 day journey who can already see the difference this kind of intentionality and practice can make in one’s attitude and outlook.
I pray that whether you join on this particular challenge in John or continue in a reading plan of your own that we commit to reading together—in all seasons.
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
- Pastor Cris
Come here for news on what is happening in Bethel Church from our Pastors.