Devotional strength must be built up by constant, disciplined practice over time. Paul reminded his young friend Timothy of this when he said, “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:15).
Unfortunately, many of the best-selling devotionals are popular not because they produce greater devotion to God but because they give the reader a sugary “high.” They aim to make the reader feel better, but they do little to stimulate significant spiritual growth.
Rather than thinking about God casually, meditation is a deep pondering of His truth. When we meditate devotionally, the facts about God are given more than a “passing glance.” We think about them intently and lovingly so their meaning can truly sink in.
God has never — in any age of the world — left people without any standard which must be adhered to, in both belief and practice. So “restoration” means (a) being reminded of the standard, and (b) making constant efforts to bring things back in line with it.
Is our salvation conditioned upon anything that we must do? What happens if we disregard what the Scriptures reveal of God’s will? These questions concerning “obedience” are important, and answering them requires an honest inquiry into the Scriptures.
If we are serious about Jesus today, we should want to know what He said about His purpose, so that if we come to Him at all, we will come seeking the things that were closest to the heart of His mission in the world. Here are three things worthy of our highest seeking.
(1) Why become a Christian? (2) How does one become a Christian? (3) What about the issue of “church”? All three of these questions are important. And for all three, we need accurate answers — from the Scriptures rather than personal opinion or popular belief.
Sometimes it helps to summarize a subject. Here is one way the gospel can be seen “in a nutshell”: (1) life and death (the problem), (2) death and life (the solution), and (3) dying with Christ (our response to God’s solution. Have you “died with Christ”?
Has the “invitation song” outlived its usefulness? Well, every one of us should be asking, “What am I going to do about this sermon?” This is what should be on our minds, and a well-selected song following the sermon can help us decide on our response.
Compared to our brethren in the first century, we’ve got it easy. There is so little price to be paid for being a Christian, most of us would say that we’ve had “a pretty good life anyway” even if it turns out there is no afterlife. Either way, we’ve got our bases covered. (Or do we?)