We are very excited about our next season of ministry! In September we start a new preaching series called “The Story of Everything”. Over the next year and a half we will preach through the whole bible, picking up the key themes that run through God’s Word, book by book. This will shape much of our ministry at CBC Ilderton as we coordinate our Sunday teaching with Children’s Ministry, Life Groups, e-bulletins, Men’s and Women’s ministry, and various teaching and training seminars. We have three simple, yet profound, objectives:
- Know the Bible Story
- See the glory of Christ
- Delight in the living God
Toward this end, what is your responsibility? We are asking all of you to track alongside the church’s Sunday ministry in your personal devotions. We recognize that we have varying levels of devotional habits and reading levels in the church. Therefore, I am developing various reading plans, and a devotional study to try to meet the needs of all. Namely: i) non-readers (plans for parents and young children); ii) early readers; iii) adolescents; and iv) adults. Each of these reading plans will highlight the key themes highlighted on Sunday to help us grow in knowing, seeing, and delighting! That being said, can I challenge you to read through the bible in its entirety? Over an 18-month period this will require just 8 to 12 minutes a day for most people.
The Webster’s Learner’s definition of devotion is:
“A feeling of strong love or loyalty : the quality of being devoted : the use of time, money, energy, etc., for a particular purpose : prayer, worship, or other religious activities that are done in private rather than in a religious service.”
Here is challenge number 2: what are you devoted to? The above definition is helpful to us. Where are our loyalties, and how do we use our time, money, and energy? If God’s Word is not a priority in your life, a fundamental devotion, ask yourself why? Are you devoted to things God doesn’t need you devoted to, that are just time stealers? What is your view of God and his Word? If we really believe he is whom he says he is, wouldn’t that fuel and inspire devotion to his Word?
I know some of you really struggle to keep good devotional habits. In the coming weeks I want to help with some practical tools and helps. I don’t want to see anyone left behind in our desire to grow in knowing, seeing, and delighting in God. Please do not hesitate to connect with Pastor Andrew or myself if you want some help in this regard. Or, perhaps find someone you can partner with to have mutual accountability and encouragement in God’s Word. I will close with an unattributed saying I like: “The Gospel brings man to God; devotions keep him close to God.” That is my desire for you!