The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
Book 1 -Admonitions Profitable for the Spiritual Life
Chapter 19 Of the Exercises of a Religious Man
1 Samuel 16:7 “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Do you remember this song?
Makes sense, right? If you want to be a healthy, strong individual you eat lots of whole foods and green leafy vegetables and do cardio and strength training most days. The same thing is true if you want to be a healthy, strong Christ follower. You need to read your Bible, pray every day and you’ll….. Yes – you’ll – grow, grow, grow.
But as easy as either of the above scenarios sound, both take hard work and resolution. While growing in Christ most definitely includes the grace and work of the Holy Spirit, we need to daily do our part too. Kempis says, “We ought daily to renew our vows, and to kindle our hearts to zeal, as if each day were the first day of our conversion, and to say, “Help me, O God, in my good resolutions, and in Thy holy service, and grant that this day I may make a good beginning, for hitherto I have done nothing!…For if he who resolveth bravely oftentimes falleth short, how shall it be with him who resolveth rarely or feebly?”
A good habit to get into is to make your resolutions in the morning and evaluate them in the evening. Start each morning with a few quiet moments in pray and in the Word. Ask God to help you today in what you need to do. Then, at the end of the day evaluate the day. How were my thoughts, words, and actions today?
While daily Bible reading and prayer are excellent and most necessary for the Christian life, I think it is important to do it for the right reasons. It’s not a duty or obligation I finish and check off my list like I would grocery shopping or laundry.
Rather, it ebbs and flows with the seasons of life. Some days and seasons of my life have looked like Thanksgiving day with leisure hours with the Lord in quiet prayer, reading ,and meditation. Other days and seasons of my life have looked more like a drive-thru McDonald’s meal. And I’m ok with that. The key is to consistency. I try, first thing most mornings to reach for my phone and open the Bible app instead of email or Facebook. I’ve found if I open one of the others first, the short moments before my day officially begins slip quickly and quietly away.
Put your nose into the Bible every day.
It is your spiritual food.
And then share it.
Make a vow not to be a lukewarm Christian.
I love your challenge to start the day with prayer and bible reading, then at the end of the day to evaluate. Good word usage I would not have thought to use “ebbs” but it fits perfectly.
Thanks for your kind words.
I liked your playful tone, the way it wasn’t stern but not demanding. I also liked your comparison to eating.
Thanks for reading!