Enjoy God Before Serving Him
By Pastor Jong Duterte
We have been given a wonderful new life by God and at the center of this new life is our personal relationship with God.
Salvation does not just mean a change in our destination from heaven to hell (although it does include that): Salvation is the start of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Before you are a leader or a worker, you are a child of God and God wants more than your service: He wants you to get to know him in a personal way. He wants you to fall in love with Him as you discover who He is. I realized that the more I serve God, the greater is my tendency to forget that, first and foremost, I am His child. I can be so busy serving Him that I often do not have the time to simply enjoy Him or just spend time being with Him.
That is what our spiritual disciplines are for. They keep us connected to God, they keep us from wandering too far off from God’s presence. Anchors are crucial for ships in order to combat wind and currents that want to move the vessel off course. And just like an anchor, the connection that the spiritual disciplines gives us provide a lifeline to keep us grounded in Christ especially during stormy times,
As a preacher, I have the tendency to look for new revelations or try to find some clever quotes that I hope would somehow ignite my passion for God particularly when I find myself bored or burdened by my spiritual tasks and responsibilities But what I discovered through the years is that my passion for God is so much dependent on how deep my foundation is. And that foundation is the practice of spiritual disciplines.
To give us a primer on what are the spiritual disciples that we need to practice, I borrowed the following text from our “Now tThat You Have Received Christ” brochure.
How do we grow in knowing God?
Getting to know God by reading the Bible
Responding to God in prayer
Obeying God moment by moment
Tell others about Christ through our live and words
Walking in the Power of the Holy Spirit
Having Fellowship with other Christians
Getting To Know God By Reading The Bible
Take a few minutes each day to read your Bible and think about what God is saying to you. You will need to set aside time to do this. In the morning as you start your day or in the evening as you end it are usually good times to read God’s Word. Make a journal and write down the things you are learning, plus any questions that may come up as you read the Bible. Perhaps you can ask a Christian friend or leader about your questions. The Gospel of John is a good place to start reading the Bible.
Responding To God In Prayer
Communication is a two-way process. We listen to God’s words as we read the Bible, and we talk to God as we spend time in prayer. Prayer gives us the opportunity to share with God our thoughts and feelings.
Here are some things you might want to include in your prayer time:
- Praise – telling God that we love Him and appreciate the things He does for us.
- Confession – more than saying sorry to God, it means agreeing with God that we have been wrong and that we need His forgiveness.
- Making Requests – this is asking God for any needs or desires we may have. It would be good to record your prayer requests and how God answers them.
Obeying God Moment By Moment
Obedience is doing what God wants us to do and being what God wants us to be. Reading the Bible makes us aware of God’s will, plan and purposes. It is not enough to simply know what God wants: we also need to do what He says (1 John 5:3; Phil. 2:13; John 14:21)
Walking In The Power Of The Holy Spirit
By now you might be asking, “Where will I get the strength to obey God?” In his goodness God did not only send His son Jesus to die for us. He also sent the Holy Spirit to help us and give us the power as we make the decision to follow Christ. We will not be obeying Christ on our own: we can depend on the Holy Spirit to help us in our weaknesses.
Tell Others About Christ Through Our Lives And Words
The good news won’t be good news until you share it! Think of two or three people with whom you’d like to share Christ. Pray for them regularly and ask God to give you the courage to talk about Jesus. Take time to share with others the love and blessings that you have received from God.
Having Fellowship With Other Christians
Fellowship means sharing and having things in common. We have fellowship with other Christians because we share in our relationship with Jesus Christ. God doesn’t want you to live the Christian life alone, He has given you a family with whom you can share your joys and sorrows. Get to know other Christians by getting involved in the church.
Father, I ask for Your loving Hand to guide the leader reading this newsletter: help Him enjoy You first and foremost and make Him the person You want him or her to be.
Remember: it’s time to check your foundation because it’s the fountain of your spiritual passion.
Read: 1 Peter 2:1-3