I’m borrowing the title of this post from the message at my church this past Sunday. It resonated with me and pushed me to take a harder look at where I was struggling in my spiritual life.
In the sermon, our pastor spoke about the importance of going beyond resolutions that focus on bettering ourselves. He challenged us to focus on how we can change the world or change someone’s world. Jesus teaches us that our devotion to God is measured through our devotion to others. To help identify how we might be called to serve, he asked “What breaks your heart?”
This is such a strong question and as I thought about it, I didn’t have a specific answer. I’ve read stories in the news, heard people react out of prejudice, and interacted with those much less fortunate than me…all sorts of situations which break my heart, but what should I do about it?
I like to think the message on Sunday was a wake-up call or gentle reminder from God to get me to pay attention, seek out opportunities, and be ready to say “yes” when He needs me.
Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit unsettled and slightly disconnected from God. Over the past couple of months I’ve loved soaking up our pastor’s sermons at our new church and discussing them on the car ride home with Jay. I’ve loved meeting with our new Bible Study group, socializing, and discussing The Bible TV series. But I miss my intentional self study. I miss the active effort of reading His Word and figuring out what He is telling me through it. I also haven’t found a way to regularly give back to my new community or serve at my new church.
So, it’s time for a change in my attitude and my actions. This sort of adjustment requires devotion and accountability, which is why I felt I needed to write about it here. I’m well aware that I generally have terrible discipline (as evidenced by the fact that I’m writing this while devouring a container of chocolate toffee half an hour before dinner). Writing it down makes these more than just thoughts and turns it into more of a, let’s just use the Biblical word, covenant with God.
To start, I want to get back into reading the Bible and using a devotional on a regular basis…I’ll admit, every day probably isn’t going to happen 🙂 Three to four times a week is more reasonable for me. About two years ago I started working through The Message: Solo. This guide contains 365 devotions that use the method of “lectio divina” or “divine reading” to develop a deeper understanding and application of scripture. Each day includes guidance to Read, Think, Pray, and Live for the chosen Biblical passage.
I thoroughly enjoy The Message and the way it translates the Bible into familiar language, so this study is perfect for me. The passages included for reading in the devotional are short, sometimes just a few verses, but it also references suggested reading that is usually a few chapters in length. You can get by with just the devotional, but I’d suggest also having The Message Bible with you to read the full chapters.
I’m eager to jump back in where I left off and will hopefully make it to the end before the year is out. I also will be keeping my eyes, ears, and heart open for new opportunities that God is sending my way. I encourage you to do the same 🙂
Last but not least, I’m curious if anyone has used other devotionals that they’ve found to be educational yet manageable. If so, please share them!