I was texting with a friend of mine who, as I type, is in New Orleans, getting ready for the National Championship game tonight. He’s an LSU tiger fan and couldn’t be more excited to see his team fight for the highest prize in college football. No doubt the town is buzzing today with fans from both teams, brimming with anticipation for kickoff tonight.
We get pretty excited about sports, don’t we? Ok, maybe you don’t, but something gets you going. And whatever that thing is, your excitement and anticipation builds as you spend time talking and thinking about the meeting, the concert, the dinner date, the game, etc. The things that are important to us are the things we spend time talking about, thinking about, and preparing for…
So, do you spend time thinking about and preparing for Sunday? Every week, CTK-ers get out of bed to come and worship, hear the Bible taught, receive communion, and be in community with other believers. But be honest with yourself: does Sunday get the ‘big game’ treatment, or does Sunday get the leftovers? Is the Sunday gathering something you get to do, something you want and need and anticipate?
This coming week, we’re starting a new sermon series through the book of James. James is a short New Testament book that is easy to read in one setting and is packed with practical wisdom for living out our faith in Jesus. Here’s my challenge to you. Its simple: read the book of James this week. In fact, read it repeatedly through the course of this series.
We can’t expect to just fall out of bed and have a mind-blowing experience every Sunday. But if you do something as simple as read before you come and humbly ask God to show you truth from the Word you might be surprised at the level of engagement and interaction you will have.
When we put ourselves in a position to hear from God in scripture, we develop a taste for what is good for us. Scripture becomes our portion, our spiritual food for each day. We begin to anticipate hearing the Word preached on Sunday; we come primed to hear from God. When we repeatedly read a text, and steep in it, the Holy Spirit is able to teach us—we don’t read the Bible like we’re reading the newspaper; instead, we savor each word of it as food for the soul.
Another thing that will happen for you as you do this; you’ll want to invite others to join you. What we are passionate about tends to just come out of us. This sermon series is a great time to bring people who aren’t sure about Jesus and don’t yet believe the gospel. Most people love practical, self-help advice, and James is full of it. As you read, you may find yourself inviting others in your life to read with you and ask questions and join you on Sunday or in your City Group.
I’m already looking forward to Sunday…see you then!