If there was just one thing that you could do to help grow in your faith and spiritual health, what would it be?
I think that we all realise that there are a bunch of things that we need to do to be spiritually healthy. Things like gathering together regularly, prayer, worship, acts of service, practising generosity and sharing our faith. It’s a bit like following a recipe for making a cake, we need all the ingredients if the cake is to turn out well, and without a key in
But there is one thing that surveys have found is more than anything the key to seeing us growing spiritually in a healthy way, and time after time the bible backs this up. So what is that one thing that we need to do?
A survey of the spiritual health of over 250,000 people in over 1,000 different churches concluded:
“Nothing has a greater impact on spiritual growth than reflection on scripture. If churches could do only one thing to help people at all levels of spiritual maturity grow in their relationship with Christ, their choice is clear. They would inspire, encourage, and equip their people to read the Bible – specifically, to reflect on Scripture for meaning in their lives”. (Move: What 1,000 Churches Reveal about Spiritual Growth by Hawkins, Greg L. and Parkinson, Cally (Aug 12, 2011))
Another survey of over 70,000 North Americans confirmed this conclusion:
…spiritually and behaviourally speaking, we found that nothing comes close to having the bible’s impact on the spiritual lives of those who engage it….Our lives are dramatically different when we’re engaged with scripture four or more times a week. (Unstuck: Your Life. God’s Design. Real Change. by Cole, Arnie and Ross, Michael (May 1, 2012))
The Bible agrees, saying it like this:
“Now I’m turning you over to God, our marvelous God whose gracious Word can make you into what he wants you to be and give you everything you could possibly need in this community of holy friends.” Acts 20:32 (The Message)
The surveys and the Bible itself point to engaging on a daily basis with what the Bible says as being a critical key to your spiritual growth and health. By engaging, we mean a little more than just reading the Bible.
We mean reading it, but then taking the time to reflect on what it is saying and how to then apply it to your life.
One great way to do this is by finding a scripture and journalling on it. We call it SOAPing, because we find a Scripture and write it out, Write out an Observation as to what it is saying to me, write out an Application about how I will apply this in my life, and then write a short Prayer of committal and asking for the Holy Spirit to help me to live out what I have journaled on.
So how can we help you to grow in your faith?
Starting 1 June, we will be holding a 30 day challenge to help encourage you to engage with God’s Word in a way that will be potentially life changing for you. We will be providing thoughts, articles and people’s stories to help inspire and motivate you to engage in scripture, meditating on it in a way that will help you to grow.
In addition, we want to provide the opportunity for some to enrol in a bible study course through a top Bible College that is a leader in distance theological education by offering some study scholarships.
So, why not join together with others throughout A2A and sign up for the 30 Day Challenge and engage with Scripture throughout the month of June?