How are you doing so far this year as a disciple? That’s the question I asked myself this morning in my prayer closet. Can you believe a month of 2012 is already gone? I paused in my prayer closet today to specifically evaluate how I am doing at my 5 SPARK intentions for the year: Study, Prayer, Action, Rest and Kindling. I want to share with you a quick look at how my intentions are going so far and then share with you the importance of growing your skills for the work God has given you.
My SPARK benefits have been:
- More time in prayer. I spend anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour or more in my prayer closet every day.
- Deepening quality of prayer. I listen more and a intercede more for others.
- Growing desire to pray. Pray isn’t an obligation I need to squeeze in. I want to pray more. I loving my prayer time.
- Living out the Word more fully. Each week a verse of the week and action focus guide my daily living. These guides have prompted me to actively set goals for living faithfully to God’s Word and I am doing it! Yay!
- Intimacy with God. I am so much more alive to what God is doing. My SPARK is burning brighter everyday. It’s like I am headed toward a bonfire of faith rather than struggling to keep a flickering flame alive.
- Life Lessons/Wisdom. God has granted me insights for living and growing. Through studying proverbs I am beginning to understand what is important and what is not important for me to invest my time in daily.
- Strength for the journey. Life is demanding right now. Yet every day in my prayer closet God grants me the strength, words, wisdom, or whatever else I need to make it through the day with out being overwhelmed. God is good!
Most of these benefits have come from Study, Prayer and Action via my prayer closet discipline. My attention to Rest has been great up until the last week or so, when I got a bit sloppy in guarding my sleep pattern. My prayer closet time in general has been one big piece of Kindling that is perpetually feeding my faith fire. Nevertheless, I have started to feel God tugging me to expose myself to knew things that can enhance my faith.
My verse for the week is…
“Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” Proverbs 22:28-29
When I read these verses this morning, I wrote in the margin of my bible, “work on your craft.” Part of being wise is becoming excellent in the vocation God has given you. Great disciples honor God in their work. God has given us His absolute best in his son, Jesus Christ. Our thankful response should always be to give God our very best. That said, I realized today that if you want to to give God your best then you should always strive to improve the skills of your work.
So, on the way to work I stopped at a bookstore and bought three things: this month’s copy of Bible Study Magazine and Success Magazine, and the book The Daily Writer. Each of them will feed, inspire and educate me. Consider them professional kindling for my God-given craft. Bible Study Magazine will kindle my ability to read the Bible. I am hoping to glean from it fresh perspectives, discipling tips and study tools. The Daily Writer, subtitled, “366 meditations to cultivate a productive and meaningful writing life”, will help me grow in the skill of writing. So much of my work is writing: newsletter articles, Sunday school lessons, sermons, blog posts, letters, etc. Lastly, I always find Success Magazine inspiring and informative.
Consider these question to help you give God your very best.
- What could you do to offer God your very best as a parent, busyness owner, student, or employee?
- What could you learn today that would help you perfect your skills in one of those areas?
- What new knowledge would make you better?
- What practice would help you perfect the work God has called you to do?
- What would the ideal skillful worker look like in your field?
- How can you take a concrete action step (no matter how small) to move toward being that ideal?
Blessings in your quest to give God your best,
p.s. Pictured below is my desktop for the week. Right click here to download a full size version.