Jesus in Everything
Recently in a sermon, as I was concluding, I told the church I wanted each worshiper to read about 1000 pages of commentary on the topic of the sermon – grace. I was joking. I don’t usually ready 1000 pages on anything in one week. Once in a while I do, but usually, that amount of reading was planned in advance. Some people love reading and read heavy amounts. Others take in information in other ways.
All Christ-followers would benefit from reading the Bible and reading good Christian writing, whether by popular writers like Phillip Yancey or good Christian fiction (C.S. Lewis, etc.), or classics like Thomas A Kempis’ Imitation of Christ. For some individuals, summer is a time to catch up on reading. While it might not be 1000 pages between now and Sunday, I do highly recommend turning off video games and the internet, and doing some reading.
I also recommend that we think about Jesus in everything. We will find our God awareness heightened if invite the Holy Spirit into all activities. While watching our kids play little, league, pause a moment and center the mind on Christ. Take a second to quiet the mind and listen for the Spirit’s voice. Eating at an outdoor café and watching the world walk by, have Jesus on the mind.
When I say ‘God awareness,’ I do not mean something unchristian or beyond Christianity. I mean alerting our own minds and awakening our own consciousness so that when God acts, we don’t miss it. Jesus’ great sorrow was that so many missed his coming (Luke 19:41-42). I am sure that God, working through the Holy Spirit, is at work in the world today, performing the miraculous. I just think His followers miss him because our minds are not focused on him. We’re distracted by life.
By reading, we draw our minds to Him. When we intentionally consider Jesus even in nonreligious events in the normal course of life, we condition our minds to always be conscious of the Lord. In this consciousness, we surrender ourselves so that Jesus has greater influence over us. The greater his influence, the more our choices reflect His gospel.