Pamela Myers Palmer
Doin' The Motions
Week of June 24, 2019
" You believe that there is one God. Good!
Even the demons believe that—and shudder. " James 2:9
God invites each of us into a relationship with Him. A deeply connected, dynamic, unconditional love relationship. The best, most satisfying relationship any one of us will ever have or know. This is exactly the relationship we were made for and innately desire and seek. This is the one relationship that will fill us up and satisfy our every thirst to be accepted and loved, fully.
Yet so often we settle for less. We put off prayer, or reading the Bible. We attend church just for the holidays or for obligatory events. We don't share our faith with family, friends, or a colleague in need. We hope that people will fulfill this desire. We settle for just believing in God and being a good person rather than truly letting Him take residence in our hearts. God's word reminds us that though belief is an important starting point, even the demons believe in the one true God. Belief isn't enough. Belief alone leads us to a life of "doing the motions" rather than having a heart- and life-changing faith rooted in a vibrant relationship with Jesus.
So let me ask... Are you just doing the motions? If we're honest, we all go through days or seasons where we get distracted, overwhelmed and drawn away, leaving us just doing the motions, the bare minimum, and missing out on the abundance of having a real and full relationship with the Lord. And relationship is what He is all about. When you read the Old Testament, you realize that God spoke with His children, guided His children, and were deeply invested in them. That is true for us today. When we read the New Testament accounts of Jesus' life, we learn of Him connecting with people. We see Him getting to know them, asking them deep questions, drawing them closer to Him and away from their sin and isolation. That, too, is true for us today. God created us to be in communion with Him. He is our gracious Creator who loves us perfectly and wants a relationship with each one of us.
Getting beyond just belief can seem confusing or impossible. Where do I even start? Like any relationship you want to invest in, begin by talking with the Lord and spending time with Him; share your day, share your thoughts, share your heart, let Him know what's going on. Get to a quiet place to be with the Lord. Get quiet and listen to what He is saying to you. Read the Bible; it's the best place for us to learn His voice and His truth. It truly is a lamp unto our feet and helps us understand what it means to get beyond belief and to living a life of dynamic faith. Make time for God each day in your life, keep Him at the center of your home, and lead your family in faith. Have an open your heart and mind to letting God do a transforming work in your life. Our belief can lead to a strong faith and with a deep faith, we are prompted to live, think, speak and act in ways that bring God's love to those around us by serving others and living less self-centered.
Most importantly, love. Love the Lord and love others. These were the two greatest commandments Jesus gave us while He walked the earth, and following these two commands will grow your relationship with Christ. These are starting points to deepening your relationship with God, and as you walk the journey of faith, you will discover more ways to stay connected to God and experience an incredible relationship with Him.
This Week’s Reading Plan
As you read the following passages this week, ask yourself these questions:
1) What verse comforts me that I can commit to memory?
2) What word or phrase stands out?
3) What am I learning about God from this?
4) How can I apply this to my life today?
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