“Other books were given for our information,” writes theologian T. H. Darlow, “the Bible was given for our transformation.” There is a significant difference between reading for information and for transformation.
In this reading, we’re taking a final look at how God uses His Word to reach into our lives and begin the process of spiritual transformation. Personal devotions is a key topic. But the larger issue is how—in total—we develop a plan for spiritual growth.
Take five minutes to write your responses to the following questions:
If a storm blew into your life right now, how would you handle it?
Would you have the internal resources to weather the storm?
Describe a time when you faced a storm and how you handled it.
Definition: Taking the time to ________ _______________ to the ___________ issues of life, the ______________ stuff that deals with the _________ of life, the below-the-waterline concerns.
Spirituality Is a Journey, Not a Destination.
“The germination of the seed represents the beginning of spiritual life, and the development of the plant is a beautiful figure of Christian growth. As in nature, so in grace; there can be no life without growth. The plant must either grow or die. As its growth is silent and imperceptible, but continuous, so is the development of the Christian life. At every stage of development our life may be perfect; yet if God's purpose for us is fulfilled, there will be continual advancement.”1
“Below-the-water-line” personal questions:
- Who am I really trying to please?
- What needs am I trying to meet?
- What insecurities am I pampering
- What feelings am I storing up?
- With whom/what am I competing?
- What rewards am I seeking?
- What guilt or shame might I be covering?
The Farmer’s View
“ ‘My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life’ ” (John 10:10, NLT).
“ ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, “Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?” He said to them, “An enemy has done this.” The servants said to him, “Do you want us then to go and gather them up?” But he said, “No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ” ’ ” (Matt. 13:24-30, NKJV).