October is Pastor Appreciation Month!

 

Pastor’s Message October 2018

Have you been reading Scripture lately?  That is a question that a friend of mine has asked me hundreds and hundreds of times over the course of 26 years since we first met.  In the early years of our friendship I didn’t like that question; I didn’t like being asked that question.  Mostly because I wasn’t reading Scripture on a regular and consistent basis.  I would read for a few days, skip a lot more days, and then read again.  But eventually I got to know that whenever we got together he would ask me the question, so I would anticipate our meetings and make sure I was reading. Eventually, after a few years I was consistently able to say that I was indeed reading Scripture.  I felt pretty good about myself!  But then… the question changed.  It wasn’t, “have I been reading”, but was now, “what are you reading?”  He was now requiring me to tell him what passages of Scripture I was reading.  Easy right?  I would have thought so too, but I discovered that I was not able to tell him what the Scripture passages were.  Crazy!  I was reading, but I couldn’t remember what I was reading.  You see, my reading of Scripture had no rhythm or reason to it.  I bounced around the Bible to wherever I felt like reading that day (IF I read that day).  There was no pattern or plan to my reading.  Eventually, I settled into a pattern and would read a chapter a day as I systematically read through the Bible from beginning to end.  Yes! I was now able to answer the question of what I was reading in the Bible.  Easy… I am in the book of…  Victory! Success! How proud I was to be reading consistently and with purpose! But then… yes, the question changed again.  Now the question became, “What is God saying to you in what you are reading?”  Oh come on!  Isn’t it enough to be reading consistently and with a plan?  Nope, I was still missing the point on reading God’s words to me; I was not hearing what God was saying, I was not spending time listening to Him and just being with Him.  I was reading to check off the box, to say that I was just to impress.  I was reading to be religious about God, not reading to be in relationship with God.  And so, I began to read with the intent of listening, not just finishing the passage. My friend still asks me those questions today, usually in succession now.  And I love that I can almost always answer those questions positively.  Not because I am proud about it, or feel accomplished about it, but because, after all these years, I have learned to hear God, to know God, to be with God.  I love that I can pick up the words of God, read them, and know that God wants to say something to me, that He wants me to hear Him.  I love being in relationship with my friend.  No, not my friend of 26 years, but my friend who has known me since before I was born, my friend who has called me to Himself, my friend who loves to spend time with me.  Yes, I am talking about God. So, let me ask you a question: are you reading Scripture these days? 

Sincerely His,
 
Pastor Michael