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Grow | Devotion #6: Read and Pray

Caleb Combs | Gathering Pastor

I can remember as a child downstairs at Faith Church in a big block room yelling at the top of my lungs as a 6 year old, “Read your Bible, read your Bible, pray every day, pray every day and you’ll grow, grow, grow.” The reason I was yelling this was because the boys’ side wanted to be louder than the girls’ side. There was no way I was going to let the girls’ side win this sing-off. Little did I know what this was doing in my life. All these years later, the words of this little song echo in my head. The many mistakes I have made, the struggles I have gone through, and the many times I have gotten to see God do incredible things; yet these simple words are crucial in growing in Christ. It is not simply reading and talking that will create growth (hang on I am going somewhere, so do not throw anything at me before I can explain my point), but the engagement of your heart in the Scriptures and the conversation with the most high God. An open heart reading verses you have read many times, and yet God still speaks in and through them in a miraculous ways. It is sad to say, but I have only started to appreciate the importance of prayer, as I became an adult. It is an open engagement with God. Whether you are driving down the road (keep your eyes open please), walking down the street, on lunch break at work, or simply putting your children to bed, we have been invited, and better yet implored by God to come to Him. Prayer is in incredible thing. So looking at these two “exercises”, we see one major correlation, connecting with God. It is about you opening your eyes, ears, and heart to Christ and inviting Him to speak into your life.
We cannot grow without Christ. Wait let’s hear that again and I am going to make that personal, YOU CANNOT GROW WITHOUT CHRIST. Jesus tells us in the book of John, "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” The word ‘abide’ there is crucial to understand, better yet abide or hold to. We are to hold to Him on a journey of growth. It is not a sprint and in one day, you will be grown and mature. It is a marathon that we hold to Jesus. Just as we sang as loud as we could in kids’ church, “Read your Bible, read your Bible, pray every day, pray every day and you’ll grow, grow, grow,” we were being taught two basic yet important principles to growing in Christ; study God’s Word and praying continuously. May you seek the Lord daily in all that you do!

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