Loving people with the heart of Christ in the heart of Wabash.

Philippians 2:3-5

Closer to Jesus

What draws you closer to Jesus? And what draws you farther away?

These were the key questions raised at our latest Bible study. And they are questions I’m still pondering today.

Some things—many things, I suspect—are neither good nor bad. They are neutral. And yet, the way that we approach them or receive them can cause us to grow in our faith or stumble.

The Bible teacher on the DVD identified several specific things that draw him closer to God: the smell of coffee, being up early in the morning, reading books by “dead guys” (i.e., Luther, Spurgeon). He also acknowledged things that caused him to grow careless in his faith: watching too much TV, or becoming too invested in sports. Again, things that aren’t necessarily bad in and of themselves; just the way in which they were used became a distraction.

And so I am left to ask myself, what is it in my life that draws me closer to God? What stirs up my faith? What points me back to Him?

My answers will be different from the Bible teacher’s above, and I bet they’ll be different from yours, too. But perhaps, my friends, this is something we need to ponder together. Because the more we each grow in our relationship with Christ, the more our church community grows in its faith and in its fruit.

So what draws me closer to Jesus? Rain. Hearing someone belly laugh. Praying with a dear friend. Reading a well-written story or article. Walking outside. Quiet and stillness. These are things I need to incorporate into my life as much as I can.

But I’ve got to do more than that. I need to be aware of the things that might cause me to drift away from Him.

I agree with the Bible teacher that I cannot watch much TV. Not much at all, in fact. And while I am an avid reader and want to be well-read, I have to be careful in the books that I choose because it’s so very easy for me to “take on” the mind of the characters. Their thoughts become my thoughts, their perspective my perspective. It’s hard for me to NOT finish a book, yet I’ve had to learn to set a book aside after a few chapters if I find it clouding my judgment.

What about you? Will you ask these questions with me? Will you be intentional about including more things in your life that draw you closer to Jesus and being cautious in the areas that might lead you astray?

And if you’re a parent, might I even challenge you to keep an eye out for the things that draw your kids closer to Jesus. How do they best connect with Him? Where do they meet with Him most naturally? Encourage those times. And perhaps learn from them, too.

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