follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. [2 timothy 1:13]
my dad always said, “variety is the spice of life.” that is a sentiment that i have lived by – and which comes easily for my personality. it also means that rhythms and patterns are naturally short-lived in my life. some of you can relate to me…and others of you live and breathe routine and consistency. no matter which side of the personality swing you are on, we are all experiencing changes to our daily lives right now. hardly anything is exactly the same as it was 2 months ago. even if you are still going to work your social life, the grocery store, church, and just about everything else has left it’s normal rhythm.
all of this means it is the perfect opportunity to evaluate how our lives follow the “pattern of the sound words” of the gospel. i’m referring to time spent in prayer, scripture, and worship. but i’m also referring to other patterns of the christian life – discipleship, repentance, evangelism, giving, and so on. this is a helpful exercise because it can reveal areas in our lives where we were just “going through the motions.” if i had a regular pattern of discipleship 2 months ago but since the stay at home order has gone into effect i haven’t been pursuing my disciple at all, perhaps that speaks to the state of my heart towards discipleship.
here are some evaluative questions to help you do this…
- what rhythms of following Jesus from my usual life have been interrupted by our current circumstances? (prayer, scripture reading, community, discipleship, giving, repentance, scripture memorization, etc.)
- which of those rhythms have i not begun developing new patterns for or found time to engage in for the last few weeks?
- why have i not continued pursuing those things?
in the presence of God, be honest with him about the reasons you might be stepping away from the patterns the gospel establishes in our lives. often times we believe there is a better life for us than the one that is built on the sound words of Christ. but there is no surer foundation than the one built upon the rock of Jesus. ask God to forgive you for valuing other things over his word and know that he renews your heart with a love for him and his way.
~ keith kozlowkski