Blake Brinegar, Pastor at Yellville First Presbyterian Church

Building God-encounters into our lives...

The New Year is upon us, regardless of our readiness. We have filled another calendar with many activities and can now put it away. The 2018 calendar already has all sorts of dates on it; birthdays, anniversaries, doctor’s appointments, meetings, and the list goes on. Yet, in all of the busyness of scheduling these important things, where do we make time for our life with God; is it on Sunday morning, maybe a Tuesday Bible study, or some other opportunity? If there aren’t many dates which include some form of devotional component to them, what would it take for us to schedule some time with God?

As I write these words, I am not pontificating from a place of perfect execution, but am speaking from a place of recognizing that sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, one of the first things which can get squeezed out of our lives is our devotional life. At least it does in my life if I am not careful.

As we begin 2018, may we figure out ways to intentionally schedule some devotional time in our lives, and not only when time makes itself available. From experience, this is not going to happen. Time does not just magically appear. Things don’t just add themselves to the calendar, without my prioritizing them. This may be something as simple as reading the Upper Room or some other devotional. It may include reading some from your Bible each and every day. Maybe it is going to a bible study, during the week or on Sunday morning. It may be coming to church a little more often so that you can continue to grow in your faith through worship.

The way we grow in our understanding of God’s will for our lives is through encountering the word of God, of having conversation with other Christians, and from hearing differing ideas and differing views , helps us in our own faith development. This also helps us know what we believe and why we believe what we do. Yet, if we are not intentional, this sort of thing doesn’t just happen or schedule itself on our calendars.

So, as we begin our new year, as we plan vacations, anniversaries, birthdays, doctor appointments, and other engagements, may we also schedule some devotional time with the same intentionality and importance as our other engagements. You might just be surprised how your life is blessed from these engagements. I pray and hope that 2018 is a good year for you all.