‘Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.’ 1 Timothy 4:15 NIV
One day a friend of Chuck Swindoll’s stopped by his study to ‘speak the truth in love’ to him (see Ephesians 4:15). The man said, ‘I don’t think you’ll fall morally or ethically. What does worry me is that you could be tempted to let your time with God and your time in the study of the Scriptures become less and less important to you. I want to urge you, do not let that happen.’
Swindoll took his words to heart and wrote down these five promises to himself. If you’re serious about being devoted to Christ, you need to make these same promises to yourself also:
(1) I promise to keep doing original and hard work in my study. Those to whom I am called deserve my best efforts.
(2) I promise to maintain a heart for God. That means I will pray frequently and fervently, and stay devoted to Him and to my calling.
(3) I promise to remain accountable. Living the life of a religious lone ranger is not only unbiblical, it’s dangerous.
(4) I promise to stay faithful to my family. My wife deserves my time, affection, and undivided attention. Our now-grown children deserve the same.
(5) I promise to be who I am, just me. To keep laughing and saying things a little ‘off-the-wall’. To be a friend and make a few mistakes each month.
On that second promise of Swindoll’s: being devoted to Christ doesn’t make you weird, judgmental, antisocial, or isolated from the world. No, it makes you the best version of yourself you can be—and the one God wants you to be.
SoulFood: Isa 17–21, Matt 10:32–42, Ps 107:1–9, Pro 3:13–18
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023