Thursday, April 23, 2015

1-and-1 Free Throws and Spiritual Growth

March Madness is over.  Now comes a rather drab NBA playoff and then baseball.  Insert my sad face here.

And for the first time in history, my mom beat the other brothers and yours truly on our bracket picks.  I haven't even managed to tally the scores yet because of the embarrassment.

There's a situation that a player finds himself in as a basketball game goes on.  In the college game, you get to 7 team fouls in a half and you shoot a 1-and-1.  They call it that because if you don't get the first, you'll never get the second.  Missing one means missing two.  Make the first and you get a shot at the second.

There's a situation like that in the spiritual life as well.  One in which if you don't get the first, you won't get the second.  Missing one means missing both.

In our spiritual lives of following Jesus, if we don't take the time to do the basics, we'll miss the other stuff too.  In my opinion, the basics are prayer and Bible intake.  That's the first 1 of the 1-and-1.

What would be the others that you would miss?  Here's a possible list...

- Meaningful worship that is fueled be worship throughout the week and isn't solely an emotional experience.
- Service that's a joy instead of a labor.
- Sacrifice that doesn't mind being inconvenienced instead of only when I somehow benefit from it.

Should I go on?

Let me go ahead and caveat here:  if you don't read your Bible every day, you can still have meaningful worship, etc.  God is God and can do as He pleases.  Further, you can do the basics and have a bad attitude while you serve, etc.

That being said, the most consistent path to the And-1's of life with Jesus happen because a person chooses to commit regular time to prayer and Bible intake.

How to do that?  There are a number of ways.  I personally enjoy the McCheyne reading plan.  But on principle, just remember that prayer is talking with God about things of mutual concern and Bible intake is more than just reading words but interacting with a Person.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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