Here are four challenges that just might stretch your faith this year.
Mind Over Mattress
What I mean by writing “mind over mattress” is to set your alarm clock about 15 minutes earlier and allow yourself that same amount of time for Bible reading every morning. It’s best in the morning because it seems to set the tone for the day. I can’t explain it, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve read some Bible passages and later in the day something that relates to that passage happens. I believe God has a sense of humor, but we must have the sense to start our day off with our daily bread, and that is to read about the Bread of Life (John 6), Jesus Christ, in the Bible.
Start Something New
I say “start something new,” but you could also join in something that’s already in place. For example, maybe you could volunteer as a Sunday school teacher substitute. That’s how I got started teaching Sunday school. I was called to substitute for a sick teacher. Before you knew it, I had my own classroom. And I never would have discovered my love for teaching unless I had volunteered for it. What will that look like for you? I don’t know, but you will. There is no great reward reaped where there is no great risk sown.
Keep a Prayer Journal
Keeping a prayer journal is not as hard as it sounds. It’s as simple as getting a notebook with lines on each sheet. Make sure and put the day of the week and the date. Next, write down the person or thing you’re praying for. Finally, in the right column, write down what it is you are praying for. Start every day with a new sheet. Make sure you put the date on each sheet, including the year. After a while, you’ll be amazed at how spending only one minute a day in writing down something in your prayer journal will turn into a personal living testimony to the faithfulness of God. You might also discover how God answered that prayer in a way different than you expected. It’s a faith-building, faith-stretching thing to do in my opinion.
A Verse a Week
This is such an easy way to memorize Scripture. Take a sticky note or 3 x 5 card, put tape to the back of it, and stick it wherever you’ll spend the most time today (probably at work or school). Don’t even try to memorize it. Just by seeing it, you can’t help but read it, and after seeing it for a week, you’ll most likely memorize it. Do that for a year and you’ve memorized 52 Bible verses. That’s may be what the psalmist meant when he wrote, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). The way it’s worded, it could mean, “I have memorized Scripture in order that I might not sin against you.”
I hope these can stretch your faith this year and that you can make it “mind over mattress” and get in a daily dose of the Word of God, that you start something new and step out on faith this year, that you start keeping a prayer journal and sit back and see what happens, and, finally, that you hide or memorize God’s Word in order to avoid sin. That is my prayer for you this year and for all who read this.