I’ve been going through a bit of a spiritual renaissance lately. I’ve been cutting back on the books, and doing more reading of Scripture. It’s not that I stopped reading Scripture. It’s just that I got the sense that my reading energies were being spent in ways that were inappropriately out of balance. I might spend an hour a day reading books, and 15 minutes with Scripture (sermon preparation excluded). One day, this just seemed weird to me.
This sort of balance might be OK at times. However, when performed over time, it skews one’s thinking in such a way that one can believe that authors speak truth that Scripture does not. Of course, I know this isn’t the case. But, before I look to authors, I must always look to Scripture.
I think we sell Scripture short sometimes. But, Scripture itself reminds us that it is living and active. It is the only living book that exists. It is God-breathed. And, if I will keep it as my first source of wisdom both in mind, heart, and devotion, God will shape me in special ways.
So, I bought a new Bible, and decided to start a new journey. I picked 1 Samuel as the jumping off point. I made it to 1 Samuel 12. The section that grabbed me…verses 20-25.
"And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”
Here’s the question that got me thinking about…is it a sin to cease to pray for someone?
Scripture lives, and helps me live. For that, I am thankful.