This morning for part my devotional time I was reading a small book by Charles Riggs, Practicing His Presence. It was part of my homework for the Christian Life and Witness Classes that is being offered in preparation for Franklin Graham coming to Rochester in June. Riggs encourages everyone to begin each day with quiet time. I’d like to share with you some of his pearls of wisdom.

God lives in our hearts, and we take him everywhere we go. Why not enjoy His presence, guidance, power, and live life to the fullest?

Experience teaches us that you will never find time to be with God—you must take time.

The quiet time is not an end in itself. It is meant to develop the habit of starting the day with the Lord and then consciously walking with Him throughout the day.

When I don’t pray, it is like saying, ‘I don’t need you God. I’m totally sufficient by myself.’”

I am nearing my 74th birthday and people constantly ask me, ‘How do you keep so fresh and enthusiastic?’ The answer is simple. Every day I practice Isaiah 40:31: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.’”

…there is no shortcut to spiritual maturity.

These reminders along with the other aspects he lifted up that are important in our lives as Christians, made me think about the promises we make when we join the church, promises that are just as important for those who seek to follow Christ and grow in faith even though they have not joined the church. As Christians we are called to faithfully participate in the ministries of the church by our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.

‘Prayer’ is spending time talking to and listening to God. ‘Presence’ has to do with regularly joining with others in worship, Bible study, and other activities. ‘Gifts’ refers to supporting the church financially. ‘Service’ includes both what we do in church and what we do in the world. ‘Witness’ includes welcoming visitors who join us for worship or other activities, inviting others to join us, sharing with others how our faith helps us live each day. Each of these disciplines will help us grow closer to God and to glorify him. “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (Gal. 5:22-33)

I encourage you to examine how you are currently practicing your faith. If there is one of these areas where you are not doing so well, seek God’s help and make a conscious effort to be more faithful. You will discover even more the richness of living life with Christ.

Blessings and prayers,

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