Honing Your Spiritual Craft

Honing Your Spiritual Craft

Two best friends grew up playing instruments. One did right by her craft and the other let it fall by the wayside.

Hannah has been playing the viola religiously for over ten years. She understands the importance of discipline when it comes to her instrument. For her undergrad and masters she spent endless hours in practice rooms, sitting in the middle of orchestras and quartets, and standing in front of a crowd performing with the skill God gave her.

Even on vacation she sets aside time to practice, because she knows how easy it is for the discipline to slip away. And when the discipline goes, the skill follows and everything she worked for falls apart.

Take me as an example.

I took piano lessons for nine years. After high-school I went to college, free from the drudgery of practicing. I kept telling myself I would keep up the skill, and every once in awhile I would find a piano to plink out some tunes.

But over the years my memory of the songs dwindled, my coordination faded, and the natural talent my teacher said I had felt more like a rusty piece of machinery.

Hannah’s dedication is inspiring to me. She is a picture of the drive every Christian should have in their walk with Christ. Following our loving Savior takes just as much discipline as any other trade.

Why do you think His followers were called disciples? They grew to understand the difficult training in their journey with Jesus. The moment they stepped away from their world, they entered a life of developing and practicing through their faith in Jesus and their knowledge of Scripture. And they strove to live life as an iron spear, in constant sharpening.

The Apostle Paul writes in Colossians that we “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” Colossians 1:9-12

God has given us the power to be steadfast, to keep going on this journey with Him. Our faithfulness is evidence of the discipline that we walk in. The way of a disciple is guided by the promise of an eternal inheritance from our Father, our ultimate end goal.

If you want to hone your craft of discipleship, you must put in the time, fueling the dedication with the end goal in mind, just as you would with any talent or career. If you don’t, your spirituality will fray and become sparse just like my piano playing skills.

Don’t fret though, you can get it back, but it will take hours of hard work and true persistence. In the end, your perseverance will be evident as you shine with the glory and the love of God to the world.

Happy practicing!

-LJM

Not Worth the Sting

Not Worth the Sting

Who am I to you, O Lord?

I am but algae that covers the deepest part of the ocean.

A barnacle that clings to the earth like a ship.

I am the dust that dirties the earth,

Yet you choose to rub your face in it.

 

I am not worth the sting

Of the kiss from a lying friend.

I am not worth the pain

Of claws stripping through your skin.

I am not worth the spit dripping down your face,

Or the blood gushing from your side.

 

Why? Why don’t you get up?

Why don’t you rise on the wings of your angels?

I am not worth the trembling of your screams

As you cry out “My God!”—

 

My God! You have delivered me,

You have brought light to my shadowed face,

You have pierced my lying tongue,

And sprinkled love over my perverted heart.

 

I promise to bathe in your crimson glory,

And step out in the path before me,

For I was worth it in your story,

And you are worth it in mine.

 

 

Blessing to you

-LJM

Matthew 20:28

Copyright © 2018 Leah Jordan Meahl. All Rights Reserved.

 

Does Your Bible Belong at Goodwill?

Does Your Bible Belong at Goodwill?

When I was in high school, I hated reading the Bible. It was boring, wordy, and confusing. Nothing but my mother’s persuasion could make me flip through the pages of my little King James Bible, the one with my name engraved in rainbow lettering.

Growing up in church, I’ve had a Bible since birth. I knew the stories, I ran the drills, I could list the books in order. As a Christian, I understood its importance, I just couldn’t find the motivation or interest. If ever I did crack open my Bible, it was out of guilt or sadness.

Can you relate?

As college approached I felt God asking me if I would use the independence as an opportunity to grow with Him. “Are you going to follow Me or are you going to follow others who follow Me?” I felt Him say.

I challenged my desire and began reading the Bible for myself each night and each morning, hoping to work my way through the entire book. It took nearly three years, but I made it, learning a lot on the way. God opened up my need to experience more about Him and about His ways.

Like a series of padlocks dispersed through the words, each time through, another was chiec-cau-khoa3unlocked and a mystery was released into my heart. The more I discovered, the more I wanted to unlock until it finally became something I couldn’t live without.

Welcome to the turning point in my relationship with the God of the Universe. He didn’t have to bestow upon me a book that proves His existence or His power, or even foretells the future of the world. He didn’t have to offer a way for me to draw close to Him.

But He did.

Whether you’ve read the Bible as a kid, in high school, or last Sunday, the Bible should be treated as if it holds value in your life. What do I mean by that?

Do you let your trophies get dusty? Do you push a best friend aside until you need something? Do you love a movie so much but never watch it again?

If you have issues with motivation, don’t worry, I get it. But we can’t make excuses forever. How do you ever expect to make an ‘A’ on the test if you don’t study? Make the decision to do something good for your soul and relationship with Jesus.

Here are some ideas to help you rekindle your spiritual thirst.

  • Listen

Take a break from the favorite playlists and podcasts and turn on your Bible app and listen to a reading of the Bible. After all, faith does come through hearing the Word of God, right? (Romans 10:17)

  • Set goals

With each book of the Bible you finish, write it down and keep track of it until you’ve finished the whole Bible. Once you’re done, do it again. You’re never done reading the Word of God. (Is. 40:8)

  • Choose Daily

Set a few verses and chapters to read for your morning devotion and meditate on the passages that stick out to you. (Psalm 63:1)

  • Study

Research is the best way to help study the Bible. Discover the surrounding context, historical facts, original language, and culture. Many elements can help you understand it’s meaning if you take the time to look. (2 Tim. 3:16)

  • Search

If you constantly have questions about God, His works, His ways, His communication, its in the Bible. You want to figure out your purpose, your reason for living, your identity? Check the Bible. You CAN find answers in scripture, even if they’re answers you don’t necessarily like to hear.  (Is. 55:6)

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

∼John 8:31,32∼

If the Word is a map to the kingdom, a place where He’s prepared a home for us, we have no choice but to keep studying that map until we get to our destination. (Matt 6:33)

Take the chance to evaluate your time or lack of time in God’s Word. If I can be blunt, if you don’t spend any time in the Bible and you say you’re a follower of Christ, you may have to question if that’s really true.

Don’t wait until you feel like it–make the effort now to keep your Bible from getting lost in the clutter of your life. An unread Bible has more worth at Goodwill where someone else can get some use out of it.

Open your gift from God today; it may just change your life. It changed mine. (John 8:32)

God bless!

-LJM

 

Want to feel inspired? Click here to see a woman who’s read the Bible 342 times!  (page 16)

Follow me on twitter @leahjordanmeahl for encouraging Bible verses each week

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make the Most of Your Life

Make the Most of Your Life

Make the most of your life,

Though our lives intertwined,

Make me just a memory

 

From the moment you wake,

And in your eyes sunlight shines,

Make the most of your life

 

With Truth in the shadows,

Hearts crossed the line,

Make me just a memory

 

When I felt lost in the mess,

I heard a Word divine,

Make the most of your life

 

You must let me go,

For you are not mine,

Make me just a memory

 

May peace find our souls,

And to Him our ears incline.

Make the most of your life,

Make me just a memory

 

 

-LJM

Psalm 16:11, Galations 5:16

A Psalm of Breakthrough

A Psalm of Breakthrough

Praise the Lord,

Who commands the Earth to spin,

And keeps the waves from engulfing the land,

For He has saved my soul from sin,

And saved me from the webbed snares of the evil one.

 

He has led me to the river

And showed me my heart in its waters,

But He did not let me drown and sink,

For I have surfaced with fresh air in my lungs.

 

Praise the Lord!

He swept a path before me,

He waited for me to follow.

Though my course was laden with fog,

My steps toward Him became slow,

But His light did shine through,

It broke my clouded vision

 

Now I walk with my eyes fixed on You,

You are my God,

I will let no other guide me,

I will wait on your beckoning Word,

I will go higher and higher with You

Until the stars become my companions

And the Earth my stepping stone.

 

 

-LJM

Celebrate Your Little Victories

Celebrate Your Little Victories

Little Victories: successes that appear to be small or less significant in a grand scheme.

When you hear the word victory, you may think that the only way to achieve it is to defeat an enemy or overcome a tremendous obstacle, but at the root of victory there is a choice.

From the moment you open your eyes to see the red lights on your alarm clock, you are given a choice. To get out of bed or not? To live or not?

That one choice opens you up to an entire day of endless possibilities. To have coffee or not? To say hi to him or not? To pick up an extra shift or not? Seemingly small decisions could lead to little victories and the many little victories that make up your day, the many bigger victories await you in the future.

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

– 1 Corinthians 15:57 (ESV)

Jesus died for us so that we could walk in the ultimate victory. Why not celebrate that in the simplest ways?

We have been given a high calling by the God of the universe, and each day He urges us to walk in a manner worthy of that calling. Every choice we make is important for our welfare spiritually, mentally, and physically. They can draw us closer to God, help us glorify Him, and become better than the people He first saved.

So what counts as a little victory? Some of mine include: drinking more water and less coffee, reading my Bible instead of watching Netflix, or complimenting a difficult coworker.

In essence, any good choice is a little victory. Why? Because every good decision is a victory against the enemy of your sinful nature, the part of you that wants to give in to your flesh that’s weak.

Like blessings, little victories can come disguised as something insignificant and go without being noticed or appreciated.

So, count your blessings and your little victories, and look forward for what’s to come.

 

God bless!

-LJM

Philippians 3:14

Drink From Your Own Well

Drink From Your Own Well

By Leah Jordan Meahl

Drink from your own well,
Though the water may shimmer with promising delight,
Do not drink from another’s

If the water is hot,
Soothe your soul and drink,

And if the water is cold,
Refresh your tongue and drink,

And if the water is clear,
Strengthen your bones and drink,

But if the water is dirty,
Make it clean and drink,

Drink from your own well,
For if you drink from another’s,
Their poison you may also drink.

∼Proverbs 5:15-17∼