Monday, July 7, 2008

A Time of Refreshing

After preaching the good news to a group of folks who had gathered around Solomon’s Colonnade in Acts 3, the apostle Peter saw that they were convicted by the message. Seeing their desire to make things right, he told them, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…” He then goes on to tell them about the Lord’s return, but pause there for a moment. What better way to describe the Christian life than as a “time of refreshing”? Let’s be honest. Our situation before Christ was dire. There was no hope. We had sinned and fallen short. But the hope of the gospel is that in Christ, we are forgiven, redeemed, restored… refreshed! Everybody could use this kind of refreshment, couldn’t they?

One of the problems of the Christian life, however, is that we can easily forget just how refreshing it is supposed to be. We can still allow the pressures and burdens of this life to get us down. We can even allow the activity of the church and the various works with which we are involved to take up so much of our energy that we get down… or sometimes even burned out. How tragic this is! Of course this ‘burn out’ as the world calls it is caused because we have failed to stay plugged in to the ultimate power source… Jesus Christ. We have failed to connect with him in a way that continually sustains and continually refreshes.

I always try to make Summer time a time of refreshing for me. It is a time when I try to sit back after a busy Spring and reflect, dream and think about my own faith and the faith of those with whom I minister. Last week the family and I went up to Nashville for a conference at Lipscomb University and for a time of refreshing. What a blessing it was to hear great messages from some terrific preachers who challenged me and spurred me to greater spiritual growth. Next week, we are going to try to get away for a few days just for some fun and relaxation. We all need these periods of “down time.” If you haven’t sought any spiritual refreshing this Summer, let me challenge you to do so. With school starting so early these days, most of us only have a few weeks left! Here’s a few ideas…
  • Read a book that will challenge you spiritually.
  • Go to a conference or lecture series.
  • Read through a Biblical book that you haven’t read in a while.
  • Listen to a sermon from someone other than me on the internet (check below for some suggestions...)
  • Get away for a few days of retreat and reflect on what God is doing in your life.
  • Do something different to challenge yourself spiritually.

Summer will grind to a halt soon enough and we will all be back in the groove of work, school, and activity… take advantage of every opportunity to be refreshed by God’s Word!

Listen online to great messages from preachers I have listened to...

Russ Adcox
Maury Hills Church of Christ, Columbia, TN

Shon Smith
University Church of Christ, Tuscaloosa

Jeff Walling
Providence Road Church of Christ, Charlotte, N.C.

Mike Cope
Highland Church of Christ, Abilene, TX

Rick Atchley
Richland Hills Church of Christ, Dallas, TX

Patrick Mead
Rochester Church of Christ, Rochester, MI

David Salisbury
Lomax Church of Christ, Hohenwald, TN

1 comment:

Russ said...

I've found a misprint on your blog. It's intials are RA. Seriously, thanks for the link and sorry I missed you a Lipscomb. I was up on Friday afternoon for Randy and fireworks.

Welcome to Jim's blog!

Thanks for visiting my blog... I hope you'll find it helpful, perhaps insightful or at least a little humorous. I hope to do several things through this blog... share pictures, thoughts, and funny stories... but also to converse back and forth about what we are reading in God's Word together. In preparing for Sunday's message each week, I am interested in hearing from you... what do YOU think about Sunday's text? What are your questions? Suggestions? Just click on the COMMENTS section and let's talk. I'll do my best to give you a "heads up" on upcoming lessons and I would greatly appreciate your thoughts. Thanks in advance!