Word for Word 5/3/23

It’s “almost” growing season. I can’t wait to get outside and get my garden going. How about you?

It’s exciting to grow plants in the spring and summer and it’s a great time to grow our faith as well. As the earth warms, it’s a wonderful time to intentionally invite God to expand our love, peace and faithfulness. So in that spirit, let me suggest four ways you can be about spiritual growth this time of year.

1. Dive into the Word
By “the word,” I mean the bible. Why read the bible? There are lots of reasons. Most of all is that by reading it, we can encounter God. The bible is living: “The word of God is alive and powerful... It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12). There are apps for your phone to help you read the bible conveniently. So in the coming months, don’t just dive into the pool, dive into God’s amazing word. You’ll be glad you did!

2. Sing the Songs
I love to sing. It allows us to express ourselves in a most intimate and emotional way. It can tap into our inner heart. So sing out your praise to God! This has been a common practice for the people of God for a long time: “You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done” (Psalm 92:4).

Oftentimes I find that songs actually give me words when I can’t find the words I’m looking for. When you’re afraid, you can sing about the God who is always by your side. When you’re in awe of God, you can sing about his “majesty” and grace that found you just as you were and changed you. Wherever you are emotionally or spiritually, there’s a song for that. The hymnal is a great place to go for these amazing pieces of music (and there’s always YouTube).

3. Live the Life
The Christian faith isn’t just about avoiding sin; it’s also about doing good, building up the reign of God, which Jesus came to bring on earth. Philippians 2:15 says, “Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights.”

Be on the lookout for opportunities to offer your time and talents to people who need you. Find creative ways that you can shine like a bright light in someone’s life. And even a smile can help!

4. Tell the Story
When people know you’re reading the word, and they hear you singing the songs, and they see you living the life, they will probably ask you about it: What makes you different?

First Peter 3:15 tells us, “If someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.”  So when they ask that question about what makes you different, you can tell the story of how God sent his Son, Jesus, to save us. You don’t have to have a fancy speech. Just tell them what God has done for you. Share your story and perhaps invite them to come to church with you.

This spring and summer, let’s grow in our relationship with God. Dive into the Word, Sing the Songs, Live the Life, and Tell the Story, and your faith will be growing even faster than the weeds in your garden.
In Christ,

Pastor Laura Gentry
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Lansing