By Andrea Lennon
Swimming, hiking, vacationing, cooking on the grill, and spending time with my family and friends - this is my summer "to do" list. What is yours? Your list probably looks a lot like mine. Each summer it is fun to plan and carry out summer "to do's."
Summer "to do's" make their way onto our lists for one reason - we want to do them. This summer I want to challenge you to add something new to your summer "to do" list: Consider adding a desire to know Jesus Christ in a fresh new way.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to put your walk with Jesus in neutral over the summer months? Sunday mornings become another day to sleep in. Quiet times do not happen because a summer routine is hard to establish. Prayer times boil down to a simple, "Lord, help me this day." Time with others often lacks spiritual focus, becoming a time to discuss vacation plans or other summer happenings.
If you feel like I just described you, do not feel bad. We all know what it is like to let the summer months pass by, giving little thought to Jesus Christ. This summer, let's not allow something like this to happen. Let's make the choice to add Jesus to our summer "to do" lists by focusing on Him right now.
In Philippians, the Apostle Paul shared his number one "to do." Philippians 3:10 states, "I want to know Christ." Plain and simple, make no bones about it, Paul wanted to know everything there was to know about Jesus Christ. Can you hear the desire in Paul's voice? I can. Paul wanted to know Christ and was willing to take steps in order to allow this desire to become a reality in his life.
This summer we need to do the same. We need a desire to know Christ. This desire should be so real, so intense, that it moves us to embrace actions that facilitate a closer walk with Jesus. Consider the following actions that we need to embrace this summer:
Stay connected at church. Staying connected at church helps you to know that God is always at work even in the summer months. More than that, staying connected reminds you that Christ invites you to know Him more every single day. Each time you enter your place of worship, be ready with an open heart and mind. Guard your time of worship by choosing not to overextend yourself the day of or the night before you worship the Lord.
Read God's Word every day. Establish a summer routine for Bible Study. Determine the time of day you are going to study your Bible. Next, discover a noise-free and distraction-free place. I have resorted to having my quiet time in my car or my closet! Finally, delve into God's Word and enjoy a few minutes of refreshment. If you need a little extra incentive to get up and have your quiet time, create a check system in your life. My check system involves my phone and computer. I do not answer my phone or turn on my computer until I have had my quiet time. This accountability helps me focus on the Lord at the beginning of my day instead of waiting until I find free time. (We all know that never happens!)
Take time to pray. Constant communication with God is one of the best ways to know Christ more. Find an activity that you do every day, like brushing your teeth, drying your hair, or walking around the block, and use this time to pray.
Encourage others to focus on Jesus Christ. In your conversations with family and friends, encourage them to focus on Jesus this summer. Ask about their quiet times or how the Lord is working in their lives. Adding a spiritual tone to your conversations helps you focus on knowing Christ more, and it also helps your family and friends do the same.
I hope you have a great summer. I pray that your summer "to do" list overflows with fun activities that create wonderful memories for your whole family. However, my greatest desire is that at the top of your "to do" list you find something like this - "I want to know Christ!"