Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Sunday, March 7, Morning
By Col. Joe R. Shepherd, March 2, 1979
A Program for Spiritual Growth
Read Psalm 100:1-5
“My help cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:2
In our world today most of mankind’s endeavors are based on a program of some kind. There are business programs built into elaborate computer systems, athletic programs, and individual success programs. Our church has a program for growth and development which was devised by the Council of Ministries and approved by the Administrative Board. Successful programs are based on goals and objectives supported by well conceived plans and a lot of hard work.
If our goal in life includes a meaningful relationship with GOD, then we would do well to consider a personal program for spiritual growth. For a time, my life was without such a program. Having been born in a Christian family where going to church and reciting our prayers at bedtime was the accepted way of doing things, I felt pretty comfortable about my spiritual situation. However, this changed early in my military career, when I found myself directly responsible for the lives of many other young men who were assigned to military organizations under my command. During critical situations, I found the need for reinforcement from outside my own resources. When I turned to GOD for help there was no meaningful response. My arrangements with Him had been too superficial to support a viable communication relation between us.
With the help of a chaplain friend, I developed a spiritual growth program. The goal of my program was to find a meaningful relationship with GOD. The supporting plans basically consisted of rededication to the Christian principles that I had learned earlier, but had neglected to practice. This was not a story of instant success, however, there was the immediate feeling that this was the right direction and the realization was there that with faith and work, my goal could be reached.
Father, we pray that during the Lenten season, many of us will re-evaluate our spiritual lives and consider rededication and renewal programs to strengthen our spiritual growth and development. Amen.