“Love means doing what God has commanded us, and He has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning” — 2 John 1:6 (NLT).
Walking outside is one of my favorite forms of daily exercise. For me, it’s also a time to get away from my writing commitments and rejoin the world. Writing is a solitary occupation.
Getting out in nature is a reminder of how blessed I am. Walking through the winding hills of my neighborhood and pausing to watch the geese living on our lake, I remember how much God loves us.
His creation refreshes me. I thank Him for eyes that see and ears that hear. I thank Him for the gentle breeze that ruffles my hair and cools my skin.
How easily we can become complacent in our Christian walk if we don’t ask Him to renew us. In Psalm 51:12, the psalmist writes, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.”
If we aren’t intentional about our faith walk, our spiritual energy wanes. If we don’t spend time meditating on scripture, praying, worshipping and fellowshipping with others, we lose the desire to please God.
We forget the blessings He has poured out on us. We forsake His commands. We become enmeshed in a secular world that continually draws us away from His goodness.
Romans 12:2 reminds us about not conforming to the pattern of this world, but “to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Many of today’s Christians have forgotten God’s commandments, especially the greatest ones.
In Matthew 22:37–40, Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
If you need to energize your faith walk, here are some practical suggestions from Gail Burton Purath, blogger at “1-Minute Bible Love Notes:”
1. Write prayer requests on sticky notes and put them where you'll see them daily.
2. Use photos as prayer reminders. (I keep photos of my loved ones tucked inside my Bible.)
3. Don't allow yourself to go to bed until you've read the Bible for at least 5 minutes. (I also start my day with reading scripture.)
4. Put your prayer list on your phone's reminder app.
5. Clean up your spiritual environment, getting rid of books, magazines, music, movies and television shows not pleasing to God.
6. Choose an unsaved friend or relative to pray for each week.
7. Think through your salvation testimony so you'll be prepared to share it when God gives you the opportunity. (Write it out to remind yourself of what God has done in your life.)
Another suggestion? Get up and get out of your usual environment, whether it be work or home, and take time to experience the goodness of God in nature and in other people.
Never give up. Keep walking in faith.
Carol Round is a transplanted Okie, originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana, who now resides in Grove. In addition to writing a weekly faith-based column, “A Matter of Faith,” Round spends time with her grandchildren, shooting photos, hiking, working in her yard, reading and studying the Word, volunteering at her church and going on mission trips. For more information, or to contact Round, persons interested may contact her at email@example.com.