This past week I completed a nearly 2 year journey (during my time alone with God) through the words of Jesus (the words in red) in the New Testament. During that time, I took a few detours by reading the Book of Proverbs a couple of months and by reading the Book of Phillipians for one month when we did this together as a church. However, for the majority of this time, I just read what Jesus said in the Gospels. It was one of the best things I’ve done in years for my time alone with God. I didn’t try to rush through any of it; I just wanted to read what Jesus said and ask Him to help me understand it and how it applied to my life personally. There were days I’d read several verses, but there were days where I wouldn’t get past one sentence in a verse. I will probably do this again in a few years, but use a different translation of the Bible when I do; this helps me not get stale in my study and reading. If you want something to really refresh your time alone with God, you might try taking your time and reading the Words in Red.
As I read, I’d write down key thoughts in a journal. I was thumbing through one of the journals today and was blessed again to read some of the entries. One of the entries I noted as I was looking through my 2nd journal was from Mark 9:38-41. The note I wrote in my journal after reading this passage was simple: “Be very cautious of judgmental attitudes toward other believers or other churches. Pray for them, but never talk about them in a negative way – Talk to them, but never talk about them in a negative way.”
I think it’s interesting that I noticed this journal entry today because I was in Decatur yesterday, and overheard another Pastor who sounded like he was being a little condescending toward what some other churches were doing – including Grace. It saddened me, but this journal entry reminds me to simply pray fot God’s blessing on him and his church. I’ve done this, and am trying to develop a habit. I don’t do it every time, but I’m trying to remember to pray for every Christian church I pass when I’m driving. I think it’s a good habit to develop and I believe it’s in line with the Words in Red.