Do you feel it? From polarizing politics to terrorist atrocities, pain and despair are evident and prevalent. You see the need for mercy, grace, peace, and salvation everywhere you look.
The Importance of Spiritual Formation
Spiritual formation is not for the sake of self-care or self-improvement, but for the sake of loving others. At no time is our spiritual formation (loving God) more important than today. When suffering is the headlines it’s important to go back to those things you know God has called you to. When the future is uncertain: love others.
As Tod Bolsinger writes in his article in Fuller Magazine:
Indeed, in times of great uncertainty, perhaps more than other times, those of deepest faith find themselves refocused on that which is most foundational—and that is not our own surviving and thriving. As C. S. Lewis wrote in the throes of World War II, “Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”
In the vulnerability of the earliest centuries of the Christian movement, in times of great global despair, and in the midst of a long struggle for freedom, the most profoundly Christian instinct is to reach out in love, care, and hospitality to others. Their love of God is inextricably tied to Jesus’ co-priority of loving one’s neighbor (Mark 12:28–34)—and right at the point of deepest pain and need….
When we don’t know what to do, we can always do what we have been taught to always do. Come together. Be formed for the challenge. Listen for the pain of our neighbors. Love them well.
Living out Hope
When spiritual formation is prioritized it impacts those around us in profound ways. People will see hope to the questions that most haunt their souls in the behavior of the Church.
The degree to which we live into the foundations of our spiritual formation will determine the future of the church… not only of our local church, but of the impact of the global Church on the world around us.
Spiritual Formation Prayer Guide
- Ask God to build understanding of unconditional love within your church and community.
- Pray that the Lord would turn complacency in the church into wholehearted worship and leaps of faith.
- Ask God to give Christians eyes to see the hurting and inspire sacrificial love for others.
- Pray for lives marked by compassion that would go on to make disciples and join in the mission of Jesus.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Cor. 1:3-4, NIV)
*An Undivided Heart- Cultivation of the heart flows into transformative action. Written to refresh and inspire your walk with God, An Undivided Heart: Living and Loving like Jesus, is a journey, unique to you, that begins with your unique relationship with Jesus. Living with an undivided heart will naturally lead to living an undivided life.
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