Do you want more and more of God's kindness and peace? Then learn to know him better and better. For as you know him better, he will give you, through his great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: he even shares his own glory and his own goodness with us! And by that same mighty power he has given us all the other rich and wonderful blessings he promised; for instance, the promise to save us from the lust and rottenness all around us, and to give us his own character.
But to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you must learn to know God better and discover what he wants you to do. Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have his way with you. This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply. The more you go on in this way, the more you will grow strong spiritually and become more fruitful and useful to our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:3-8 (TLB)
Always keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (TLB)
Linda L. White lives in Illinois. The older she gets, the more she tries to maintain a healthy body by eating well and getting regular physical exercise. However, there are days when grabbing a fast-food meal is more appetizing and easier than cooking a healthy meal at home, and the thought of sitting on her sofa catching up on one of her favorite shows is more appealing than changing her clothes and driving to the path where she takes her 40-minute after-dinner walk. She knows that in the long run she will feel better and be happier with herself if she puts in the extra effort, but it takes discipline to get those rewards.
The same can be said about her spiritual health. It takes discipline to make the extra effort to maintain a close relationship with God. There are so many distractions in our world, and sometimes it takes diligence to turn away from things like checking emails and social media and to settle into prayer and Bible reading. Today's quoted scripture reminds us that God wants us to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. If we make the effort to set aside time to do this daily, our reward can be a healthy spiritual connection with God.
I don't know about you, but I really can relate to Linda's feelings. It is hard work to be good but the rewards are worth the effort.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to quiet the distractions so that we can spend precious time with you, in Jesus' name, amen.