If a man or a woman came to me and said, “Pastor Matt, I get that. I understand what you are saying about stirring my affections for Jesus Christ. But I don’t feel like I have anything that is really stirring those affections.” First, I want to confirm that salvation is there and regeneration has actually occurred.
In the South, a lot of people think they are Christians because, when they were seven or eight years old, mom and dad asked them, “Do you want to come to heaven with us, or do you want to go to hell?” A seven-year-old will take heaven with mom and dad, but there has never been any objective evidence of regeneration: no love for him, no pursuit of him, no understanding, or no lordship. I want to make sure that there is a right understanding of what Christ has accomplished on their behalf.
Once we get that settled, I always want to go to Scripture. Let’s see what the Bible says. Let’s find something to marvel at in the word of God. This step is far more effective in the hearts of people.
I encourage them not to read the Bible like we read a newspaper. Go to Psalm 1: “The Lord watches over the path of the righteous.” Think about what it means. Stop and think about what it means that the Lord watches over our path. There is nothing coming today that he doesn’t see or make provision for. Let’s find a nugget in the Word and meditate on it, own it, and thank God for it.
Look for evidences of that truth as we walk through our day. Let’s throw more fuel on that flame the next day and pay attention to anything that might snuff out that smoldering wick.
By Matt Chandler