Have you thought about what it might look like to actively live out the E.S.P.N. acronym that Lead Pastor Ben Snyder discussed in his message last weekend?
How do you weave this into everyday conversations and interactions with the people God brings across your path? The most obvious answer is just explaining that it isn’t about a sports channel! That would work if you’re simply telling someone about the Sunday service you attended. But what if you want to use it in a practical way—one that adds salt to your relationships?
Here’s what I’ve been doing:
E is for encouragement.
I recently had a conversation that turned to doom and gloom. A young man was telling me how he, his dad, and his grandpa had all decided that the present state of our world is the worst it’s ever been. They believed there was no hope of things getting better.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
I simply replied, “People have said that throughout history, but we always make it through, and things always get better. Besides, if they don’t, that means Jesus is coming back. I’m ready! Are you?” He told me he appreciated my optimism.
S is for scripture.
I keep a little pocket card carrier filled with scripture cards on my desk at work. It’s always open to a verse that speaks to my current situation. It’s encouraging to me—and the lady who covers for me during my lunch time finds it helpful too! Sneaky, right?
P is for prayer.
This one takes practice! At first, I would pray for people who shared their woes with me—after they left (and sometimes I still do). But now, with practice, I’m feeling comfortable enough to pray with them. Nobody has objected so far! God is good, and because we’re created for him, people are more open than we think.
N is for next step.
This one is easy if I’m trying to get someone else to take the next step. I encourage them to come to church with me, join a Bible study, get involved with a Group, and so on. But what about when God wants me to take the next step? I definitely procrastinate on that one! Eventually, I do give in. (Between you and me, God never gives up!) He knows us better than we know ourselves, and I’ve never regretted taking the step God is calling me to.
What is God calling you to do today? Is it Encouragement? Scripture? Prayer? Taking a Next Step?
Take the Spiritual Pathways Assessment and find the path to God that suits you best. Try it every day for a week. At the end of the week, ask yourself what you gained or lost and if you want to continue. If that path wasn’t the best fit for you, try another one, and so on.
Father, my heart is filled with gratitude for the blessings I have today. I am so glad you brought me to CedarCreek. The message helps me grow in practical and meaningful ways. Thank you for loving me and for your grace and patience as I journey along the pathway to a closer relationship with you. Lord, open the eyes of my heart, show me where I am, and lead me to where I am meant to be. I pray all this in the name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Amen.
This post was written by Julie Estep, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut, who is grateful for the opportunity to reflect, write, and share what God is doing in her life. She’s glad you came today!
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