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Church columnist: Spend more time with God in 2016

Norm Fields

Contributing columnist

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That’s our theme for the coming year at the Church of Christ, Northside. We want to focus our attention on both the need to spend more time with God and how we can do that.

Beginning in January 2016, the first Sunday morning lesson (10:30 a.m.) every month will focus on how we can spend more time with God. We will be studying about ways to spend more time with God in the worship of the church and in our personal devotional worship to God in our homes.

We will discuss how we spend with God in our service to God in the work of the church — benevolence, evangelism and edification. We will learn how we can spend more time with God in living the faithful Christian life every day and everywhere. It is our prayer that focusing on spending more high quality time in the presence of our Almighty God will help us to truly be the light of the world and the salt of the earth that God would have us to be (Matt. 5:13-16).

In accordance with this goal of spending more time with God in 2016, we are publishing a 26 lesson study guide on “Key Doctrines of the Bible.” The word “doctrine” simply means “teaching” (cf. Acts 2:42).

So we are focusing on some of the key biblical teachings for living a faithful life with God. The lessons in this study guide are: 1) The Providence of God; 2) The Love of Christ; 3) The Work of the Holy Spirit; 4) The Inspired Scriptures; 5) Sin and Its Consequences; 6) The Grace of God; 7) Obedience; 8) Faith; 9) Repentance; 10) Baptism; 11) An Example of Conversion; 12) The Christian Virtues; 13) The Christian Hope; 14) Overcoming Evil; 15) Serving the Lord; 16) Helping Others; 17) Christian Fellowship; 18) Christian Worship; 19) Being Evangelistic; 20) The Gospel Worldwide; 21) Liberality; 22) The Lord’s Supper; 23) Prayer; 24) Increasing in Strength; 25) Overcoming Temptation; 26) The Fruitful Christian Life.

We would greatly enjoy having you with us as we study through these lesson. The class begins at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 3. Let us know you’re coming and we’ll have a free book reserved just for you.

Spending time in the study of God’s word is one of the most fundamental ways we spend time with God. The Psalmist said, “My eyes fail from seeking Your salvation, and Your righteous word. Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy and teach me Your statutes” (Psalm 119:123).

David said he was wearing his eyes out studying the word of God! The blessed man makes the word of God his delight and meditates in it “day and night” (Psalm 1:2). When we think about spending time with God in prayer, in worship, in service, etc., where do we learn how to do those things? It is in His word.

The reason we see so many people spending time, and a whole lot of resources, on entertaining themselves instead of spending time with God is because they haven’t learned how to spend time with God from His word. Where is the focus in a so-called worship service that looks more like a Saturday night concert than a Sunday morning worship service? It is on self, not God!

Why do people think they’re spending time with God when they go to a concert? Because they haven’t been spending time with God in His word!

We want to be nothing more or less than the New Testament church that worships God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). The only way to do that is by following God’s word. And, the only way to follow God’s word is to spend time with God in the study of His word.

By spending time with God in the study of His word — attending every Bible class and spending time every day at home in study — every other way we spend time with God will truly be “high quality” time spent.

We pray that you will bless us be spending time with God with us. We will, together, be a blessing to our community, our state, and our whole nation, by being people who spend more time with God.

Norm Fields is the minister for the Church of Christ Northside meeting at 1101 Hogansville Road in LaGrange. He may be reached at 706-812-9950 or BibleQnA@NormFields.com.