Thanks for taking the time to participate in the survey I sent last week. For the record, over 1,000 people subscribe to this blog. 304 people completed the survey. 131 of you suggested 163 titles for the devotional. Eighty-nine submitted thoughts in the "Suggestion Box" at the end of the survey. Thank you very much! I have read every response. You suggested some great names and provided very helpful ideas. There is a lot to glean. Here are three lessons I've learned from reading your responses:
- Your friends listen to you. While 82% of the respondents found out about this devotional blog from Spanish River Church, where I serve as the Senior Pastor, 16% are now reading it because a friend told them about it. That's huge! I am reminded of John 1:40-41: One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). Good news travels over webs of relationships. When you genuinely care for people, they are willing to hear what you say. So pass along a post, or invite a friend to church, or better, just share your story of God's work in your life. Your friends will listen -- and respond.
- It takes discipline to grow. I was pleased to see that 82% of those who responded said they read the devotional 4-5 times a week. That's great! Guess what hinders folks on the days they don't read it? Generally it is busyness -- the hustle and bustle of life. Someone once told me the secret to saying "No" (to lesser things) is to live with a bigger "Yes!" Keep saying "Yes" to your time in God's Word. Keep saying "Yes" to your time with God's people. Keep saying "Yes" to talking with the Lord. It is a choice. God says: Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7-8)
- God is working even when we don't see Him working. The psalmist said, You are the God who works wonders. (Psalm 77:14) While I was reading the comments, I discovered that I wrote a post that was forwarded to a friend, which was seen by his spouse, who sent it to a family member in another state, who used it to encourage someone else. WOW, isn't that just like God! None of us will ever know how God uses us to bless others. But He does use us. That means he uses YOU. Please don't forget that! We serve a wonder-working God. Make yourself available. Watch God work!
It is my joy and privilege to share God's Word and God's work through writing. Thanks for joining me along the way. And about the title for the devotional . . . I'll unveil the new name very soon. Stay tuned!