By Jim Boesch
One of the spiritual disciplines we are challenged to practice in sustaining our discipling behaviors is the application of God’s Word into our daily lives.
All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
At first glimpse of my daughter stepping from the bus on her return from a 2007 Young Life summer camp, I saw a glow about her and knew she had begun a journey of profound change in her life. That night, as she conveyed her story of meeting Jesus, of her personal confession and surrender and subsequent acceptance of her role as a follower, was cause for one heck of a family celebration!
As she began her journey of being of the world but not in the world at the ripe old age of 17, I pondered how I was to support her challenge in remaining open to a newly forming faith built on trusting things yet unseen in a teenager’s world of “it’s real if I can touch and hold it.”
One day, in a daughter’s exploratory fashion of querying just how much dad really knows, she asked me, “Does God have a special plan for my life?” I replied, “You are wonderfully and uniquely created by a loving God who has important plans for your life.”
She seemed satisfied with that; at least for the moment.
Afterwards, I felt compelled to provide her with a reinforcement tool for her life journey.
I gave her an index card with the words of Jeremiah 29:11,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
I taped it on her bathroom mirror where it remained through the balance of her high school years; the card even ventured with her when she began her college experience away from our home.
Upon graduating college she accepted an 8-month mission internship to Quito, Ecuador in search of more definition to God’s plans for her earthly ministry while serving and studying among the locals and other missionaries.
Upon her return, we stole away to catch up on dad and daughter stuff. She quickly said while she still believed God had plans for her ministry and that she knew whose she was, she was still unclear as to who she should be and what plans God had for her. I told her to be patient; that all is revealed in God’s time––not ours.
That night while praying for holy guidance regarding parenting skills, I felt a sense of instruction that quickly took me to His word and the verses of Jeremiah 29:12-13. I immediately called my daughter, instructed her to get her Bible and together we read:
In those days when you pray, I will listen. When you seek me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
From this scriptural application it became clear that to know the details of God’s ministry plans for us, we must be disciplined in continually meeting Him in prayer and seeking to find His never-faltering presence in our lives each day.
I will admit that, years ago when I felt directed to share Jeremiah 29:11 with my new Christ-seeking daughter, I do not recall at the time even reading verses 12 and 13.
All things in God’s time, right?
So, what’s in it for you regarding applying scripture to your life?
Maybe it isn’t about you. Just maybe your application of God’s word is for the nurturing and discipling of someone else in their journey in which you have been blessed to share!
“If you remain in Me and My Words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.”
Jim Boesch, deployed staff member
General Commission on United Methodist Men
Jim facilitates equipping workshops for “Lead Like Jesus,” servant leadership training; “Understanding Men's Ministry,” discipling leadership training; and “Equipping Equippers” learning-facilitation training. You may host any of these workshops in your area by calling him (407-721-0416) or by e-mail.
This article is part of the April UMM e-letter. Other authors of that e-letter include: