Lord, thank You for the spiritual influences in my life. Christian parents and grandparents are such a blessing! My life is powerfully blessed because I grew up in a praying home that studied the Bible. The church is the source of many special blessings. How thankful I am that it stresses Your authority and Your word. How thankful I am that it emphasizes the importance of obedience and morality.

I am deeply grateful for my spiritual heritage. My life is constantly touched by the hearts and minds of past generations who were devoted to being only Christians. Though I shall never know their sacrifices, their searching faith will always bless me.

I have grown through my study and prayer. I know that You are at work in my heart and mind. I see things that I have never seen. My understanding of Your principles and truths has reached new depths. The more I grow, the more I understand. The more I understand, the more I want to grow.

As I yearn to plunge deeper into the mind and heart of Christ, I meet an unexpected obstacle. I am shocked by areas of my faith. In some of my spiritual places, I discover my faith trusts a religious 'system' instead of Your Son. In those places, as my faith in Your Son grows, my 'system' feels threatened.

So, spiritually, I find 'me' in conflict with 'me.' My 'system' declares that I am in conflict with 'them,' and, in the past, I believed that. But my growing faith has reached a new level of honesty. Jesus shows me that my growing faith and my 'system' are struggling.

I cherish my heritage. I cherish the faith of my family. I cherish the church. I cherish my understanding of the Bible's importance. I cherish my commitment to obedience.

I also cherish Jesus, my spiritual role model. I hunger for Your priorities. I hunger for a fuller understanding of Your will. I hunger to love and help people as You do. I hunger to have the heart and mind of Jesus so that helping people becomes helping the person. I hunger to be a Christian who does good in our world because I am a child of the God who does good in our world.

Lord, in spite of my conflict with me, help me grow. May those of the next generation be blessed by my growing faith just as I am blessed by the growing faith of generations past.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 1 February 1998

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