At the beginning of my walk with Jesus, some forty years ago, I started out completely nonchurched. Although I was in college, I’d never understood that there were two testaments, twelve disciples, a Trinity, or what it all meant.
All I knew was that my heart had been broken so many times I didn’t know if I’d ever feel again. Hopelessness means that you’ve had it and lost it, but in my case hope had never arrived. My life was just one gray day after another, and I only 19. That’s early in life for despair, but despair knows no age, has no pity, respects no heart.
In college, a friend gave me a little booklet called “Seven Minutes with God.” The booklet explained about personal devotions, how to have them, and how to grow in faith.
Well, when it said to start with just seven minutes a day, I thought it meant that God could only stand me for seven minutes, but after I became a better man, He’d spend more time with me.
It shocked me when my friend explained that the seven-minute limit was for my benefit. Prayer and Bible study are skills, habits, and a new way of seeing the World. So, the author was saying, “Don’t burn yourself out. Just start with seven minutes and lengthen your devotional time in small increments over time.
When I realized that I didn’t need to “clean myself up,” or become someone else, in order to spend time with God, I jumped in with both feet. At the time, I was discipled by my pastor and was in five Bible studies. My college grades suffered a little, but it was worth it.
It turns out that God offers you Salvation from your sins just because He wants to show you the depth of His kindness and love, for eternity. How cool is that? And to think it all started with seven minutes.
“…so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Eph 2:7