Seize the Moment represents an intentional mindset for followers of Jesus Christ to strengthen their spiritual vitality and live on mission. Living in this mindset involves viewing every circumstance as a providential opportunity to grow closer to Jesus, as His yokefellow, and being aware of the Holy Spirit’s promptings for faithful living. The method is simple—make time every day for the reading of a chapter of God’s Word, followed by a focused meditation on an aspect of that chapter, concluding with an invitation to prayerfully apply God’s Word in your day, for His glory.
Seize the Moment is the product of real pastoral ministry! While I wrote every devotion in this book to comfort the congregation as we walked through this challenging time, I first received blessings from God through the daily process of writing them. I disciplined myself during the quarantine to rise early, read God’s Word, pray through it, and then pray to God asking Him what would edify and encourage His people at such a time as this. My pastoral goals were the following:
1) Connect with the people every day and give them an open invitation to contact me personally for prayer or practical assistance during the pandemic.
2) Give the people a simple and short, but accurate and applicable, devotion from God’s Word every day of the pandemic.
3) Encourage the people to stay in God’s Word, to hear from God, and to live for God every day of the pandemic.
4) Equip the people to be hope-bearers and not doomsdayers in a dark time when the Church of Jesus Christ needed to shine brightly.
All these goals were met, but an unintended goal was achieved as well; my pastoral ministry was stabilized in a time of great upheaval, and my personal spiritual vitality was strengthened throughout a difficult time.
Seize the Moment can be used in different ways. The reader can work through it quickly, or can choose to read one devotion per day over a year. While it is designed to be used as a daily devotional with your Bible, it also can be used by pastors, teachers, and leaders for a similar initiative in their churches, it can generate sermon-starter ideas for preaching through a book of the New Testament, or it can be fuel for group discussions based on the Bible. It is my conviction, through personal and pastoral experience, and from my doctoral research on how to strengthen the spiritual vitality of pastors, that the more regular and consistent you are with your daily devotions, the stronger your spiritual vitality will grow, regardless of the circumstances of your life or in your congregation.
God desires intimacy with each of us, so please approach this book as if you are hearing Jesus’ personal invitation to take on His easy yoke and experience His light burden, not as a legalistic checklist of religious obligation. May you, the reader of this book, be daily blessed as you learn to find rest for your soul in the easy yoke of Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:28-30). This is my prayer for you, as it is my daily prayer for myself and for the congregation for whom I originally provided this devotional content.