“What are you going to study in the Bible this summer?”
Several people have asked me this question in the past week. With summer right around the corner, the activities that occupy our days are rapidly coming to a close. It’s a delight to have longer days (well, in terms of day light anyway) and less structure to our week. At the same time, much of that “structure” is what kept me in the Word and in prayer.
BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) has a rule (or “guideline”) that says if you want to participate during the discussion time then you have to have completed your lesson. If you wanna talk, you gotta do the homework. The principle behind it is that the people who have worked on their lessons have presumably prayed, studied, and thought about the questions and should be the ones primarily involved in the discussion time.
Well, if you know me AT ALL, then you KNOW I always have my lesson done. The guideline/rule is a very effective one for me. It does have the side benefit (unintentional, I’m sure) of getting me in the Word every week. Despite the goals I set for myself (every year!!), I don’t usually do my lesson on a daily basis (ducking here as my wonderful BSF leader reads the blog) but throughout the week, whether it is over two or three or four days, it is completed. I am reading and studying the Bible. Hopefully even applying the principles to my life. Powerful stuff.
Then there is my Moms In Touch prayer group. Every week I meet with 4 or 5 other homeschooling moms to pray for children. We focus on an attribute of God and pray scriptures over our children. Very powerful stuff here.
Nothing like having a teenager in your life to bring you to your knees in prayer, if only for the funds to feed him.
Now along comes summer. Ah, sunshine, warm days, perhaps pool time and vacations. Although we continue a good bit of our schooling throughout the summer, the atmosphere is more relaxed. We tackle some inside projects. We meet friends at the park. The kids have camps they attend.
Where is the accountability of a weekly Bible study? I am a shallow person, I admit it. I am flaky and lazy and often content with “life as it is.” Maybe calling me happy-go-lucky, contented, and optimistic puts a better spin on my character. How about sinful and self-indulgent? That probably puts me in the same category as, oh, all humans.
“What are you going to study in the Bible this summer?”
This is a very real and pertinent question. My heart’s desire is to be passionate for the Lord, to long to know Him better, to be changed and transformed into His likeness. The people who ask me this question know that studying the Bible is the only way to accomplish these things. If I want to live life to its fullness in joy and truth and faith, if I want to understand who God is and what He desires for my life, if I want to know how to raise my children and love my husband, if I want to find salvation and freedom from my sins, then I MUST remain a diligent student of God’s Holy Word. This isn’t an option, a recommendation or a vague possibility; it is a necessity.
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. (I Timothy 3:16-17)
So, when my mother (an amazing Godly woman who blesses and encourages me every time I speak with her) says she and my Aunt Kate are going to do a study on grace this summer and asks if I want to join her; I immediately write and say, “Send me the book! I’m in.”
Aunt Kate and Mamie in Texas, August 2006
When a friend says the church is going to have a women’s summer Bible study starting in June, do I want to help her lead it; I say, “Yes! Let me know what I can do.”
Kirsten and Michelle at the Women’s Retreat this April.
When another dear friend says she wants to meet this summer and do some sort of informal Bible study with a few of the women in our neighborhood; I say, “Absolutely! Let’s go for it.”
I am not a super, spiritual mighty woman. I am more like a Bible study/prayer serf (aiming to be a prayer warrior one day). I do, however, know that I have to surround myself with people who encourage my faith. People who want to keep themselves in the Word during the busy summer months. I’m not trying to over commit myself or appear self-righteous and holy by agreeing to all of these different studies. Summer is busy. The church group will only meet every other week. The study time with my neighbor will constantly be interrupted by vacations and family schedules. My mom, aunt and I are separated by thousands of miles so we obviously won’t be meeting on a regular basis.
My hope is that all of these different groups and studies will come together in a way that brings me the accountability and motivation and encouragement I need to remain in the scriptures. The words in Romans 12 whisper in my ears often these days:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will isâ€”his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
If I am going to renew my mind and resist the world’s constant subtle (and not so subtle) pressure, then I have to be consistently filling my soul and heart and head with God’s truths. How am I going to recognize God’s will if I don’t know who He is? If I don’t ever read the Words He has spoken to me? If I don’t have a living, real relationship with Him?
For our anniversary (Wednesday), Tim gave me the cd, Glory Revealed. I first read about it on Boo Mama’s blog. She even included a youtube clip of one of the songs (click on her link and scroll down the page a bit to listen to the song). I fell in love with the title song and played it over and over. The artists and writers of the album wanted to produce a collection of songs directly from scripture. They succeeded in making a very powerful, moving cd. It is blessing my soul already.
Rachel memorizes songs almost the second time she hears them. She loves music and is constantly stealing my cds. I have to watch her all the time. We’re working on this obvious character fault.
I am passionate about making our home a place that honors and glorifies God. I fall and falter and fail ALL THE TIME but I try to be obedient and faithful as best I can. One thing Tim and I both desire is to fill our house (and therefore our ears and hearts) with music that worships the Lord. I’ve already written about the Seeds Worship cds that our family loves. Tim strongly encourages the children to find Christian music that they enjoy. He regularly buys us new music from Christian artists. There is almost constantly music playing in our house. This week I showed the older children how to create their own playlist on the kitchen computer (where we have most of our music loaded). What words and songs are they singing? Songs full of worship and wonder of the Lord. Truths about Him.
These rascals have been building forts again. No doubt they have been reading Proverbs 2 and are searching for wisdom and insight and other treasures.
I am excited because I just discovered another series of worship music written strictly from scripture, Word of God Speak. There are three cds in the series. My birthday is right around the corner (okay, it’s in July but I believe in really stretching birthdays out so we could start with the gifts now), maybe these new cds will head this way.
What are you going to study in the Bible this summer?
What are you going to do to keep yourself grounded in the Word and your spirit alert and ready to hear the Lord? Do you recognize His voice when He speaks? What words and images and sounds are filling your home and workplace? What songs do you find yourself unconsciously singing throughout the day? Is your conversation more animated about the latest season finales or the truths God is teaching you right now?
Kathy (humble, flawed servant seeking after her Master)
Project 365 – Day 144