We are drawing to a close of our study of Romans in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). I could study Romans over and over again without fully exhausting all of its depth and riches. My work on the current lesson, however, came to an abrupt halt with this question:
What has the Bible taught you in the past week?
This is not a difficult question. I have been in BSF for years and years. I grew up in the church. I’ve been a Christian since I was a kindergartner. This is not a theological or doctrine oriented question. Why, then, did I sit there for minutes, starring at the blank spot on the page and finally move on, leaving just a question mark?
I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
What did you learn THIS WEEK? Not lately or this year or once, in college, when you went on an awesome retreat.
My week was full of many challenging, thought provoking activities. Our Small Group continues its study of marriage with the Love and Respect series. This week we looked at practical ways to apply what we’ve been learning. On Sunday the pastor preached an excellent sermon on forgiveness and healing. On Monday I gave the devotional and led the prayer time for my Moms In Touch group. The kids and I have been faithful to do our Proverbs study (even adding in a daily Psalm this week). I’ve read the Bible on my own several days this week.
Why did I find myself leaving this BSF question blank?
It hurts (in a convicting, challenging, heart penetrating sort of way) to think that my time in the Word this week hasn’t taught me anything. That the church activities and prayer groups have come and gone and I walked away without any new Biblical truth or insight.
* If I read my Bible and check off that box but learn nothing new about God’s character or His plan and will for my life, what good was that little check mark?
* If I do my BSF lesson but complete it in a quick and shallow way, how is God going to transform my life, renew my mind and make me more like Him?
* If I study Proverbs with my children but don’t pray for the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom and new understanding of these passages that are becoming more familiar, how does this profit me (or the children)?
* If I skip along through life, walking just behind the Lord, and never reach out and hold His hand, how will I know which way to go? How will I stay standing when the cracks in the path threaten to trip me? How will I navigate the darkness? How will I climb out of the pit (despair, loneliness, worry, worldliness, sin)?
I’m afraid I am a lazy person. I don’t want to work hard. I don’t want to struggle or wrestle through difficulties. I like checking off boxes and moving on to the next thing. This approach, however, is going to leave me with lots of blanks in my BSF lesson. And, more importantly, is going to rob me of the incredible riches of a full life in Jesus Christ.
We read Proverbs 2 today in school. One piece in particular struck me:
…and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
A treasure is valuable and worth finding. Searching for it costs time and energy and effort and WORK. Finding it can change your life!!
What has the Bible taught you this past week?