I knew it had been a while, but man, those months went by quick.
Anyway, being in a new year and all, I was simultaneously cleaning up some files, making lists, envisioning the upcoming year, and I stumbled upon a blog post I never finished that sort of coincided with my planning for the new year.
"My wife and I are reading A.W. Tozer's Pursuit of God and it's got me thinking about how we approach Bible study. He really tries to get the reader to think beyond simply having a correct understanding of God and move to a place of deeper driving desire to be closer in relationship with Him. This prompts me to adjust how I tend to teach in Bible study. 4 questions to 5..."
Poorly written, I know (that's why it stayed in the draft folder so long) but it still resonates with me. See, I am encouraging the church I pastor and my family and friends to read the New Testament by Easter. Not really a tremendous feat of academia by any stretch of the imagination, but you would be surprised how many evangelical, Bible toting Christians out there have never read the New Testament to completion (let alone the whole Bible). Along with directing them towards this goal, I am sure to mention to let The Holy Spirit enlighten the reading, and I also usually give 4 questions to help facilitate the study of The Word to help those who merely read it and move on with their day.
1) What did I learn about God from the passage, 2) What did I learn about man or myself, 3) Is there a sin to avoid, and 4) Is there a commandment to follow. These questions help guide the reading into a thoughtful inquiring time that is sure to help enrich time spent with The Lord; though in retrospect they are quite antiseptic, clinical, admittedly... a little dry. I still stand by them though and encourage you to ask these same questions during your time in God's Word. But I think, thanks to Tozer, I will start adding a 5th question.
5) How does God expect your relationship with Him to flourish because of these verses?
This, I think, should be a natural expectation even before we open the pages and set our eyes on the first words. That we are excited at the possibility of an ever deepening trust, understanding, love, reverence, etc. due to the time we are spending with Him. I know that this last bit is worded awkwardly, but how can you put your finger on what an all powerful God can do? It will be a different kind of excitement for different people at different times. The point is, that a byproduct of our time spent with God should be a desire for deeper commitment toward Him in whatever way The Spirit directs us.
May 2014 bring you exponentially closer to Him who created and redeemed you. Read your Bible. Try getting the whole story of Christ in before Easter. His Birth, His Early Church, and His Return.
Luke 10:41-42 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Serving through love and laughter is a great way to live.