Tag Archives: Bible study

The Approach

Imagine if you will a courtroom where the judge decides before even laying eyes on the defendant or plaintiff that the defendant is guilty. He then has to make sure all the evidence presented in the case supports that and he doesn’t allow any evidence proving innocence to be shown. Is this justice? Is this the right approach?

Unfortunately, many who study the Bible do so in a manner like the judge in my parable. We already have ideas about what the “truth” should be and instead of looking up each and every reference to that particular subject – we only select the verses that prove our point or can be misrepresented somehow to do so.

What is your approach? I will admit, I’ve been on both sides of the coin at times, but I have greater peace and satisfaction in “truths” I discover when all of the evidence is seen and carefully examined. Pray as you study God’s Word. Pray for wisdom and the right approach.

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The Perfect Card

Picking out cards can be monotonous at times, until you find it: the perfect card! I have a brother-in-law that appreciates an intellectually twisted sense of humor and Karl and I both enjoy finding just the right card for him. We laugh as we read the card and as we imagine what his reaction will be.

At my last birthday, I got a couple of cards that were perfect! I knew the family members that picked the cards out must have known, without a doubt, these are for Sharon! Whether it makes you laugh, cry, stand in amazement or even a mixture of the three, it is wonderful to enjoy the perfect card and the love and relationship behind it.

In my Bible study time this morning, I ran across this description of what it means to be close to God, by regularly getting into His Word: “Imagine knowing God so well that you could buy Him a greeting card you knew He would just love.” I thank Lisa D. Hermann for writing this. How much time is spent in God’s Word? Do I know Him enough that I could pick out the perfect card for Him?

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Filed under Spiritual Disciplines, Spirituality

Drift Vs. Discipline

Just to set the record straight – discipline is training, not punishment. A well disciplined soldier is a well trained soldier. A well disciplined child is a well trained child. So when I think about Drift vs. Discipline, I’m thinking about when we get out of training and just kind of drift along. It is failing to follow through on what we know will help us achieve our goals and just sort of hope it happens naturally. Are we messed up in our thinking or what?

There are four spiritual disciplines that share a unique relationship: fellowship, study, prayer and solitude. Fellowship and solitude each enhance study and prayer, but they are opposite of each other. These are also four of the first targets of drift. We tend to drift out of fellowship with like believers, drift out of that quiet time each day with God. We know we should study and pray, but we choose to drift along because the schedule is tight today. Eventually, due to the lack of discipline or training, we become out of shape. We become spiritually out of shape.

There is a saying that faith walks out when fatigue walks in. Drift can happen quickly during times of ill health, stressful situations, financial crisis and so forth. Things that wear you down and wear you out – fatigue – can wear down your faith; unless of course you are well disciplined. Even if the crisis causes you to miss a few days of Bible study and prayer, your training will eventually draw you back to what has given you strength.

So what’s the answer for drift? Discipline! Be well trained during the times when things are going well. Get your mind and body used to times of fellowship. study, prayer and solitude when there is no temptation to follow the lure of the drift. When things go wrong – and they will – you will return to what you know and the strength you receive from that training.

It is football season and I love watching those long passes. The quarterback sees his best shot and throws. The receiver is still running, not even looking at the QB and just at the right time, he turns around to make eye contact and catch the ball. Think that happens by accident? It’s called training. It’s called discipline. That play has been rehearsed so many times that it comes naturally to the receiver to turn around and catch the ball at the right time. The ball doesn’t accidentally drift into his hands. He’s been trained to catch it.

The spiritual disciplines are there for your training and development, because a continuing relationship with the God of the universe doesn’t happen by accident. Don’t get me wrong. Let me say it loud and proud right here – Jesus did it all and there is nothing we can do. It is all Jesus, reaching out to us and starting that relationship with us. It is all Him. But once that relationship is started, He wants you to grow and develop and follow Him. That happens with discipline, with training as you choose to stay in that relationship that Jesus has initiated.

Ready for training?

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