One of my goals this summer was to get back into the routine of a daily "quiet time." This is an area of my life that I have always struggled, I get into a good routine, something happens, a new baby for example, and I get off track for much longer than it takes to adjust to the new baby. I finally get back into a good routine and the whole process repeats itself all over again. I have never crossed over into it being a habit, you know something you do without thinking, every, single, day, like brushing your teeth.
This summer our church is going through the Essentials Bible study* that some of our pastors have put together and I am really enjoying it. The Bible study has been offered many times during my years at our church but I have always passed, thinking that it would be boring and really only useful for a new believer, I was wrong.
The Essentials study deals with the core beliefs of Christianity, such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, how to be saved, assurance of salvation, the Holy Spirit, and so on. Although I'm at a place in my walk where most of the information we are covering is not new to me, let's face it as humans we grasp very little of the God we serve. It is always good to go over the basics again, to learn them more, for our own knowledge, in order to better share with non-believers, and to remind us of the reasons to praise Him.
Our home group has decided this summer to read Mere Christianity as a supplement to the Essentials being preached on Sunday morning. C.S Lewis' radio talks from the 1940's are collected together to form this book, where he is arguing the truth of Christianity. This truth transformed him from an atheist to one of the most respected Christian authors of our time. I have enjoyed his book more than I ever would have imagined. He is surprisingly non-divisive, not to mention brilliant and funny at the same time.
My hope this summer is that I take the time to put my own ideas aside, to learn who God really is, who He reveals himself to be in His word. Not who I think He is, not who various denominations have told us He is, but God as He actually is. The more I study His word, the more I realize that what He wants from His followers is so much different than what most of us are willing to give. I am challenged by His word, I am learning that he would rather have me feeding the hungry than attending another Bible study, loving the lonely rather than planning another family activity, and fighting for the oppressed rather than arguing with my brothers and sisters in Christ.
"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
*If you're interested in doing this study it is available, along with any other bible study our church offers, online to be downloaded for free here.