Bible Study

It’s about time Friday got here! Today is Friday, February 15, 2013.

Today is National Gum Drop Day. If all the rain drops were lemon drops and gum drops, oh what a rain that would be. Yes, and it would hurt! Can you imagine lemon drops falling from the sky? I mean, sure, they would be tasty (and frozen, because it’s really cold up there), but they would be like little hail stones, breaking car windows and stuff. Not to mention your teeth, if you were silly enough to stand there looking up with your mouth open. Sometimes, people who write kids’ songs (and Skittles commercials) just don’t think these things through. Now it would be totally different if we just walked out of the house every morning to find a yard full of lemon drops and gum drops. Like those Hebrew children and their manna. That would be way cool. Of course the candy would have dirt on it. And maybe bugs.

Okay…enough about candy! Moving on…

Stephanie had her training session last night, and I worked out on the elliptical again. Tonight, though, Christi and I plan to go to Hoffbrau steak house because they are having their semi-yearly Prime Rib special, and my love loves prime rib! I will do my best to make a healthy choice so as to not undo the progress I’ve made this week.

Christi should get her yearly bonus today. That will be nice. I don’t get those. 🙂 Oh, and we are both off on Monday! Yay!! I’m taking a vacation day because, for some strange reason, Christi’s company gives her President’s Day as a holiday. That will be nice.

(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)
On this date in 1898, the battleship Maine exploded and sank in the waters of the Havana harbor, off the coast of Cuba. She had been sent there to reassure Americans who lived in Spanish-owned Cuba. As Captain Charles Sigsbee recalled, “I was enclosing my letter in its envelope when the explosion came. It was a bursting, rending, and crashing roar of immense volume, largely metallic in character. It was followed by heavy, ominous metallic sounds. There was a trembling and lurching motion of the vessel, a list to port. The electric lights went out. Then there was intense blackness and smoke.” 260 of the 350 men on the ship died as the ship sunk. Even though no one knew what had happened, William Randolph Heart began a media campaign, blaming the Spanish, and by April, the Spanish-American war had begun, which the Americans won quite easily. “In the pride of victory, the public began to forget about the Maine. Also forgotten was the fact that for many years no one really knew why she had blown up or who was responsible. But in 1976 a study by the US Navy indicated that the most likely cause was an accidental detonation in the ship’s coalbunker, entirely the fault of the Maine herself and her crew.”

Hmmm…and we think it’s a new thing that the media creates situations out of nothing…in this case the media, spurred on by Hearst, created a war!

Today’s birthday is Matthew Ward, born on this date in 1958. (Hey, we’re only a month apart!) Matthew was the brother in the sibling “Jesus Music” pioneering group, Second Chapter of Acts.

For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Psalm 25:11
Help me, O LORD my God! Save me according to your steadfast love! Psalm 109:26
Father, I pray for a glimpse of you and your glory this morning, as I lift up my soul to you.

Today I’m reading Isaiah 28:9-10.
“To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast?
10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.”

This appears to be a sarcastic quote from the hardened leaders spoken of in the previous two verses. They are speaking about Isaiah, the prophet.

Today, in A Year With God, we begin a section on the discipline of Study. Study is defined as “The intentional process of engaging the mind with the written and spoken Word of God and the world God has created in such a way that the mind takes on an order conforming to the order upon which it concentrates.” From the time that the Lord laid down the law, study has been an important part of the “with-God life.” The best way to learn more and grow closer to God is to study his written Word. “What we study, what we concentrate on, becomes ingrained in us. Study transforms us from the inside out.” Psalm 111:2 says, Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them.

Today’s reading is called “Learning from Scripture.” The scripture reading is 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

While most of us realize the importance of the Bible in our spiritual walk, most of us also realize that we don’t study it enough. I’m right in there with that group. According to Richard Foster, “what Christians today most lack is the study of long passages of Scripture.” I’m challenged by this book to select a long passage of scripture and read it each day over the next ten days, asking the Spirit to illuminate it for me, to show me its meaning. There are different tactics that can be used in this process. I might begin by repetition, reading the passage over several times, perhaps even aloud. Next is concentration, seeking, perhaps, to memorize parts of the passage (or all of it). After this, I might want to consider the interpretation of the passage, perhaps even reading what a commentary has to say about it. The final step would be reflection, thinking on what the passage has taught me.

I’ll think about what passage I want to use during the day today. Then I will embark on this challenge to see how it goes. Right now, I’m thinking about the book of 1 John. But we’ll see.

Father, it is my desire to learn more from you and to grow closer to you. It is also my desire to increase in love, both for you and for all people. It sounds very easy to talk about loving “all people,” but when we realize that “all people” also includes the ones right around us that annoy us the most, that becomes not such an easy task. I pray that, through the study of Scripture, and meditating on what it teaches me, that my love will increase. I have been praying each day that the characteristics of love, as defined in 1 Corinthians 13, would be stronger in my life, and made manifest each day. I still find that this is incredibly difficult sometimes, as the flesh doesn’t want to love that which annoys it. Take my life and mold it to what you want it to be, Lord. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth.

I pray for this day. I ask that Christi and I would have a good work day today, and that you would protect us by the power of your Spirit. If any challenges come our way, may we immediately look to you for guidance and strength, not resorting to fleshly devices. I also pray for Stephanie today, that you might draw her closer to you.

Your grace us sufficient.

Bible study is an important discipline in the “with-God life.” I will endeavor to meet the challenge to find a way to include more of it in my life.

Grace and peace, friends.