Hey Sweet Things! I’m putting this post up an evening early so I don’t have to be up and working at 7:00 AM on a Saturday morning off. Smiling. Thank you for understanding! Don’t stress if the comments aren’t moderated right away. We take it a little slower on weekends so nobody’s working nonstop.
I wish I had a way to add some great celebratory music to this post. You are officially halfway! Doesn’t that feel fabulous? Oh, come on, now. Let yourself feel it. Great job, Sisters! It’s not easy. We know we can do the second half because we have already done the first. And we’ll do this next half exactly the same way: through the unction of the Holy Spirit. Just keep choosing Scriptures that are speaking to you in your exact season and need and they’ll come alive in the marrow of your bones.
I feel like I’ve been talking to you all day because I think of you while writing the lessons for the Bible study underway. We have hashed some things out in the Scriptures today, Sister. You just couldn’t hear them. I’ll just be glad when some of you are sitting on the other side of that page talking back. When I was at the taping for Children of the Day in May, we explained to the group that it would be a whole calendar year before the study comes out. The process takes a long time, especially because it involves both written work and video. We also have to dodge around a travel schedule that is set in calendar-stone a good bit in advance. But, in the twinkling of an eye, another month has already passed. The very last of the manuscript is due in December so you’ll not waste a prayer on me between now and then. I don’t get to write every week because I am on the road more often this time of year so each day I get to sit with my Bible open to 1st and 2nd Thessalonians is a gift. And a brain cracker at times.
You and I have plenty to do before next May, however! I so hope many of you are doing the Gideon Bible study this summer with us that our gifted sister, Priscilla Shirer wrote. It’s tremendously powerful. I saw one of you give her a shout-out today on Twitter with the hashtag #Siestaville at the end of it. It made me so happy. God has graced us with such anointed messengers at this hour in the Body of Christ, men and women alike. Hasn’t He? It has been my privilege to study under a number of them with you and to hear about many others from you. Our discipleship worlds are so much bigger when we’re willing to come together. Otherwise, we sit tight in all our own little corners and have no idea how many people God has gifted to serve the Body. We cheat ourselves when we separate ourselves.
OK, Sisters, are you ready to log in your 12th verses? I’m choosing mine from a sermon Curtis’s good friend, Jerrell Altic, brought in Curtis’s absence last Sunday at our church. His primary text was Mark 1 but he tied in a verse that really jumped out at me. I love the Book of Philemon and have taught out of it several times in the last two years but that’s the beauty of living words. A Scripture will suddenly pop off the page that had somehow been veiled from our recognition before. I’d been so taken with phrases like “yet for love’s sake” in verse 9 that I’d missed the treasure of V.6, and who couldn’t get distracted by a verse like the 15th? “For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever.” I bet some of you have a pretty slack-jawing testimony of that very concept under your own roof.
But when Jerrell referenced this verse, I knew it was my choice for our 12th round of SSMT. In fact, don’t tell but I jotted it immediately on the yellow notes app of my iPhone, took a screen shot and made it my screen saver right then. Sometimes a “now” word is like RIGHT NOW. Here it goes:
Beth, Houston. “I pray that the faith you share with us may deepen your understanding of every blessing that belongs to you in Christ.” Philemon 1:6 The NET Bible
I want God to deepen my understanding of every blessing that belongs to me in Christ while I’m here plowing into some stubborn earthly soil with sweat sopping my forehead. Don’t you? I’m so thankful to be blessed but wouldn’t fleshing it out be a whole different prospect if we came to understand the depth and breadth of many of those blessings? To stand on them, act on them, pray from them, teach from them, love from them, and serve through them? Now we’re talking.
Colossians 2:2-3 gives a glimpse into the grandeur involved as the Apostle Paul prays “that their (and our) hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Look at that again: “the riches of full assurance of understanding.” We can’t soon wrap our minds around all that encompasses but we can instantly and actively start praying for God to deepen our understanding of the blessings that belongs to us in the One who embodies every divine and hidden treasure.
I’m making these prayers mine and I am looking for God to answer them. He wouldn’t dictate a prayer right there on the pages of the New Testament that He had no intention of responding to.
I love working through some verses and concepts with you, Sisters. You are so dear to me. Thank you for spending a little time around here and committing to something challenging in the midst of many priorities. I pray that every part of your life is invaded by the Word of God coursing through your brain. May God bring your harvest forth 100-fold.
It’s your turn, Sisters! Give me a hint about what Christ is doing in you right now through the selections of your verses. You are so loved.
Tags: Scripture Memory 2013