Monthly Archives: February 2015

Practicing Self-Denial: Examining Lent and Leviticus 16

 

In my journey through the Old Testament book of Leviticus, I find it no coincidence that I read chapter 16 the day after Ash Wednesday when the season of Lent begins. Leviticus 16 shares the expectations for the day of atonement, including several sacrifices and a time to recognize the gravity of reconciliation.

What does this tell me about God:

  • God calls his people to periods of self-denial.

I have always been curious about the observation of lent, though I was not raised in a home that practiced it. I know people who practice fasting and self-denial in a worshipful way, as a journey of recognizing Jesus sacrifice on the cross. I have also known people who observe lent as a “self-help” regiment. A time to better oneself, avoid vices like chocolate, Facebook, or french fries. I can see how lent can be a dangerous observation for a Christian, promoting legalism and works-based gospel when observed incorrectly. However, from my readings in Leviticus 16, I find that God values the act of self-denial, in fact, He commands it:

Atonement will be made for you on this day to cleanse you, and you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must practice self-denial; it is a permanent statute. (vs. 30-31)

  • God requires the death of a sacrifice, not self-denial, to atone for sin.

Please don’t miss this. Read Leviticus 16 again. Twenty-eight verses are dedicated to the importance of the sacrifice: Aaron must sacrifice a bull to atone for his sin before he can mediate for the sins of the people (v. 6). He must then kill a male goat to pay for the sins of the people. The blood of that goat also purifies the most holy place from the sin of the people. It is the blood that makes the people and the tabernacle once again, set-apart.

The same is true in our relationship with God. It is Christ’s blood that sets us free from our sin nature, that pays the penalty we deserve for our rebellion. The only part we play in salvation is making the decision to trust in Christ’s death, and even God is the one who guides us to make that decision!

Long story short: we “are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

How can I live in light of this:

  • I can practice self-denial to honor Jesus’ sacrifice.

Leviticus prescribed self-denial as a chance for the people to abstain from work, pleasure, and food for one day in order to commemorate the great restorative work that was taking place on their behalf.

We can observe lent in the same way.

It is not a diet.

It is not a period to achieve higher enlightenment through self-discipline.

It is not a means to be more righteous or closer to God (those things are achieved through Christ’s death, not our efforts).

It is not an opportunity to lose weight or have a better family life or make a difference in the world.

It is not about us! In fact, it’s not even about others. Pope Francis recently called Christians to observe a fasting from indifference, which I agree is needed. However, observing lent with the goal of putting others first still misses the big idea. Leviticus shows us that self-denial is about God!

God’s call here is about focus. Remove distractions. Pursue greater consciousness of the cleansing that is happening. Make room in your mind, your schedule, your habits for awareness of Jesus.

How does His sacrifice affect my life?

How can I praise Him, thank Him, elevate Him with greater consistency?

What can I remove from my life for a few weeks that will be a constant reminder to meditate on His sacrifice?

I am such an amateur when it comes to fasting. I am terribly addicted to food, more so for its taste than it’s nourishment and sustainability for my body. The Israelites were called to fast for one day. Eventually, I would like to train my body to truly fast from all foods for a specific length of time.

Right now though, I am a nursing mother, and that would not be wise, nor is it specifically God’s call on my life. But I do sense God calling me to practice this idea of self-denial in this season leading up to Easter. I have decided to give up 3 things that I turn to daily in my life for release, escape, comfort, and rejuvenation: chocolate, Facebook, and Pinterest.

I have deleted the apps from my phone, and will only log on to Facebook for ministry upkeep reasons on my desktop. I have bagged up all the chocolate in the house (sorry Shane), and shoved it into the garage freezer with a reminder for me to follow Jesus, to crave Him more than I do the sweet notes of left-over Valentine’s candy.

Other thoughts or questions:

  • I am floored that we have access to the mercy seat and the Holy of Holies at all times now because of Jesus sacrifice. (For more on this, read Matthew 27:51, and Hebrews chapters 7-10).

How are you planning to practice self-denial to be more aware of how Jesus’ sacrifice affects your everyday life?

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0

Leviticus 13-15: Set-apart in the little things

Today, my study of Leviticus encompasses several chapters. I found the regulations and laws concerning purity quite interesting, so I just kept reading. These chapters address skin infections, house mildew, and fabric contamination, and even women’s menstrual cycles. God ordered specific instructions to keep his people set-apart in every aspect of life.

What does this tell me about God:

  • Again, God calls his people to be holy, as He is holy.

As we saw in Chapter 11, God has a standard for His people to meet. His expectations do not need explanation. Still, we can speculate that many of the laws were not just a means to set the Israelites apart from other nations, but also for the protection of the people as a whole. God cares about the health of His people and their ability to thrive as a nation.

  • God’s expectations for holiness are too high for mankind to meet.

Even uncontrollable things, like bodily discharges, can make a person unclean. This uncleanliness is such an accurate representation of the state of humanity as a whole: helpless on our own and in need of saving. Thankfully, God provided atonement through sacrifice when people failed to live up to the laws. And for humanity today, we can thank God for His provision in Jesus for our atonement in order to have right relationship with God.

How can I live in light of this:

  • I can adopt greater thankfulness in my perspective of Jesus.

If I had been required to live up to the standards in Leviticus, I would be an outcast. Like many women, I struggle with my health, with dry skin issues (though probably not as severe as the ones mentioned in this text), and of course, that glorious time of the month. If each of these circumstances make me unclean, and therefore unfit to have community with God, I would have a very choppy relationship with Him. Thankfully, in Christ, I have full access to worship God, fellowship with Him, and repent daily of my sins, regardless of my human state. Jesus made my humanity just a tag-along aspect of who I am, not a defining characteristic.

Other thoughts or questions:

  • None today (how about you?).

What did you get out of reading Leviticus 13-15?

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0

You’ll Never Believe How Leviticus 12 Gives Hope and Help for New Moms

Hello, new mama. Welcome to this glorious new role and privilege. I’m not sure I will ever find the depths of beauty and demand to this thing called motherhood. Thankfully, God gives us an impactful hidden treasure in the middle of Leviticus to help us in this transition into motherhood.

I have been journeying through Leviticus for a few weeks now. Today’s reading was long and tedious, I will admit. But with some extrabiblical help, along with prayer and an open heart, I have found great encouragement and strength for my job as a mom.

For this study through Leviticus, I am journaling through 3 prompts (in green) for each chapter. Here’s what God gave me today as I read Leviticus 12:

What thoughts or questions do I have about this chapter:

  • Why did God prescribe different lengths of time for purification?

Does God value males more than females? The different lengths of time for purification might suggest that He does. However, the fact that the same type of sacrifice is required for either a boy or a girl suggests that He doesn’t. We see all over Scripture that God values gender differences and encourages appropriate attention to each specific role, but He does not value one gender over the other.

One explanation is a woman would need to be available to care for her son’s circumcision, and so the time for her purification after the birth of a male was shorter.

  • Why was the woman required to offer sacrifices after giving birth?

The text tells us a woman must offer a burnt offering and a sin offering. We remember that a burnt offering symbolizes the woman giving her whole self to the worship and service of God (more on this below). The sin offering, we remember, was to atone, or pay for, any unknown sins. However, Leviticus 12:7 specifically says the sin offering was to become “clean from her flow of blood.”

Does this mean God disapproves of fertility and childbirth? The laws for purification in Leviticus 12 seem to imply He might.

My study Bible comments on this passage with this:

“Note the use of ‘clean’ rather than ‘forgiven,’ affirming that the issue prompting the sacrifice was not sinfulness.”

“Since life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11), any loss of blood called for purification in honoring the sanctity of life.” (“Biblical Womanhood: Why is There a Difference in Purity Laws”, The Study Bible For Women, pg. 133)

We must remember the over-arching theme of Leviticus, to “be Holy as I am Holy.” God requires his people to be different, separate, and other-than the world around them. The calling for women’s rituals after childbirth is another example of a way the Israelites had an opportunity to be holy.

What does this tell me about God:

  • God calls his people to a relationship with Him at every stage of life.

I love that God gives the woman a chance to offer her whole self in worship yet again. Through the two sacrifices, her sins were paid for and her whole self is symbolically given yet again to God in worship.

What a relief that God calls His people back to focus on Him, holistically bringing all aspects of our identities into the singular purpose of worshipping Him. I am a wife, teacher, daughter, and brand new mom, but first and foremost I am a child of the King of kings.

How can I live in light of this:

  • I can worship my way through identity shifts and seasons of struggle.

During my pregnancy, and in the months to follow of caring for newborns, I struggled to stay focused on God. I have no problem acknowledging my hormonal instability during these seasons and how it affects my propensity to sin.

It’s my default mode. My thoughts, words, and actions gravitate to self-focus (even in the selfless act of caring for babies), instead of worship and God-focus. When my flesh is in turmoil, it is so easy to revert from being “holy as God is holy,” into the default mode of being rude, cynical, demanding, doubtful, and idolatrous (putting other things as more important than God).

I am so grateful that God provided for women in Leviticus 12, to commemorate the momentous occasion of becoming a mother. I can live accordingly with my new identity as a mother by daily re-entering into a right relationship with God, and worshipping Him fully in my new roles and responsibilities.

How have you maintained closeness in your relationship with God through identity shifts?

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0

Attention Strike: How I am so DONE hearing about Yoga Pants and 50 Shades of Everything

God bless the internet. Social media has given everyone in our society is in a unique place to have an opinion about everything. Our opinions can be heard in a broader circle than in our personal interactions. There simply isn’t room for that many soapboxes and bandwagons in day to day conversation.

I realize some topics are imperative for us to address. And I am immensely proud of my Christian brothers and sisters in Christ for speaking truth to their sphere of influence. I would like to applaud many of the articles, blog posts, and comments that combat unhealthy or ungodly choices. I wrote one such article just a few days ago.

However, I am personally exhausted by it all. Can we not dignify each negative trend with a million responses?

I get it. The word on yoga pants being a temptation was educating. My husband and I had been having a similar discussion only a few weeks earlier resulting in a shopping trip for me to find new work out clothes (and I found some fantastically adorable and comfy running pants that also honor my body, God, and my husband).

Articles exposing the dark side to 50 Shades of Grey have been insightful. But if I’m honest, I knew all along I didn’t need to read those articles. I have known for some time that erotica and movies based off of erotica are incredibly dangerous to my spiritual health.

These blog posts all over my Facebook feed are like flashy magazine columns highlighting “what’s trending in SIN this season.” Some people really need to be educated on these topics. However, for a lot of us, it is somewhat backwards. The more articles we read about why we should avoid sin, the more we are thinking about not thinking about sin. And that, my friend, is flirting dangerously close to actually thinking about sin. It’s the purple elephant in the room (if someone tells you not to think about a purple elephant, you inevitably will).

I realize the short answer to this annoyance is simply GET OFF FACEBOOK. And I do. I limit my time on social media, and I choose to spend time in God’s Word instead. I even utilize that handy “unfollow” button when a friend posts stuff I don’t care about seeing.

However, I do live in this century, and I do enjoy keeping up with people through Facebook. So I have a proposition for my readers, my social network associates, and my respected friends:

Instead of sharing one more article or opinion on these subjects, could you just straight-up ask me how I am doing?

 

Or better yet, send me a personal message on how God is impacting your life right now.

 

Or a comment on what you are reading about in His Holy Word.

 

I am truly praying that God would “bless” the internet with His presence. That when I log on, I see the evidence of His love, justice, holiness, and creativity everywhere.

Let’s allow today’s big topic become tomorrow’s old news. Let’s give Jesus the attention he deserves.

God Bless the Internet

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0

50 Reasons to Avoid “Grey” this Valentines Day

I am taking a break from my normal blogging routine to address a popular phenomenon in our culture. The following paragraphs chronicle my thoughts and research on healthy sexuality, and how 50 Shades of Grey can threaten it. Please read with caution accordingly…

 

Continue reading 50 Reasons to Avoid “Grey” this Valentines Day

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0

Leviticus 11: Set-Apart Foodies

Chapter 11 presents a shift in the subject matter from priestly instruction to general instructions for the people. And it starts with food. I have to admit, I was experiencing some massive salivation while reading this. In Leviticus 11, God forbids certain animals to be used for food. I had a favorite food in each category: bacon, shrimp, ostrich burgers (thank you South Africa) and even fried alligator bites. I am grateful I live in a new era in which these foods are permissible (more on this later). The principle of chapter 11, however, remains: God’s people should live set-apart (holy, different) lives than the rest of the world.

What does this tell me about God:

  • God calls his people to be holy, as He is holy.

From what I’ve studied thus far in the Bible, God called his people to holiness, or a different way of life, for several reasons.

  1. God deserves obedience without explanation.
  2. The Israelites were to reflect God to the rest of the world around them. A unique approach to eating was one such way to do so.
  3. God cares about his people’s well being, and provides for their health needs through His laws.

How can I live in light of this:

  • I can adopt a “set-apart” approach to eating that glorifies God.

As I mentioned above, I am grateful God has made a way for us to enjoy all kinds of foods (see Mark 7:14-23 for more). However, although laws about eating have been abolished, I can still live, and eat, by the principle of being set-apart.

As a human, I am tempted to be gluttonous. I am actually really proficient at over-eating. I sometimes approach food as a functional savior, helper, or reward, when I know Jesus wants me to see Him as my savior, the Holy Spirit as my helper, and a relationship with God as a reward in all things.

Some of us can also swing the complete opposite direction and see certain foods as law. For instance, a person who values a vegetarian diet or avoids all processed sugars can focus so much attention and energy on their food values that it trumps their relationship with God in conversation, fellowship, and discipleship.

I want to approach food with a holy mentality:

  1. Food provides nourishment to maintain a healthy body, to God’s glory.
  2. Food is fuel to make my body available for God’s purposes.
  3. Food is meant to be enjoyed, because God is a father who loves to give good gifts. (Matt 7:11)
  4. Delicious food reminds me to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalms 34:8

Would you join me in being a set-apart foodie for the glory of God?

Other thoughts or questions:

  • I really want an authentic South African ostrich burger now.

How can you use redefine your eating habits to be set-apart and an example of God’s holiness to the people around you?

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0

God’s Holiness is not about our Happiness: Leviticus 10

In chapter 9, we glimpsed God’s magnificence and glory. In chapter 10, we see how impactful His glory is on a personal level. We have been reading the great attention to detail God utilized when giving instructions to the Israelites. Unfortunately, even with specific expectations clearly dictated, Aaron’s sons managed to stray from God’s law regarding worship. The result? God revealed his glory and holiness to Nabab and Abihu… and it consumed them in fire. Their ashes stand as an example to the other priests, all of Israel, and all of humanity.

What does this tell me about God:

  • God is worthy of appropriate worship

Aaron’s sons did not worship God according to his expectations, and it cost them. God deserves obedience. His attention to detail through instruction deserves our attention to detail in follow through.

The notes in my Bible put it so well:

The worship of God should never be carried out in a careless fashion, nor should it be based on how you feel or what you find pleasing but rather on what God requires of you…

Israel served the living God whose laws were given not merely as a set of religious rituals but as the revelation of the glory of His Holiness and of the opportunity for obedience to the mandates of His righteousness. (Patterson, 2014, pgs. 130-131)

  • God’s glory is not to be grasped.

After Aaron’s sons were burned to death, Moses said, “This is what the Lord meant when He said:

I will show My holiness
to those who are near Me,
and I will reveal My glory
before all the people.”

After chapters 9 and 10, God’s glory was not something the Israelites just sang about half-heartedly, or invited naively into their lives. God’s glory was frighteningly overwhelming.

How can I live in light of this:

  • Thinking of God’s glory and holiness should move me to humble repentance.

I love singing songs of worship to God. There are some songs that come to mind, though, that do not give God justice for his magnanimous glory. Lyrics like “show me your glory,” “come consuming fire,” don’t seem to grasp the concept. God revealing His glory meant death.

So often, we sing songs of worship and feel a calming warmth. The melody, the crescendo, the instrumentals… they make us feel good. But if I were to stop and think about the lyrics, particularly in the context of Leviticus 10, I might be moved to a holy fear, awe, trembling, humility, and repentance.

Now, repentance and right perspective of God (Holy, Higher, other than), and right perspective of myself (unworthy, small, needy) can bring me to a place of joy and even happiness in my worship. But these feelings should be a result of correct perspective, not the result of pleasing melodies or emotional praise band leadership.

Other thoughts or questions:

  • I always perceived “waving the sacrifice” as a chicken breast mounted on a stick and waved like a flag before the Lord. After some research, I now know that “wave” meant lifting the sacrifice vertically by hand to present it to the Lord.
  • I cannot imagine the learning curve for all of these expectations. I appreciate that Leviticus includes the incident between Moses and Aaron in verses 16-20. It reminds me that we are all human. Even when Moses and Aaron were both cautious and meticulous to move forward properly in worship, they still had moments of doubt and had to work out what was proper in the situation.

What songs do you worship that will now have greater significance in your perspective of God?

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0

Leviticus 9: Is God AWEsome to us?

I began studying chapter 9 with that dreaded “get this done” attitude. I appreciate blogging my way through Leviticus, because it holds me accountable to consistency in my study. However, I haven’t been making time to spend in God’s word in the mornings, as I would like to. So I am “fitting it in” later in my day. I fast forwarded through a movie on Netflix (my normal routine for this evening time slot) in order to make time for God. In retrospect, I finally realize my backwards attitude regarding my time with the great and Holy Being that I call my LORD.

What does this tell me about God:

  • God is awesome.

God’s sovereignty reveals its power once again. Leviticus 9 is all about the earth shattering, fear-producing, overwhelming, consuming glory of God. The kind of greatness that makes one stand in awe.

That’s not “aww” (an exclamation for a puppy), and it’s not “awesome” (that surfer-dude calling something as tubular). We are talking about A-W-E: speechless, wonder, intimidation, tightness-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach kind of reaction.

In verse 4, God prompts Moses to tell the people to get ready, “For today the Lord is going to appear to you.” After several verses describing the rituals and expectations Aaron and his sons accomplished, we see the result of their activity. God reveals himself:

“Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them. He came down after sacrificing the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the fellowship offering. Moses and Aaron then entered the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. Fire came from the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell facedown on the ground.” vs. 22-24

  • God’s awesomeness deserves appropriate fear.

The people received the instructions from God and followed them. They obeyed them exactly. Knowing that God was going to reveal Himself was monumental for them, and it should be for us too. The people did each item required of them in preparation for the glory of God. And when God’s glory was revealed, they responded appropriately.

How can I live in light of this:

  • Time with God should be held with respect.

Talk about conviction. I am overwhelmed with how openly I dismiss the same holy, great and awesome God of Leviticus 9. I “fit in” a Bible study. Instead of preparing my heart to repent, worship, and fellowship (like the three sacrifices mentioned), I am fast-forwarding through Netflix and stealing myself from checking Facebook while I crack open my Bible.

After studying chapter 7, I brought up Philippians 2:12:

“work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 

On that day, I was focusing on the “work” part of the verse. Today, I am reminded of the “fear and trembling” part of it. I want to approach God with awe by:

  1. quieting my mind
  2. repenting of selfishness, pride, distraction, and any other sin
  3. offering my whole self, heart+mind+body+soul, in worship, through song and speech.
  4. journaling to God how great He is
  5. intentionally choosing to be aware of His presence
  6. fellowship with God by reading his Word
  • I should not focus too much on the rituals.

I am grateful my study Bible has side notes. I would be lost without these little helpers. One such note reminds me that the rituals God required were not the goal. The idea was to prepare oneself, to prepare the nation, to meet with God. The method was the process of sacrifices: sin, then offering, then fellowship. But these were not done just to do them.

I often get caught up in the ritual, like the recommendations I listed above. It’s like I get too focused on the blueprint for a devotional than I do about the actual meeting with God and building a relationship with him. In the end, these helpful preparation techniques can allow me to gain some perspective and get ready to meet with God, but meeting with God has to be the focus.

Other thoughts or questions:

  • The order of sacrifices matters.

I appreciate how clear Leviticus 9 presents the order of sacrifices. We learned them in the order they were presented in the chapters: Burnt offering in ch. 1, fellowship offering in ch. 3, sin offering in ch. 4, then the guilt offering in chapter 5.

Here, we see that the sin offering comes first, providing for repentance and atonement of the sin that separates man from God. The burnt offering comes next, reminding man to offer his whole self to God. Then the fellowship offering is enjoyed between God and man, symbolizing our right relationship with God.

How did you “prepare” for your time with God today in Leviticus 9? Do you feel like you approach Him with appropriate awe or just another time slot in the schedule?

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0

Leviticus 8: Knowledge is Good Too.

Did you read chapter 8? Did you get a chance to think about the three topics yet? If not…

Leviticus 8 gives us the details of Aaron’s ordination, along with his sons. I found it intriguing after studying the different sacrifices these past few weeks. Moses began with the sin offering (for atonement of relationship), then sacrificed a burnt offering (an offering to commit one’s whole self to God). Finally, a special fellowship sacrifice is made specifically for the ceremony of officially putting Aaron and his sons in the position of priest and mediators between God and man.

What does this tell me about God:

  • Similar lessons asprevious chapters:
    • God is detail oriented
    • God communicates His directions clearly
    • God has specific expectations to be met

How can I live in light of this:

I have to admit, I have been mentally dry these past few days.

I kept trying to find application for my life in this chapter, and coming up empty. I read it again, still nothing jumped out. Perhaps I am struggling with a hard heart and “full cup” syndrome. I prayed, searched my soul for sin or a bad attitude I needed to repent of. I calmed my heart, asked for the holy Spirit’s help.

I found I enjoyed studying and increasing my knowledge about these OT practices in chapter 8, but I didn’t get past that. I racked my memory for verses or concepts in the NT that would correlate and awaken truth and change in my heart.

The only verse that kept coming was one I heard last week from the marriage study Shane and I are doing together once a week. It was 2 Peter 1:5

Make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, [and] goodness with knowledge….

Sometimes, studying God’s holy word to increase in knowledge is a GOOD thing. We do not always need a dramatic epiphany or a deep “heart change” when we study. We should not approach the scriptures with a lazy attitude, and we certainly shouldn’t just “check it off” our to do list (I struggle with this one). I am blessed when I approach scripture with a teachable spirit and an open and ready heart, and God provides an amazing truth for me to meditate on the rest of the day. But I also grow when I simply get to increase in knowledge. 2 Peter calls us to add to our goodness with increased knowledge. If that is God’s prerogative for my study today, then I am grateful to keep building on my faith.

Other thoughts or questions:

  • Question: What is an ephod? Answer: the decorative apron-like piece of clothing.
  • I was also curious what Aaron’s priestly get-up looked like. Full disclosure: I know Google is not the most reliable supplement to Bible study, but it is available, so I use it! I found several images similar to each other, giving me a better visual of the priestly garments (Left).
  • I also got to do a lot of interesting research about Urim and Thummim, and got a better picture for God’s expectation of the high priest. I encourage you to go deeper in your own study Bible, Bible commentaries, or ask your pastor about any questions or observations you might have.

How did Leviticus 8 impact you today? Was it an “increase in knowledge” day or a day to grow in goodness and your relationship with God? 

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0

A Study in Leviticus: Time to take a Pause

We have been working our way through the book of Leviticus. Accepting the challenge to find relevant and applicable truth in the words of this book has been a great blessing to me.

Still, I believe it is worth mentioning here that I do not believe a daily Bible study time is a magical formula. The change in my perspective on the day is often noticeable after I have spent time in God’s Word; however, it is not the only way to commune with God and worship him. In fact, sometimes we can get too focused on the consuming of Scripture that we don’t make room to digest it or change our lives in light of it!

While I highly value the privilege and impact of a personal ability to read God’s Word, there are days it is not easy or even doable. Regardless of our busy schedule, centering our day on Christ should be a priority. There are some days you read what you can. There are some days you meditate on what you read the day before. Other days are opportunities to finally act on what you have learned! Anything we do can be worship. Similarly, anything we do can become a mindless “check off the list” routine.

Today, I sense God challenging us to take a pause. Instead of ingesting more information, try something else today:

  • Unpack truth from yesterday’s study
  • Meditate on a challenge from the Sunday sermon
  • Re-read your journal notes from the study so far:
    • Read all the “God” notes, and worship God for all those characteristics
    • Read all the “I should” notes, and get motivated to do them
  • Turn off all the noise in the house, lock yourself in a closet, and pray. Set a timer and commit to focused prayer for a set amount of time.
  • Go for a walk with God (or an energizing jog), and pray for greater endurance in your faith
  • Clean your bathroom, pull weeds, or mop the floor as a tangible way to “act out” repentance. With each scrub, repent of a sin or fleshly desire in your life.
  • Be still and listen. Try again. And again. Practice quieting your mind in the presence of God and truly listen.
  • Spend your normal Bible study time memorizing a complex verse of life-changing truth (Like 2 Corinthians 5:20-21)

How did you alternatively spend your Bible study time with God? 

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0