I am totally loving our summer. The kids and I have been sleeping in, playing and embracing each day even though it’s been cold and rainy for way too long. What I don’t like about the summer is how my daily rhythm has been thrown completely out of whack. My exercise schedule has suffered and so has my daily time in God’s Word.
During the school year my slotted time with God is mid-afternoon. I sit down at the counter with a fresh cup of coffee, my Bible, my journal, highlighters and pens and relish the silence and time with Savior. I look forward to this time of rebooting each day and make it a non-negotiable in my schedule. During the summer this time frame doesn’t work with four kids home who have places to be and things to do. I’ve been struggling to find a new rhythm that doesn’t infringe on my time with God.
Last week I read the book of First Timothy. Paul spends the majority of the book warning Timothy against false doctrines and teachings and urging Timothy to cling to the truth of the gospel, not adding to it or taking away from it. While Paul is setting up his argument for truth he talks about false teachers and makes this statement in chapter 1, verse 7. “They (people deceived by false teachers) want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.”
That phrase jumped off the page at me because I see this all the time. The cultural norm right now is to take what you like from different religions, discard what you don’t like and say you love “God.” But that’s not the message of the Bible. Jesus was blatant in his message of who he was and what he expected of his followers and it didn’t include picking and choosing the stuff that was beneficial and discarding the stuff that was tough. Paul calls this “having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (II Timothy 3:5)
When I read this verse, I felt the Holy Spirit lead me to a gut check and ask myself, “Do I, as a follower of Jesus, know what I so confidently affirm?” And if I don’t, where do I go to research and gather information so that I can be confident in what I believe?
The obvious answer is God’s Word or the Bible. Paul wrote a second letter to Timothy right before he was executed for his faith in Jesus. This book was viewed as Paul’s last words and in it he gives Timothy all sorts of advice on how to persevere in his faith. Paul says in chapter 3 verses 16 and 17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
I want to be “thoroughly equipped” as I follow Jesus and to “confidently affirm” what I believe, so I need to be in the Word. It’s as simple as that.
I love that God used these two times of Bible study to remind me that I need to get my rear in gear and rearrange our summer rhythm to include daily time in the Bible. Even better, I’m heading into my day refreshed and equipped for what life throws at me. Whoo hoo!