this year...even though it's not required of me. It's a skill I long to develop. It helps me squeeze every drop out...and causes me to consider what God has for me to learn from a passage, in ways perhaps that I wouldn't ponder it otherwise. It has taken discipline and a decent chunk of my Sunday afternoons. Time well spent. It's also taken the grace of knowledgeable friends to help me hone this skill. I used to try this because my pride puffed me and made me want to be what I'm not. But now, I made this goal because the Spirit moved and gave a desire to learn! I have no thoughts that He's using it for anything but my own personal growth. If He plants another idea, I'm open. But I'm okay with His just working on me.
And what have I taught myself? Wait, no, that's wrong. What has God taught me through the study of His Word?
Matthew 4-- Followers of Jesus face temptation with Scripture and repentant hearts.
Where do I need to place Scripture in the face of temptation?
Have I seen Jesus as fulfilled prophecy in my life? Have I consistently repented of my sin...kept short accounts with him?
Am I following hard after Jesus?
Matthew 5:1-16-- God's followers get blessings when they live as salt and light!
What behavior or attitude needs to change so I can be blessed?
How can I be saltier, brighter in my witness?
Where is God calling me to just live loud?
Matthew 5:17-48-- God wants me to please Him with all my heart...above and beyond normal behavior.
What do I do right in action but not with my heart?
What keeps me from full obedience?
Where to I need to go above and beyond the normally accepted behavior around me?
Where have I taken judgment away from The Judge? Where can I love someone more?
Matthew 6--A proper view of God, through prayer, will erase my worries and bring eternal rewards (the most important kind).
Where is public praise more important to me than secret eternal rewards?
Are my prayers genuine and fully following God's model? Is His Kingdom starting with me?
What worries me? How is God not first in that area?
Matthew 7--Wise men walk with discernment and stand on the ROCK.
Where have I been tempted to judge but need to turn the finger on myself?
Do I believe God for good gifts? Am I walking carefully in the narrow way?
What is genuine and what's not? God knows...get rid of the yuck.
Is my foundation cracker, shaky or secure?
Matthew 8--Followers of Jesus must believe in His power to heal and be fully committed to putting Him first.
Do I believe in God's power to heal? Do I have faith in who He is?
What am I putting before God that's keeping me from being wholehearted?
Have I trusted Him for salvation but continue to live in my yuck?
What fun to review...and to be challenged anew. I'm so glad that He's not finished with me yet. I guess in blogging this I'm trying to bless others with what I've learned.
May you be blessed, Dear Void!