I think I'm going to start doing this same title each week. I love the word 'transform' or 'transformation'. When I hear that word, I think of Romans 12:2:
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is~His good, pleasing and perfect will."
That's our ministry verse for our homeschool group, Renewed Mom's. Hence the word 'renew'. I didn't know that for a long time, and that was one of the first verses I memorized last year when I began that task of memorizing God's word.
Back to transformation Tuesday~I think usually pictures are associated with that word, like before and after shots. And that can be fun, but to me, the most important change comes from the inside out. You see, I've been a Christian for a long time. I've gone to church my whole life, and though I did some wrong things, I also did some right things. But all that doesn't change the fact that I was only a skin-deep Christian. I walked the walk by attending church, but I wasn't truly living that walk. I would go each week and be filled up, but come Monday morning, I would do my own thing and basically live life on my own.
I had absolutely no relationship with the Lord. I can remember feeling His presence at times, but I didn't talk to him, and I certainly didn't read His word. I think that's why I have so loved this book we're doing in the tenth grade girls class on Sunday. If I had had someone in my life to invest their time and energy into pointing me along my way, and on the right path, I would have done things differently.
I have nothing against the church I grew up in, it's just that it was small and we were all lumped into one class on Sunday mornings. I loved our teacher, but looking back, I didn't gain much from that teaching. I don't even know if that person had the spiritual gift of teaching, and that's a whole other blog post. So when I picked up this book we're doing and started reading it, it was like a light bulb went off in my brain. It's so funny that we're supposed to be teaching this to the girls, but it seems like I am the one gaining from it! God is funny like that. I have always loved His sense of humor.
The things is, I had gotten lazy about my quiet time. I would forego it altogether, or I would do other things first. I knew that if I had the time to check emails and Facebook, that I had time to read God's word before that. So I started being intentional again. I started taking my Bible to bed with me each night to read before I fell asleep, and I picked it up first thing each morning, second only to getting a cup of coffee. I started reading in John at first. (I'm still reading my Bible chronologically, too, but first thing in the morning, I wanted to read in different parts of the Bible.) I finished John and moved to Psalm, then added Matthew and James. I love those books, and reading about the miracles Jesus performed while He walked on earth strengthens my faith.
I did one thing before starting to read~I asked that the Lord would make me fall in love with His word all over again. And all of a sudden, it was like I couldn't get enough. I'm still that way, and was so encouraged at our women's conference this weekend. I feel like I'm just soaking it all up right now, which is definitely a good thing! Our lesson this week, though, was more about Bible intake~this time by memorizing, meditating and applying His word to our lives. I told you yesterday that the Holy Spirit convicted me about memorizing Scripture again, so yesterday I took it a step further and included my family in on this.
Why do I want to memorize? Why do I want them to memorize this written word?
Psalm 119:11, "I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You."
Pretty simple, huh? So I wrote that first verse for us to work on, on a notecard and I taped it to the fridge. In Bible study the other night, my friend Amy said that our kids only have as much Jesus as we have. In Deuteronomy, the Bible tells us to write the words on our door posts, talk about them morning, noon and night, to even write the words on our foreheads. We are responsible for training our kids up in the ways of the Lord, and if we don't have enough Jesus to give them, how much less Jesus will they have when it's time for them to teach their kids?
Thought provoking, I know.
In this process, I am being transformed by the renewing of my mind, just like Romans 12:2 talks about. It's an inside/out process and one that is subtle. I feel like I am more "open" to feeling the nudges of the Holy Spirit and I feel like I am reading some of these familiar passages for the first time. I believe that the Holy Spirit illuminates certain passages or words on the pages of our Bibles for us. I keep coming across parts of verses that I haven't noticed before.
Anyway, please know that I write these words with a humble heart. My point in even writing this is to encourage you. If you feel stuck in a rut, ask the Lord to make you fall in love with His word all over again. Or maybe for the first time. Ask Him to put a fire in your heart about your walk with Him, and ask Him for a revival in your own personal life. Often times, we feel so worn down, so broken and discouraged by what goes on around us...in homeschooling, in overwhelming circumstances, in our jobs, in just our day to day lives. I encourage you to pour it all out to Him. He already knows the condition of our hearts, so why not confess it to Him? And ask His forgiveness for letting other things get in the way. I know I have to do that over and over and over and over again.
I was going to share some more pictures, but I don't want to do that just yet. I might write again later, but I want these words today to be all about Him. If you're feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit, will you take the time to get this matter settled? I feel prompted to say that and to just stop writing now.
As always, if you want to talk, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a more 'private' conversation. Love to all.
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