2 Timothy 2:15
Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won't be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.(The Message)
The books and backpacks are out and ready to go. Summer vacation is over and it's back to school! Weeks of summer pleasure gave young minds a chance to rest, but now it's back to work. It's time to study again.
That goes for me as well. In the world of a local licensed pastor, the requirements set before me are to take 4 courses yearly. I am required to read material carefully selected by professors from the St. Paul School of Theology and write papers and write papers and write papers according to their standards. When these advanced assignments have been completed I will send them to the professors a month prior to our class time, which is held in Overland Park, Kansas two weeks in the winter and two weeks in the summer.
I'm challenged by this work, because I was never what you'd call a "good student." I was average, I didn't attend college following high school graduation. So you can about imagine the struggles I am contending with as I am instructed to write my papers in "Turabian" (what is THAT??) All I ever wanted to be was a wife and a mom. However, when God calls you to something he also equips you for that calling.
Before God called me into ministry, I had a strong desire for something more in my life. I had a yearning deep within me that nothing seemed to satisfy. I thought once I married I would be happy. We got married but I wanted more. I thought maybe having chil-dren would make me happy; we had two, yes they made me happy BUT I still wanted more. Perhaps owning our own home would make me happy, well, you guessed it......I STILL wanted more. We are all guilty of wanting more and more and more in search of happiness. Truthfully, I began to find true happiness when I began to study and learn from the one book –The Holy Bible, the one book made up of sixty-six books. This text gave me history, poetry, prophecy, and doctrine. From Genesis to Revelation the continu-ous story of man's relationship to God and His plan for redemption unfolded and keeps unfolding. This incredible book provides great mystery and at the same time delivers unchangeable truth penned under the inspiration of God by forty-four writers spanning over twenty centuries of time. Though written thousands of years ago, the Bible clearly presents God's commands for successful living and wisdom for every step of life's journey. And these truths are as relevant today as they were the day they were recorded. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that "All scripture is Godbreathed 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."
And from Hebrews 4:12-we are told "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
When was the last time you really took the time to dig in and study God's Word? Did the busyness of summer cause you to slack off of your study of God's Word? Vacations? Travel? Kids at home? Extra outside work? Or is the study of God's Word something that you have never considered? No matter what the season, there are plenty of things to distract us and keep us from studying the Word. It's time to put away the excuses. As fall arrives, I encourage you look into the programs that the Our Savior United Methodist Church is offering, and if you don't see anything that interests you, please, let's have a conversation. We want to help meet your spiritual needs.
Oh, and by the way, I'm learning that the happiness I was seeking was a longing in my heart to know the God who created me and gave me life. There is nothing better than having the joy of the Lord in your heart. I want that for each and everyone of you!
Sunday School kickoff is scheduled for Sunday, September 10. Mark your calendars and make God and the study of the Word a priority, a part of your regular routine. If you do, you'll experience fresh blessings from your Heavenly Father, and the fun and fellowship of meeting with other believers.
What are you waiting for? It's time to study!
Precious Lord, Let us stop looking for happiness in the things that only money can buy, or in others who do not have the capability to fulfill our needs. Your Word is our source of strength and wisdom. Let us never be so unwise as to think that we know enough of it. Let us never neglect studying it. Let us never stop loving it. AMEN