Walking in His Steps
How are you enjoying the August lessons so far? I have received a few, actually more than a few, emails about the format for this month’s study. The question has generally been like this, “Why did you not print the rest of the readings in the student book?” The second most popular question has been, “The Scriptures are not printed and we don’t have access to the internet in our class.” Just to get everyone on the same page, if you count the number of lessons in the Summer issue, you will notice we had 14 lessons to cover, which is one more than normal. Apparently the stars lined up wrong and we ended up with 14 Sundays. While it is rare, we were still faced with a dilemma and the choice we made was to not cut down on the content but to deliver it another way. Also, removing the Scripture from the book meant that people would be forced to use their Bibles, which in my opinion can never be a bad thing. Can you think of a way the phrase “had to use my BIble” could be a negative? Best response this week gets a free Threads T-Shirt. Call it a contest, the first for the LifeMatters blog.
To make a long story shorter, things return to normal in a few weeks. While we will still take advantage of the internet, you will always be able to find the content in the book as the primary source. We are going to try a few new things coming up that will allow those of you who want to, to email the readings out during the week to your class or at least a link to them to encourage them to be studying on their own. If you are having trouble accessing the devotional material click here and you will be magically transported to the land of Personal Bible study and you can print at will!
Now onto the good stuff. This week we take a closer look at Christ and our author Matt Tullos had some great insights into this lesson so I am going to let him have the spotlight this week.
The body of Christ (by that I mean the church) is awash with spiritually preoccupied Christians. Somewhere along the way we’ve been sold a bill of goods that busyness is next to godliness, and that we can have all the trappings of righteousness without a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus. That’s crazy-talk, and it has been around since Moses. Literally. The writer of Hebrews rewinds to the earliest days of Israel when they were a group of people rather than a territory with boundaries. God’s power wasn’t a theory. Think about all that great movie fodder—parting seas, water from rocks, fire on the mountain—all acts of God in Spielberg proportions. When all those astounding, holy, fantastic moments were happening all around them, the Israelites were sneaking around, worshiping idols, fighting each other, and acting like Americans.
Simply put, they were stubborn, hard-hearted people. All they had to do was rest in the reality and power of God. But they craved to worship their own craft. They melted gold to make calves. They complained about the menu. They hoarded treasures, and they promoted their own treadmill, me-first existence. In other words, they had Egypt on the brain. Can you relate to that? I can. The pagan culture surrounds us, and we begin to smell like it. We act like it. Aspiring to be successful we forget what is right. So invigorated by the thought that we could, we don’t stop to ask ourselves if we should. Our heart grows distant. Our soul cracks open and the world spills out of us. We are spiritually brittle.
How have you gone astray in your heart? Is a strong heart the same as a hard heart? Do you have idols that you need to show out of the tent so you can have a tender heart toward Jesus?