Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tuesday's with Jesus #150

#150 "Lazy Days of Summer"
June 3, 2008
"Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge."
(Proverbs 19: 27)
Last night, the weatherman said that the threat of frost was over and we were now in the throws of real summer weather. It's a new month, a new week and the beginning of a new season. Some of our kids are taking their final exams. Work loads are getting lighter as folks will be taking time off to spend with their families. Those of you with younger ones can stop saying, "Do your homework!" Bedtime isn't so important for the next few months. You might be planning your summer vacation as we speak, picking out the perfect beach or the perfect sightseeing spot. I pray that you will take the time to sip some lemonade, smell the flowers, and get some much needed rest. That's my plan.
In boldness mixed with love, allow me to give you a warning. The Bible studies at your church may have suspended for the summer. The pews are a little emptier during Sunday morning service. I don't know how to speak it any plainer than this...in all your resting, do not rest from the Word of God. It may have taken years for you to reach maturity in your Christian walk. You may be at the beginning of your journey with the Savior or somewhere in between. But it only takes one hot second out of fellowship with Him and with His Word, to go right back where you started from. "Stop listening to instruction...you will stray from the words of knowledge." When a person stops listening to instruction he stops learning and growing. Attaining wisdom and true growth is not a static state. We need fresh word, fresh revelation and fresh vision. Without it, "the people perish". (Proverbs 29:18 KJV) Perish right back into backsliding.
Quiet, purposeful time with God each and every day is a need as vital to your soul, as food and water is to your physical body. Make that time. Morning is best for me. The world is quiet. Mercies are new. I'm still in my jammies but I'm putting on the armor of God. (see Ephesians 6) None of us can predict what a day will hold. The "Spiritual Mafia" of rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms are already awake in the early hours and plotting your demise. I'm not being over-dramatic. My Bible tells me so. Eat your spiritual "Wheaties" so that you will be able to stand and withstand whatever comes your way. Take up your only offensive weapon, the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  
You may not be involved in a formal Bible study for the summer, but you can certainly do something on your own. I'm not suggesting anything intense with a lot of involved homework. You may have already picked out a couple of romance novels for warm weather reading, and there's nothing wrong with that. Enjoy! But might I suggest a good devotional book to go along with your Bible reading? I am touched each day by adding "My Utmost For His Highest" by Oswald Chambers to my quiet time. I have been using it daily for years and because it's based on the Word of God, it comes alive in a new way every day, no matter how many times I've read it. Do something that will take you deeper into the Scriptures and make you think. And pray. Do something that gives you new perspective and fresh insight into God's Word for you. I'm going to do a book study by Kelly Minter called "No Other Gods" suggested on Beth Moore's blog. She promises that it will not be too intense. I'm holding you to that, Beth!  I'm excited and expecting God to speak a fresh word to me during these lazy days of summer. I'm going to open wide my mouth and let God fill it with good things. (Psalm 81: 10b) (FYI: "No Other Gods" can be found at LifeWay: Biblical Solutions for Life)
God wants you to spend these days of summer with Him. He has things to tell you. He wants to share His heart and His secrets with you. "Stop listening to instruction and you will stray."  Draw near, stay in the Word and you will "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3: 18)    
Have lots of barbecues. Sit by the water. Drink lemonade, eat watermelon, and spit out the seeds. Enjoy your family and your friends. Rest a little from your labors. Fall will be here before you know it. Feed the birds and run through a sprinkler. But above all else...stay in the Word and bask in the Son.
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