Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Inseparable: An Introduction

Two weeks ago I started an early morning Bible study.  It is something I have been thinking about for several months.  When I came back from the Declare Conference last August, I felt like there were two things I needed to accomplish.  Write 31 Days in October on what He had been teaching me from Psalm 139.  (I did that.  Check.). Lead a Bible study.

I wrestled with that one for awhile.   It wasn't that I was opposed to doing it.  But right when I returned was when I got back into the swing of a new school year.  Every year is busy, especially at the beginning.  This year seemed double other years for some reason.  Maybe it is because my kids are old enough now to be involved in activities, and there was an increase in chauffeuring.  Maybe it was because of some additional responsibilities and expectations at school this year.  Maybe it is because of some additional tutoring that I do at home.  Or maybe I was just making excuses.  

Anyway, the idea of doing a Bible study never went away.  It kept popping up in my mind, day to day, week to week.  But how?  When?  Then it hit me.  Maybe I could do an early morning Bible study.  Who said it has to be in the evening?  I liked this idea.  But would anybody else be interested in meeting at 6:00 in the morning?  I began praying over who would also want to do this with me.  

Then the was the question of what to study.  I had asked several people if they had any ideas.  Suggestions were given, and I checked them out.  None of them felt right though.  One day I was shuffling some things around, and a book literally fell at my feet.  I picked it up and smiled.  In the chaos that followed my return from Declare, I forgot all about this book.  Inseparable: Who I Am, Was, and Will Be in Christ by Ashley Linne.  I spent more than a month writing about how God made me perfectly and how I can set my anxieties and insecurities aside because of my completeness in Him.  This book, covering Paul's letter to Romans, seemed to be a pretty good follow up.

The next morning during my study and prayer time, I asked God if this was what He wanted.  I felt like I got affirmation.  On a leap of faith--before I had a single person definitely committed to meeting with me--I ordered five copies.  No backing out now!

Fast forward to two weeks ago, we had our first meeting.  We were all a little nervous.  Even when you know everyone, it still is hard to get a new group going.  But I thought it went well.  (They must have all thought so too because they all came back for week two!)

Following are some quotes and stand out moments from the Introduction.  

The opening paragraph grabbed me.  The author Ashley quoted a pastor she knew as saying, "When you study the Bible, you're spending time getting to know a person, not just reading a book."  Wow.  I love that.  It is so true.  The reason I love reading my Bible every day is because of what it teaches me about God and how I relate to Him and how to be more like Him.  I really am getting to know a person.

Another concept that stood out to me from the introduction is the acknowledgment that we are not all in the same place.  Some of us have a lot of time to give, and some of us don't.  Some of us have a vast knowledge of Bible theology, and some of us are just getting our feet wet.  She suggests, "I want to encourage you to do what you can with what you've got right now... what pleases God is our coming to Him in faith that He loves us and wants to interact with us.  And I promise you--even a little bit of time spent in God's Word can change your life.  It may be just a very slight, almost unnoticeable change.  But it will be change, and even the slightest adjustment in your walk with Him can set the course of your life."

A third idea I liked was the encouragement to do something with what He is teaching you.  Our output may look different from person to person, but we should act on what He is telling us.  Aside from meeting with a group of ladies to discuss what we are learning, I also want to put it into words and share it with my digital community.  Not everybody loves the idea of breakfast Bible study, so this is a way I can share what I am learning and for you to read on your own time.

(Shout out to Britta Ellis Lafont for inspiring me to blog along with the study!)

The opinions in this post are my own, and I am in no way getting compensated for writing about this book.

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