Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Walk of Repentance

My husband and I are doing a Bible study with another couple. The Bible study is called The Walk of Repentance by Steve Gallagher. We have done several Bible studies together and they have been in many different formats. I think I am getting more out of this one than any of the others so far. The title line on the book is "A 24-week guide to personal transformation". We are on week 3.

It starts out talking about what is true accountability. It is much more than just be accountable to someone for a besetting sin. It is truly being willing to pour yourself out for others and them doing the same for you. I am currently reading a book by Edith Schaeffer. It is the L'Abri letters that she wrote home to family and friends. This woman literally poured herself out for her family, friends and the people that God brought to L'Abri. It would have been so easy on MANY occasions for her to say that she was too busy, had too much to do, or was not in any shape to do what she did. She trusted in the Lord and went on regardless. How many times do I just quit or tell someone that I can't help them because my own plate is full. Do I even try to push myself or am I in my own comfort zone and want to stay there. Do I see the needs of other and reach out to them in the name of the Lord and trust Him to help me get my own stuff done?

Then it goes on to talk about subjection and submission. It gave several verses to look up and had us write out, in our own words, what they said about these principles. Then it hit on rebellion. I don't think that many Christians take rebellion as seriously as God does. If you are a parent and have dealt with rebellion with a child, you have a small taste of it, but how many times do we almost proudly walk in rebellion in different areas of our life. God has VERY STRONG words about rebellion.

It moved on over other areas, but then came to a whole page of verses about reproof. We were to look up the verses and explain them in our own words. I will give you the references from this page, and I would encourage you to do this exercise. How many times are we a scoffer or a scorner or a fool? All of the verses are in Proverbs 9:7-8; 12:1,15; 10:17; 15:12; 17:10; 29:1; 15:31-32.

I think the one lesson that has gone the deepest for me was the one on the Pharisee and the tax gatherer in Luke 18:9-14. The Pharisee is all wrapped up in himself. He tells all the wonderful things he has done, how he has kept the law. Then he compared himself to the sins of those other people. How many times do I share something with a puffed up spirit. I homeschooled, I home church, I live on a farm and grow and raise much of my food. Do you see a trend.. I, I, I, I. When I learn something do I ask others what it is, and then when they can't answer, share the right answer with them as if "I" know it all. If I learn a new herb or identify a new weed with helpful properties, do I share it like I have known all along, or do I point out this new discovery I just found and then even give credit to the one who told me? It says that the tax gatherer would not even stand near the Pharisee. Do you think it was because he felt he was better? No way, he was so humbled and bent low because of his own sin. He was not paying any attention to the sins of the Pharisee or anyone else for that matter. Then the book asks, "Does this describe the attitude of your heart?" OUCH!!! Do you ever look at others as they stumble over something, sometimes time after time and have a bit of a puffed up feeling that you are not like them? I had to write NO to the question in the book and I am ashamed to admit that. Then it asks what do you need to do to gain this attitude. The first thing I need to do is repent. I need to cry out to God and ask Him to show me my own heart's sickness. I need to look at all I have or have been able to do and realize it is ONLY by God's grace. I am blessed, not talented. Anything good in me comes from the Lord and I need to remind myself of that daily or even moment by moment. I am praying that this study will change me.


VoiceInTheWilderness said...

Thank you for sharing some of what you are getting out of your Bible study. It sounds like a wonderful study.

TNfarmgirl said...

What a wonderful reminder. Thanks so much for sharing...you touched my heart!

Sharri said...

This sounds like a great study!
I had some ouches just through what you wrote on your blog!