A few weeks ago in church I had a serious challenge drop into my heart from the Spirit. I was just entering the Book of Acts and the Gospel of John as part of my daily reading. I am using the daily reading from the Book of Common Prayer through this season. When I get to Advent, I hope to switch to a new daily reading schedule that the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) puts out.
I love both of these books. When I dive into John I am lost in the imagery. It is a beautiful book to me. I love Acts because I can remember particular times the Spirit used particular passages to radically change my life and my course of ministry.
Thinking about that on a Sunday morning in worship, the Spirit challenged me to do something I had not done in years. Go slowly through the Book of Acts. This time would be different. This time I was to take a notebook and start writing. From Acts 1 to 28, as I work my way through these passages, I am to write down what I have learned over my years of study. I still get to use my resources that I’ve built up over the years, but this exercise is to bring out the lessons and insights I’ve accumulated over the years. It’s not a technical study. It’s a life lesson study.
I am at the end of Acts 8 and have filled over half of the notebook pictured below. I’m guessing I will need to add a notebook. To this point, I am so full of joy. I can’t believe some of the insights the Spirit has reminded me of when I get to particular passages. He has even had me connect things that are happening today in the Church with what I’m reading at that particular point. I am drawing on stories I heard decades ago as well.
This won’t stop. The Spirit will give me the next book to go through when I finish this one. I’m not sure how much I will actually accomplish, but this has been fun. What have I truly learned in my years of studying the Bible? I have given well over 30 years of my life to study the Word in a more serious way. The question I am confronted with now is this: what is truly IN ME?
So far in this short journey, I am so thankful for what IS there.