Prepare and Persist

August and September (depending on which region of the country you live in) mean three things for many Christian women:
  1. getting children of all ages ready to return to school, 
  2. viewing countless previews of all the new (and mostly raunchy) shows coming to television this fall, and ... 
  3. beginning a new Bible study. 
Is that true for you?
Well I've gotten my son off to college and my daughter started on her senior year. I've picked out the one new television show I might give a shot this season. And I'm two weeks into my new Bible study, Beth Moore's David - Seeking a Heart Like His. What about you?

The first two weeks of my Bible study went splendidly. I got my homework done each day over five days and then prepared my lesson for my class on the sixth day and taught on the 7th day. Ran like clockwork. Then my son had his wisdom teeth removed and the Labor Day weekend came along. Funny the little things we'll let stand in our way of getting our daily Bible study done.

So last night I sat down and did days one and two of my five day Bible study...on the 5th day. I was way behind. Quite frankly, I still am. I must cram in three days worthy of my attention into one hurried day and prepare my lesson for tomorrow. Shame on me. Not because I've done anything wrong, but because I'm missing out on the greater blessing...the blessing of really soaking in God's truth for my life.

Today I read in my daily Bible reading that Ezra "prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel." It occurred to me that that is exactly what I set out to do back in mid august when our Bible study began. And yet, I've struggled this week to keep that commitment, that fervor. Never mind though. I'm back in the saddle and determined not only to finish this Bible study (not usually a problem since I'm the teacher), but also to give it the time and attention it deserves, to experience a life-change because of it, and to teach it well each week to the ladies who gather for my two classes.

Many women struggle to keep the commitment they make each August/September as they sign up for and begin a new women's Bible study. I get that. I struggle too. While I always finish, I don't always finish strong. But maybe we could learn a few things from Ezra, this man of God who began strong and saw it through. Here are a few helpful tips I've pulled from my reading in Ezra and a few other places in God's Word recently. Maybe we should consider these biblical points and see if they a make a difference in our commitment to Bible study.

 I admit my commitment to Bible study waned a bit over the past four or five days. That happens, at least to me. But rather than throw my hands into the air and concede defeat I'm picking up my Bible, my highlighter, my study book, and my pen (oh, and my reading glasses!) and "setting my heart" anew to seek the Lord and His Word. Maybe the holiday weekend didn't throw you off. (I do hope someone out there is more consistent when their daily schedule takes a detour in the road than I am!) Or maybe you're already behind a little in your new Bible study like I am. Whatever the case, let's all commit together to encourage one another to be in the Word of God on a daily basis so we can really live this thing out.

Comments? I'd love to know if you're taking a new Bible study class and what it might be. Do tell!