Lisa Burkhardt Worley continues to sit at the Lord’s feet but on Tuesday, she’ll begin a series of devotions that were inspired through her extended quiet time. In the meantime, this devotion was originally published on March 7, 2013.
Are you a lover of Bible studies like me? In my hall closet I have a shelf I call “Bible Study Heaven.” Every time I finish a study, the completed workbook goes on the shelf. Countless Beth Moore studies, some by Rick Warren and Lysa Terkeurst and numerous other teachers, are all tucked away on one shelf and I rarely bring the books out again. After twenty years of studies, the shelf is getting full. When I looked at the collection of workbooks in their resting place, I wondered if all those studies were worth it. Am I a different person today than when I began to delve into the Bible two decades ago?
It’s a question all of us can ask ourselves. Are we changed by reading God’s Word? Is our character really becoming more like Christ’s? This question is worthy of reflection.
In my case, I know I am not the same woman I was twenty years ago. 1 Timothy 3:16-17 says, All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Early in my Bible study years, God reproofed me. I became aware of the depth of my sin as well as the grace of God through a study of Romans. I plugged my name into Romans 1:21-25: For although Lisa knew God, she neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but her thinking became futile and her foolish heart was darkened…..Therefore God gave Lisa over in the sinful desires of her heart to sexual impurity for the degrading of her body with one another. She exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. I had always sugar coated my sin and now had to face it, repent and accept God’s grace. It was a turning point for me.
God trained me in righteousness. Through Bible study, I’ve learned about the heart of God and I’ve learned how to listen to my Creator. God transformed from God to Lord of my life and Father. I’ve studied his peace, joy and mercy and how to take my thoughts captive when my thinking doesn’t line up with God’s Word. Through the reading of James, I’ve learned the importance of taming my tongue. By examining Philippians, the Holy Spirit taught me how it looks to be humble like Jesus.
In my most recent study, God corrected a life-long behavior. with some practical advice on how to handle conflict. I learned it’s better to address an issue gently then to stuff frustration, something I had done for years. My mother was extremely passive because of her mental illness so we never had healthy conversations when I was growing up. There was no conflict to ever deal with because nothing was ever discussed. I tried it a couple of times then during the course of the study and found out it was a whole lot better to get things out in the open rather than fume on the inside.
So as I gaze at the countless books in “Bible Study Heaven” I realized my labor was definitely worth it and I would do it over again. Psalm 119:105 says, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I don’t know who I would be or where I would be without God’s Word. Without his lamp, I guess I’d still be stumbling around in the darkness and the shelf in my closet would just be another place for storage.
What about you? How have you changed by studying God’s Word through the years? Are you a different person because of it?
Categories: Archived Devotions