Today, I will finish up with chapter 1 of the book, Spiritual Grit, by Rick Lawrence.
When I graduated high school in 1983, there was a movement that started in the Christian churches that can still be seen today that asked be to ask the question, "What would Jesus do? or WWJD. There were posters, bracelets, bumper stickers, etc, everywhere.
Mr. Lawrence proposes that we ask instead, "Why did Jesus do it?" Asking why will better help us understand what caused Jesus to act the way he did but "What would Jesus do? lets us guess at what he might do and we base this on our beliefs and how we might act. He states the "key is to continue asking "why" questions until we reach the bedrock of Jesus' heart". According to Mr. Lawrence, these "why" questions compel us to explore Jesus' heart and passions whereas a "what" question only allows us to explore his head.
The heart of a person is where their passion or true concern/love lies. If we want a deeper, and more intimate relationship with Jesus, we need to understand His heart, or His passion.
Psalm 34:8 says,
During his final hours with them, Jesus told his disciples about a helper or "paraclete" that he was going to send them when he was no longer with them. Paraclete comes from the Greek word, paráklētos, that can signify "called to one's aid in a court of justice", a "legal assistant", an "assistant", or an "intercessor". In Christianity, this term is generally associated with the Holy Spirit and usually means advocate or comforter. In John 14:15-27, Jesus calls this helper our advocate, who will never leave us and will be in us. Jesus also says the Holy Spirit is His representative who will teach us and remind of us of everything Jesus said.
I found it very interesting that Mr. Lawrence explained that young Jewish boys studied the Holy Books beginning at age 6. At age 14, the ones who had demonstrated the highest academic potential were allowed to continue on, if they were able to find a rabbi and become his disciple or talmid. Due to a scarcity of rabbis, there was an intense competition to be selected and the talmid was chosen when a rabbi asked him to "take his yoke upon him". The talmid would leave everything to follow the rabbi and would essentially become a "mini me" of the rabbi.
We have had the same invitation from Jesus, and, if we choose to accept it, the Holy Spirit or Paraclete, will help us absorb the essence of Jesus and come to truly know His heart.
However, we must be willing to submit to the Holy Spirit's authority.
That is the end of chapter 1. I can't wait to get started into chapter 2. Thank you for following along with me.
For my first bible study on this blog, I chose a book called Spiritual Grit written by Rick Lawrence. Mr. Lawrence defines grit as the steely determination to keep going when it would be easy to give up. He states this determination can make the difference between good and bad outcomes and gives a number of examples. I will list just a couple that he mentions:
Mr. Lawrence states we ultimately need a source of strength that comes from outside of ourselves to help us face and overcome our challenges. He calls this "spiritual grit".
Winston Churchill gave a talk to students just after the Blitz of London, when London had been bombed repeatedly by the Germans. He told the students, and the rest of the British the famous words - "Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never- in nothing, great or or small, large or petty- never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelmingly might of the enemy." While he said these words to students in wartime, they are just as appropriate to our daily struggle against Satan and his forces. In fact, Peter warns us about this in his letter, "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 NIV
I loved this quote Mr. Lawrence makes: " The steely determination strengthening us in the middle of fear and confusion and pain is fed by a deeper well." He then goes on to explain we find that deeper well in the heart of Jesus. To me, that means I am going to have to constantly pull from that source. Wells are deep. I can't just touch the surface and be content. I have to put some effort into reaching the "water" and then letting it quench my thirst. But that also means it will last longer. A puddle or shallow pond will dry up quickly and disappear. A well is deep and has staying power. When trouble comes, that is what I need, a source of strength with staying power.
I am going to stop there for today. I look forward to sharing with you tomorrow.
I decided to use this blog as a way to develop my growth in the Lord and to possibly share what I am learning. I am just an ordinary person trying to walk closer to the Lord. What I see happening in the world today really bothers me and I see so many people struggling. I named this blog A Quiet Strength because so many of the people in the bible, Jesus, Paul, Esther, and many others, went through terrible times but had a strength that brought them through it. They didn't brag or be obnoxious about it, they just simply did what they needed to do. That is the kind of strength I want. Starting tomorrow, I will begin a bible study with a book called Spiritual Grit. I will share my thoughts here. Please share yours with me. I tend to do my bible study in the format of either a book report or as if I am preparing for teaching a small group. I have always done it that way so I will be using that same format here.