I must admit that I bit off a little more than I could chew in the summer. My usual habit of reading a Bible passage, reading a commentary on the passage and then posting a few reflections was replaced by something more ambitious. When I woke I tried to get to a passage and write a draft of a Bible study for the college staff at Lake Geneva Youth Camp (LGYC). However, it seemed that there was always a change to the schedule. I had to cover some appointment with the doctor; the children had to be at a sport camp; my wife needed time to write. I actually ended up reading the Bible less than usual, even when I had ambitions to do more thorough and personal study.
However, my semester time has more routine. I am back to work and I have had to drive in to the city. My wife and I were up at 4 and in work by 6:30 to avoid the traffic. I read the introduction to Colossians from a commentary and then read the book through one and a half times. I am preparing for speaking at Family Camp at LGYC, but I am also taking the first step back into regular devotions.
All studies of spiritual growth and formation show that those who are growing spiritually have one factor in common – they read their Bible daily. I feel better today. It is not because I have read the Bible and that proves that I am a good boy. It is because reading the Bible is time spent with the reason that I am alive. My wife is great. I love her. My children are precious to me. However, the person of primary importance is Jesus. Reading my Bible each day centers the day around him. I am hearing from him and he has my attention.
Debates on the authorship of Colossians and where exactly Colossae is located are interesting, but perhaps the most important thing I learned today was the theme verses. It is particularly essential in the light of a new semester:
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6,7)
I hope that those of you who share a Christian faith will look to Jesus to establish you this Fall. May we practice spiritual disciplines, not so we achieve holiness for its own sake. May we achieve more holiness because we fix our eyes upon Jesus and walk toward him. May we be conformed to his likeness. May we be like him. In this way we bring him glory and we live the lives we were designed to live. I want that kind of life.