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The Sunday Salon

Over the past 5 weeks in BSF we have been camped out in Hebrews. Between the indepth study of Hebrews, and the previous book I read Jesus+Nothing=Everything by Tullian Tchividjian, and daily Bible reading and devotional reading---this has been a time of discovery, conviction, and deep growth. 
There has been a bold theme running through all of these that is no doubt an active work of the Holy Spirit: legalism and perfectionism. It has been directed at me, and it's time for me to listen up!
There will never be a time in a Christian's life (at least on this planet called earth) that we will have it all together and there will be nothing left for us to learn. In ignorance and foolishness I thought I had to persevere and toil, to work on character and spiritual growth. By doing this I'd made myself an idol. Just to state that last sentence makes me want to crawl under my desk and weep. I'm physically sick in that I'd thought this way. This response is called conviction. But after conviction, comes forgiveness, and then renewal.
In looking back over my life I can understand how it all began, this warped thinking of trying to be perfect. Ignorance though is not an excuse, actually there is no excuse. I'm guilty as charged.
"For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." Hebrews 4:12-13 NIV
Reading God's Word is not just a past time for a Christian. It should not be read with our ears closed and our brain set on dim or dull while reading it. Then again this could be why so many won't read their Bible, because they don't want to be told that what they've been doing is wrong. It's that pride thing that gets in the way.
I made a decision a long time ago (1993) to not stay a babe in Christ, I wanted to go on to maturity. This means God will not leave me to grow stale. Nor will He leave me in a perpetual green grassy pasture for long. He will at times lead me through steep exhausting mountains, or to camp in the desert for a while.
"Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching aobut righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."
Hebrews 5:13-14 NIV
To be convicted of a sin in our life is a good thing, not a bad thing that we should shrink back from. We must "leave elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity." Hebrews 6:1 NIV
A devotional reading from this week stood out in 3-D Technicolor.
"We look for perfection and are disappointed. The reality is that the men in our lives are far from perfect. They cannot be perfect for us any more than we can be perfect for them. So we would be wise to stop expecting it. We should look instead at the One who defines perfection, the only human being ever to live a flawless life." From December 7 reading in Take My Heart Oh God, Riches from the Greatest Christian Women Writers of All Time by Zondervan publishers 2010.

Over the past few weeks all of Hebrews (13 chapters) have been read in the NIV.
Also: James, 1 and 2 Peter in the Common English Bible.

What is left to read before January 1?-----1 and 2 Corinthians, Acts chapters 15-28, 1, 2, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation. In case you've not kept up with the Bible readings, I previously read the NT last spring, and have read some of the NT books 2-4 times.

Are you reading your Bible?

Blissful Reading!
Above photographs from this years Christmas tree.