Many people have asked me about Sarah’s and my method of Bible study. We both prefer to spend time just in the Bible without a Bible study guide or workbook of any sort. We prayerfully read the Word of God moving through books/ letters as the Lord leads, no specific time table. The absence of a time table is important for our temperaments specifically as it prevents us from getting caught up in checking boxes, it keeps the focus on sitting at the feet of Jesus rather than finishing a task. We ask the Lord to speak to our hearts and minds, to lead us as we study and pour out His wisdom and understanding on us (John 14; 1 John 2). He is faithful to do so every single time. We journal to record the lessons He has taught us through His Word as well as specific prayers offered up to Him. As our memories blur in the days, weeks or months ahead it enables us to quickly and easily recall the details of a previously learned lesson or scripture reference, as well as to see the hand of God moving in regard to specific prayer requests. We also use online Bible study tools or apps for cross referencing, looking at original language for better understanding and commentary access. Blue Letter Bible is the one I use most regularly, but I am certain there are many other good ones.
I’ve decided to camp out in 1 Peter (and then 2 Peter) for a while since Sarah spent a lot of time there in her journals, and because that’s where the Lord specifically led her moments before she left. I am so thankful that as we approach God’s Word in humility He promises through the power of the Holy Spirit to teach us and give us understanding and wisdom. I’m so thankful Sarah clearly understood that, that she sought Him through His Word, meditated on it and hid it in her heart. The more I read her journals the more I see this evidenced in the tedious and intricate weaving together of the truths of scripture that clearly forged the impenetrable and unshakable confidence of her faith, and the more I am challenged.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9 [ESV]
My time in chapter 1 blessed me this morning, I was reminded that I am an alien in this world, only here for a moment. To quote Sarah, “we are like a wisp of smoke.” I am also blessed to be reminded of the “inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven” for Sarah and the rest of my family. The inheritance she has already received, and the inheritance we have yet to fully comprehend. Because she was daily surrendering to Him, “Living Redeemed”, Sarah had confidence that the tested genuineness of her faith would be more precious than gold (1 Peter 1:7). I am reminded of this by her journals as well as her Pinterest profile quote, Job 23:10.
Job 23:11-12 goes on to say, “My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Even in this time of deep grief, rather, especially in this time of deep grief, I long for that to be my mantra like Job. May we as a family, and I specifically, through God’s grace greatly rejoice even though now, for a little while, we are distressed by this fiery trial (1 Peter 1:6). Despite the agony of loss, and aching of heart longing for Sarah’s presence, may we continue to treasure the Words of His mouth more than necessary food. May we continue to trust Him, believing as we choose daily to bask in His presence through His Word and prayer, not turning aside, that He will do His divine refining and sanctifying work in us so that we, too, may come out as pure gold.
Quiet Time 12/19/16
1 Peter 1 / Isaiah 17 / Psalms 62-63
- 1 Peter 1:3-9 ❤ – Trials are like tests, so that when you stand firm through them, your faith will be worth more than gold
- 1 Peter 1:22 ❤ – How can I love others deeply, from the heart? I think I need to be firmly planted in The Word. I need to realize that people make mistakes and I need to forgive. I think I need to pray for people genuinely and I need to pray that God will help me love because I can’t do it on my own.
- Psalm 62:1-2
- Psalm 62:5-8
- Psalm 63:1-8 ❤
~ Sarah Harmening