We enjoy listening to Hank the Cowdog audiobooks when we travel. There is one silly phase that has always stuck with me as a good one: "the crux of the core." Yes, Hank is ignorantly combining two expressions that mean the same thing-- "the heart of the matter." I like it because of the double emphasis. Today, in my unusual second-day-in-a-row-with-time-in-the-morning-to-post, I am going to get straight to the main point rather than leading up to it gradually.
I can trace the beginning of my metamorphosis to one point: when I began to focus my study in God's Word. I have been a Christian since childhood. I have never seriously rebelled. I have always had daily quiet times to read the Bible and pray. Yes, there have been a few dry periods, but for the vast majority of the past 35 years--and I'll be 40 this fall--I have read my Bible every day. I know that this produced some fruit. Because of it I have a relatively good overall knowledge of the Word, and often a specific scripture would minister to me at a particular time, but I did not see wholesale changes in my life. I didn't even know that changes were possible...or needed.
At one point, three or four years ago, I decided to study out the scriptures related to widows. I was widowed in 2003 and God had since led other young widows into my life. I wanted to consolidate what God had to say about widows. It was a wonderful study. I learned so much about God's heart for the widow; but at the same time, unbeknownst to me, I was studying about the orphan, too. Most scriptures in the Bible that are about how God takes care of the widow, also tell how he takes care of the orphan. About a year or so after I did that study, God suddenly dropped into my heart that I was supposed to adopt a child from Asia. It wasn't until several months into the process that I made the connection to my Bible study. Super T came home in January and has been such a blessing to our family. I don't know what we did without him. Through my studying of scriptures about widows, God changed my heart toward the orphan. It was automatic and effortless and unperceived until the butterfly emerged and, soon after, took flight.
After I saw the benefits of my widow study, I began to study other things. The most recent item on the study menu has been education, but that will be a topic for another entire post (or several.)
Pick a topic and study it out. Think about those verses. Pray about them. It is the Word that has the power to TRANSFORM our lives. You may not see immediate changes, but they are going on in your mind. His Word renews your mind...transforming it into what He wants it to be.