Summer School

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you have learned it.”- 2 Timothy 3:14

When it came to the importance of school, my mother was the Master Yoda of motivating her kids to stay focused and get good grades. I can remember experiencing a GPA revival in seventh grade after my mother threw a hardcover (and super heavy) textbook at me after learning that I had three “D’s” on a report card. The other Jedi mind trick she masterfully applied was the threat of having to go to summer school if my grades were not to her standards. Those words, “summer school”, always motivated and focused me to work harder and do better. As a teenager, with lots of friends and plans, going to school during the summer was to be avoided at all costs!

As Joanie and I are returning from our summer sabbatical, there is much that is filling our hearts. First, let me convey how thoroughly wonderful it was to be back with the Shepherd’s House family this past Sunday! To see your smiling faces, to be able to greet you in-person, and to join together in worship, love, and faith was a true delight and a great deposit. Our return home brought to life the words I have read many times over from the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 1:4, “I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.” Our hearts have also been receiving a much-needed filling, working, and refreshing from the Holy Spirit. Unlike those summers three decades ago, where I did everything in my power to avoid summer school, this season has been one of much engaging, learning, and shaping.

Over the next several weeks in these Daily Bread articles (and perhaps in a coming teaching series), I would like to share with you some of the things the Lord has been speaking to and impressing on my heart. I have found Him working beautifully, mysteriously, and completely in order that I may walk with Him in the fullness and freedom that He has designed us to. The work He has been doing in me this summer has not always been easy or instant, but it is a work to build me up and draw me closer to Him. We all are students in His classroom and we are all instruments in the Teacher’s Hand. Each of us are called to learn from Him and abide in His truth, His grace, and His Spirit. Paul said it this way in Romans 10:8, “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is the message concerning faith.”

I am looking forward to sharing with you my summer school edition journey with God. He has brought me through various levels of REFRESHING, REFINING, and REWARDING that is making me walk with Him at newer and greater dimensions of faith, love, joy, peace, and strength. May the Lord teach us His ways and may we apply them so that we may we see A+ results in our lives (minus book throwing and threats)!

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