The Three Rs

Whether your child started pre-school or the last year of college, the end of summer and beginning of a new school year brings a myriad of changes and activities. Even those of us with no kids left at home, or those without children, can’t avoid the reality of “Back to School.”

Everyone must obey the reduced speed limit in school zones. And how about all the ads for Back to School sales? We sure can’t avoid those.

As August was coming to an end, and the back to school frenzy was in the air, I had an exciting realization…I would also be going back to school!

The Women’s Ministry at my church offers several Bible study options every September. It’s like going back to the classroom with lectures, homework, group discussions, accountability and new friendships. Thankfully there isn’t the pressure of being graded on performance by the instructor—only the desire to walk closely and be in the presence of the divine Teacher.

It had seemed like the endless summer with my husband gone from home more than usual because of work. However, instead of seeking more Jesus in my husband’s absence, I sought communion with my computer and Facebook. The unsettledness in our country began to seep into my heart as I read entirely too many editorials and commentaries. Seeking opinions of mere humans instead of the ordained word of God.

Thankfully two days before Bible study leader orientation, God led me to Psalm 51:10:

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Oh, how I desperately needed those exact words! How was I to lead a table of other women when my heart was so cluttered with confusion? I certainly couldn’t do it on my own, without the guidance of the Father at my table, and His ability to clean my heart and renew my spirit. Yes, I desperately needed the divine Teacher.

As I sat in that leader orientation, I felt like a schoolgirl on her first day. Soaking up all the words of wisdom from the teachers. The Director of Women’s Ministry spoke first and said that each of us needs to ask a question. “How is Jesus calling me to reorient (change the focus or direction of) my life around, and follow Him?

Wow! Did I ever need to change my direction!

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, the three Rs, refer to the foundations of a basic-skills oriented education program in school. Was God working on a new set of three Rs? Basic skills for my “Back to Bible study” program?

I left that orientation with sense of renewal and reorientation. A heart longing to be pure and passionately pursuing Jesus.

Not a friend’s rant on the presidential race or a human’s editorial on Facebook.

For it is written in Psalm 118:8: It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.

I felt so thankful to be back in the Lord’s classroom on that first day of Bible study. Thankful for the work God was doing in my heart and anxiously anticipating our study, Becoming Who God Already Sees You to Be: A Study on Sanctification.

I was also anticipating the Lord to place the third R in my heart. As I delved into my first week of Bible study homework on sanctification, He showed me. Relationship.

Sanctification—a progressive work of God in our lives so that we become more like Christ. It is a process that God orchestrated before the creation of the world, to be holy and blameless. (Ephesians 1:4)

To be like Christ, we have to know everything about Him, and that knowledge is found through the Word of God. But we need more than head knowledge. It’s about being obedient to the words we read and our relationship with the Author.

Our God is bigger than our human mind can ever imagine. We will never learn all there is know of Him this side of heaven. But daily attendance in His classroom will get us progressively closer.

Back to school. Everyday. No summer break. With the help of the three Rs:

Renewal of our hearts. Reorientation of our lives. Resulting in a more intimate relationship with the Lord.

One response to “The Three Rs

  1. I love the way He teaches us Brenda! I find that every morning I need to renew my heart and my mind and reorient my will to His. Thank you so much for the encouragement toward a closer relationship. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

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