Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Saturday Morning Challenge

When I started teaching, I quickly learned that I was too exhausted to do anything after work. I was a newlywed, and I love serving my husband, so I did cook dinner but beyond that, nothing. Exercising was out of the question, reading my bible was to “check a box” and “get it done” so I didn’t feel so guilty.

By the time the weekend came, I was so drained physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I was out of energy, overwhelmed, tired, discouraged, and cranky. I could hardly do anything Saturday morning. So I started to protect that time at home. I slept in and did not plan anything until after lunch time.

I’d start a load of laundry, get my breakfast, and plop down at the counter with my books and my computer. I’d check my email (I didn’t have Facebook or Twitter yet) and then I’d just linger. If I found a devotional or article on website, I’d read it. I’d open my bible to whatever I was reading, and dwell there. I’d go off to my prayer place and pray (for myself, my husband, and the 20,000 people I’d offer to pray for throughout the week).

I just committed my Saturday morning to abiding in Christ. No agenda, no time limit, no excuses. And I’ve been doing it ever since.

My Saturday mornings are guarded and protected in my home, with my LORD. I saturate myself in the presence of the LORD. It is my time to be filled by Living Water and satisfied by the Bread of Life. Just like I make coffee dates or lunch dates with friends, this was my date with Jesus. (Sounds hokie, I know!) But honestly, we put everything else on our calendars, why not put some time to be intentional with the LORD?

This has brought so much freedom in my time of study with the LORD. I usually pick one book of the bible, or one sermon series to listen to, and stay there until I finish. {I don’t do well with bible reading plans because I often get more caught up in finishing rather than abiding, so this has worked for me.}

I treasure Saturday mornings like none other. I enjoy slowing down enough to read, pray, listen, worship, and rest. And to be honest, it fills me up like nothing else. Whatever I study/read on Saturdays I keep in my heart and meditate on throughout the week. I strive to be in the Word daily, and this practice has just broken the chains of feeling guilt for “not being in the Word enough”. I am often thinking about the Word and going back to it more because of my time on Saturdays.

Not only that, I feel like I’m growing in God’s word in such a deeper way. I read through the Sermon on the Mount several times in January. Now in February, I’m creeping my way through verse by verse. I can tell you meanings of words and verses that I never knew before!

This week in life group, we read through John 15 and talked about what it means to abide. I challenged my life group this weekend to just commit the first hour of their Saturday to the LORD. Don’t turn on the tv, don’t make any plans. Just wake up, open your bible, and abide.

John 15:5 tells us “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

We are so drained, so busy, so tired, so broken, so discouraged . . . and I wonder if this is why? We are doing it all apart from the One who sustains, fills us up, renews us, gives us strength, heals us, encourages us, and guides us.

Will you consider taking the first hour of your Saturday and spending it with the LORD? Feasting on the Bread of Life and drinking Living Water? If so, leave a comment about what you’ll be reading, or join me in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

I promise, it will fill you and sustain you more than you can ever imagine!

“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38)

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

1 comment:

  1. I love your Saturday morning challenge. Can I come over every Saturday morning? lol. It made me wonder. When do I ever intentionally make time for the Lord? I bend and stretch myself, giving daily everything that I have to my kids and my husband. The more I give, the more they want. It's always a constant pull. I rarely have time in solitude to refelct. I read the bible and pray on the fly. Almost never intentionally. It's little snippets of time that I can steal away and feel guilty for in the end. I have stopped at least four times just in writing this post for someone else's need. Intentionally making time to read my bible is my challenge. Probably not Saturday mornings because I'm getting home from work and I am exhausted. I need to learn how to carve out a special time amongst the chaos.