To any of you reading this who live outside the 469, a few words of explanation are necessary. “42 Days” is a 6-week men’s study we do once or twice a year at North Point. During this time, I’ll be posting weekly questions, quotes, and instructions for guys here on my blog.
Feel free to follow along with us.
Here’s the Game Plan:
Take the next six weeks and give some real attention to the spiritual dimension of your life…
- By joining in a weekly meeting
- By reading the Bible regularly
- By memorizing and meditating on Psalm 23
- By reading sections of Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster
- By doing some honest self appraisal
Our Bible chapter of the week is Hebrews 12. Challenge yourself to read this chapter at least twice per day for the week. Read it in different versions. Have a notebook and write down observations, questions, and actions to take from your reading.
The 23rd Psalm is six lines. Work on memorizing one line per week. This week’s line is “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.” Write it down and post in places you’ll see it…on the bathroom mirror or your computer screen or your dashboard. Meditate on it. Contemplate what it means and ways you can put it into practice. Use your notebook again, to write down your responses to this amazing sentence.
Here are some quotes from the book that will help you on your weekly journey…
“The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.”
“A farmer is helpless to grow grain; all he can do is provide the right conditions for the growing of grain. He cultivates the ground, he plants the seed, he waters the plants, and then the natural forces of the earth take over and up comes the grain…This is the way it is with the Spiritual Disciplines – they are a way of sowing to the Spirit… By themselves the Spiritual Disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done.”
“Psalm 42:7 reads ‘Deep calls to deep’. Perhaps somewhere in the subterranean chambers of your life you have heard the call to deeper, fuller living. Perhaps you have become weary of frothy experiences and shallow teaching. Every now and then you have caught glimpses, hints of something more than you have known. Inwardly, you have longed to launch out into the deep.”
“The Disciplines are God’s way of getting us into the ground; they put us where he can work within us and transform us. By themselves, Spiritual Disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done. They are God’s means of grace.”
“Our world is hungry for genuinely changed people. Leo Tolstoy observed, ‘Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself.’”
“Human beings seem to have a perpetual tendency to have somebody else talk to God for them. We are content to have the message second-hand. One of Israel’s fatal mistakes was their insistence on having a human king rather than resting on the theocratic rule of God over them. We can detect a note of sadness in the word of the Lord, ‘they have rejected me from being king over them’ (1 Sam. 8:7). The history of religion is the story of an almost desperate scramble to have a king, a mediator, a priest, a pastor, a go-between. In this way we do not need to go to God ourselves. Such an approach saves us from the need to change, for to be in the presence of God is to change.”
And finally, here are some questions to help you get the most out of your study this week…
- What is the difference between spiritual discipline and the Spiritual Disciplines?
- What is holiness? What does it mean that “without holiness, no one will see God”?
- What is the connection between holiness and spiritual discipline and the Spiritual Disciplines?
- What is the difference between being “deep” and being talented or gifted?
- Have you ever had the urge or yearning to be a deeper person? What would that look like for you?
- For you, what is the difference between participating in church activities (however good they may be) and walking in the presence of God?
- Have you been transformed by God? How do you know? In what ways are you different from the man you used to be?
- Do you believe the world is hungry for genuinely changed people? If so, how do you see that?
- Are you going to God for yourself? What does that look like for you these days?
- Are you dependent on others going to God for you…doing the hard work of listening to Him and interpreting what He has to say? How is this unhealthy?
- What did you learn from reading Hebrews 12 everyday this week?
- What did you learn from meditating on “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” everyday this week?