I hope this challenge did for you exactly what I designed it to: direct your thoughts to Christ, making Him your priority, so that you can selflessly and joyfully bless others because that's what Jesus did for you - your husband first and foremost.
Before I dive into today's final task I have some acknowledgements to make:
First, to you. THANK you for going this far with me. I can't tell you how much this challenge has changed my thought process and motivated me to redirect my thoughts on Christ daily. Doing so has changed every other aspect of my life, including the way I treat Kyle.
On that note, you need to understand something about this challenge: it is a result of discipleship. So I need to acknowledge these women who disciple me: Deb Evertson and Deb Boltjes. They challenge me to be a better wife and mother daily. What I learn from them about being a godly woman is astronomical. What I've said here screams the advice given from them. Also, I disciple Lori Widener and Brandi Carruthers and as we studied Romans together we got stuck on Romans 12:1-2 and together we dived into what it means to live a life of spiritual worship. Not to mention Jessica Hanks and my sister Mandy, who I also disciple; they force me to dive deeper into CHRIST's life because they are thirsty for knowledge. As I teach them, they also teach me.
This entire challenge is a result of those women, but also my pastor Hod, who gave me the tools to rightly handle God's Word so I can read it and study it rightly on my own. Without his lessons, his sermons, his teaching, this would not have come together.
Lastly, my husband, the pastor of my home. My wise, wonderful hubby who is patient with me and loves me despite my imperfections. I am blessed to call myself his wife.
I started with acknowledgements today for ONE purpose. I truly believe that the process of sanctification is not fully possible without fellow Christians to uphold you, discover God's truth's with you, hold you accountable, motivate you, &etc.
On that note, I HIGHLY encourage you to find a discipleship relationship. Find a Titus 2:3-5 woman who you admire for her purpose in life, her knowledge of God's Word, her loving attitude towards her husband and children, her self-control, her purity, her understanding of submission, her skills in how she manages her home, and her kindness. Ask her how she does it and ask her to teach you. The woman you are now, is not the woman you'll be a year from now if you follow through on today's task. I promise.
Also, I highly suggest you do the following:
- Get a journal and write 5 thank you's per day (here's why).
- Begin memorizing a BOOK of the Bible (Here's my reasoning why, and here's a FANTASTIC way to do it.) And if these quotes aren't reason enough...
Right now I'm working on chapter 2 of Ephesians with Deb Boltjes and I'm going to be using the strategy Jon Bloom suggested in his Ten Reasons to Memorize Big Chunks of the Bible. He's memorized 5 books and is working on his 6th.
Finally, over the next few days soak in what I've learned and written about discipleship and why it's VITAL in every Christian's sanctification. Find your own discipleship relationship and meet with this woman once every one or two weeks, you'll be amazed at how God will use it to transform your life, because discipleship is how HE designed fellowship with other believers (Read Jesus Christ's final commandment given to His disciples in Matthew 28:19-20, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." If John the Baptist made disciples (John 1:35-42), and Paul made disciples (Titus, Timothy, Philemon, Onesimus, &etc.), and if Paul tells Titus that there are 3 things that are vital to the success of a church body: eldership, discipleship and godly living; then I'd argue that in order to grow as a Christian you need the help of others. So like Jesus' disciples come see what He is all about (John 1-2), choose to follow Him (Matthew 4:18-11, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:8-11, Luke 9:23-27, John 8:31, Mark 12:28-34), and serve others (John 13:1-20, Matthew 20:20-28, Philippians 2:5-11).
Over the next few days you have quite a bit to do:
- Find a discipleship relationship.
- Begin memorizing a book of the Bible, starting with verse 1 (don't move on to verse 2 until you have it down) while trying to learn what you can about the author, audience, and purpose of the book you're memorizing. Memorization is observation, which is step #1 in rightly handling God's Word. Observe the text, make sure you're interpreting it correctly, also (after observing and interpreting) make sure it correlates with the rest of Scripture (and if it doesn't you observed and interpreted it incorrectly), and then (VERY LAST) apply it to your life. Be wary of applying it first, if you skip the first three steps I promise that you'll miss GOD'S PURPOSE in giving you this book and will misapply it. It's not about you, it wasn't written to you! It was, however, written for you and there.is.a.BIG.difference. I believe memorization of an entire book changes your perspective from a "this book is all about me, to me" to a "this book is all about God in the face of Jesus Christ" mindset.
- Go back and read each of the links provided on this page.
- Why start a thankful journal?
- Why memorize Scripture?
- More reasons why (that are better than mine) with a wonderful How-To!
- My post on discipleship (which provides more links).
- Look up the Scripture passages given to you in the previous paragraph:
- Come See (which is your foundational relationship with Jesus Christ by faith alone and it's at this step that you're investigating the things of Christ, just like His disciples did in John 1-2.)
- Come Follow (Matthew 4:18-11, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:8-11)
- Self Denial, Cross Bearing, Follow Christ: Luke 9:23-27
- John 8:31 Abide in His Word (and the importance of studying it rightly - 2 Timothy 2:15)
- Your daily guide: Mark 12:28-34
- Come Serve (John 13:1-20, Matthew 20:20-28, Philippians 2:5-11)
Again, thank you. And I truly wish you all the best. Those of you who decided to join me in this challenge, I commend you. Also, know this one fact: I pray for you daily. My prayer is this, "God open the eyes of these readers to Your Word and give them strength to pursue the challenge of following YOU from now until the day they meet you face to face." I can't wait to meet you, my friend, if not here on earth, then in heaven. Until that day...
If you're interested in seeing the entire 40 Day Challenge, visit my Titus 2 Women page and scroll down to the the "Here's a Few Ideas for Your Time Together". You'll see the links for all 40 days.