THE WELL-WATERED SOUL
I would love to write a book with this title someday. :) This is really the priority and passion of my heart for myself and for others because I really believe that all other things flow out of a well-watered soul! I remember once when I was on the Well-Educated Mind loop I talked about the Well-Watered Soul and one of the ladies emailed me telling me she had spent all day trying to find that book on the internet, and she wanted to know who the author was! Tee-Hee, just a phrase I coined in reaction to the assertion the The Well-Educated Mind was the be-all end-all of life. THIS is the priority!
I just spent the last two hours (yes, it is only 7:30, but it is springtime, and I am up with the sun for the next few months, just how my body clocks it) in delicious savoring of every bite of the first five chapters of Romans. Oh how yummy! Better than the Chai Tea I imbibe every morning. :) I have been studying this with two incredible women, Kim and Nancy:
(sorry about the blurry picture, but this was taken in March and before I had some tutoring on taking low light pictures by changing the ISO on my digital camera. Still learning there.)
We have just "unpacked" the first five chapters of Romans and are heading into the "sanctification" chapters of 6-8. They are great to talk this through with. Kim is a real "global thinker" looking at themes and how she can apply them to her ministry and Nancy is a wise woman with an amazing spiritual heritage under her belt. So, part of my well-watered soul is from the interaction over Romans with these women.
(Note: We really need to study with other people! Personal Bible study is the first step. It is like you are packing up precious truths in your suitcase for life, but it is amazing to see what happens when you go on "vacation" every week with other people and see what they packed in their suitcase and what you didn't and visa-versa. It is like when you forget your hairdryer on the trip and you are so glad that so-and-so didn't forget hers. Thank the Lord for the person with the mosquito repellent or the sunscreen that you forgot, but I digress into analogy. Group Bible study (as opposed to just doing Personal Bible study) multiplies the understanding and learning and love. So, I heartily recommend grabbing a couple of friends and studying the Bible TOGETHER! Synergy. I'll have to share more of my convictions about small group study someday. I think they are all "S's". Somewhere buried in one of my journals.)
Since we are moving on to Romans 6, I got out my new Romans 2: Precept Upon Precept study, and did the review in the first lesson. Water to my soul when I read and chewed on:
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (5:8)
Who was declared the Son of God with power by the
resurrection from the dead (1:4)
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all
men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of
life to all men. (5:18)
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of
His Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saed by His life. (5:10)
We had such an ephiphany moment in study a few weeks ago when we talked about what reconciliation really means. I used the example of going through the process of peacemaking with someone (that is another part of my "well-watered soul" that I will expound upon in another part on another day because this post is getting extremely long and if you are still reading my ramblings, you get a gold star for the entire day!) and you confess and they forgive you and they confess and you forgive them, but many times the friendship is never the same after that. Haven't you had that happen? It is so bitter, but I thankfully I have had it where you have had conflict and forgiveness and the relationship is TEN TIMES better and sweeter and there is true restoration and beyond of the relationship (Can I give a shout out to Missy as this is the one that comes to mind when I think about that fact?). Just like that reconciliation means that restoration of RELATIONSHIP with God and even better because of Jesus. I love reconciliation, the sweetness of realizing what you might have lost had it not been for Jesus. Still pondering that one.
So, we always go back to that word RELATIONSHIP in all aspects of Romans.
There is more to Romans though, and this is where it has been so great for me to read the Holman New Testament Commentary on Romans after I have done my own investigation. One of the authors is one of my favorite relational evangelist/discipler, teacher, theologian authors KENNETH BOA!!!! (Thank you Katrina for turning me on to this commentary). He is another person (with William Kruidenier) who has packed some things in his suitcase that I would never really ponder or think through. So, today, after some meditation I read his introduction to the commenatry portion, and he said that this is a "teachers" commentary for Romans. Something he said just made my heart sing:
"Therefore, the goal of the commentary is to help you, the teacher, represent
the apostle Paul to those you teach; in representing Paul, you can expect those
you teach to capture and keep a passion for reaching the world with that
most valuable of possessions - the gospel of Jesus Christ (Yahoo!)
. . .our prayer is that you will have a fresh and intense confrontation with the
power of the gospel as revealed through Romans; that the nations of the world
that Paul longed to reach will become the objects of your own spiritual longing;
and that the horizons of the earth that filled his eyes will fill your own as
you contemplate the fields that are yet white unto harvest, and that you will
consider the one thing, the only thing, that can bring the fruit into the
storehouse - the power of the gospel!"
YAHOOOOOO!!!! Gotta love the fact that Boa and Krudenier are praying that for us! So my heart's desire. God is a missionary God. :)
There is much more to tell, but I have just spent the last 45 minutes rambling, and I want some more prayer time before the 'chillins awake for homeschool.