Thursday night, I (with much excitement and Bible-y nerdom) started back in a Precept Upon Precept class. If you are not familiar with these courses designed by Precept Ministries, I highly recommend you check out their website. There is likely a class near you that you could join! They have designed courses for children, young people, and adults all for the purpose of empowering people to know the Bible for themselves–to observe God’s truths, interpret them in context, and apply them to their lives. While I have participated in some studies independently and online in recent years, I have missed being in class with others and am glad that I made a commitment to get a class back in my schedule this year.
For the next seven weeks or so, our class will be studying 1 Timothy. We spent the first week understanding the purpose and overview of the entire epistle. This week, we are working through Chapter 1. Of the courses offered by Precept Ministries, the Precept Upon Precept classes require the most “homework.” It can be a bit challenging to manage during the semester, but so far it is helping me to stay focused on what is important, and I already find myself cutting out time wasters in my day so that I have ample time to study.
The class is set up so that we work through five days of study prior to your class meeting. During the class meeting, we discuss the Word with facilitation provided by our class leader. I am grateful that I have this opportunity to be back at home. For the first time in my life, I am going to Precept with my mom as a classmate rather than a child in the back of the room doing schoolwork and playing with friends. I finally get to learn from the phenomenal woman who has been leading her class for the past 30ish years. God is so good in His gifts to us.
So as this is a renewed part of my rhythm this year, there is a good chance you’ll see more about Precept on this blog. I think I’ll share one thing I’ve learned or a compelling question from the week. This week, the question “What are you willing to do to do what God has called you to do?” has been on my mind.
In studying Timothy’s relationship with Paul last week, we referred back to Acts.
“Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.”
—Acts 16:3 ESV
Paul did not want the people he was seeking to reach to be distracted by Timothy’s heritage, so he invited him to be circumcised–as an adult. There is no record of Timothy kicking and screaming; this did not seem to cause strife in their relationship. Timothy went all the way for the work of God. His obedience in this moment reflects his respect for Paul, but also his understanding that it wasn’t about him–this was about the work that God wanted to do through him. What a powerful testimony!
Now the question comes to us–what do we need to let God circumcise out of our lives? What needs to be cut away from our hearts, our practices, our speech so that He can use us completely for the work of the kingdom? I know I still need His surgical work in my life, and I know it won’t all be pleasant. But I know it will be personal and productive. Timothy was circumcised for his mission to reach the Jews. God has a personal mission assigned just to me, and if I am going to walk into it, I have to be sculpted and molded for that purpose. I pray that I will go before Him with complete surrender to His process and His purpose. Are you with me?
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