I'm so thankful for SRT. I had been hungry for a Bible study that would speak to me more personally. I'd tried (and I still read) devotionals -- online and in print -- and I'd done other online Bible studies, and while they're all great, I still felt like somehow I wasn't "doing it right". My husband and I are part of a Life Group through our church, and I lead a (very) small group on a separate Bible study, and it's absolutely wonderful to be able to speak to people in person about the scripture and the study, and to have people present to ask/answer questions. But even still, I've needed something quiet. Something just for God and me (which seems funny as I sit writing and sharing on different forums, but my SRT blog posts are to hold myself accountable mainly, and they're my extended version of journaling and reflecting on the study). I needed something that I could chew on and meditate on. Something that I could intentionally reflect on and pray over, and really seek answers for from God Himself, through His Word and through prayer. SRT was the answer.
I found SRT through Instagram, of all places, and immediately fell head-over-heels. I knew right away that this was my study. I started on the Sermon On The Mount, and I will never look back.
So today we started on Hosea, and after reading Day 1 I'm even more excited to get into the study than I thought I was yesterday, or the day before, etc.
In reference to Hosea 2:16, my study Bible says:
We should never serve God out of obligation or tradition. Rather, our obedience to Him should spring from the adoration and respect we feel for Him.
It's so easy to get stuck in the "routine of worship". As a worship leader, I know this very well to be true. But it's something we all need to be so very conscious of in our hearts. How do you worship? What are you worshipping? Who are you worshipping? Are you worshipping God?
Then in reference to Hosea 2:20, my study Bible says:
Our highest and most fulfilling purpose is an intimate relationship with the Lord God.
A friend of mine recently experienced serious disappointment. When she turned to me for comfort, I prayed for guidance, and God made it clear to me that I needed to speak some truth into my friend's life. That truth was that we cannot ever be truly satisfied -- with anything -- until we turn our lives over to Christ. There will always be disappointments in life. That's life. But learning and accepting that nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important or worthwhile than our relationship with Christ will set us free.
One of the opening paragraphs of today's study was just... perfect:
We are a worshiping people. It’s in our spiritual DNA. Our hearts were made to hold to something, and we hold on with all our might. Thing is, we tend to worship the wrong thing. We worship dream homes and paychecks, pinterest boards and people. We worship what we lack and what we want, and sometimes we even worship ourselves. We want so desperately to be whole and happy and loved, but instead we’re a discontent, idol-making mess.
This is painfully true. For everyone. I often find myself getting caught up with so many worldly "things" (possessions) and worldly "issues" (self-confidence, mostly), and when I see it in myself I have to really make a point to just STOP. To stop obsessing, to stop worrying, to stop, stop, stop. Because whatever it is that is occupying my mind the most throughout the day, is what I'm worshipping. SRT says, "Our hearts were made to hold to something." What has my heart been holding onto? Yikes. (I'm ready to study Hosea. I need this very, very badly.)
Here we go.