Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Living into a Challenge

Charter Oak Church is in on day 17 of a 40-day challenge to read a chapter of scripture and journal about it each day. We are all reading the same chapter. We have set up a blog for people to leave comments about what they are reading.

I honestly didn't know how this challenge would be accepted. Would people push back? Would people ignore the idea? What would really happen?

I have been amazed by the number of people who have approached me about their journey through this challenge. One man bought his first Bible. One man is secretly writing in his journal - he doesn't want his wife to know. One woman has already asked me for 40 more days. One man stopped me three different times to thank me for what it is doing in his spiritual development.

I am encouraged by these stories. I am encouraged by the people who are going on the blog and leaving comments about their learning from the daily readings.

It is my personal experience that I grow when I am challenged. The bigger the challenge the harder I will work to meet it. I will read. I will study. I will seek the wisdom of others. I will do all of this because someone has challenged me. I also know that when God challenges me that is an indicator that He is about to move me into something bigger that I need to prepare for. He always equips before He sends.

One of the things we do around here is equip people to become more like Jesus. Reading, studying, writing in a journal, and praying over Scripture is a great way to be equipped. But as James 1:22 says, "Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." My hope and prayer is that through this 40-day challenge, not only will people read, study, and journal, but they will also do what God wants them to do.