So far, we’ve encouraged you to pick up your Bible and read, pray, and serve. In July, the CSB is looking to pick up the Bible and explore. Exploration can be physical, spiritual, relational, educational, and anything in between! Here are just a few ideas on expanding your spiritual topography, but there are certainly more opportunities to explore that aren’t represented here. Half the fun of exploration is doing it in the most beneficial way for your journey!
Explore the Bible
The Bible is a large book. There’s so much happening narratively and formally that it can be easy to reread the parts of the Bible we are familiar with, or that have the stories that we know and bring us comfort. Because, let’s face it, some parts of the Bible are just plain difficult to read (looking at you, Numbers!). But all aspects of the Bible are important and feed into the greater redemptive arc. But when’s the last time any of us cracked open, say, Habakkuk? Malachi? 1, 2, or 3 John? This month, we encourage you to visit the parts of the Bible that you typically avoid. We are sure that you will find something life-giving in those pages. We are sure that you will learn something new. We are sure that you will find God on every page.
Explore your surroundings
Whether you’ve lived in the same house for decades or you recently moved to a new place, there are new and beautiful sights to be found where you live. How often do we go out just to explore where we live? To take in the people, architecture, and nature of our surroundings? Take a walk, go for a drive, sit on your back porch – take in the world around you! And be mindful of the glory being reflected all around you. Be in conversation with God, praying as the kaleidoscopic wonders of his creation remind us of his righteousness.
Explore your community
Another way to find God in our surroundings is to speak with our community, exploring their lives. Their walks with God. Ask that widow in your church how she clings to God. What’s her story? What about the deacon in the front pew? Ask the children in your life how they view God. Their answers will be larger than ours! As we get to see the myriad ways in which God has worked through others’ lives, we start to better understand our place in the tapestry of his plan.
Explore the past
The Church has a rich, deep history. One of the best ways to grow theologically is to explore the history of Christ’s Bride. Listen to old sermons. Read the memoirs of early church fathers, missionaries, and other Kingdom workers. Their testimonies and work paint important pictures of the world they lived in, how they affected change, and how we can boldly work to impact similar change. By exploring the Church’s past we can better understand where the Church currently stands.
Explore your thoughts
For some of us, this may be difficult to do! But it’s crucial that we fully understand what we think so that we can explain, reshape, and refine our beliefs. Take some time for yourself to journal, or simply rest and process. Find however you process best. Don’t shy away from negative emotions and tough questions. Wrestle with them. Life is hard. The Bible is complex. May we all take the time to center ourselves on God’s Word with understanding and clarity. Through this exploration, we come to know ourselves and God so much better.