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Deuteronomy 6:6-7
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SWEAT 5
Posted on January 08, 2010

The final letter of SWEAT is “T,” “Time.” It takes time to develop intimacy with God through the Word. We do not like this. We live in a culture of 24 hour news cycles. I get tweets on my phone, and status updates from facebook constantly telling me what my friends are thinking/doing. I can click on the web and find information in a matter of seconds. If I can’t remember where a verse is in the Bible I can do a search on a word or concept in my Bible software and find it in a matter of second. I zap commercials. I microwave popcorn. I get frustrated if I have to wait for anything. Time is money. We only get 168 hours of it a week.


God does not dwell in time. He transcends it. There is no sequence to His experience or knowledge. He wants a relationship with us and for us that means we have to invest the time. We cannot take a pill, stick something in a microwave, and create a relationship with God. We can’t do that with the people who are closest to us. It takes time, both in quantity and quality.

Category: Bible Study

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SWEAT 4
Posted on January 07, 2010

This is the fourth post on this so we must be on “A.” “A” stand for “Apply.” Howard Hendricks is a professor at Dallas Seminary. He has written several books and has an extensive speaking ministry. He taught at Dallas only the fall semester while I was there. He traveled in the spring and summer speaking literally all over the world. You can hear a lot of his messages here.


One of the courses he taught was introduction to hermeneutics. It is a fancy seminary word for interpretation. The course was really about how to do effective Bible Study. Prof (that is what most of us called him) is passionate about inductive Bible study. In the student lounge there was wall paper with interpretive art that depicted seminary life. One of the images was Prof writing O. I. C. A. on the board; the four steps of inductive study; Observation, Interpretation, Correlation, and Application. One of Prof’s more frequent admonitions was, “Interpretation without Observation is Abomination, but Interpretation without Application is Abortion.” Strong words. The point he was driving home is that God did not give us the Bible to increase our knowledge or enable us to win at Biblical Trivial Pursuit. He intends our interaction with the Bible to be transformative. That requires us to act on what we encounter there.

Category: Bible Study

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SWEAT 3
Posted on January 06, 2010

So we have seen that it can be hard work to meet with the Lord in the Word. (For a couple of really good insights into that click here and here.) If that is all that we have to look forward to in this journey of getting to know Christ through His Word, the line to start the process would not be very long. I am not a big fan of exercise. I do it. Not as often as I should. But I do it. The pattern has been that exercise goes in phases for me. When there is a break in the phase, that is when because of travel, illness, or other circumstances I have had a layoff in consistency, I really hate getting started again. I have lost so much momentum. It is like starting all over – probably because it is starting all over. But there comes a time about three or four weeks into the process where my muscles and cardio vascular system have adjusted, and it becomes a pleasure to be out there. I begin to notice the scenery and my surroundings rather than having to concentrate solely on the process of the exercise. There have been times it has been an absolute joy.


That is what the “E” is about in “SWEAT.” Jeremiah 15:16 (one of my favorite verses, btw) says, “Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.” Note that the action of eating the Word of God came prior to Jeremiah’s attitude toward the Word of God. What does eating do for us. In the physical sense it gives us fuel to run our bodies. We cannot go very long without it. When we eat the food becomes a part of us, literally. It is used to create and repair cells. It powers our systems. It allows us to live.

Category: Bible Study

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SWEAT 2
Posted on January 05, 2010

We saw yesterday that we can become partakers of the divine nature through exercising faith, applying the promises of God. This is because they are based on His nature and character. As we trust what He has revealed to us then we prove His word in our life.


Study is the first word in the acronym Sweat, it refers to this process. In order to trust the promise of God, the Word of God, we have to know what it says and reveals about Him. The only way I know to do that is through the Study of the Scriptures. Sure we can read about what others have studied, but that would be somewhat like courting through a proxy. We would have no firsthand experience.

Category: Bible Study

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SWEAT 1
Posted on January 04, 2010

A while back one of you noticed the acronym SWEAT in the picture from the Friday evening meeting in Trinidad. I got an email asking what that was all about. Bottom line it was and is a way to remember what we needed to do to build on the week of investigating the Nature and Character of God.


In response to his email I sent the top level of the acronym and asked if he wanted me to expand it. He did. So I decided to do that here over the next five days (or so). Thought that may be a good way to start the year.

Category: Bible Study

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