If there's one thing I've learned about my faith through the years, it's that there's a difference in knowing about the Lord and truly knowing Him. I spent many years pretending I knew God intimately when all I really knew were the stories the Bible told about Him and His people. I could quote a verse for you quickly, due to years of Sunday school, youth group, and Bible drills, but my heart was empty. From the outside, I seemed to have it all together as a Christ follower; from the heart, I was broken and lost and I didn't even realize it.
The Lord has slowly opened my eyes to this and over the past year, I've truly learned what it means to dig myself into His word, to spend time with Him and not just read a story about Him on a page. It's easy to read the Bible as a fun adventure or history story, but it's so much more than that. It's HIS story, it's OUR redemption through Him, and it's His love letter to me.
When I made my goals for this year, all seemed to pale in comparison to the first one I wrote down: pour myself into His Word daily, know Him more intimately, and pray that He pours His blessings over me through it.
The Word of the Lord seems to come alive when you read it with those intentions. And you know what else is pretty awesome? Finding sisters in Christ who have the same desires and needs for their spiritual life to walk this journey with you.
That's where HEART OF THE WORD comes in.
Today starts our study of Ephesians. I'm joining in with Bailey from Brave Love, Katie of A Place to Dwell, Rachel from Our Yellow Door, and Sarah of Joyfully Organized to get deeper into His word and to grow more as a church and as a community and we so hope you'll join us.
Bailey and I worked on a "mission statement" for this month of scripture and I love what Ephesians is going to bring:
Ephesians is a letter of encouragement and advice, written to remind believers of our immeasurable blessings in Jesus, teaching us not only to be thankful for them, but to live in a manner worthy of them. Paul reminds us that the church is not confined to four walls, that the church is HIS people, every race and every nation, people who love Christ and want to spend their days serving Him. Ephesians is all about having Christ at the center.
Isn't that what it's all about? Christ at the center. Cultivating the church to serve Him better.
Over the next month, we just simply want you to cover yourself in His Word. There are no rules or regulations to go by, we are just here to open our Bibles, read the goodness before us, and apply it to our lives. We will encourage each other and follow along daily with the hashtags #heartoftheword and #heartofEphesians on social media!
Each week, there will be a link-up on one of our blogs to offer a place to join in with a blog post, a vlog, a comment on one of our blogs, an Instagram update/Twitter shout-out, whatever your heart desires; we just want you to share what the Lord is teaching you on this journey. We just want to cultivate this community further and we want to support and encourage each other in the process!
We have come up with a calendar for anyone who may want structure, but feel free to study it with your own system. I will be following the breakdown provided below in an effort to spend more time on smaller sections of scripture. Below is also a list of which blog to link to on our weekly link-ups which will take place each Thursday.
Week 1: February 2 - 7 // Ephesians 1 - 2:13 // Link-Up @ Our Yellow Door
Week 2: February 8 - 14 // Ephesians 2:14 - 3 // Link-Up here @ Rachel Rewritten
Week 3: February 15 - 21 // Ephesians 4 + Psalm 63 // Link-Up @ Joyfully Organized
Week 4: February 22 - 28 // Ephesians 5 + 6 // Link-Up @ A Place to Dwell
The readings are about 2 chapters a week (totally manageable) so we added a Psalm to the third week to open up another book of the Bible. We have a blog button that you are free to use on any post, place on your sidebar, post on Instagram, whatever! We want you to make this study your own and figure out the best way for you to simply fill your day with the scripture. There is a link-up on Bailey's blog for you to join if you are interested in what this study has to offer--I think that will help us all get to know each other better.
We are so overjoyed at the thought of what the Lord could do through this. It's a month of scripture reading--no book, no Bible study, no commentaries, just His word. We pray that you'll join us and that you'll spread the word to get others connected!
Lord Jesus, thank you. Thank you for this community and for these women who are reading. I pray that you'll move in this study and you'll grow us in your Word and in your Truths over this next month. Holy Spirit, you are welcome here. Bless this time we share together for the furthering of your Church! That's what our hearts long for, Jesus.