A couple of months ago, I began leading a small group of senior ladies at my church. I can’t begin to describe what meeting with these women has meant to me! I have learned so much from them, and I feel so fortunate to benefit from their experience and wisdom. We are currently in the middle of a book study entitled ‘A Good Old Age’ by Derek Prime. Although the title may be a little off-putting, the intent is on point!
Reverend Prime lists A to Z character traits all Christians should have as they age. It’s not as hard as you think. There are so many wonderful qualities that Jesus portrays in Scripture, which we should emulate in our daily walk. Each of the 26 chapters provides both biblical and modern day examples of the trait Prime selected. This book has been such an enjoyable and informative resource for us, I am sure anyone at any age would find it relevant and inspiring.
Discussing the book may appear to be the main focus of our sessions, but each week we learn that God has a different plan for us. The conversations that grow from our discussion of the traits are laced with laughter and tears. In sharing our lives with each other, we become bonded and invested in one another, as the Lord intends for His children to be. He often reminds someone in our group of an experience to share, or Scripture memorized in years past, that encourages and edifies the other members. Our faith is ultimately strengthened by learning how God has shaped individual lives and provided for every need.
Psalm 119 – God’s Alphabet
Using the alphabet to glorify God is not a new idea. The psalmist who wrote Psalm 119 used the Hebrew alphabet to describe the Word of God in almost every verse. The 22 sections, one for each letter in the Hebrew alphabet, contain 8 verses in each section. In reading so many beautiful and detailed descriptions, it’s easy to understand why the apostle Peter described God’s Word as “living and abiding forever.” (1 Peter 1:23 – 25)
The psalmist uses several synonyms for God’s Word – law, statutes, precepts, and commandments, just to name a few. Each verse lyrically describes the blessings of being knowledgeable of Scripture, and encourages the reader to dedicate time each day to read, memorize, and meditate on it. Through our obedience to learning the Word, God is able to fill our hearts with instruction for daily living. Memorizing it will make Scripture available to us wherever we go, and God can call to our mind passages from His Word to encourage and uplift us, regardless of the situation in which we find ourselves. Without this knowledge, our access to Him is limited by our lack of preparedness. Keep in mind that everything we need to know about life, and about Him, is provided through His living Word.
Tracy Gardner also wrote her own ABC’s of Christian Life, and challenged me to do the same, which I did. What joy was produced from this simple exercise! Some letters were easy to assign an aspect of a Christian life, for example J – Jesus, joy, joyful, etc. – but some, not so easy (X? – ugh!). However, the difficult letters required me to dig a little: to reflect deeply on God’s goodness and expand my vocabulary in describing it. Not only did I find that I was meditating on God’s blessings, I was also recalling verses memorized previously that specifically addressed the word I’d chosen. In effect, the exercise of listing my “ABC’s” actually became a blessing, and a topical study in God’s Word.
We found that reading each other’s lists was also encouraging to us. Sharing our thoughts in this manner required us to consider another point of view and see God’s goodness through the eyes of someone else, which is always exciting!
We would like to challenge you to do the same. Tracy’s ABC’s are listed below. Why don’t you try this exercise and share it with us in the comments? To deepen your study, look for Scripture that addresses the traits you choose. I’m sure you will learn something new about yourself, or about your identity in Christ. Please share with us!
Tracy’s ABC’s of Christian Life
Allow God to work in your life
Be available to God
Declare His promises
Fight the good fight
Grow in Knowledge and Wisdom
Honor God in everything
Isn’t about me – It’s what God’s will is – not my will!
Jesus loves me – This I do know!
Keep Loving – Keep Praying – Keep Believing
Look for ways to love so I can show His love to others
Never ever give in or give up
Praise Him, Pray
Quietly serve and Quietly give
Stay in the Word
Utter His name in times of need
Value what God values
Watch for signs of His presence and His will. Witness
Xtra – be extra, when and where God says to
Yearn for Jesus
Tanya Nelson is a freelance writer and guest blogger for Crossroads Play Therapy. As a young widow, she frequently uses her personal experiences with grief to share God’s promises of healing and restoration. Tanya believes the purpose of her writing is to point others toward discovering the nature of God through His Word. It is her desire that readers will come to understand that God provides all we need to heal and live victoriously.