God created in rhythm. ~ Rebekah Lyons
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. — Luke 5:16
Welcome to the Rhythms of Renewal Online Bible Study with our teacher and friend, Rebekah Lyons.
Hey, friends! I’m Laurie McClure, editor at FaithGateway. If you’ve done studies with us before then we’ve already met. But, if you’re new to OBS, let me introduce myself. I’m a born-and-bred Southern Californian. I love the beach, the ocean, and letting my feet sink in the sand at the water’s edge is just about my favorite thing in the world (besides my precious family). I enjoy going to the movies, singing along to R&B, and I love the Word of God. I was married for twenty-four years and have five kids. Let me brew a pot of Ethiopian coffee and invite you in to my living room. If you were really here, you’d probably end up with a plate of extra-crunchy peanut butter cookies and a furry friend lounging on your lap!
If you haven’t met Rebekah yet, I know you’re going to like her as much as I do. She’s a Jesus-lover, a wife, a mother, a writer, and a speaker. She’s a voice of hope and grace for those of us who have struggled with anxiety and depression and she’s an advocate for people with Down syndrome (like two of her darling kids and my awesome nephew).
Alright, friends, we’re off! Consider this week a big introduction to the study, and we’re just dipping our toes in the water and getting an overview of the four rhythms we’re going to be learning. There’s not a lot of homework or reading this week (just the introduction), so if you’re still waiting on your materials to arrive, you still have plenty of time!
There are four concepts that we see modeled throughout Scripture, which are Rest, Restore, Connect, and Create. These would be rhythms that would help with sustained emotion, spiritual, relational, and vocational health. ~ Rebekah
This study is coming at just the right time for me in my life.
As I wrote before, it feels God-ordained. Because, friends…
I’m very tired.
I’ve been surprised to find out how many people I know are feeling the same way. Just wiped out and overwhelmed. How about you?
Have you ever been in that place where you just can’t do anything more? Where you hit a wall of fatigue and malaise that just says “Enough!”? Maybe you’re there with me now.
Right up front, I want to say (to you and myself), don’t worry about having to do more and be more. That’s not what this study is about, really. Rhythms are not resolutions, or even a to-do list, and there’s going to be a lot of room for discovery, God’s grace, and listening to your heart, body, and soul through this study as you strive to find His best for you.
The first part of this study is all about receiving from the Lord; rest, healing, recuperation. We can’t pour from an empty vase. Remember what they teach you on an airplane — you have to get your mask on first before you can help others with theirs? Before we can love and serve God and others, we need His infilling of the Holy Spirit. That’s this.
We’re starting with Rest (which we’ll talk about even more in Session Two). Which I deeply need. Not just rest, but rest in the Lord.
It’s where we come to God and we say, “Please fill me. Show me the places where I have lack.” We take inventory of our lives, we examine and confess. We get honest before God. We get raw. We say, “Please fill me. Show me what I need to know.” ~ Rebekah
These are words from the Lord for us, I believe, for this next season: life, vitality, thriving, blooming, blossoming, healthy, strong, active, energetic, purposeful, hopeful, refreshed, and renewed.
Jesus isn’t exhausted. He isn’t over-stretched. He isn’t spinning too many plates. He isn’t disconnected and frazzled. And He doesn’t want that kind of overwhelm for us either.
He came to give us life and life abundantly!
When we walk in His rhythms, we can receive His restorative rest. I’m in. How about you?
This week in your study:
1. Watch the video for session one on our study home page and… Take notes in your study guide on pages 11-15 and then please come join the conversation with our OBS community afterward! You can answer the discussion questions right after the teaching video and my closing comments and prayer.
2. Go through the study questions with your group or on your own on pages 16-19.
3. Read the introduction of Rhythms of Renewal. That’s it for this week!
4. Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 22-32.
5. Join the conversations about the study and get to know fellow participants in the private Facebook group!
Scriptures this Week
1 Corinthians 10:13
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, we love You. We want to hear Your voice, and listen to Your direction, and be filled with Your Holy Spirit. Fill up the places that are empty. Show us where we lack and where we are living less than abundantly. Give us hope where we’ve gotten too depleted and anxiety and depression have crept in. Help us to see Your beauty, Your grace, Your hope, and Your joy and to walk in them with You. We love You, Lord. Amen.