The Two Chapter Test

Whenever my children were assigned a book to read for school, I avoided arguments about whether or not they had to by implementing what I called The Two Chapter Test.

The Two Chapter Test was simple. Whenever I required a book be to read, they could not argue with me about it until they had read two chapters. Then (and only then) would I engage in a discussion about why they should or shouldn’t have to read that particular book. If their reasoning was sound (and I could justify using another resource) we would use something else.

The usual result of The Two Chapter Test was that they read the whole book without complaint. Once they had given it a chance, they were hooked.

You are probably expecting me to tell you to give the Bible The Two Chapter Test so I’ll pause here to suggest you do just that every day–give the Bible The Two Chapter (or Section or Verse) Test. See if it doesn’t leave you wanting more.

As valuable as The Two Chapter (or Section or Verse) Test may be to kick start your Bible study journey, the lesson I have recently learned is how this test applies to all areas of my life–ministry, work, fitness, homemaking, etc.

One of my children recently took a job that requires them to be away from home for the majority of the next five months. After their first day, I received a text at 1:38 am. They were convinced they had made a mistake and wanted to go home. Twenty minutes later, after telling them not to make any decision in the middle of the night and to call in the morning, I headed back to bed. When they called several hours later, Tim and I reminded them of The Two Chapter Test and encouraged them to wait until the end of the week before making any decisions–to give it the equivalent of The Two Chapter Test. Two days later they apologized for their frantic middle-of-the-night texting and said they were enjoying themselves and wanted to stay.

I realize now that I’ve approached most of life that way. Homeschooling is a prime example of how this has worked in my life. I never said I would homeschool four children all the way through (25-30 years is a long commitment). I didn’t want to read that particular “book.” I always said that we would homeschool “this year” and think about “next year”–my Two Chapter Test. Each year I would say the same thing until, before I knew it, I was finished. Once I jumped in and tried it, I just kept going until that part of my journey (the book) was done.

There have been many times when I didn’t want to do something, but once I started, I just kept going. Once I tried it, I even enjoyed the experience as a whole (not that their weren’t challenging parts to get through on occasion).

So on this life journey, I encourage you to take up the challenge currently before you and give it The Two Chapter Test. See what happens!

 

Have you ever given a life project the equivalent of The Two Chapter Test?
What happened?

Are you being led to a Two Chapter Test now?

Do you have a favorite verse that would help someone who needs to jump into a project?

The Mundane

How does God use you in the daily, normal activity of your life?

Teaching Sunday school for three-year-olds or third graders, leading Bible studies at church or home, taking a meal to someone who lost a loved one or who is homebound, caring for a sick child or talking with the kids in your carpool, and sharing Christ with a co-worker or neighbor are all important. Such activities may not be as sensational as being a nationally recognized author or speaker, but they are just as much a part of God’s plan. They show the face of God to those around us. They are important—eternally significant.

What do we learn about the work we do for God in the following passages? (Look up at least 2.)

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Galatians 6:9-10

Ephesians 5:8b-9

Colossians 3:23-24

God has blessed His children with a variety of gifts, service, and activities. Regardless of what our gifts are, we are empowered to use them by God Himself. When we are tired, frustrated, or burned out, we are to resist the urge to give up. We are to hold on because we know that a reward, an inheritance, awaits us. We are to do whatever is good, right, and true whenever we have an opportunity. We are to do it all whole-heartedly because we are serving the risen Christ.

The mundane becomes holy when it is done for God.

The mundane becomes holy when it is done for God. Even Jesus, the King of Kings, performed the lowly task of washing the disciples’ feet. If washing feet is the work we are expected to do then wash feet we must. Whatever God has for us to do, it is significant.

Sometimes we just need to be reminded that our work matters and that whatever we do we do it empowered by God. Regardless of how you might feel about the work before you, don’t waste time. God has given you a gift, a service to fulfill, and an activity to perform. He will empower you to do what He has called you to do. Resist the urge to give up. There is an inheritance waiting for you.

Whenever the opportunity to do things that are good, right, and true presents itself, seize it! Give yourself wholeheartedly to the task. Any task God asks you to do is significant!

Any task God asks you to do is significant!

 

(This post is adapted from Elijah: Lessons on God and Godly Living from One Flawed Human to Another by Trisha L. Knaul.)

How does God use you in the daily, normal activity of your life?

Do you struggle to believe that the things you do on a daily basis really matter?

Do you have any additional insights from the passages you read?

Easter 2018

Do not be afraid,
for I know that you are looking for Jesus,
who was crucified.

He is not here,
he has risen,
just as he said.
(Matthew 28:5-6)

Don’t be alarmed…
You are looking for Jesus,
the Nazarene, who was crucified.
He has risen!
(Mark 16:6)

Why do you look for the living
among the dead?
He is not here;
he has risen!
(Luke 24:6)

I have seen the Lord!
(John 20:18)

It is true!
The Lord has risen…
(Luke 24:34)

We have seen the Lord!
(John 20:25)

Why are you troubled,
and why do doubts rise in your minds?
Look at my hands and my feet.
It is I myself!
(Luke 24:39)

…blessed are those who have not seen
and yet have believed.
(John 20:29)

 

 

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™