I used to lead a small Bible Study called Extollo Deus. Extollo Deus is Latin for “To the Glory of God.” I created the group with the idea of having a few men who were dedicated to reading their Bibles daily and to memorizing scripture on a monthly basis. The group lasted for a year and we memorized a lot of scripture. Unfortunately, accoutability can sometimes hamper a relationship with God. If you feel like it is a requirement to read your Bible and there are consequences for not reading your Bible then sometimes your spiritual walk becomes as boring as walking on a treadmill and staring at a wall – you go through the motions but you don’t enjoy it.
The difference between a relationship and a requirment is that when we spend time with someone we love the time spent with them is cherished. We look forward to that time, we can’t wait to see them and we hate it when they have to leave. Deep rewarding relationships take time, they require give and take from both parties.
Looking back on the year of Extollo Deus I had all these great hopes for the group and I really wanted us to be like a Fraternity, a brotherhood of young men who wanted to seek the face of God. I desired so badly to have a ministry that was great and excellent and called us as men out of our complacency. The problem with it was that I was relying too much on myself and not enough on God. Our scripture memory became a burden instead of joy, and when I moved to Plano I knew that I wasn’t going to continue the group.
Extollo Deus wasn’t a complete bust. No, we did spend a lot of time in the word and we did memorize a lot of scripture and the Bible says that God’s word does not come back void.
Extollo Deus also taught me to trust in God and to pray for direction. All the Glory was supposed to be going to God, but I am not sure if in my heart if that is what I really wanted – perhaps I wanted some of the glory for myself?
One of my favorite verses and favorite memories of the group was when I gave the guys their final exams and they had to write out their scriptures at the end of the semester.
This was what I got from Josh Sizelove
3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of Mass Destruction in the right hand and in the left; 8through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
It should have read “…weapons of righteousness”
I loved this verse mostly because of the ending. “Poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” We have nothing, but when we share the gift of Christ we “‘make many rich” and even though we have nothing when you have Christ you have everything that you need! Awesome.
I love you all.