For two years now, I have been regularly meeting a small group of women every Thursday. I have been given the privilege to serve the Lord in facilitating/ leading a group of women who studies the Bible together. This group has evolved from being a mere study group to a family, a sisterhood.
This group also called as a Discipleship group or Dgroup, was patterned after the early group of Christ followers who gathered together regularly at their homes for studying and fellowship. It says is Acts 2:42, 44-47 “They (believers)devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer…44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Aside from studying the God’s Word together, the members of the group encourage one another to apply the lessons learned in each bible study. Admittedly, most of the lessons are difficult to obey and apply, that is why we need to pray for one another. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable because we have developed trust in the group. We know that whatever is shared in the group stays in the group. There is a confidentiality agreement among the members.
We give godly counsel yet we lead each other to Christ as the true source of wisdom. We have become involved in each other’s lives that the concern of one member becomes the concern of the group. We look after one another, just like a family. When one seems to go astray, we gently pull them back and support them in their struggles. We praise God for a member who was triumphant in her struggles and we cheer each other as we bravely obey God’s command or leading.
As the one who facilitates, I do not claim to holier than anybody in the group. I have not memorized the entire Bible but I’d love to someday. I have my own bouts of depression and unfaithfulness. But like the other women in the group, I too am learning from God’s word and from each member’s experience. Sometimes the lesson that God leads to prepare is the lesson that I need to hear myself. We laugh, we cry, we eat, we encourage and we love one another sincerely.
What do we study? We equip ourselves with the basic truths about God and the Bible. We also look at some bible characters and trace their journey with God. They went through the same struggles that we go through today. They doubted, disobeyed, were full of pride and sinful. Because they are imperfect like us, we can look to them as examples of what to do and what not to do. We observe their attitudes, their flaws and their sin not to judge but to learn from them.
We thank God for their triumphs yet we are not to look to them but instead look to God because it was God who saw them through it all. However, there is one model to emulate and follow and that is Jesus Christ himself. He is the true example of a sinless man, who walked among us. He lifted up our hands to help us stand in our troubles. He touched us to heal our bodies. He taught us so we would know the truth. He died so we can live.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls”...Jeremiah 6:16
Though the Bible was written thousands of years ago, following the words written on it is not an old-fashioned way of living, it is the way to live. Although it is the oldest published book, the lessons and principles we get are still relevant today because we have an unchanging God. We have encyclopedias, almanacs and self-help books but these books need to be revised and updated every so often. Some are even considered obsolete. But the Bible still stands true and unchanging. It remains inerrant (no error) or infallible (no mistakes). Why? Because the God who created the entire universe, who parted the Red Sea, who fed the 5000, is the same God who breathed life into the Bible and he is the same God who looks at us today. He is the same God who searches for us, the good shepherd who will search his one lost sheep.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
To quote the New Living Translation commentary about the Bible: “The Bible is not a collection of stories, fables, myths or merely human ideas about God. It is not a human book. Through the Holy Spirit, God revealed his person and plan to certain believers, who wrote down from their own personal, historical and cultural contexts. Although they used their own minds, talents, language and style, they wrote what God wanted them to write. Scripture (the Bible) is completely trustworthy because God was in control of its writing. Its words entirely authoritative for our faith and life. The Bible is “God-breathed”. Read it and use its teachings to guide your conduct.
Because it is inspired, useful and trustworthy, we should READ it and APPLY it to our life. The Bible is our standard for testing everything else that claims to be true. It is our safeguard against false teaching and our source of guidance for how we should live. It is our only source of knowledge about how we can be saved. God wants to show you what is true and equip you to live for him. How much time do you spend in God’s Word? Read it regularly to discover God’s truth and to become confident in your life and faith. Develop a plan for reading the whole Bible, not just familiar passages.” NLT Parallel Study Bible
Reading the Bible does not cut it, we need to apply what we learn and that’s what makes our journey so exciting. You see faith in action. Our time spent studying is not a waste of time, but an investment. If you want to know more about a person, who spend time with that person. You have coffee with them, share intimate details and really get to know them. If we want to know God, where will we find Him? The Bible, the words written there are His words.
It is also necessary to be part of a group that studies the Bible together. Being in a group has personally helped me in my walk with God. You will be surprised at how God will speak to you as you hear the sharing of others and that others will benefit from you your personal sharing as well. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
So, if you are curious about what I’m talking about or have that desire in your heart to know God intimately, then open your Bible and read it. You might be intimated at first or find it confusing, don’t fret. It will take time. Don’t rush it. Also, there are a lot of bible study groups where you can join and have a deeper understanding of God. Once you’ve set your heart and mind to it and sincerely search God with all your heart, I am confident that God will make Himself known to you. “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me” Jeremiah 29:13
Studying the Bible does not or will not make you religious, nor will it convert you to another faith. Studying the Bible will open your eyes to who the real God is, what is His plan for the world and what is your role in His great plan. Don’t delay, get excited!
If you need help in studying the Bible or want to be connected to a group, shoot me an email at [email protected] and I will gladly assist you in any way I can. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.
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