Encouraging God’s People to Study the Bible Better!
Welcome to the February edition of the Bible-Student-Online.org e-zine, The Encourager.
Here in North America, the winter drags on. But God continues to bless His children. What better time to study God's Word than during the cold winter months?
...without further ado...
Here are some of the useful little tidbits we’re offering for this Christmas…
1. Tip of the Month – Supercharge your Bible study time with these great ideas.
2. Starters of the Month – Can’t find anything to study? Look here for “starter” ideas.
3. Study of the Month – We’ve posed a question that we would like you to answer by making a thorough study of the Bible. Feel free to use resources. But the applications need to be your own.
4. What’s New? – We have several projects going (and are we busy!) Find out the "new news" here at Bible-Student-Online.org!
Alright…let’s get to it!
Bible Study Tip of the Month
Gripping God's Word
William J. Brown
When I was a teenager, I had a chance to serve at a Bible youth camp in the foothills of Northern California. I practically lived at that camp during the summer.
That camp offered many exciting experiences, including vigorous mountain hikes, fire-side song services and spirit building chapel services, among other activities. There was something for everyone at camp.
One of the most popular was the climbing wall. It wasn't an easy one either. I remember the first time I tried it. No matter what I did, I couldn't get to the top. I kept losing my hand hold and falling backward, dangling by the belaying line. I finally gave up.
Years later, I had a chance to tackle another climbing wall, this time determined to conquer it. Although I was fifteen years older (and several pounds heavier) I made it to the top with surprising speed.
Just recently, I scaled another climbing wall, making it to the top with surprising agility. Even with a bad knee and the drawback of ill health, I scaled a climbing wall used by the soldiers in military exercises!
That irony was never lost on me. When I should have been at my most energetic, drawing on the strength of my youth, I couldn't scale a climbing wall. Could that wall just have been that much more difficult? Possibly. But I doubt it.
It took the seasoning of years for me to realize what truly got someone...anyone...to the top...focus. Only after a period of maturation, did I realize this.
I see a parallel in my Bible study life as well. It took me many years to develop a Bible study plan that worked for me. At first, I used all the gimmicks out there. None ever worked for me. Why?...
Because I didn't have the right mindset. We can have the best plan in the world to study the Bible and still fail. On the other hand, we can have the worst possible goals set and yet still reach the top every time. It's all a matter of grit, determination and good old-fashioned stick-to-it-iveness.
Of course, we must ask God to help us everyday. That's a given. And I hope we all do that. But there's a point where Bible study becomes our responsibility. At that point, we must hold on for all we're worth.
It's during those difficult times in our lives, when we don't feel God is very close, that we must study God's Word. It's during those seasons when we're tired and too worn down to read the Bible that we must do just that...read!
We can't give in to discouragement or laziness. Combine those ingredients, and we've produced a recipe for disaster. We must stick to the Word of God...
...no excuses...no complaining. God's Word is too important just to gather dust on our bookshelves. We must get that grip and hold on to our resolve to study our Bibles!
That's it for this month. I hope this was a help. We'll have more next month.
Keep up the good work. And...
Keep the faith!
Bible Study Starters of the Month
Here are a couple ideas to jump-start your brain for your personal Bible study…
1. Study John 3:16 on your own and with a few Bible commentaries. What did you find in your studies?
2. Look for every mention of the word love. Answer these questions...
What book of the Bible has the most references to love?
Which has the second most?
Bible Study Project of the Month
Put on your thinking caps this month...
February is the month of love. Why not take that theme and follow it through the Bible? Get a good concordance or Bible study program, and have fun! As you study, ask yourself these questions...
How does the Bible define love in each instance?
Who is doing the loving in each instance?
When and where do these actions of love take place?
Taking into consideration all these factors, what is a complete definition of love?
And of course...
Contact us through our “Contact Page”, and tell us what you found. We're interested to hear what your studies turn up!
Well, we have good news and bad new. Which do you want to hear first?
OK. I'll give you the good news first. We're almost caught up with the mountain of tests that landslided us over the holidays. Praise God!
The bad news is tests are coming in at such a rate, we can hardly keep up with them! But that's not necessarily bad news. It just means we have to readjust our goals a bit.
Because of that, we're still working on several Bible studies that we wanted to get up much sooner. Don't fret! We'll get them up eventually. These things take time. So please be patient.
Also, lately, I've seen a problem developing in our tests. Several have sent in tests that contained incorrect email addresses. Please make sure you check and double-check that your email address is correct before you send your tests. If the email is wrong, we can't send the results back to you.
Thanks a lot for all your prayers. We love you all. And we hope God continues to bless you.
That about wraps it up for this month. We hope you enjoyed this e-zine provided by Bible-Student-Online.org.