My passion is to study the Bible and encourage women to do the same. God’s word is living and life changing when we get to know and apply it to our lives. It is vital we know His word and what it says to grow in our relationship with the Lord.
As a new year begins one goal that many want to accomplish is to read and study the Bible more.
To encourage you in your goal I am sharing the top post of 2013. In this post three of my friends share their love and passion for Scripture.
I am excited to have Melissa Deming, Christina Fox and Jessalyn Hutto share with us their passion for God, His Word and Bible study. I am so thankful for these ladies. They encourage, teach and mentor women daily with truth from Scripture. You will be blessed reading their comments.
The more I study the Bible, the more I discover its beauty. Far from being an old boring book full of tedious names and stuffy stories, the Holy Scriptures are a literary masterpiece. It’s why in many circles one cannot be considered well-read until he or she has grappled with the scope of the biblical storyline, interacted with its flawed characters, risen and plummeted through its rollercoaster plot, and cheered over the piercing resolution at the end of the story. Only a masterpiece can maintain a unified story that stretches over 66 books, from beginning to end – Genesis to Revelation. Only a masterpiece can utilize such literary devices that make Western epics and modern titles seem pale.
For example, did you know that the book of Ruth was written using a daunting (and very rare) literary device called a chiasm? The book is structured in layers with the outer layers mirroring each other and the inner layers mirroring each other. Where the layers finally meet in the middle, the reader finds the main point of the entire story. And oh, the middle section of Ruth (where the layers meet) a lovely place to dwell, indeed, as God provides our heroine a kinsman-redeemer!
God’s inspiration is of the very best kind. Believers need not be ashamed to take pleasure in studying God’s Word over other books. The Word of God is robust and grand. I study it because it is life-giving. I study it because it is life-changing. I study it because it is living! But I also study it because it is truly lovely – a literary masterpiece unparalleled. And why wouldn’t it be? Its author is, after all, the God who imagined colors, the God who fashioned the delicate wings of the butterfly, and the God who painted the evening sunset – all through his spoken Word. Could we expect any less grandeur from his written Word as well?
Melissa has a M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M University. Melissa and her husband, Jonathan, is helping start a church plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They have five-year-old twin boys, Zacharias and Jonah.
Melissa has written a new Bible study: Daughters of the King!
Following the resurrection, Jesus met Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus. Not realizing who he was, they told him what had happened in Jerusalem. Jesus responded, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And He explained to them the Scriptures. And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).
I often wonder what that conversation was like for those disciples. All of a sudden, the stories they’d heard their whole life fell into place. From Creation to Moses to David to the prophets, all of Scripture is about Jesus. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17).
This is why I study Scripture, to know this Jesus in whom “all things hold together.” He is the exact representation of the invisible God, who took on flesh, lived in this sinful world without sin, was despised and rejected, and died so that I might live. All of Scripture points to him; Jesus is the scarlet thread woven throughout all of God’s Word.
Like reading letters from the one we love, reading Scripture opens my eyes to God’s great love and mercy for me through Jesus Christ. Every year, I go through the Bible from beginning to end, reading the beautiful story of love, a story of sin and redemption, of runaway sinners and a holy God revealing his plan to pursue and bring them back to himself. In finding Jesus in the pages of Scripture, my heart resonates with Cleopas and his friend when they said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32) Because the more I read, the more I see how much I need a Savior and just how great a sacrifice it was when God became man and dwelt among us. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). And the more I study, the more I love him in return.
Christina, her husband and 2 boys live in Florida. She received a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and worked in the counseling field for about eight years before her oldest son was born. She no longer practices as a counselor but spends her time writing for various websites and publications. She is in her third year of homeschooling, a Bible study leader, Sunday school teacher, and facilitates a women’s discipleship group.
From my earliest days as a Christian, I was taught the importance of studying the Word of God. My church leaders and mentors stressed the need for me to be a diligent student of my Bible: reading it, memorizing it, meditating on it, and studying it. As I have grown in my walk with the Lord I’ve come to view bible study as less of a discipline and more as a nutritional necessity for my spiritual life. Knowing God, which is the sole purpose of studying his word, is my greatest desire because he is the source of all joy, peace, comfort, and hope. It is for this reason that I continue to come back to my copy of the Word day after day, seeking to understand it properly, and praying for a more complete vision of our holy and wondrous God. His Word is a precious gift to us and we rob ourselves of immense blessing if we don’t seek to mine its depths and understand its content.
Jessalyn is married to Richard and they have 3 little boys. When her husband graduates from seminary in December they are looking forward to where God leads them in ministry. Her greatest desire is to encourage women to trust in the grace of our Lord and Savior, not only for salvation, but for the strength to daily live a Christ-exalting life.
Please share your comments from the following questions:
What do you love about God’s Word and the study of it?
What are you goals for the new year to be in the Word?
Do you follow any specific reading plan?
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