My first womens bible study was called “Why Godly People Do Ungodly Things” by Beth Moore, not exactly the most appealing title! However, it was the only study offered at my church and I wanted to grow in faith, so I enrolled in the study. Hesitant and turned off by the title, I arrived on the first day of the study, grabbed my workbook from the stack of books, and then turned around and headed out the door. I was too uncomfortable and felt out of place. As I was leaving the church, a friend saw me and questioned me. When I told her about my lack of commitment and uncertainty about the book subject, she grabbed both my eyes with hers and gave me “the talk.”
The talk my friend gave me changed my life and placed me directly before God and my bible. She has no idea…God simply used her through our relationship and the glory goes to Him, not to the friend. In fact, today, I can no longer remember her name…she was a distant friend, an acquaintance. John C Maxwell once said “You never know when God will use you to be a miracle in someone else’s life.” He used my friend that day.
As I was pulling away from Bible study, and away from God, my friend interrupted my path. She explained to me how Satan, the father of all lies, would do everything in his power to keep me from Bible study. She revealed to me that Satan did not want me to know scripture, and more importantly, he did not want me to have an intimate relationship with God. If I listen to the small voice in my head, making so many excuses for not going to the bible study, then I was following Satan and not God. She encouraged me to listen to my heart.
With my heart I knew I wanted to be closer to God, know more of His word and study the Bible. So I made a U-turn in life, redirected my path, and walked into my first bible study.
When I arrived, a welcome group of women invited me in, and started what appeared to be a routine bible study session. Begin with prayer, open your Bibles…
I was in DESPERATE trouble! I did NOT have a bible. I was at my first Bible study and did not think to bring a bible. Actually, I did not even own a bible. Ducking my head in shame, a kind woman offered me the standard church bible from a stack in the back of the room. The church bible had such tiny print, in red letters, I could hardly focus my eyes. I felt so lost…yet so loved…all at the same time.
At the completion of my “Why Godly People Do Ungodly Things” by Beth Moore bible study, I learned two things:
- The bible is not just a book with prayers and commandments to memorize, it’s a LIVING love letter from God.
- I could not learn this on my own, and needed a Bible leader, such as Beth Moore or Jennifer Rothschild.
Soon I was participating in more small group studies, and found myself exploring workbooks by other authors, such as Max Lucado, Jennifer Rothschild, Priscilla Shirer, Anne Graham Lotz, Kay Arthur, Nancy Lee DeMoss and more. I realize that although I enjoyed Beth Moore studies, I needed to explore other authors as well, or I could easily turn Beth Moore into an idol. Beth didn’t want me to read the Bible for Beth, she wanted me to read the bible for the Lord and to discover God in the pages of scripture. So I balanced my workbooks and study with various authors. In my current bible study plan, I alternate a short 6-week study with a long 10-week Beth Moore study and I find balance.
Now that I’ve shared my first Bible study experience, I’d like to know more about yours. What was your first experience like? Please post a comment below!