Guest Blogger: Christine

Christine is a dear friend of mine.  She has some great words about bible study!!

A Journey into BSF

Last September, I joined BSF – Bible Study Fellowship.  BSF is a nine month bible study (Sept-May) that meets weekly to dive into God’s word.   I have heard of BSF from some women in my church, and a few of my friends who I considered to be “hard core” Christians – the bible scholarly type.  In other words, not me.   I was afraid that I would be embarrassed because I didn’t have enough bible verses memorized, or  that if I did join – I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the work.  The list goes on and on… I had a ton of reasons for NOT joining.    A good friend of mine encouraged me to come and just “check it out”.  No judgment if I decided it wasn’t my thing.  So I went.  And it has literally changed my view of God.

Last year we studied the book of Isaiah.  We spent 9 months walking through every verse of this amazing book of the old testament.   In a nutshell, I learned about God’s faithfulness to his people.   I learned about His purity, and about His unfailing love.  What stood out the most to me was the uncompromising message of judgment and grace, and how it must be proclaimed!    Studying the book of Isaiah through BSF taught me more about God’s character than any other bible study I had ever done. 

I love the 4-step approach that BSF takes to studying the bible.   It is systematic, and thorough.  It challenges you to go deeper, and gives you the tools to understand what you are reading. 

Step one:  Study on your own.  Each week at BSF, the small group leader gives you a handout with questions for that week.  The questions will lead you through a section of the bible – usually 1-3 chapters.   The questions are divided into 6 days, and each day should take 20-30 minutes.   I did what I could with the time I had each week – and found myself feeling blessed with however I got the work done.    I decided I couldn’t be legalistic about how, when or where I studied.  The fact that I had a bible open, and I was spending time with God was what mattered. 

Step two:  Discuss.  After spending the week studying on your own, it’s time to come to class and share your findings.  I loved this part!  I was free to share when I felt led to share, and could stay quiet when I needed to just listen.  Some questions are specific to the bible passage, other questions asked how we have applied a particular truth to our own lives.  Love it.

Step three: Listen.  After the discussion group, we would gather as a big group to listen to a lecture on the same passage.   This is where I felt I really got a firm hold on what the bible was teaching. 

Step four: Read.  At the end of the lecture, you receive a set of notes to read on the passage of scripture.  This last step cemented in what I learned. 

I found myself absolutely delighting in God’s word.  I felt drawn to my study each week.  I know that the Holy Spirit gently nudged me to open my heart and my mind to BSF. 

This year’s study is on the book of Acts.  I know this study will be rich and full of promise.  If you’d like to join a group, I want to encourage you to check out the website this week.   Groups start the week after Labor day – go to www.bsfinternational.com , and click on “find a class”.   

I am feeling that familiar “nudge”, that yearning to learn more about my God.  I can’t wait to get started.   Want to join me?

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Comments

  1. That’s awesome Christine! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jessica Green says:

    I concur!!!! Anyone reading this, I have had the joy of studying God’s word for the past 7 years in BSF and started with the Acts study. I went from a lukewarm christian who knew about Jesus to an on fire Christian who KNEW Jesus. I had been a Christian for 20 years but barely knew anything in my bible. In the sanctuary, on the first night of the Acts class, I felt overjoyed ! I was in the right place at the right time. I only wish I had started years earlier. Everyone is welcome, all denominations, all levels of knowledge. God used BSF to feed me his word and it has been one of the greatest blessings of my life! Its not to late to sign up for this year! Acts: the beginning of the church:) Thanks for sharing so beautifully Christine! I was so happy to read your entry!

  3. My first Bible Study Fellowship was decades ago, when it was still a five year study of the Bible. Back then, my children and Jen were still in preschool!

    Like many women, and men too, who study Miss A. Wetherell Johnson’s Bible Study, I became completely in love with Jesus and the Word of God. Back then, Debbie Boone’s big hit was, “You Light Up My Life”, and I remember heading down Terry Street in Longmont, Colorado from First Christian Church towards home, bellowing out that song. I was singing of Jesus. He lights up my life. He is the Light of my life to this day. That first year’s study was the Book of John.

    I had a two-fold inspiration for going to BSF. One, a beloved friend and neighbor was a BSF Leader and she encouraged me to find the time and the ability to go. To this day, I praise God for her being in my life. Through her gentle and loving friendship, I honored her kindness.. only to find the greatest love of my life, Jesus.

    The other inspiration for going to BSF gives me a very unique understanding of Miss A. Wetherell Johnson, and her complete devotion to God, her total submission to the Word of God, and her deep desire to bring others to Him. My grandmother was in one of Miss Johnson’s very first Bible Studies in California, and my grandfather was in her very first Bible Study with men. They knew her personally, and they treasured that friendship with deep devotion to her dedication and commitment to bring the Word to all who would hear it.

    To say my grandmother was pleased that I would start the study would be an understatement, she was truly elated! In large part, due to family situations when I was little, she was the guiding hand in my life from the time I was two to when I turned nine. Loving her was the easiest thing to do. And, I did not want to be a failure at learning about God. She had faith in me and was very supportive, which made me all the more nervous about the study.

    What I found is important for anyone who reads this to know. It is imperative really. I looked at studying the Bible like a college class. Like, the Bible was the textbook, and I would do my homework, and try to make an A in the class, but not less than a C if I could help it., What I didn’t know, and wasn’t prepared for was that God reached out to ME! And, he was jealous of my love and faith in Him. He comforted me, loved me, held me, and gave me a whole new way of living, breathing, and being.

    I was no longer a student, I became a Bride of Christ. I became a Child of God. I became a woman who He loved more than I had ever been loved.

    It really won’t matter how you approach the classes. It takes on a life that elevates you to joy. Deep abiding complete satisfaction.

    If you knew me better, you would have a hard time believing that I am a woman who loves God with all her heart. I don’t have that soft ascended voice of a tender soul. In fact, I have been known to really belt out a “Run! Run! Goooooooo!!” at a miracle catch by Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals when we are at the games. I am an outgoing, very happy sort of a grandma, who loves life! I am an assertive and active thinking woman. Not quiet, not studious, not heavenly at all! And, I am tone deaf, so when I sing out songs about Jesus, I am just awful.. but, joyous!

    Do not let time or fears stop you. Do not let assumptions or concerns stop you. If there is a BSF Program being offered within 50 miles of your home.. go to it!

    The fellowship with other women, the growing faith of your heart with others, and the pure lovely joy of falling in love with Jesus is yours.. if you’ll just take one step!

    BSF classes are beginning all over the world right now. In the next few weeks, you will be making the best decision of your life!

    So, what will I be doing? Being an old grandma and a past student of BSF? Well, there are eight years of BSF these days. This means, I have more to do! I am beginning a new year of BSF to study the Book of Acts as of Tuesday, September 13th at 9:10 in the morning.

    And, I can’t wait! I hope there will be many new faces shining up to the Lord with anticipation these next few weeks.. and I hope those who read this blog will be joining me and women all over the world! It’s going to be a Godly Adventure.. And there are none better!!

  4. Thanks for sharing your experiences ladies!! I hope to do one myself at some point in the future.

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