These verses from Ephesians are printed out by my desk and I pray them often over our Bethel Women.
And, there are times when God in His goodness allows us to see the fruit that is growing in our Bethel Women through regular Bible study and small group community.
As we reflected recently on the past sessions, here are some of the stories that were shared.
I came to Bible study because a friend invited me. I had never really read the Bible on my own before. When I first started doing the study it was hard and I didn’t understand much of what I had read, but I kept coming. Now, after about a year, I am really learning and understanding and my love for God’s Word has grown so much!
I’ve been a Christian for a lot of years, but through Bible study I’ve learned to set aside time each day to read and study the Bible, and to pray intentionally and specifically.
When I first came to Bible study I didn’t know anyone and felt really uncomfortable. I’ve been going through some trauma in my personal life and I wasn’t sure how I would fit in. But the women in my group are all so kind and encouraging and now I am much more comfortable.
Through walking with women in Bible study over the years, I have been able to settle in my heart that God is good. It is His nature; He is always good. My circumstances may be really difficult but God is good.
I used to feel like spending time in God's Word was a choice that could easily be put on the back burner, and now through Bible study I feel like opening my Bible is learning about a friend's life and I don't want to miss out.
I appreciate that in my small group time I can ask honest, difficult questions and pursue God’s truth together. I benefit from the wisdom and perspective of other women in my group.
When I moved to the Tri-Cities over 10 years ago we knew only three relatives. Though not the sole reason for attending Bible study, the Christian friendships that have resulted have definitely made my life more blessed and supported me in so many areas. It has given me a venue to serve and love other women all while growing my faith and walk in our Lord.
In the past when I would open my Bible I would feel very overwhelmed. I knew I had Jesus in my heart and thought that was enough for me. Now, I’ve been able to dig into God’s word and have discussions with other women to help me have a deeper understanding. My love for Jesus has deepened like never before. I get now that really knowing Him makes me fall in love with Him more and more everyday.
Through the studies and discussion at Bible study I have learned so much more about the character of God, and also discovered the importance of pursuing who He is and how that impacts everything else in Scripture. It’s helped me to read Scripture at a deeper and more comprehensive level.
God has used these mornings to build my faith in so many ways. He has been faithful to provide beautiful friendships, and through those women, accountability to stay faithful in my walk, as well as prayer partners.
What will God do in and through you this next year? But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. (Galatians 5:22-23)