Read the Bible For Life online Bible study begins today with 400+ women from around the world. We are excited to journey through the history, translations, context and meaning of scripture as taught by George Guthrie. This week you will read week one in your workbook and join a small group discussion via Facebook. Welcome to online Bible study!
Introduction to the Bible From a Missionary Mom (written by Stasia Nielsen)
I was dancing in the street when our eyes met. It was as if she was carrying this enormous burden and suddenly chose me to share it with. The moment I finished my last majestic arm movements, I whirled around to find her. Although we had never met, she threw her arms around my neck and asked if I could come to hear her story. We sat on a nearby pile of dirt as she wept and began to pour her heart out to me.
Nearly a quarter of a century ago I was serving as a missionary mom in Olongapo. Our goal was to share the love of the Lord with the young women living in the red light district. At that time the local government required prostitutes to have a clean health card. The women would go to a local clinic twice monthly where health checks were completed and cards verified. This process was to help prevent the spread of disease. We ministered via dance and song at the clinics during the day and on the streets at night.
The sweet young girl, weeping before me was but 19 years old. She had a baby boy who she saw only on occasion as her lifestyle was not conducive for raising a child. As she wept, she told me that she despised herself for what she was doing, but that someday she would earn enough money and break free to have a normal life with her son.
I pulled out my Bible and began to share scripture upon scripture of God’s love with her. She immediately grabbed me by the hands and half dragged me to her tiny room in the brothel where she worked. She sat me down next to her and asked me to read to her. I began to read from the book of John. After a chapter or so, she begged for more. Minutes turned into hours and I read on. Those big beautiful brown eyes were moist with tears for the whole of the Gospel of John.
She fingered my Bible and told me she had seen a Bible but had never read nor even touched one before. She begged me to pray with her to receive the Lord in her heart. She then asked me to pray she would have the strength to “choose right” because now she knew God and she knew that she wanted to follow Him. She kept looking at my Bible like a child in a candy store yearns for those gigantic lollipops. I gave her my precious book and introduced her to a marvelous tee-shirt sewing ministry home where she could learn a trade as well as keep her son with her.
“When you read the Bible, you must think that here and now God is speaking with me.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
As I was preparing for the Read The Bible For Life study, I could not get the memory of the young girl, who never owned a Bible before, out of my mind. I wish you could have seen the wonder, joy and deep gratefulness in her eyes. After only 21 chapters in the Gospel of John, this young girl was fervently desirous to understand God and His Word.
My prayer is that as we begin Read The Bible For Life, we would have that same motivation and consistency in studying His Word. George H. Guthrie says, “The more you learn form the Word, the more passionate you become about reading it.” God wants us to have the same passion and excitement that young girl had while I read chapter upon chapter to her. We can never be passionate about something we are unfamiliar with and we need to become familiar with the Word of God.
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. Psalm 119:18 (NIV)
Today in our study we will read of a young girl who had a strong desire to be immersed in God’s Word as well. From the time she was a young girl, she wanted to have a Bible of her own so that she could come to know her Lord in a deeper more personal way. Her heart was receptive to the truth and His love. She devoted herself to reading and studying. She had attached value to the Word of God and it changed not only her heart by her whole way of viewing life. She was passionate about what she truly loved. God’s Word is meant to change us that way.
As we study God’s Word together in the coming weeks, my prayer is that not only will we cultivate a passion for His Word but that our lives would begin to bear the fruit of an obedient heart.
Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:2-3
To read more articles about my missionary work visit www.StasiaNielsen.com
Assignment For The Week
- Read week one in your Read the Bible For Life workbook
- Download the Answers to the Viewer Guide when you click here
- Optional: Listen to the Read The Bible For Life podcasts or watch the video for week one and week two
- If you are still waiting for your book to arrive, download week one from the workbook when you click here
Small Group Questions from page 8 in the Read the Bible For Life workbook (Post your answers here or share them in a small group this week)
- What do you hope to gain from this Bible study?
- What is your greatest challenge in consistently reading the Bible?
- What are your expectations when you read the Bible?
- What is your biggest frustration about your usual time in the Bible?
- Think of a time when you read the Bible consistently. What were the circumstances that drew you to God’s Word? How did it change you?