A Question, a story and a solutionâ�¦online bible studies!
Why would anyone want to study the Bible? Wasn’t the Bible written millions of years ago? Isn’t it out dated and old fashion? Is it really applicable for today? Going to the church should be enough. Why would anyone need a bible study to add to their already overly saturated, stressed out life?
Living in a wealthy suburb of southern California, I knew the excuses would be great in why someone would not need to attend a Bible study. When someone can buy their way out of depression through fancy cars, plastic surgery and exotic vacations, why would there be a need to add a Bible study? What would Jesus offer that they already didn’t have?
Our church’s women study had the same negative cycle year after year. The Bible study would start with around 50 in September and end up with close to 10 in May. We knew that this pattern had to stop. I had been in Bible studies outside the church that continued to grow. What was the problem inside the church?
I said to my prayer partner, Bobbye Brooks, “Will you help me write a Bible study for these women? The study needs to be applicable and not dumb downed. It has to be based on bible verses and written like a daily devotional. It cannot be too long and it has to be relevant.”
The first Bible book study that we wrote was from 1 Corinthians. It has been nicknamed, “1 Californians” so I knew it was a great bible book to study. I also knew that if we could write a study that did not take a doctrinal stand on the Holy Spirit or on the gifts, the study would be able to cross over to all denominations, nations and generations. The Bible was written to be ageless. It is an eternal book as Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” Then, He is telling us that it would be wise to become acquainted with His words while on earth. There is no need for proving our ways of seeing things, let’s take how the Bible is written and think within its context.
As a result, we took a chapter a week (or lesson) and divided the chapter up into 4 sections (or days). Each day had a title and a prayer at the end. The first few questions concentrate on the verses. The next questions deal with what you think the verses are saying to you. The last questions are application. There is also written commentary to help lead you through the questions. Day 5 is a devotional.
Bobbye and I shared the teaching and each taught every other week. By the third year, the bible study had grown from 50+ women to 500. By learning how to apply the Word of God to our everyday lives, lives were changing and hope was restored. The growth was not only affecting their lives but the community. We were learning together how to have a personal relationship with God.
Bobbye and I were also growing and changing also. We started on radio one day a week and called our show, “The Way for Today.” We also got a website in 2002 to posted daily devotionals. In time, we started doing online Bible study webcasts and posting our bible studies on line. Both men and women have during the bible studies. The internet has made it very easy to download the studies, which has kept the price down and made these online bible studies accessible.
Today, we have written over 15 Bible studies. Some are Bible book studies (like Joshua, Romans and James) and some are topical studies (like Practicing the Presence of God and Check Your Motives). Our most popular study is definitely Spiritual Warfare. It is a 4-lesson study with a teaching CD per lesson. The testimonies of this study have revealed that the bondages of bad habits broke and captives set free. By experience, we have noticed that it is best to teach “Ephesians: My Identity in Christ” first and then go right into Spiritual Warfare. That way the armor of God from Ephesians 6 becomes the springboard to Spiritual Warfare.
Daily Disciples Ministries mission is to encourage others to apply the Word of God to their lives as they become empowered to make a difference in the world they live in. We also have an online Bible training program to train and teach others how to lead a Bible study and how to teach or facilitate the lessons. To contact Daily Disciples, go to http://dailydisciples.org/study.html.
People today are crying out for encouragement as well as hope. The God of the Universe provides both as He has given us everything we need to have a relationship with Him. Jesus has already come down to our level so we can know Him. Many of us may be able to buy in to a state of happiness and buy out of a place of depression but nothing can replace the peace of mind and purpose of heart as having a relationship with the God who made us. To check out the on line Bible Studies today, go to http://dailydisciples.org/study.html and within minutes you can be downloading, printing and using these studies. They are life-changing and powerful.
Daily Disciples Ministries, Inc. is a 501c(3), non-profit based in San Diego, California. We can be found on the web at http://dailydisciples.org or by calling toll free 888-727-7206.
Tonilee Adamson from Daily Disciples Ministries at http://dailydiscipls.org