The Joy of Bible Study

I grew up in a Christian home, and as a child, I prayed to receive Jesus Christ as my Saviour. For the following twenty years, I attempted to live a religious life without having a real relationship with Jesus Christ. There was a great emptiness in my heart until the day I truly surrendered my life to Jesus Christ at age twenty-eight. Suddenly, the Bible became alive to me, and I hungered to learn and grow to be more like Jesus. During those early years of faith, the Lord gave me the opportunity to teach a Sunday School class of preschoolers, all the while being part of Bible study groups where we simply read a guidebook and discussed it each week. I was hungry for more.

By God’s grace, in 1992, someone placed a copy of Lord I Want To Know You by Kay Arthur in my hands. I didn’t pay much attention to it until I became friends with a woman whose husband had recently left her. She was so broken. I asked her if she would like to do this study with me, and she gladly accepted the invitation. I trusted that the Lord who gave me the will would also give me the ability. So, without any training, I invited others to join us, placed a notice in the church bulletin, and optimistically ordered seven copies of the book plus the video series that went with it. That first set of VHS videos came from the USA and cost more than $500, but the Lord was helping me earn a little bit of money at home and provided what was needed. When we met for the first time, I was literally speechless when seventeen women, hungry for God’s Word, showed up, some I didn’t even know. I was amazed when I observed the life changes that resulted from this study of God’s character and attributes. My friend came to know God as her Healer and was made whole. Getting to know her God gave her the strength to raise five children on her own in days and years to come. Others understood God as Lord and entered into a relationship with Him for the first time. Through some aspect of His character, God met each woman at her point of need.

The joy of this first group was contagious. Women brought more women, and soon there were two groups involved in more studies from the LORD series. In time the Lord provided us with a trained Precept leader, which led to the addition of Inductive Bible Study classes so women could progress to another level. God multiplied this work as others became trained to lead.

The men in our church felt they were missing something. Several of them received training and started classes for men. Over the past thirty years since that first group met at our church, hundreds of people have found joy in the discovery process, using all levels of the Precept Inductive studies.

It was a step of faith when I offered to meet with my friend thirty years ago, and with every step of faith along the way, as I continue to be given the privilege of leading Bible study groups, God has been faithful to guide and empower. I am so glad that I did not shrink back from the Spirit’s call. God has done immeasurably more than all I could think or imagine, in my heart and the hearts of countless others (Eph. 3:20)!

Learning to look at the Bible in a new and exciting way and discovering truth for myself has been a source of joy and transformation in my own life, establishing my faith and helping me navigate life’s most difficult challenges. With Jeremiah, I can say, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jer. 15:16). I look back to that first study of Lord I Want To Know You with gratitude, thankful for the person who gave me a copy. The knowledge of God that I gained therein became the foundation for everything I have learned from the Bible since, and thirty years later, I am still using that book to help people get to know a loving God who wants to be known.

Donna Chapman

Precept Leader from Ariss, Ontario




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