You may have noticed through some of my recent social media posts that I’ve been part of a launch team for a new Bible Study, His Last Words, by Kim Erickson. It’s part of a new group of women’s studies published by Moody Publishers which is being officially released tomorrow.
I am thrilled to see these kinds of biblical studies being produced for the growth and edification of women in the church. It’s not full of fluff, superficial, or written to appeal to our sense of humor or to tickle our ears. It’s sound doctrine, focused on the Bible and biblical truth, recognizing that we need to be fed on the Word of God and know this truth that will change our lives.
Kim Erickson has an incredible story of how God brought her to salvation in 2008 through the death of her 3-year old son. She has come to love God’s Word and to know its life-changing impact.
Kim has written a unique study. While you read a short section in your Bible to begin the day’s lesson, she then has the verses listed out one by one, every verse. It gives an opportunity for us to see in each verse what it says about God and His character and who He is. I loved this verse by verse approach, which works particularly well for this study on Jesus’ last words in John 13-17.
When we study God’s Word, approaching it with humility and in prayer asking for His Spirit to guide us, it’s amazing the treasure we find. Sometimes, we can hear the gospel message so often that the sheer wonder of it ceases to amaze us simply because of its familiarity. Opening God’s Word each day, approaching it to worship God, to see who He is, and who we are in light of that, safeguards us from losing our zeal and love for God as He re-awakens in us the truth of His Word.
One example of this was going through the first week’s lessons on John 13 at the Last Supper where Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. He stooped and set aside his place in this act of service, a picture of His far greater sacrifice on the cross (Philippians 2). Through the study that week, our Facebook launch team made all sorts of observations that we shared with each other. We thought about Judas who could be so near to Jesus, and yet not know Him, who would moments later betray the One who had just stooped to wash even his feet. We thought about Jesus’ great love for them and for us, that loved them to the end.
At the end of the week, I went to church where we had communion that Sunday. What was a normal Sunday for me, the worship of God in the fellowship of believers, suddenly became much richer because of this study. While the elements were being distributed, I opened my Bible to John 13, and all that I had been studying starting rolling through my heart and mind. I found the tears flowing, so alive and awake from the study, to partake of communion remembering all Jesus has done for us, his death on the cross for our sins, His body broken, His blood poured out for us.
I was unprepared for the response, but isn’t this what God’s Word does? We don’t realize all it’s working in our hearts day by day, and then one moment it hits in all the deeper places realizing all it really means. It awakens us from our sleep, it draws us to God and His ways, it exposes where we are going wrong, it draws us to repentance, it strengthens our faith, it revives and changes us.
Praise God for His Word, so readily available to us today. I pray we won’t take this gift for granted, but will instead treasure it and share it and use resources such as His Last Words to equip and spur us on in our faith. It’s a great time of year to commit to reading the Bible each day and the study of God’s Word. It will not return void (Isaiah 55:11).