Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bonds of Bible Study

12:10 PM
Back when I was in college, my friend Rachel invited to me to attend a Bible study with her called Bible Study Fellowship, or BSF. Both her and her mom had been doing BSF for years, and it sounded just like what I needed at the time. It's a year long study on a specific book of the Bible, complete with daily homework, discussion groups and lectures. I was usually one of the youngest in the class, but I just loved the opportunity to be mentored and encouraged by these older women. The first study I did was Acts of the Apostles, followed by Romans and some of Genesis. I came back for Matthew, and was even asked to be a discussion group leader for this study, which was a huge honor and I was humbled to fill the role. I was leading a group of women old enough to be my grandmothers, but they loved on me and it was a great year. I even got to go to a leadership conferences with thousands of BSF leadership from the surrounding states. I wasn't able to be part of the next 2 studies due to my work schedule, but I never forgot about it.

I missed it quite alot actually. So when I looked at my calendar for this year, I was so excited to see that I could be a part. I signed up for my local class here, and will be transferring to the Orlando class next week. If I can find one class close enough in South Africa while I'm there, I plan on attending, and then I can finish the study back here when I return in March. It sounds like alot of work, and I guess it kind of is, but it's something I very much want to be part of this year. First of all, we are studying Isaiah. So much of this book is what confirmed and encouraged my call into full time missions. God says such specific things to the oppressed, the broken and marginalized in this book, and I know its who I'm called to serve. My life verse is in this book, as well as some other great ones.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners," [61:1]

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood." [58:6-7]

"For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." [41:13]

"Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." [16-17]

I think its of no coincidence that this is the book I have the opportunity to study while preparing to be a full time missionary. Isaiah was a prophet with a heart and a message for his culture. I hope to learn from his example.

These past 2 weeks of study I have been overwhelmed with reconnecting. Women I haven't seen in 2 years are hugging my neck, and telling me they're praying for me. It feels like coming home in a way. These are women I would see only once or twice a week for only a few hours, and yet I feel more connected to them than anyone I went to high school or college with. I discovered that the bonds that God creates with people are stronger than the bonds we try to create with people. Some of my closest friends are those I met during bible studies, church groups, etc... These bonds are not easily broken. It was encouraging to think about all the dear friends I'm leaving behind from Watermark and other places, but to know that God forged these relationships and they will not be easily broken.

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!