We are gearing up to start a new Bible Study this Sunday. Can I just tell you how stinkin’ excited I am? I am y’all and yes I am a Texan, and I am participating with thousands of women all over the world in the most awesome studies I have experienced in all my Christian life. My hope is that some of you will read this and you might join us in studies that will change your lives. Here is a link for Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/. Our next study is Limitless Life by Derwin Gray. You can actually do the study at the link above every day with Melissa and her team, or you can join an awesome facebook group of twenty or so women. Time is short – the study starts this Sunday. All you need is the book and a Bible.
We blog on Thursdays and this week we were asked to share what community means to us. For me I have never felt so much a part of a community as my OBS sisters – sisters who pray for me, who pray with me, who lift me up, who encourage me when I walk through valleys and who joyously cheer me on when I am on that mountaintop, who don’t compare ourselves with one another, who support each other with the precious gifts that God has given us.
Here are some of the steps I believe to becoming a community like we are in P31 OBS:
1. We have to WANT to GROW in the Word of Jesus Christ. That is the first step and that is how I found Melissa Taylor. I retired and I wanted to be in a women’s Bible Study outside of church mostly because I didn’t want to go to one in the evenings.
2. We have to do more than just hang out. I found at first in my group we hung out a lot, but we were growing and learning to love one another and we were fellowshiping. We laughed, we cried, we prayed and eventually we delved in to our Bible Studies together and have grown and grown more in love with the Word, memorizing scripture and truly cherishing what we read and study each week.
3. We have real compassion for one another. When one of us hurts, we all hurt. When one of us is in tears, we all are crying with each other. When one of us has a joy, all of us are super excited together.
4. We are transparent with one another bringing our emotional needs and even spiritual needs to one another. Sometimes in church it can be difficult. Here in OBS it is ok to be transparent and it is ok to be REAL because we do not judge. It is ok to share that we need prayer for someone on drugs, someone going to jail, someone drinking too much, someone going through miscarriages, loss of loved ones, someone with a child going through difficulties, health problems or whatever. There is no fear of sharing. We love each other and we truly care. It’s not a place to gossip but a place to lift one another up to our Father.
5. We are living in a way that glorifies our Father and yes we make mistakes every single day. We all do, but we lift one another up and our world. We just finished a study and one of our verses was about being the light of the world to others. We shared how we have been a light in our homes, our communities and with others.
6. We are humble and positively others-centered and gentle in our groups, our teams, and all of OBS leadership.
If we are serious about our Lord we should be serious about community. Jesus is Lord, our Lord and for community to be real He must be the Lord of our thoughts, our actions, our hearts, our words, our treatment of others, and how we live every single moment of our lives. He is our example. He loved God, his Father. He loved people. That is what Christian community is all about – loving others as He loves us.