“The Lord is not slow about keeping His promises, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
Yesterday, I had a Bible study with a neighbor that I’ve prayed for years and years and years to desire to have an intimate relationship with the LORD. She sent me a text asking if she could come over and talk about the book of 2nd Peter that she is reading for a Bible study she is attending.
I’m sure you read that last paragraph as you would any other, comprehending and ready to move on to the next sentence, but I am stopped … totally in awe of the work the LORD is doing, literally humbled to my knees in worship, near speechless, oh so thankful and full of praise for the answers to prayer that last sentence holds:
- my friend is reading the Bible (a miracle)
- she is attending a Bible study (another absolute miracle!)
- my friend was wanting to come over to talk about a specific book of the Bible… that she is studying… wanting to know how I study the Scriptures (Praise God!!!)
I showed her what I do in my personal Bible study time (the inductive method employed by Precept Ministries: marking key words with colored pens and pencils, finding themes for chapters, etc.).
I think this was one of my favorite Bible study experiences ever. I have led many studies in the past, but they are usually with seasoned older Christians or with a young person raised in the church wanting to go deeper. But before she left, this dear neighbor told me that before this year, she had never even read the Bible, and until yesterday, she had never known you could study like this, much less read a book of the Bible multiple times and only want to read it again.
As I wrote in my journal, “Today was unlike any other! … Every thing was new. She was hearing everything with the most attentive ears for the first time. Her awe left me in greater awe of God and of the depth and treasure of this truly ‘awe-some’ text that can sometimes feel too familiar.”
2 Peter, the apostle Peter’s final words to us, only 3 chapters, and yet, so much is there! (If you’re looking for a place to start a deeper study, why not begin with this brief book? Precept has many free downloadable resources to help you get started. Follow this link to download a PDF with an introduction to 2 Peter with an observation worksheet to mark .)
Another friend and I pray together regularly and fervently for many friends, loved ones, and strangers that are far from the LORD, some who are as lost in sin as could possibly be and others who have lost their way and wandered far from God.
We have a couple people that we call our “least likely”, the people that it is difficult to even image them ever seeking the LORD, but that we can absolutely imagine the LORD seeking them. When I think of the transformation occurring in my neighbor’s life after so many years of praying and “planting seeds”, I am hopeful for even the “least-likely of these”. God does not work on our timetable, but with Him, anything is possible!
How about you?
Does someone come to your mind when you think of an “impossible case”? Were you once an “impossible case”? With Christ, we know that there’s no such thing!
If there is someone who is heavy on your heart? Don’t give up on them! As long as they are breathing, there is hope.
Don’t get discouraged! That is not of faith, and it is not from the LORD! Keep loving them. Keep serving them. Keep praying for them. They may one day become a source of great joy and sweet fellowship, and all the glory will go to God.
If you are reading this, I am praying for you that you will either choose to:
- go deeper into the Word, discovering how vast the Scriptures are with practical insight and truth and how deep the Father’s love is for you,
- OR that you will invest your life in befriending someone who needs a friend and pray for an opportunity to lead them to Jesus.
(Sometimes the best “witnessing” is done when you’re just not in a hurry, genuinely loving someone over a decade, of talking about life and offering prayers and encouragement while cleaning out a refrigerator, folding laundry, going for a long run or walk together, making a craft, visiting while popping in with a baked treat, or just being there for support during a crisis or heartache.)
For more information on Inductive Bible Study, go to Precept.org. There you can also look for a Bible Study group near you. Or if, like me, you live in a rural area where a study is not offered, you can find out about attending a weekend of training and then start a Bible Study group of your own.