After the service this morning I attended the Vision Bible Institute Informative Luncheon. I had the opportunity to start the meeting with prayer and ended up with a front row seat to hear the teachers speak about their upcoming classes. A free lunch is always something that I get excited about but God brought a level a gratitude to my heart that far surpassed by gratitude for a sandwich. As I sat there I looked around the room and became overwhelmed by the realization my life has been greatly blessed by having so many friends who are committed Bible students.
My life and family is being shaped by the Word of God. There are decisions we make individually and as a family as a response to the sermons we hear on Sunday. Our lives are also being shaped by conversations with our friends. As I looked at my friends at the luncheon I quickly thought of 3 different recent conversations that had really helped me.
Several of us were sitting in the back of an empty movie theater in Roswell. We have ended another night of our Vision Chapel campaign. I was discouraged that more people hadn’t attended. I was in the battle of the mind and needed truth. My friend Wayne, who loves and studies the Bible, was used of God to give the truth of God’s Word I needed at that moment.
I was ending a phone conversation with my mother when I walked into our church foyer. On the call, I learned that my mom needed a biopsy. My heart and mind was filled with fears and doubts. In the back of the auditorium a group of ladies met for the “Card Club.” I went into the back of the room and shared what I had learned with them. My friend Shannon, who loves and studies the Bible, was used of God to give the truth of God’s Word I needed to remember to share with my family and others.
On Monday nights me and a friend sit together and talk about all kinds of randomness as our sons practice basketball. Whatever my friend is studying to teach in his LifeGroup is always on his heart and I am thankful when he shares it with me. He shared with me some things he had been learning from the Bible about prayer. My friend David, who loves and studies the Bible, was used of God to give the truth of God’s Word I needed for a later moment. A few days later I was dealing with some restlessness over something that is extremely important to Stephanie and I but is completely out of our hands. I remember what David had said about taking my petitions to the Lord and I did just that and rested knowing I had been heard by the One with ultimate authority in the matter.
All of our lives our greatly influenced by our conversations with our friends. When they love and study the Bible these conversations are used of God to be a great blessing to us. We live in a world that desperately needs more people who “love and study God’s Word” and will be willing to share it in casual conversations with their friends. Rather it was in the Vision Bible Institute or in their personal study I am so thankful my friends study the Bible and are willing to share it with me.
You may never teach from behind a pulpit or lead a small group however do not think that your commitment to study the Bible couldn’t be greatly used to encourage all those around you. One of the greatest aspects of being a member of Vision Baptist Church is that me, my wife, and my kids have so many friends who want their lives shaped by the Word of God. This is evident in the way they teach, live, and even the small discussions they have at basketball practice.
If you would like more information about the upcoming Spring Semester at the Vision Bible Institute please go to VisionBaptist.com/VBI. We would love to help you get registered for the upcoming classes. Your friends, family, and church will greatly appreciate the time you spend studying the Bible.