This week in realising God could be opening up a new dimension in your life you have considered the need, and perhaps responsibility, to know His word. You’ve heard people say God’s word never returns void, but if you don’t know it, you can’t release it!

With a newly advertised Tuesday Bible Study you decide to go along with the hope this time it will be more relevant. In seeing Gerald, the theologian, standing at the front, ready to speak, you stifle a groan.  When he gives you a wink you are rather taken aback. After making his initial welcome he adds, “This Bible Study will explore the life of Jesus and how His teaching applies to life today.  The previous group did an ‘exegesis’ of scripture, when an Alpha participant pointed out the name sounded like ‘exit Jesus’ which isn’t our aim today.”  A chuckle rippled through those present and Gerald grinned across at you, before adding, “We are running this similar to an Alpha Course where we will have a main scriptural explanation, and then split into discussion groups. Our wish is that everyone attending will grow in understanding and faith.

While waiting for Liz, Gerald’s wife, to lead your group of seven, you ask them how they read the Bible. After a silence, Bert, an older man, states he has daily Bible notes from a well-known preacher. When no-one else speaks, you guess the others of varying ages dip in and out as you do. Unexpectedly, a studious and bespectacled young woman, you haven’t noticed before says in a timid, nervous voice, “Each day, I read three chapters in the Old Testament, and one in the New.”  A spotty teenager laughs, “Obviously you’ve nothing better to do.”  You inhale a deep breath, the woman goes bright red and hangs her head, and Liz arriving asks everyone to turn to Matthew 4.  While doing that she comments, “Margie thank you for sharing that, it is a wonderful way to get an overview of God’s word and starting in Genesis and Matthew, you can read the whole Bible in a year.  Gareth, believe me, nothing you do would be better than that!”  Gareth’s face puckers into a sneer, and Liz adds, “If any of you find the Bible hard to understand, find a translation that suits you. Speak to me afterwards about that.”

Word: “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  2 Tim 3:16 – 17 (NIV)

Worship: “I’m Listening”  Chris McClarney  4 mins

Key 23 – Listening