Studying the Bible is as important as praying. In the early days of my Christian faith, I was taught that we speak to God through prayer, while God speaks to us through His Word – the Bible.
Greater Grace World Outreach has a wonderful Bible education system. As I am based in India, the courses I take are from the Bombay Bible Seminary. Here is a brief list of the courses offered:
– Foundation Course in the Bible
– Old Testament Prophets
– The Book of Acts
– Applied Bible Doctrine
– 1, 2, 3 John and Revelation
– Biblical Psychology
– Evangelizing World Religions
– Discipleship…and many other courses.
There are a total of 36 credits to be earned, in order to graduate with a Bible College Degree.
Although formal Bible education cannot substitute personal prayer and study and quiet time with the Lord, it can add value to your Christian life and faith, provided:
> It is planned and imparted thoughtfully and with love,
> The student applies himself/herself to the studies prayerfully, choosing to be taught directly by the Holy Spirit; and
> It helps the students and instructors alike, to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, both during the training and later, because of it.
Don’t worry if your church does not have a formal Bible education system. You can buy the Thomson Chain Reference Bible or the Open Bible. The latter is available in the New King James Version (NKJV). The NKJV retains the flavor of the King James Version while leaving out Shakespearean English.
The first Church service I attended was about four months after I gave my heart to Christ.
I was a struggling singer in May 2002. I did not want to do a job, but only wanted to be a singer. After I confessed my sins to Jesus and prayed the Salvation Prayer, God began to change me from within. I took my parents’ advice and took up a job as a management trainee. As part of my initial assignment, I had to visit door-to-door, to sell personalized books. One September afternoon, when I rang the doorbell of a house in downtown Mumbai, a young man opened the door. After pitching about my stuff, I asked him if he was a Christian, as there were stickers of Jesus and some verses on the door post. I also told him about my faith in Jesus Christ. He handed me a tract and invited me to his church, the Greater Grace Fellowship’s Sunday service.
I went to the church that very Sunday. He was an usher there. I loved the preaching and the love I experienced there, which was totally unique. It came from within the hearts of the people there. No showbiz. No fooling oneself or others. No commercialism. It was God the Holy Spirit Who was dwelling in their hearts. I accepted the salvation call from the Pastor (Karl Silva) and the rest, as they say, is history! God bless Justin John for being the one who brought me into His house.
When you turn over your life to Jesus Christ, you become “a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” [2 Corinthians 5:17] The Holy Spirit goes at work in your life and lays foundations that grow deep and wide first and high later. If you haven’t as yet, I urge you to turn your life over to Jesus. You won’t regret it!
Sunday services are like battery recharges in mobile phones. In order to effectively communicate with God, the world, as well as with ourselves through the week ahead, we need to replenish our spiritual strength by going to church every Sunday.
My pastor has always stressed on the importance of carrying a Bible, a notebook and a pen or pencil to service. Public memory is short, and I too am a member of the public! A pen will serve me (and you) in good stead. It has, so far. And I am pleased to compile my learning into easily digestible capsules in the form of blog posts here. I will organise my posts in a way that packs in just enough to sustain your interest yet does not leave you feeling hungry. But don’t you not feel hungry for more – of the Word of God! Keep the fire in your belly burning for the Lord. That is the fire that has – at least in my case – kept the kitchen fire burning. Jehovah Jireh is the Provider. Praise Him!
The India chapter of Greater Grace Church (http://www.ggwo.org/) is celebrating 25 years of existence by holding a conference in Mumbai India from 23rd April to 26 April 2009.
I have not been able to attend as I work with Taxsmile.com, an online tax filing portal. This is a busy time for us. I have found time to write this post after so many days! God-willing, I will make time next year and profit from the teachings. Amen.