On Monday, I introduced you to my friend Joseph and his new devotional Selah. Today I am delighted to highlight another friend, Tanya Dennis, and the call that God has placed upon her heart. She and I connected via Twitter, and quickly discovered our similar passion for studying the Bible. I encourage you to check out her ministry, Big Word Bible Studies, mentioned below.
The reason why I enjoy featuring other writers on this blog, is because it exposes you to how big and awesome God’s Kingdom is. I am encouraged by these fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and I pray that you are too! So here are Tanya’s thoughts pertaining to the importance of the Old Testament. If you think it is “way out there,” or is non-applicable, Tanya will lovingly challenge you on that…
Not much can render me speechless, but she did it. In one quick statement of fact.
“I’ve never read the Old Testament. There’s nothing there for me.”
Were she someone else, an unbeliever perhaps, I would have regaled her with stories of drama, intrigue, supernatural events, spiritual relevance and redemption. But this friend was a believer. Not just a believer, but an active member of our church, a close friend with a fifteen-year testimony of personal faith and devotion to God. And she had never read the Old Testament.
I didn’t think anything could shock me more than that. I was wrong.
A few months later I discovered that her position was rather common. Another friend, who had been a believer for more than twenty years, confessed she had never attended a Bible study. Not once. Then the leader of our church’s ministry to moms rescinded her invitation for me to speak because the ladies needed “something relevant, not a Bible study.” I wondered what could possibly be more relevant than God’s Word. Apparently studying temperaments or health or exercise plans.
Now, I understand this leader meant something topical or directly related to moms’ daily lives of changing diapers, wiping noses and negotiating schedules of discipline, after-school activities, and home maintenance. I get it. I do!
Perhaps you’ve thought the same thing. You look at your supersaturated agenda and see no urgency in studying the Bible. You’re wrong. Why? Because if you want to get anything on that list done and done well, you’re going to need God’s help. You need His wisdom to prioritize your life and you need His Spirit to empower you to get it all done.
You’ll not get that by making another list, devising another organization system or learning about your kids’ love languages. Don’t get me wrong – that’s all good and valuable! But it is not power.
Power is found in Scripture.
“I think the greatest weakness in the church today is that almost no one believes that God invests His power in the Bible. Everyone is looking for power in a program, in a methodology, in a technique, in anything and everything but that in which God has placed it–His Word. He alone has the power to change lives for eternity, and that power is focused on the Scriptures.”
~R.C. Sproul, The Prayer of the Lord
I want you to experience the power of God’s Word for yourselves. The Bible is so much more than a coaster or paperweight. You won’t believe the wonders that await you when you participate in a Bible study. You can do it by yourself, join a local group study or even participate in one online. Need materials? Visit your local Christian bookstore, browse Christianbook.com or any number of online Bible study websites.
Let’s revisit the friend I mentioned first. She was in a Bible study, so what was my problem? We are, after all, under the new covenant of Grace and not under the Law, so why read the Old Testament?
Consider this: of the 66 books in the Bible, the Old Testament contributes 39 of them. That’s more than half. If you count pages, it equates closer to 75% of God’s Word.
Tell me: How often do you base major life decisions on only one-quarter of the truth?
2 Timothy 3:16 says that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” If that’s true, then we’re missing the boat by neglecting the Old Testament. All Scripture is inspired by God for our good!
Filled with a conviction of this truth, I started Big Word Bible Studies almost two years ago. I want to help believers see – not only the thrilling stories hidden there – but also the supreme relevance these stories hold for us today.
What do we have in common with Hannah, Samson, Gideon, Deborah and Bathseheba? What might we learn about God’s character through the lives of Solomon, Nathan, Jonathan and Saul? You’ll only discover with a deep dive into God’s Big Word.
Learn more about Big Word via my website. There you can download FREE .pdf study guides, watch video re-caps and join in the online discussion or subscribe via email, all from the comfort of your couch and slippers.
Talk to me: If you are part of a Bible study, tell us about it! What do you appreciate most? If you’re not currently part of a Bible study, what would you need to join one?
*image courtesy of: http://www.
Bio: Tanya Dennis loves God and lives to help others fall in love with Him, too. Having been a missionary in war-torn Bosnia, a financial analyst in Connecticut and a church-planter in urban Philadelphia, she now faces her greatest challenge: mothering two in the suburbs of NYC. She is founder and author of Big Word Bible Studies and delights in directing others toward experiencing the extraordinary, living, breathing God in ordinary life.