- Always study the Bible for yourself.
Its helpful to listen to good Bible teachers and use study aids, but we should never take other peoples word for it when it comes to the Bible: we are responsible for our own Bible knowledge. Acts 17:11 says, Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. These people were questioning the great evangelist Paul, and the Bible commends them for that!
The Bible is unique among booksits more beneficial to us each time we read it, and it always has something to teach people with open hearts, from the simplest of lessons to the most complex.
- Always mix service with your Bible study.
Just as we try to make Bible study easy for you in WINGS, we also try to make service easy. As you come in the front door, youll see a grocery cart where you can donate things for the Hope Chest. They are in desperate need of womens briefs, cotton or nylon, in sizes 6 through 9, especially 7 and 8. Thats a very easy, inexpensive way for us to help. Also, the Hope Chest could use volunteers, especially on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They welcome all ages of volunteers and will be glad to train you sorting clothes or helping at the front desk.
As we read Jesus words to His disciples concerning service, imagine Him standing here in WINGS, speaking to us: ... whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slavejust as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:26-28).
Another easy way to serve is also right in front of our eyesthe volunteer list. If we dont sign this list, the Leadership Team, who already does so much for WINGS, will have to find some way to fill those slots. One area that has had no volunteers besides the person in charge of it is our card ministry. Angie Dunavant has been doing this by herself but would love to have a helper; I know she would be glad to show you how to do this and even help you the first time or two. Its a small thing that can be a big encouragement, as the card we received from John Wade shows.
- Enjoy our diversity, and stretch your comfort zone.
Just a look around the room will show that were very diversewe speak differently, have different backgrounds, and look different. Unfortunately, we tend to clump into groups with people who are like us and make us feel comfortable. I challenge you to get to know someone in WINGS whos different than you, for 2 reasons: (1) We are all united in our desire to know God better. (2) All women who come here need to feel welcomed and valuable, and if we stay in our little groups, that may not happen.
- Be ready to forgive and practice the Golden Rule.
Even here in Bible study, our faults surface, and we dont always treat each other as we should. Jesus directive on forgiving is plain: For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14-15).
Gods word compares the Christian life to a journey on a narrow road. If you and I were walking on a narrow, difficult path and I stumbled, you would automatically reach out your hand to help me. When we hold grudges against each other, we are making our Christian sisters path more difficult by refusing to hold out a helping hand.
- Always remember whats most important.
A man went for a job interview, and the interviewer asked him several questions, but the last question was this: What is your goal in life? Without hesitation, the man being interviewed replied, To get to Heaven and take as many people with me as possible.
No matter what were doing in WINGSstudying, doing service projects, having potlucks, getting to know one anotherwe always need to remember that were here to help each other get to Heaven. If the ladies were with are already Christians, we can encourage each other to remain faithful and grow spiritually. If someone isnt yet a believer, we need to make sure we are showing and telling her the story of Jesus. And simply put, that story is this:No matter how much we try or want to be good, we offend God and sin against Him. However, He loves us enough to make it possible for us to be with Him anyway, and the Bible tells us that there is only one way to do that: through Jesus and what He did for us when He died for us. If we really believe what God says about Himself and His son, and if we want to start living to please Him instead of ourselves, He will save us. He asks us to show our faith and commitment by being baptized, and at that point, He begins the lifelong process of forgiving us of our sins and making us more like Jesusand eventually taking us to Heaven.
That, in a nutshell, is what were all about in WINGS. In the next few weeks, lets do all we can to help each other on our journey to Heaven.
Link to Jeannie Cole's Ladies' Bible Class lectures
Link to WINGS Home Page