Nancy is our church librarian (but her awesomeness goes beyond that!) and will be “guest” posting on our blog every now and then with helpful book reviews that you’re sure to put on your “to read” list. Our church library is located at our downtown campus in Wichita Falls in the main hallway. Unfortunately, it is closed for renovations right now, but as soon as it is ready for visitors, we’ll be sure to let you know everything that’s going on! Take it away, Nancy!
As Christian women from all walks of life and in all stages of life, we desire to walk in truth. But in order to walk in truth we must first know the truth. And in order to know the truth we must know Jesus, the author of truth. That’s why it’s so important to study His Word. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”
Hopefully most of us can take advantage of the wonderful Bible studies available through our Women’s Ministry. But for all of us there are seasons of life when that is just not possible. What then? We must learn how to study God’s Word for ourselves. That seems totally overwhelming to most of us because we don’t see ourselves as Bible scholars. But the beauty of God’s Word is that He wrote the Bible so the common man and woman can read, study and understand it through His gift of the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to have a pastor, priest or Bible study teacher to interpret God’s Word. Praise God, we can study the Word for ourselves!
Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin is written to help Christian women do just that. Jen is a speaker, writer, and teacher of women’s Bible studies. She has organized and led studies for women in home, church, and parachurch contexts. Jen is a wife and mom to four great kids. She and her family are members of the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. She takes knowing the God of the Bible seriously and has a passion for teaching women how to grow in their knowledge of the Scriptures. Written for new and seasoned believers alike, her approach is rigorous, but she is also quick to extend grace to busy women whose season of life may not afford hours of study.
Jen offers a five-step primer for studying Scripture that she calls the “Five Ps”:
Study with Purpose – Isaiah 40:21-22a
Study with Perspective – Matthew 13:52
Study with Patience – Luke 8:15
Study with Process –Proverbs 24:27
Study with Prayer – James 1:5
And she warns against several unhelpful habits of Bible study that she calls the:
Xanax Approach – “treats the Bible as if it exists to make us feel better”
Pinball Approach – “asks the Holy spirit to speak to me through whatever verse I flip to.”
Magic 8 Ball Approach – “demands the Bible tell us what to do rather than who to be”
Personal Shopper Approach – “hand-selects relevant verses from all over the Bible and delivers them to my doorstep to be tried on for size”
Telephone Game Approach – “happens when we read books about the Bible instead of reading the Bible itself”
Jack Sprat Approach – “engages in picky eating with the word of God”
When asked if she’s a Bible-worshipper or a God-worshipper Jen responds by saying, “I want to be conformed to the image of God. How can I become conformed to an image that I never behold? Otherwise, I worship an unknown god. A Bible worshipper loves an object. A God-worshipper loves a person. Our study of the Bible is only beneficial insofar as it increases our love for the God it proclaims. Bible study is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. It is a means to love God more.”
The more we know God, the more we love Him. The more we love Him, the more we become like Him. Our culture is becoming darker and darker and is greatly in need of women who know God and can distinguish truth from error. We are called to be salt and light. This is not an option. Take the challenge to dig into God’s Word. Psalm 34:5 says, “Those who look to Him are radiant!” The world is greatly in need of radiant women of God!
Jen’s book will be available for check out in our FBC Library soon!
Jen’s blog is The Beginning of Wisdom (<– That’s a link you can click to go there!)
Link to a short book trailer video that is on the Amazon (<– That’s a link and it’s pretty funny!) Or check it out on the ChristianBook.com page
And here is a video (<– That’s a link!) on Staying Motivated in Bible Study