At least six of us participated online in our first inductive Bible study this past week! Woo hoo! It was really fantastic to read how the other ladies put the passage into their own words - and then add some extra insights, too. This process really did help me "see" the verse and meditate on it instead of just "calling words." I hope it did the same for you, whether you joined in online or at home.
I've been brainstorming about the next step. Well, actually, I've been brainstorming about waiting two weeks in between each new inductive Bible study (one week more at this point). So...a new inductive Bible study two times a month. I'll tell you why...I want to add an activity to go along with the passage. My mother taught me to use an application story at the end of teaching a Bible lesson to children - and when I do that, it definitely seems to tie it all together for them. So I want to do something similar.
I thought we could use another week to really explore what a certain passage means to our lives. Because we don't want to just look into the mirror and then turn and immediately forget what we look like. (James 1:22-25) We want to be doers, not just hearers.
So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is this:
Take your notebook (or computer) and Bible and go, by yourself, to a coffee shop or cafe' or bookstore. Somewhere you can sit and people-watch quietly. For thirty minutes. Read our passage again. Read your paraphrase again. And then observe the people around you. Of course, we cannot see people's hearts and true intentions and the state of their eternal souls by doing this exercise...BUT, we can start training ourselves to see people the way God sees them. Is there someone who was rude to the person working behind the counter? Or rude to you? Is there someone whose behavior makes you want to roll your eyes or shake your head? God loves them. Just remember that. God loves you, but He Loves Them, Too. Even when they run into you and don't even say, "Sorry." Be God's voice and God's hands and God's patience. Don't be sullen if the line is long and they get your order wrong. Recognize that as being entirely unimportant in the whole scheme of things.
The whole point is realizing that each person there is someone who God would like to see in Heaven. You could have a hand in that. I'm not expecting you to say, "Hey, how is your spiritual life?" to each person in that coffee shop, but while you're sitting there, be thinking of ways you can reach out to "preach the word, be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke and exhort, with complete patience and teaching." How can you make that happen in your life?