Our Women’s Bible study for this fall is “Shine Like Stars — 14 weeks in Philippians”. Each week I will be posting a recap of what we studied so if someone has to miss class, they can keep up. However, anyone who is interested in joining this study is more than welcome to come along via this blog. Feel free to comment and engage with each other here. May God bless the study of His Word!
Week 1 — Introduction
We started out the class by answering two questions:
1. What are you hoping to get out of this study?
2. Are you willing to commit to studying on your own and coming prepared each week?
It’s good to honestly lay out some expectations at the beginning of a new class. Although I know there are weeks when the wheels fall off and craziness prevents us from our lofty intentions, don’t use that as an excuse to stay away. Keep coming to class anyway! You will always learn something.
On the flip side, the more you put into a study like this, the more you will get out of it. So, the expectation is that everyone will have spent some time with the material.
Have you ever signed up for an exercise class?
When you went to class, did you just sit there and watch the instructor exercise?
Have you ever taken music lessons?
When you went to your lesson, did you just sit there and watch the teacher play her instrument?
Of course not, right?
Bible study is better when everybody is in it together.
Romans 1:12 says, “…that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Mutual. Encouragement. That’s what we’re after.
Time is always an issue. We are busy people with busy lives. There are lots of things vying for our time. Did you realize that the average American spends over an hour a day on Facebook and 4.3 hours a day watching TV? We are spending lots of time on things that add no value to our spiritual lives. My challenge for us is to make Bible study a priority. It will transform us! End of pep talk!
As we journey through Philippians over the next 14 weeks, there are three catagories of words we are going to watch for. You will need 3 different colored pencils to consistently mark these words in the passages.
- Happy words — like joy, rejoice, glad (Pick a color that says “happy” to you)
- Absolute words — like all, every, always, ever, everything, everyone, anyone
- God words — like God, Jesus, Christ, Spirit
This will help us zoom in to look at every word. Paul never wasted words. We don’t want to miss any of them!
There are three questions that we are going to ask throughout this study.
- What’s the source of joy?
- What does a mature believer look like?
- How can we shine like stars?
These questions will help us zoom out to see the big themes in Philippians.
Next week’s study is going to give us some backstory before we dive into Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi. We are going to meet some of the people to whom Paul wrote this letter.
My goal for this study is for us to fall in love with this book. I hope our Bibles fall open to Philippians because we’ve spent so much time pouring over it. I hope our pages come loose and fall out. I hope we can “become Philippians”, as we immerse ourselves in the treasures this book holds.
Perhaps you could take 15 minutes this week and read straight through all four chapters. As you do, remember that Paul wrote this book from prison and he did not know that his letter would be published, much less become Holy Scripture. He was just writing a letter to a bunch of people he loved. Try to hear his words as your beloved pastor writing to you from a prison cell overseas, waiting to find out if he is going to be released or put to death.
Here is a great summary of the book, done in a creative and engaging way. Enjoy!
Here is the study sheet for week #2.