Why Do I Need to Study in Community?

A Look at Group Study with others

The prompt for Five Minute Friday is NEED. Time is 5 minutes to write my thoughts. Here goes.

Okay so I did it again. I thought this sounded familiar. But here is another post about NEED. I guess I am ahead of myself this week. Tomorrow is Friday. 🙂 Feels like it as the US has a holiday today. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.

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Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

This week there has been much study and thought from a book and Facebook Book Group about the psalms. We are using Psalms Alive by David Kitz. I realized how much need we have to study His Word.

I knew it before but having a group of people study these psalms with me, I realized how much we need to be in fellowship and community together.

Studying by myself is great – I really learn a lot.

But I learn more and deeper in community. I need this.

By looking and listening to the thoughts of others, and by seeing their pictures, collages, and music, my mind and spirit expand.

Reading David’s book, which is fabulous in itself, helps, but add to it reading the scripture passage – that adds the truth of God’s Word – into my heart and soul. Both together have been inspiring and uplifting.

These are the scriptures we have studied so far: Psalm 19, Psalm 23, Psalm 32, Psalm 46, Psalm 67, and Psalm 84.

Here are a few samples of the wonderful interpretations we have been seeing:

 

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By Lila Diller, interpretation of Psalm 84:5-9

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By Violet Nesdoly, Psalm 84

The words from David’s book that inspired above picture:

these birds are not just visiting; they are not passing through. They have made God’s house their home. This is their nesting place. Here they will raise their family.

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by Connie Inglis “The God of the universe is calling the peoples of the world to a festival of praise.” This chapter reminded me of the people group that we are translating the Bible for in Southeast Asia–a church of only around 50 believers praising God in a difficult environment–giving their people the Word to study and to sing.

The above picture shows how great the need is in this world to hear His Voice. Thanks to those who spend time translating the Bible into different languages.

Time’s up….

Writing for Five Minute Friday (although it was Thursday and the wrong week).

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Ruth Snyder – Psalm 84

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2 thoughts on “Why Do I Need to Study in Community?

  1. michael

    I am sure that is true for most. I know I have done literally 100’s of Bible studies in groups over the decades, starting from when I was about 12, but I can honestly say one can get to a point of being too learned, of having heard too many interpretations that in the end they lose their menacing in their redundancy. It’s like when I go to church, doesn’t matter where, I always find its a sermon I ;ve heard tens of times before–gets old quickly. I’d far rather let the Holy Spirit speak than listen to another man. As i know the Word, I know his nature, I know too when it is him who leads–I know if its contrary to his nature or in alignment as surely ever mature, or long time believer does too. To me, contrary to what you assert here, sorry, being in community listening to others talk about their interpretations says FAR more about them and their own cultural/religious background (or not) than what it really might say or truly showing God in a clearer light. In fact, group think can easily lead people astray as people long to be yes people and, for example, want to have the favour of the pastor so will naturally be inclined to agree with him I think.

    Ha, now I’m sure, Janice, you are probably shaking your head but please consider these thoughts as merely room for thought. None of us have it all figured out. To me, this whole thing comes down to, ironically enough, the very arguments Protestants make to Catholics: “why go to Mary when you can go to Jesus himself?” Likewise, why go to mere people and hear from them when you can go to Jesus himself?!

    Reply
    1. JanisCox Post author

      Whew Michael,
      There’s a lot there.

      First, if I hadn’t attended my first Bible study I might never have let down my guard and found Jesus. It was His people who helped me “see the light”. I had told them that I didn’t want to go to a Bible study – I didn’t want to pray out loud; I didn’t want to hold hands; I didn’t want to share. They accepted me anyway. Gradually I let down my guard, my fears and I grew and learned to love again.

      A loving community – that shares but accepts one another is a good thing.

      And of course, there are some groups that might not be where you should go. But God led me to that first group – nothing has ever compared to it. But I was also growing and God was leading. It was a safe place to ask questions – Who is this Jesus? That was my biggest one.

      That’s why I am leading an online study now – so that Christians really listen to God. Especially Christians who write.

      And by the way, I love this discussion. It makes me write why I write, study and learn more about God.

      Blessings to you and Alex,
      Janis

      Reply

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