Wednesday, November 25, 2015


We thank God for the Gospel of John!

Top Tabitha Bible study leaders
In October our 250 Tabitha Bible studies completed a three-year study of the Gospel of John. As the top twenty leaders met for a retreat, one evening was devoted to thanking God for what we had learned through the study of John.
Sarah having a quiet time at the Retreat
Sarah: Jesus wept with the mourners in John 11. I know he enters into my troubles, too.  When I cry, He cries with me.  It means so much to me that Jesus Christ is concerned for me.

The drama of Doubting Thomas - Standing: Sarah B, Esther, Jane, Janet

Sarah B.: When Jesus asked the man who had been sick for 38 years, “What do you want me to do for you?”   I knew I wanted him to remove the bitterness from my heart.  When Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus in chapter 12, I knew I could give him my whole life, even though I don’t have something of material value to give him.   The study of John has also shown me how to lead people to Christ. 

Esther: Bible study is giving me confidence to study and to teach, and I am now teaching the catechism class in my church.

Jane: My favorite passage was John 15 and I taught it using the chalkboard at my church. The children can still tell the story.

Janet: I came today in the rain but didn’t even notice, I was so happy to be free to come to the retreat.  John 7:37  says, "He who is thirsty, come to me." I have no need for gossiping or drinking or anything else.  Jesus is my Living Water. In John 21 Jesus asked the disciples,  “Do you have something to eat?”  Jesus cares about our needs.  The Bible study has made me brave to testify before others.
Monica and Angeline being prayed for by Beatrice
 Monica:  John14:27 says, "I give you My peace….".  Sometimes I have troubles on the outside, but deep inside, I have the peace of Christ.   The verses I have learned have been useful to me in sharing with others – like John 11:35 when I went to visit a grieving family.   I’m thankful for the quiet times during this retreat, where we slowly read Scripture and talk to God about it.  It is of so much more value than running here and there seeking for prayers from other people.  We can meet directly with God.

Angeline – As I work as an evangelist I now have so many stories and verses from the Gospel of John to share with people.  The Bible verses have become a part of my life.  The idea of being one with Christ as Christ is with God is amazing.  I want to be united with Christ in this way.  I am so thankful for Jesus’ prayer in John 17, praying for us, and that is why we are in His family.
Gladys telling a Bible story during Retreat 
Gladys: Now I understand why John wrote his gospel – so we can KNOW Jesus Christ, and that is what I want.  The feeding of the 5000 shows us that Jesus will always be able to take care of our needs.  I also learned we need to humble ourselves like Jesus and love the unlovable.

The worship together was wonderful!  Mercy is playing the drum.
Mercy: I learned in John 10 that Jesus is my Shepherd and knows my name.   Then in John 21, he asked Peter three times, "Peter, do you love me?"  He also addresses me by name three times and asks me the same thing. Jesus really knows me.

The Bible study is equipping us to be teachers and pastors.  It is giving us value, and courage to teach in front of many people.
Marta and Beatrice praying for each other at the Retreat
Marta: I liked the story about  Martha, being troubled about many things.  That was me, too, and I gave my troubles to Jesus.    John 3:30 says, "He must become greater; I must become less." The Bible study is preparing us to teach, and to work for the Lord, not in order to be a big person, but just to follow Christ.  Just as the women ministered to Jesus, and he chose to reveal himself to them after his resurrection, He has chosen us women to take the Word of God to others now in this day.
Alice and Picody sharing prayer requests
Alice: My favorite chapter is John 17. It taught me about praying for unbelievers. So I started for the first time, praying for my unsaved neighbor, who was one of the biggest brewers in our area.  Praise the Lord, she  came to Christ and is part of our church now.  Also, when Jesus talked about having accomplished the work He had been given in John 17:4, I searched my attitude towards leading the Bible studies.  How could I not attend the meetings?  It was the work God has given me to do.

Picody: The lesson from John 15 touched me and made her wonder about my own fruitfulness.  The John study has helped me discern good from bad, and I want to do good.

Cecelia, Hannah, Peris and Beatrice at chai time
Hannah:  I learned from the lesson on  Lazarus – wait for God to answer prayers in His timing. Our leaders have seen God answer prayers in tremendous ways and I have personally, too. I love John 21 where we learned that Jesus see us from afar and cares about our troubles.

Peris:  Jesus asked Peter in John 21, "Do you love me?...  Feed my lambs...  Take care of my sheep...  Feed my sheep."  Caring for our “flock” of leaders and members, some are younger, some are older.  They all have needs for food from the Word, and care.  This is my calling.

Linda: We studied Jesus’ arrest and trials right before I was diagnosed with cancer.  Peter responded to potential suffering with fear.  Jesus responded with courage and humility. I wanted to respond like Jesus, and by his grace, I was able to have courage throughout my diagnosis, treatment and healing of my cancer this year.

Betty:  I was moved by the story of the adulterous woman – “Go and sin no more.”  No looking back.

Winnie:  I always thought Christians should stay away from sinners.  John 4 showed me I need to associate with sinners, as Jesus did. I am thankful that I have been able to share these lessons from John with my local church.

Thanks be to God, whose Word never returns unto Him void.  These top leaders have taught other leaders, who have taught other leaders, who have taught 250 local Bible studies with a total of over 2000 women. We trust that each of the women at the local level have met Jesus in these studies, as these leaders have,  and have grown in knowing Him and in making Him known.

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