For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
Every Wednesday evening Army Chaplain Albert Eley met with 11 individuals to conduct a Bible studies. Long before the Chaplain arranged this group he made certain that everyone understood that all persons and ranks were welcomed. One individual, a high school sophomore, Bart Carney was a regular participant whose father was a soldier deployed to Afghanistan. Just before a Bible study session was about to begin, Chaplain Eley found Bart talking to a young soldier whom he met a week ago at the post bowling alley regarding the study group. Though the Chaplain made no attempt to participate or interrupt in their conversation, he heard Bart talk about the benefits of joining the Bible study group.
Chaplain Eley heard the young soldier ask: “Do you really like this Bible Study group? What’s so good about this group anyway?”
Bart responded: “We study a lot of different aspects of the Bible and what it means to us. We share our impressions after we read a verse or two maybe more. What I’ve learned is how to make the Bible mean something to me so that I can live a more happy life. I figure when I do this I can be a better servant of God. But the best thing about this Bible study group is we get to talk to God about anything—How blessed we are, our troubles and help for others, ourselves. That’s really cool!”
Chaplain Eley could see the excitement and wonder in Bart Carney’s face. Having heard his explanation and enthusiasm, Chaplain Eley felt a rush of personal excitement himself. Before he heard Bart Carney’s testimony, he often focused on trying to make his Bible study group interesting, exciting and worth the participant’s while to attend. The Chaplain learned through Bart Carney that the Holy Spirit had overridden his methods for enlarging the Bible study group—in the heart of a young high school student—exactly where it actually belongs!
Prayer: Holy Spirit, renew Yourself and the fire of Your love in the hearts of humankind. Amen.