The Mineral Wells Wednesday Bible Study Club met Oct. 26th at the lovely home of the hostess Bata Boyd. It was a delight for the members to see all her beautiful fall decorations. The hostess served wonderful snacks and beverages to her guests.
Mary Creighton provided the lesson over Romans 15 for the meeting. This chapter, along with others in Romans, was written by Apostle Paul to the young churches of that time.
Mary began the lesson by asking how many in the group like to travel. Many members said that they did and told of their most recent trips. Several from the group have been lucky enough to travel to the Holy Land and experienced firsthand the places where Jesus and Paul lived and traveled.
Mary then reviewed all the necessary things that a person has to do before, during and after taking a trip. She discussed with the group about traveling because Apostle Paul was a traveler. Like many modern day travelers who go see the world, Paul had a mission for his trips. He wanted to spread the word of Jesus Christ and meet with the new churches to see how he could be of service to them.
As Paul traveled, he always kept a journal of the places he went and the people he met. He would plan for his visits by studying ahead of time for these trips. He collected donations of not only money, but also supplies for himself and his traveling companions.
Paul kept these journals as he traveled to share with his readers so they would better appreciate what was happening in the early churches. In this way, his readers could learn by reading rather than having to experience some of the pitfalls that could occur when setting up a new church. In this Chapter 15, Christians today can also relate to all the hardships faced to stay true to God.
Mary went on to say that in her mind, she saw Paul to be like one of the people you might see at the circus that juggles or spins plates on top of a thin stick. Each plate might represent one of the churches in those early days during Paul’s travels. He seemed to be going around to each church to make sure they were still on top of the stick and keeping balanced. If they seemed to be slowing down, he tried to encourage them to speed up. If they were going too fast and out of balance, he would stop them and give them wisdom to make changes.
Also, Mary provided the group with a detailed map showing the travels of Paul. The map was very helpful to visualize how he traveled when doing his missionary work. It showed that Paul traveled to many cities and counties during his lifetime after excepting Jesus Christ as his Savior. During Paul’s travels, he experienced many hardships, but he did not get discouraged. He continued to spread God’s word and recruit new Christians.
Mary also provided a letter to the members that could have been written to them by Paul. This letter was based on John Dummelow’s commentary on the Bible. It encouraged the readers to be patient and help one’s neighbors. Christians should be “tender” to their neighbors’ feelings and follow the examples set by Christ. They should pray for patience and for encouragement to help others. Do what is right for others, not what just pleases ourselves. Christ didn’t do things to please himself. He lived for others, including you and me.
In the closing of the letter, Paul ask for prayers for his journeys. Today we should continue to pray for those working to spread God’s word. There are many missionaries going to dangerous counties to spread Christianity and they are willing to give their lives rather than deny God. Please pray for them and their families.
Be a missionary in your own life no matter where you are. Be a good example and share that we should love one another. Christ is not dead and neither is Christianity!
A closing prayer was given by Nikki Murphy after a short business meeting.