One thing in common

Published 12:01 pm Monday, September 19, 2016

What would you think around 175 or more women and a scattering of young children might have in common to gather on Friday mornings to meet for two hours and then do homework to take to the next meeting?

Though it may sound strange to some folks, the thing in common for this meeting is to study and learn more about God and the book of Romans in the Bible. I thought I knew the Bible pretty well, until I came to this Bible study that is called Community Bible Study.

I realize now how little I knew and how much I have learned in only three meetings.

Since I have been involved in church all my life, I have heard about Paul, who at one time was Saul and a man who persecuted people and was anything but loving. As a young child, I heard the story of Saul in Sunday School. I still remember the story of Christ asking him why he persecuted him as he was walking on the road to Damascus. A transformation took place in Saul’s life on that road, where he became a follower of Christ and his name was changed to Paul from that day forward. Not only did his name change, but from that time on, he spent the rest of his life telling others about Christ.

Now in my mind’s eye, both as a child and an adult, I had pictured Paul as a tall powerful man. Not until the studying of Romans did I learn he was of short stature, and what I conceived in my mind’s eye was nothing at all the way he was. His look was nothing to be admired and you would wonder why anyone would listen to him.

However the change that had taken place in his life gave him all the assurance he needed to be a leader.  It had been there all along.

It made me realize if a man like Paul could change, so could the rest of us.

Paul had to really think hard about how to be able to influence the powerful people he would be talking to and also to talk to those with no power.

He also had to set himself apart in some way but yet relate to all. As he prepared to go into a city that there was not one person, he knew and all he had for a friend was God.

His introduction was that he was Paul, and a servant or slave of Jesus Christ, that he was called to be an Apostle who was separated by the gospel of God.

As I really looked at that verse differently than I ever had before, I realized he automatically separated himself from the world with that introduction.

I think of the shape the world is in right now and think it is no difference in today’s world in someways. You are either brave enough to stand up for Christ, or you will do as the world does. Some time you may be the only one in the group who will, and Paul encountered that many times and was persecuted because of his faith. In the end, he became victorious in doing what he had set out to do by winning lost souls to Christ.

I think of the young people who have died from drug overdoses because others in the group were doing drugs and they were afraid of being different.

I imagine how once the drug had its hold on them, they wished they had never started using drugs or drinking.

Young people, if any of you are reading this, keep this thought in your head: you can resist doing what others do, just stand up to them by just saying no. You will see it gets easier each time. You may need to find different friends.

I just hope the young people in that community Bible study will be able to lead others by what they have learned from Romans.

I have already felt a transformation and am so happy I decided to join this Bible study this year.

I am so glad I had something in common with this group of wonderful ladies.