It’s been 6 years now since I joined the Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). I have been studying the Bible through BSF for 6 years now. We have studied the Book of Acts, the life of Moses, Genesis, Revelation, and John. This school year we will cover the book of Romans, and will run from August 2017 to April 2018.
What is BSF?
Bible Study Fellowship is an international organization that provides classes of in-depth study of the Bible to discover more about its relevance in our time today. BSF began in the United States of America in 1950 by Audrey Wetherell Johnson, who was a former missionary to China. BSF eventually grew globally, with classes being held in more than 2,200 locations on 6 continents, in more than 40 nations. Their mission is global in-depth Bible classes, producing passionate commitment to Christ, His Word and His Church, with a vision to magnify God and mature His people as they cultivate a deeper relationship with Him. (Source)
Our study goes through this 4-Step process:
- We have daily assignments that we answer, which is our reflection for a specific question, verse or chapter in the Bible.
- We meet every Thursday. I attend Women’s Day class at CCF Alabang. We are divided into small groups of 10-12, where we share our answers with each other. The session will take 1 hour.
- After an hour, we all join together in one big plenary, with all the other members, and then we listen to our Teacher Leader Ms. Ema Yujico of BSF Alabang for another hour.
- We bring home the notes for next Thursday’s meeting and read them as our assignment. And then, repeat the first step.
I am truly blessed to be part of this bible study for free. Yes, this class is really for free! All I need to do is to have a good attendance and follow rules on absences. Otherwise, my slot will be given to another person who wants to be part of BSF.
Joining the BSF class
How I became part of BSF is quite a story to tell. I was first invited by my highschool classmate, Jude, back in 2010. But I found it off and was really not my type of thing. So I kept avoiding her when she continued to invite me. In August 2011, she invited me again to attend the intro class but used the alibi that I did not have my phone with me. I purposely replied late to her invitation the next month, September, and she was totally cool with it. On October 6, 2011, Jude texted me again an invite for an intro class—this time I told her I will attend. It was my Dad’s birthday actually, which could have been a valid excuse, but I decided to still attend. So, I asked a favor from my husband to drive me to CCF. However, when we left our village, a heavy traffic surprised us. There was a hostage bank robbery happening that time, and the road was closed, causing the heavy traffic. I called Jude that I might be late but since it was way too late already, she said I can try again next time.
During that time, I felt maybe I’m not meant to attend BSF.
But the following week, Jude called me again asking me if I’m still interested to attend and that I can just attend a one-on-one INTRO class with Ma’am Sarah. Though I felt akward, I said okay. I told myself, “Sige na nga, maybe I was destined to attend BSF.”
The struggles I had to overcome in the beginning of my BSF journey
It was a struggle in the beginning because my strength is really in talking, but never in reading and especially not in writing. I really did not like reading and comprehension.
I have never personally read the Bible in my life, except for a few Bible verses from school as required, from comics, and later on from different devotional books I received as gifts. I am also a very busy businesswoman and a full-time mother.
My first struggle was how to find time in answering our daily lessons and questions. In my first weeks, I only answered them the night before our weekly Thursday meeting, which means on Wednesday nights I’m always cramming. Second, my impatience in reading became a challenge too. So I skipped the NOTES given to us about the lecture, and just go straight to the Q&A portion. Third, I had difficulty writing down my answers on the study questions sheets because firstly, I do not know what to answer, and secondly, I have not internalized yet the words in the Bible. I was not ready to be honest with myself—to humbly open up— therefore, I was hesitant to share my personal experiences.
Studying His Word, God worked in my life
My life before BSF was full of anger, pride, revenge and all about earning money and getting even.
I was bitter and full of anger. I was pre-occupied with thinking of ways to get even, due to bitterness and resentment, which was evident in my behavior, the way I communicate and manifests even in my decision making.
In my third session with BSF, I tried to follow the proper way of learning the Bible. I decided to read the notes already which I used to skip.
And this is how God finally spoke to me—through the first sentence of Lesson 11 series VIII that struck me deeply… “What causes you unrest? Is it fear of the future, guilt of past, present circumstances you cannot control or fix? Are you weary and burdened with life? What seems to be disintegrating around you? Where can you turn for help? You may never have realized that God has high purposes for you and for all of His people…”
I was shaking and fell on my knees, and found myself crying hard and shouting. As if all the anger and bitterness that I have been keeping inside me just erupted. I humbly asked God, “Help me, I’m tired.”
Since then, I decided to be faithful in my study of the Bible. I’m always hungry to learn more and I’m always excited to share with others what I have learned. Back then, I share the Bible to my employees. Now, I share it with few friends I meet in the different organizations I am part of.
I tell them about how God changed me and try to share with them some words in the Bible. I have been attending the seminars too that BSF offer from time to time. I also learned to pray everyday and I reserved my early mornings for my quiet time.
I am no longer drinking out with friends and spend more time with my family. This change has improved my communication with them very well. I humbly submit to my husband and try not to control everything at home and in our business.
I am no longer paranoid financially of my future. I have learned to let go and let God. I remember when my retail stores were still operating; I would share the Bible to my employees during our monthly meetings. I started having one-on-one personal talk with all of my employees and assess where God is in their life now. You cannot imagine the different stories and different levels of their faith. I shared with them how God changed me and tried to share with them some verses from the Bible.
Today, I can honestly say I am happy and peaceful, because I have surrendered my life to God and have allowed Him to fully take control of me.
Dear God, I praise and thank you for giving us the Bible to teach us and guide us in our lives. How rich and powerful are your words in this Holy Book. My life has never been the same since I have encountered your Word personally. It refreshes me everyday and guides me in all my ways. Praise you O Lord, for your Word gives me strength and protects me always. May you sustain us, God, and help us to live your Word every day of our lives. Let me be an instrument of your love by leading me to share these life-giving words in the Bible to the people I may encounter. May I continually be hungry for your Word and to make the Bible my ultimate manual to life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.