Archive – Ordered by Date
From BSF stories and updates to encouraging articles written by theologians and BSF Staff, the Bible Study Fellowship Blog will enhance your study experience. Through the comments section, you can connect with other members and share how God is working in your life on a deeper level.
A simple step toward justice and mercy
Is my anger righteous?
It’s unavoidable: this week you were angry. Everyone was in some way. When you look back on your anger, what do you see?
How does Isaiah speak today?
God promised salvation to a people headed for destruction. Isaiah’s “Servant Songs” offered hope and they continue to speak to us today.
What was Isaiah’s message?
Through 66 chapters, Isaiah proclaimed a timeless message of judgment and salvation. Through poetry, prophecy, and history, Isaiah offered hope.
Who was Isaiah?
What caused Isaiah to trade riches and respect for a life of rags and rejection? Surely something extraordinary. We find the answer in Isaiah 6.
Three Steps to Understanding Prophecy
By Todd Wethall
The Bible is sometimes difficult to digest. Prophecy can be especially confusing. Do these ancient words have meaning for us today? In our latest blog post, Todd Wethall models a three-step method for reading hard passages.
“God Knew My Heart”
Has God forgotten me? Like the Israelites, we wonder when God will fulfill His promises. Vera Xu’s story of wandering from and returning to God reminds us that God’s timing never fails.
A Simple Invitation
Moving Beyond I’m Sorry
By Debbie Young
We long for transformation, but one thing stands in our way – sin. The battle feels endless. But what if we change our perspective? Debbie Young explores a theme from People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided that reveals a unique key to spiritual growth.
How to Test Your Decisions
Dan Lister faced an impossible situation. Learn how his faith guided his choices and discover how to test your decisions.
A Story of Faith in Action
Ana Machado struggled with doubt. What was she doing in a prison? How could she, a simple BSF Leader, reach these women with the gospel? But Ana persevered. Her story is one of hope. She discovered that God uses those who are willing to walk in dark places to shine His light of His mercy.
God is ready to use you too.
Is God the Same in the New and Old Testament?
By Hollie Roberts, BSF Executive Director
Is God the same in the New and Old Testament? Learn from Hollie Roberts’ challenge to read the Bible as one book about a single God.
Why Does God Judge?
By Dr. David Talley, Guest Contributor
Why does God judge the people He loves? Dr. David Talley writes on this hard question, encouraging us to trust the perfect justice of God.
Did God Choose Israel and Not the Other Nations?
By Dr. Mark Bailey, BSF Board Member
Did God choose Israel and not other nations? Dr. Mark Bailey explores how God’s ancient promises to Israel impact all nations today.
How God Brings Unity Through Prayer
Have you ever felt discouraged by the division around you? Learn more about how God brings unity through prayer.
3 Reasons Not to Skip the Kings and Prophets
“Thy Will” vs. “My Will” – Praying Like Jesus
BSF member Sherry Thomas explores Jesus’ approach to prayer. Sherry challenges us to shift our focus. “By remembering His character, God ultimately works to re-shape our own.”
Sharing the Easter Story
Grief, Guilt, and God’s Goodness
After decades of grief and pain, Sandy Stubbs still says, “God is good. He is pure good.” In this week’s blog post, we discover God’s enduring comfort from Sandy’s remarkable story. In her darkest moments, Sandy held onto hope. And just when she believed her story was over, God extended His mercy once again.
The Power of Humility
Do you find yourself seeking after a better job title, a higher salary, a bigger home, or more social media followers? Explore the way Jesus reverses His disciples’ view of humility, redefining our view of power and “greatness.”
Pray for Christians in Nigeria
Halfway through his morning commute, Luka’s senses are on alert. As he walks through the streets of Jos, Nigeria, Luka scans his surroundings for subtle changes. Even a slight shift in the mood or crowd could indicate immediate danger.
Luka’s path to work leads him directly through a Muslim neighborhood. Years ago, he was simply unwelcome here, but today, he is targeted.
What is your greatest work?
Do you notice when God interrupts?
In Matthew 9, Jesus had an urgent mission, but he was willing to be interrupted by those in need. Are we ready to be interrupted by God?
Sharing the Gospel With Family
We long for our family to experience the freedom of Christ. But what if they reject the gospel? How should we respond? Erin and Tony Levine share their story. They offer hope to those of us waiting to hear the words, “I believe.”
Why the Sermon on the Mount Matters
How do you measure righteousness? In this week’s blog post, Dr. Darrell Bock discusses how Jesus’ teaching redefines our perspective on how to live like Christ.
“When our daily lives reflect the teachings of Jesus, we reflect the light of Christ. We are not defined by the commands we keep, but by a heart that seeks to keep them.”
Is your waiting God’s preparation?
When pandemic restrictions forced his daughter’s small business to close, Chief Administrative Officer Chad Lackey wondered how God was working. His daughter’s season of waiting became a season of preparation, just as Jesus equipped the disciples in Matthew 10. Chad and his family learned that with God nothing is wasted.
God’s Word is a ‘Lifeline’ for COVID Chaplain
Jesus’ Ultimate Lifestyle Guide
What do you imagine when you read the words “ultimate lifestyle”? Dr. Mark Bailey, writes, “In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus casts a vision for a fulfilled life that surpasses all others …”
Responding to the Wilderness
Where would you turn if your child was dying? While waiting to find out if his son would live or die, BSF Director of Men’s and Regional Directors Nate Thoreson found God’s Word to have far more than just “good advice.”
A Place to Belong
Executive Director Hollie Roberts shares God’s heart for His people in Matthew 1. Jesus’ genealogy encourages us to make Bible Study Fellowship a place to belong.
Being Available to Christ
Susie Rowan, Outgoing BSF Executive Director, shares about Christ’s availability to His followers. She asks us “Are You Available to Christ?” Susie’s post will challenge and encourage readers to follow Jesus in all seasons of life.
Unexpected Unity in Disagreement
Responding to the Creator’s Creativity
In this week’s blog post, “Responding to Our Creator’s Creativity,” BSF Creative Director Bryan Belknap challenges us to explore God’s call to honor Him creatively.
A Heart to Mentor
In this week’s blog post, Executive Director remembers the ways God has worked in her life through BSF and, specifically, the people He has used to draw her closer to Him. Take time to enjoy a time of personal reflection as you consider those individuals God has provided to guide you.
Facing Challenges with a High View of God
In this week’s blog post, BSF Board Member Terri Burroughs explores a concept in Scripture that many wrestle with. She writes:
“As we worked our way through Genesis, I asked myself, ‘How do people come through the crises of life with a sense of peace, hope, and joy?’ I’m not talking about stoicism or optimism, but those who confront the brutal facts of their reality without surrendering to defeat.”
God’s meaning in life’s meanwhiles
In the midst of emergencies, challenging work, difficult relationships, significant change, or the uncertainties of a pandemic, we naturally become absorbed in our current situation. We ask, “What should I be doing? What do I need? Where should I focus?” And while we concentrate on the immediate task that demands our attention and energy, we often fail to see what God is doing in the meanwhile.
Leadership Lessons from Joseph
BSF Board Member and former Walmart CEO Mike Duke shares “Leadership Lessons from Joseph.” In examining the life of this faithful servant, Mike explores several characteristics that made Joseph an effective leader in adversity.
The Character Of Everyday Choices
Do a person’s daily choices reveal anything about their character? Dr. Mark Bailey, Dallas Theological Seminary chancellor and BSF Board Member, believes so. Looking at the choices before Abram and Lot in Genesis 13 as evidence, Dr. Bailey explains that “Both lifted their eyes, but each saw something different.”
Enduring the Unexpected
Susie Rowan shares her thoughts and reflections about 2020. Drawing from Joseph’s life and pointing to Jesus, Susie’s message is one of hope.
New Life on Death Row
In this week’s blog post, Group Leader Purvis Harper shares his experiences bringing the hope of Jesus Christ to death row, and the amazing spiritual insights he has gained from these men.
Building An Authentic Faith
Like Abel, Noah and Abraham, we long to build a faith that is strong enough to withstand every test and trial. But how can we get there? In this week’s blog post, BSFers David and Susan Swafford share their journey toward trusting God. Through their personal struggles, we see that God never wastes a moment.
Redeeming Failed Expectations
In this week’s blog post, BSFer Sherry Thomas examines Genesis 29 and the reality of unmet expectations in marriage. Through her story, we learn that “God’s plan of redemption outweighs every failed expectation.”
When Has Your Faith Required Sacrifice?
In every generation, God has raised up men and women of faith to participate in His Kingdom work. While these faithful servants may not have fully understood the impact of their sacrifices at the time, they lived with “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Today we celebrate another great leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Finding Life After The Death Of A Dream
In this week’s blog post, BSF Staffers Hoa Luu and Gwen Cruzan share their struggles with infertility. By clinging to God’s Word in their darkest moments, Hoa and Gwen discovered one of God’s most elusive and fulfilling gifts – contentment in the One who hears our cries.
Dreams For A Better-Than-Anything Christmas
So often, we long for a perfect Christmas, but what if we’re missing the point? In this blog post, former BSF Children’s Director Barbara Reaoch shares tips for making Jesus your family’s focus this season.
Sharing the Christmas Story
God gives Christian parents the responsibility to make clear to a child the real reason for gifts and celebrations at Christmas. Reading or telling the Christmas story to your children is invaluable because they learn much from their parents’ attitude and lifestyle throughout the holiday season. Start teaching the truths of Christ’s birth at an early age to help your child discern the valuable parts of the Christmas celebration.
Belief Beyond All Boundaries
BSF member Faisal shares his heart for God’s Word and his incredible conversion in unlikely circumstances.
Leadership Lessons From Abram
Abram was a man of action. When God said, “go,” in Genesis 12, Abram obeyed. When faced with a crisis later in that chapter, Abram had a plan. But in that process, he missed an important step. In this week’s blog post, BSF Men’s Initiative Director Chad Lackey examines Abram’s failure and teaches us about Leading Without Trying To Fix Everything.
Testing Ourselves in Challenging Times
For many of us, current conflict is escalated by political controversy. Our culture divides everyday choices along political lines. So how should we weigh our political opinions? New Testament Scholar Dr. Darrell Bock explores this topic among others.
Where Is God When Your World Is Shattered?
Does God really care about our suffering? How can we, as Christians, face pain that lasts a lifetime? BSF member Catherine Barker shares about her heart-wrenching grief and the hope she grasped through God’s promises. In Catherine’s story, you will discover that God’s enduring faithfulness can penetrate life’s fiercest storms.
Addressing Hard Topics with Children
Children are unpredictable, so we can expect some difficult questions during this year’s Genesis study. In this week’s blog post, Curriculum Development Director Dana Wilkerson offers a helpful framework for addressing those topics that are difficult to discuss. From little ones to teens, these tips can open meaningful conversations for all ages.
Resisting Temptation When Willpower Won’t Work
Sin. Repent. Repeat. Too often as Christians we are drawn into this cycle, but what if we could silence temptation before sin takes root? In this week’s blog post Resisting Temptation When Willpower Won’t Work, BSF staff member Bennett Rolan explores this question, offering Biblical steps, while addressing her own temptation in the process.
How not to teach Genesis to kids
BSF Online reaches new people, places
A Biblical Response to Racial Injustice
As we watch the horrific acts of recent days and as we engage in conversations with one another, we are reminded of the depth of racial injustice and the pain it has caused and continues to cause. As we see all the images of violence, including the rioting and looting, we lament. Then we remember the Cross. We remember Jesus. We remember God’s promises. We find hope.
For years, Adele and her husband, Loren, sacrificed to serve the Lord. But, on May 3, 2019, Adele received a phone call that rocked her resolve. The Funk’s 30-year-old son Tyler, an experienced snow boarder, was in an accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Adele’s joy faded, but God faithfully ministered to her through His Word.
Finding God in the Midst of Crisis – Home Training Lesson
During this time of a global pandemic, it can be difficult to talk to your children about what is happening and know how to calm fears. This Home Training Lesson is full of helpful material to guide you through those difficult conversations. You will explore God’s attributes, find interactive ways to pray and more!
Two Join BSF Board of Directors
BSF is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors, Terri Burroughs of Fuquay Varina, N.C., and Charles Hooper of San Antonio, Texas.
Embracing our weakness
Lying in a hospital bed, weighing just 89 pounds, Susan Smith was “a total wreck.”
“I fell apart. Our marriage fell apart,” Susan said. “I was truly at the end of myself.”
For four years, Susan and her husband, Lindley, had cared for their daughter, Elizabeth, who was born severely brain damaged.
The ‘Why’ Behind the BSF Discussion Group
Christian growth accelerates in community, not in isolation. That’s why we are part of a body – the body of Christ, His Church. It requires immersion. We must embrace small-group attendance in our churches and in BSF groups, whether online or face-to-face.
Conquering fear with faith
Lying facedown, Joy Machunga was prepared to die. Her leg throbbed after being brutally kicked, but she did not dare to move. Shots sounded overhead, and Joy prayed in silence. “I just said, ‘Lord, take control.’ ”
The Surrendered Life
Introducing Word Go
Just weeks after we moved, I was asked to test a new BSF model called WordGo.
Tapping in to BSF study material and four-fold approach, WordGo is designed to reach primarily young adults, those of us who were raised in a culture that claims, “The Church is outdated,” “The Bible is irrelevant” and “Religion is right if it feels good to you.”
To be honest, I was skeptical. Could the app possibly be as effective as an actual BSF class?
“It happened in BSF…”
“A few weeks after the People of the Promised Land 1 study year had ended, Joshua began talking more and more about getting baptized. He practically ran up when our pastor gave an invitation one Sunday. When prompted to give a date for surrendering his life to Christ, he looked at me questioningly … “
Sharing in Our Brokenness
A BSF teaching leader discusses her ongoing struggle with debilitating depression. Through her story, she encourages us to admit our weakness, celebrate God’s faithfulness, unite in our trials and come alongside one another in love and understanding.
Worshipping out of the depths
For most people – including believers – “the depths” is the last place from which a song should be sung. We reserve singing for the higher moments of life and faith. For rejoicing. For reflection. For entertainment. For religious tradition. But the Psalms remind us that singing is a sacred act divinely intended for everything we will experience in this life. This includes a key part that today’s worship is often missing: lament. The song I Will Wait for You is very special to us. It is a setting of Psalm 130 – a modern reflection of what it means to trust God in the midst of trials.
Museum of the Bible brings God’s Word to life
In the heart of Washington D.C., Genesis 1 soars 40 feet above street level, engraved on the Museum of the Bible’s bronze entrance. The text reminds us that God’s Word stands firm in a changing culture. That narrative continues throughout this spectacular facility, where cutting-edge technology and interactive displays present the Bible’s impact on human history.
Introducing Generation Z
BY Kim Hurtado, BSF Research Manager
The U.S. Research Marketing Group Barna defines Gen Z as those born from 1999 to 2015.
This generation currently constitutes the largest percentage of the country’s population, the old order is fading, and the new order is growing.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Gen Z.
Passing the torch
God gifted John Humphrey Amuasi with a passionate mind.
As a medical physicist, John’s research achievements are vast, and his accolades are many. But John is driven by more than professional success. His heart for the Lord compels him to advance the gospel of Christ while pursuing his research for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
Before John became a celebrated medical physicist or a beloved BSF board member, he was a young Christian who learned from a mature generation of believers.
Being effective in difficult conversations
BY DR DARRELL BOCK – DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
We have discussed that the initial goal in a difficult conversation is to seek mutual understanding of differences. Then we considered how we often undercut that goal.Now we will look at how to participate effectively in such a conversation – three types of discussions and five methods to advance a conversation. Applying these approaches can help turn a debate into a more genuine conversation.
Sabotaging Difficult Conversations
BY DR. DARRELL BOCK – DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
In this post, we will consider what often undercuts effective conversations. Anyone who watches TV and our current examples of discourse will see these regular violations of good conversations.
Better difficult conversations setting the table
By Dr. Darrell Bock – Dallas Theological Seminary
Sometimes the most substantive conversations we have are the difficult ones.
Whether we’re talking with a child, a spouse, a colleague or discussing core life values, we often find ourselves engaging with someone who disagrees about what is going on or what needs to be done. This also is the case for conversations about religious differences.
Forgetting what lies behind
In the 90s, Maureen Wong was part of an elite team assigned to promote confidence in Hong Kong as the territory made a historic shift from British to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. After 150 years under British authority, tensions were at an all-time high as negotiations between the two political powers escalated.
Exploring God’s promises in the Promised Land
Susie Rowan slipped her prayer request between the giant stones of Israel’s Western Wall. Taking a step back, God’s presence was almost overwhelming as she reflected on the history of that holy place. It represented the fullness of God’s plan: His faithfulness to Israel, His sacrifice on the cross and the final restoration still to come.
The gift of technology
I smiled as the couple quietly bowed their heads in the restaurant. You don’t see folks pray before their meals very often these days. Then I noticed they weren’t praying: They were taking pictures of their meals with their mobile devices. Ah, the surprises that come with living in the 21st century!
Torn Curtain goes beyond the Iron Curtain
In January 2017, Peggy’s South Carolina pastor invited her to speak at a ministry conference in Bulgaria, sponsored by an Eastern European ministry called Mission Possible. As a former BSF teaching leader, Peggy felt comfortable in front of large crowds. But this was different. She wasn’t lecturing to her familiar Day Women’s Class, sharing with long-time BSF friends. Close to 50 Eastern European pastors, their wives and a team of interpreters gathered to hear Peggy speak about biblical marriage.
How to help your child enjoy God
Kids know how to enjoy pizza, pets, games and ice cream. But how can we help them know what it means to enjoy God? God is not looking for kids who dutifully behave, but for those who will know and love Him. Something will always be missing until they grasp that God made us to enjoy a relationship with Him. In this post, Barbara shares some time-tested journaling techniques to help kids dig deeper into God’s Word.
What’s New at BSF
When facing forward feels like fast forward
Prepared for a Purpose
God’s Word leads To Glory
BSF India: Gospel Impact in the Classroom
Striving for Unity, in the Name of Christ
If this is our future, what should “now” look like? As Christians, we desire “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” That’s why I was captivated and challenged as I watched the talks at this month’s MLK50 Conference in Memphis, which marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights champion the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.