Remember that time you bought fresh fruit for that amazing smoothie recipe you found on Pinterest only to find that you’d lost track of time and the fruit had gone bad? Yeah, me too. I live across the street from a grocery store that has a wonderful produce section—if you’re treating it like manna.
So there I was, staring at my overly brown bananas and wrinkled peaches, and it got me thinking about another purchase I had recently made. Just a couple days ago this fruit looked fresh and full of nutrients. Could this same #pinterestfail happen with the small group Bible studies that were in a box on my front porch?
I set out to think about the parallels of fruit and Scripture—I know weird, right? But when I started thinking about it, I found three important things to consider when picking a new study. Is it fresh, is it concentrated instead of watered down, and is it not my truth but God’s truth!
Is It Fresh?
Fresh fruit bursts with flavor and nutrients. It tastes good and is good for you. Even if someone has to core, peel, or cut it first, it usually goes straight from your fingers to your tongue. Yum! While canned fruits have their place (and convenience!), there’s something special about fresh fruit.
That’s true when it comes to group Bible studies too. You can have “canned” study, with famous, talented Bible teachers “joining” your group via prerecorded video. They serve a purpose and are convenient, but a “fresh” study with a live leader has added benefits.
A live leader can interact with learners, adjusting the content for their needs, while answering questions and clarifying points immediately. More than that, there’s a sense of familiarity, affection, and warmth moving between leader and learner that is missing when the leader is “canned.”
Additionally, with a prerecorded video teacher, your Bible study leader moves to the role of facilitator. She misses out on the benefits of the deeper study, preparation, and training she can experience if she’s leading the study herself.
So when you’re praying about which kind of Bible study to choose, think “fresh.” It’s usually the better choice!
Is It Concentrated instead of Watered Down?
To buy “from concentrate” or “not from concentrate”—that is the question. Concentrated juices have the same nutrients as not-from-concentrate juices; they also have a higher sugar content. That means getting the “full-bodied,” “potent,” “robust,” and “completed” version of the juice.
When it comes to juices, you may not want all that sugar for yourself or your family. But when it comes to a Bible study, concentrated is good! A study that is concentrated is a study where no Bible truths are left out because they might be uncomfortable or unpopular. It also means that nothing is added that might dilute God’s Word.
Is It Not My Truth but God’s Truth?
The Bible is objective, authoritative truth straight from God Himself. Like Him, His Word does not change; its meaning and message remain true regardless of what we bring to it and regardless of our culture, experiences, or feelings.
Unlike my fruit smoothie fail, I’m determined to pick a Bible study that’s fresh, concentrated, and full of truth! You can find these kinds of Bible studies from Regular Baptist Press.
RBP Women’s Bible Studies—whether they’re topical or book studies—start and end with the Bible. Each one helps women apply God’s truth to their lives. Download a free preview chapter of any one of our newest studies.
Jon Norris is marketing manager of Regular Baptist Press.