I’m in an e-mail small group bible study. You wouldn’t think it would work, but it does.
For us church types, a small group implies fellowship, refreshments, discussion of scripture, and prayer. All that’s missing from the e-mail group I’m a part of is the coffee and donuts. It’s pretty neat.
The ministry is called In His GRIP. If you look at the graphic, you’ll see it stands for God’s Word, Reveal, Implement, and Prayer. Since this ministry was founded within the context of sharing Christ within the golfing community, GRIP is a good acronym.
One needn’t be a golfer to enjoy the benefits of daily bible reading and reflection, however. The point is to get into God’s Word each day, reflect on what God is revealing to you, implement some practical aspect of God’s Word, and pray.
How it works...
The founder, Scott Lehman, starts us off with a short, 3 minute video on their YouTube channel. Then you share your own “GRIP” with others by replying-all to the email chain you’re in. Yes, this is the one time you are allowed to reply-all.
We have a reading schedule, so we know what passage to read every day of the month. From Nov 1-30 we’re reading Psalms 61-90; Dec 1-31 we’ll cover Psalms 91-121. Then in the New Year, a 31 Day Challenge: Proverbs 1-31 from January 1 to 31.
Chapter a day. Great way to read through God’s Word.
So each morning, I open the email, watch the short video and then I usually go to Bible Gateway and read the chapter from the NIV or NRSV (those are just two of many bible translations available).
After reading the passage, I pick one or two verses that struck me and write my GRIP. For example, here’s one I did from John chapter 10 awhile back.
- G – God’s Word – John 10.3-5 – “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” (NRSV)
- R – Reveal – Jesus, our shepherd, knows his sheep intimately. He calls each of us by name; he knows our needs and personal struggles. He promises to go ahead of us, preparing the way, leading us to green pastures and still waters (that beautiful image from Psalm 23). Sheep that know the shepherd will follow his voice – even if they can't see him – and they won't follow a stranger.
- I – Implement – I believe Jesus knows me intimately. Of course he knows my name – he's created me and he’s the Lord of the universe. The very hairs on my head are numbered (that's another bible verse, I'm pretty sure!). BUT. Do I know HIS voice? Am I following HIS calling (even though I can't see him literally with my eyes)? Am I too willing to follow the voice of a stranger because I like what the stranger is saying? I should run from the voice of a stranger instead. Now that's some food for thought.
- P – Prayer – Lord, keep calling (I know you will) and help me become so familiar with your voice that I will drop everything and follow when I hear your commands. Help me easily distinguish between your voice, my own thoughts and desires, and the voice of strangers – especially the ones that want to seek and destroy what is good. Amen.
That’s it. Throughout the day you get to read the other GRIPs as they come in from the various members of the bible study. You gain a lot of insight into the scripture and a person’s life over time. It’s great.
If you’re interested in joining a group, let me know. Just hit reply-all!