Mark_circleTwo months ago, I had the opportunity to go to Heidelberg, ON to teach a new workshop called “Essentials of Inductive Bible Study”. The Essentials workshop is designed to introduce participants to the power of inductive Bible study using the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians. In these first ten verses there’s so much that we learn. The exciting part of the workshop is seeing participants experience lightbulb moments. Not only when they learn something new from God’s Word, but also as they see the value of the inductive method.

One of the keywords in 1 Thessalonians 1 is “gospel”. It’s central to understanding why Paul wrote to the church of the Thessalonians. Let’s see what we learn about the gospel:

  • Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy refer to the gospel as “our gospel” (v. 5)
  • It came to the Thessalonians
  • It came in word, power, and in the Holy Spirit
  • It came with full conviction
  • The Thessalonians received the word (v. 6)
  • They received it in tribulation with joy of the Holy Spirit
  • The Thessalonians sounded forth the Word of the Lord (v. 8)

The transformation that the believers experienced all started with Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, who brought the gospel to a place that desperately needed to experience the grace of Jesus Christ. These three men preached the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. Those who heard and received the gospel were convicted to leave behind the false gods they worshipped, and fully commit to following and serving the living and true God (v. 9). Not only did they experience this life-changing transformation for themselves, but they understood the importance of taking the gospel to other places in need of salvation
(v. 8).

What I love about this chapter and study of the gospel is that you see the gospel’s power and ability to transform someone. The gospel not only transformed their speech, but also radically transformed their actions. This church once followed after false idols, most likely performing ritual actions for a man-made god. But by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Thessalonians started to imitate not only Paul, Sivanus, and Timothy, but they also imitated the Lord (v. 6). In their imitation, they became an example of how to live a life that brings Glory to God. Wow!

Are you amazed at what God can do through His Word? Close your eyes and picture what God’s Word can do in the lives of thousands of Canadians. Is your prayer the same as mine? That those in Canada would leave their false idols and follow after the living and true God?

I believe that Precept Ministries International has the best Bible Study tool in the world. Inductive Bible study engages people in God’s Word and unlocks the Scriptures in a way that all age groups can have a life-transforming encounter with God.

Friends, look at our country. Our country desperately needs a radical transformation: our country needs God’s Word. Our country needs to move from being told to read God’s Word to being shown how to study it. This is why Precept Ministries exists: we exist to establish people in God’s Word, and to live as exemplary followers of Jesus Christ, being followers who study the Bible inductively, view the world biblically, make disciples intentionally, and serve the church faithfully in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Do you share the same vision that we have? If you believe that God’s Word is the answer and the inductive study method is the tool to transform the lives of Canadians, will you partner with us in establishing people in God’s Word?

Did you know that June and July are the most difficult months financially for our ministry? Our ministry generates revenue in three ways: The first is through donations, the second is through training, and the third is through book sales. Over the summer months, training, book sales, and donations drop significantly due to many groups taking a break over the summer.

Would you prayerfully consider making a donation to the spreading of the gospel in Canada through Precept Ministries? I have enclosed two response cards and two envelopes, one for June and one for July. Your gifts will be used to establish more new classes and new training workshops across the country as we prepare for the fall.

My prayer is that God would use this ministry to transform our nation. That for the glory of God there would be reports about those involved in Precept Ministries like the reports Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy received. That the reports would be about the work of faith, the labour of love, and the steadfastness of hope in Jesus Christ. And how thousands of people have turned from false gods to worshipping the living and true God.

Serving Him,

Mark Sheldrake

PS — Read what our friends in Heidelberg had to say about our Essentials of Inductive Bible Study training workshop:

“Having this ‘hands-on’ approach to studying the Bible was really helpful to me. We learned to observe the Scriptures accurately by marking repeated words with symbols. We also “interrogated the text” (by asking who, what, when, where, why and how?) and made lists about everything we learned about key characters in the passage. This sounds like a laborious discipline, but it’s SO exciting to me that God has given us His Word as a means to grow closer to Him, and that when we put in a little extra work, His Spirit helps us understand Him and His purposes on a WHOLE ‘nother level! Tapping progressively deeper into God’s Word is truly changing the way I view God and live my life! My goal is to study every book of the Bible this way…and then start over if i live that long :)” —Sherrie

“All in attendance enjoyed the workshop and had positive things to say about the morning. Two ladies in particular are quite excited to do more Bible study using the principles laid out in the Precept method. I haven’t had a chance to talk with any of the individuals from our youth group to hear specifically their opinions about the workshop, but just the fact that 10 of them were there by their own choice would indicate a genuine interest in Precept. It was my distinct pleasure to meet and talk with Mark Sheldrake and enjoyed his quiet, yet passionate, teaching style. He really surprised me by not trying to cram 16 hours of normal Precept study into this 3-hour session. Instead he left us hungering for more. It seemed to me that we had just nicely got started learning the Precept method and I certainly was disappointed to stop when 12:00 rolled around!” —Bob

Yes, I would like to partner with Precept Ministries so that more Canadians can experience the transforming power of God’s Word.

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