As many of you know, I left the corporate world in search of a deeper relationship with God through my studies in seminary. That journey was almost 10 years in duration and it was one of the most enjoyable experiences in my life. In fact, I miss it almost every day. I was surrounded by people who were some of the most God centered folks I have ever encountered. And when you are in that kind of environment, there are all sorts of accountability partners to make sure that you stay on the straight and narrow.
While I am most grateful for the education that I received, I did try to figure out how I could have attended Dallas Theological Seminary. But it just wasn’t in the cards – Janet and I weren’t in the position to move to Dallas – as much as I would have loved to have attended DTS. Many schools had long distance programs – but Dallas wasn’t one of them and, reluctantly, I chose other schools.
But recently, DTS has decided to offer online courses, for free, to the general public and I have decided to enroll in those classes. The first offering was a study of John – the Gospel dedicated to proclaiming the love of Christ through the eyes of one member of His inner sanctum. The courses are taught by DTS professors and are really quite good. In fact, more than 66,000 people across the country signed up for the study of John, presented through a self paced video series.
The second course relied on a former professor, an icon in the ministry, who taught a short course on how to study the Bible like a seminary professor. Like the first course, it was excellent and provided great insight for the lay person to gain a deeper understanding of God’s Word.
And now, just in the last month or so, the latest course, Genesis, has been made available to those who wish to continue their coursework on studying the Scriptures. These are all great offerings for people who may want to learn more about the Bible without formal entrance into seminary. I highly recommend all the studies that Dallas offers and you can sign up through the DTS website or even by following DTS on FaceBook.
So why would I dedicate an entire blog to encouraging you to take a course? Because I can attest to the fact that sitting under the teaching of trained seminary trained men and women is a different experience that merely trying to understand the Bible on your own. It’s well worth the investment of time and effort to glimpse a peek into the world of real seminary students.
Aside from the DTS experience, God implores us to continue to learn more about Him, his commands, promises and love. Our verse for the evening is one of the most important verses in the Bible – in the Gospel of John. The apostle tells us – straight up in the first verses, John 1:1-2, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” This verse tells us that Jesus (the Word) was with God throughout all time and was, in fact, present at the creation of all that we know. That’s a strong statement – and one that most people don’t realize as Biblical truth.
My encouragement this evening is that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, collectively known as the Trinity, want you to learn as much as you can about them, and to have a deep relationship with the Triune God. My prayer is that will consider studying the Bible at a deeper level than you have ever considered in the past – and DTS is a great place to start. Of course, I hope that you continue to study with me as well. After all, iron sharpens iron and we all get stronger when we are committed to deeper relationships with each other and with God. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…