Audrey Wetherell Johnson began teaching women the Bible following a Billy Graham crusade in 1958 in the San Francisco area. Five women had heard this missionary speak and asked her to teach them the Bible. She agreed to teach these women but she felt that God did not want her to “spoon feed them”.
You may know A. Wetherell Johnson as the founder of the International Organization of Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). The women and men that attend this bible study class are very devout to studying God’s word. According to the website, “Today, Susie Rowan directs a global ministry of Bible classes that serve more than 350,000 class members on six continents in more than 40 nations.”
Attending Bible Study Fellowship and becoming a discussion leader was a highlight in my life. Serving several different times, once in my late twenties, when I was working and then the last time in 2010. Every time leadership in BSF required devotion, for me to be devout to God first, family and then leadership.
Devout is the fifth characteristic of the born-again believer. The definition of devout is having or showing deep religious feeling or commitment. Beloved, when I think of examples in the Bible, I think of Timothy’s grandma Lois or Simeon who waited for the birth of Christ. But who is the man who Acts 10:2 speaks of? His name is Cornelius, a religious Gentile. He feared God. Beloved, let your imagination picture him. He’s a centurion with the Italian Regiment. A nice guy. He is the kind that helps little old ladies across the street, doesn’t curse, faithful to his wife. Probably has curly hair, needs a shave, not so good-looking but faithful.
“One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”
Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.
The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”
When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa. Acts 10: 3-7 NIV
Beloved, does God know you for your generous gifts? does God know you for your prayers?
Cornelius sends for Peter, Peter comes and shares the gospel, the good news, the Roman-roadway, the plan of salvation. You see beloved in Acts 10:2, Cornelius is a good man, a devout man but not a believer. He has a good heart but has not believed in Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. Peter has his own crisis of faith but that is for another blog, he does as God requires and delivers the good news to Cornelius household.
When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.” Acts 11:18
Beloved, the fifth characteristics of a born-again believer is devout. What do you need to do to add this to your life?
During my time in BSF, I acquired foundational truth from my bible. Studying my bible is one of the most important things that I do. It is important to my writing that I share biblical truth. It is important that I continue to grow in Christ. Speaking of growing in Christ there is a free online bible study that will be available to you starting October 16th. I will be participating in Worthy of the Calling an OnLine Study by Sarah Koontz https://www.sarahkoontz.com/worthy/ and if you want she has some free gifts this week https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjE3MGJhNWEzYTQ4NGNiMTdmYjc2MTliYmEyMTYxOjI5/. Sarah is an amazing author her bible study on Psalm 119 is so wonderful. Last night we had the privilege to hear a song written for her beautiful study by Jessi McNeal A Good Work. Anyone that signs up for the study will be able to hear this wonderful song. Ephesians is an amazing book, Paul writes to the Saints and Sarah takes it a step further by explaining in a 15 minutes daily bible study. What better way to be devout. Will you join me in this study? Cornelius household accepted Christ as His Lord and Savior and then his whole household accepts Christ. Perhaps Sarah’s study will be the stepping stone to leading someone in your family to the Lord. Who is the Cornelius in your life?
Father God, I pray for Sarah as she prepares to launch her online study Worthy. Also, I pray for Jessi McNeal as she releases her song A Good Work may it bless those who hear this song. I pray that the good work you began in us will continue until you return.
This post is part of a 31 day series on the Characteristics of a Believer. I am so glad that you are here. To read all of the posts in this series, click here.