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Zephaniah 3:17 says, ‘The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing’ (NIV 1984).
How wonderful it is that God will quiet us with his love, and he rejoices over us with singing! We are so precious to God, and as we share in these Bible studies we hope that you will have a clearer picture of just how much God loves each of us and how we can take on his character in our own lives.
During 2014, the shared theme of Women’s Ministries throughout the world is ‘You are loved’.
This series of 12 Bible studies helps us to focus on the truth that we are each loved by God. This year the studies explore the verses from our text – Colossians 3:12-14. Each word is explored in detail throughout the studies, which follow a simple pattern that can be used in any setting. They are designed to be flexible, so that you can add material that is relevant to your culture and context.
Each study includes four sections which can be explored with your group, as follows:
1. What the Bible says – where you explore ‘What does the text actually say?’
It is important that you read the Bible carefully and allow it to speak to you and guide the content of your study.
2. Our lives today – considers questions such as:
- What does the Bible reading tell you about your lives?
- Does it highlight any problems in society?
- What challenges are there for the way you live your life?
3. Discussion questions – depending upon where you are using the studies, you may choose to select one or two that seem most suitable for you, or ask different groups to discuss other aspects and possibly, if you have time, share what they have been speaking about.
4. Living as loved – this is designed to give you something to take away and do before you next meet. If appropriate, you could share how members of the group worked through their ‘living as loved’ the next time you meet.
As the studies were compiled this year various words stood out. Therefore, on the final pages you will find some songs which we hope will aid your reflection on the truth that ‘You are loved’. There is also a song with music arrangement written by Major Valerie Mylechreest, which may be useful in your setting.
As you consider through 2014 how you are loved by God, we pray that he will be evident as you study his Word and share together.
*Unless stated otherwise, Scripture references are taken from the NIV 2011 (anglicised) edition.
‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:12-14 NIV 1984).
You are loved - English
You are loved - French
You are loved - Portuguese
You are loved - Spanish