by Guest Blogger Mary Jane Humes
When Karen invited me to guest post on her blog about my ministry, I was both delighted and a bit confused. I certainly knew what a guest post was, but “my ministry”? I am an author, and I did not see myself as having a “ministry.” But after thinking about her words and my books, I realized that my writing may be considered a ministry. After all, I write to encourage and teach people, mostly women. My books are Bible studies/devotionals that are designed to help my readers understand, study the Bible, and apply what they have read to their own daily Christian lives.
God has given a command in 2 Timothy 2:15 to study so that we can rightly divide, that is, understand and apply “the word of truth” — the Bible. The verse reads, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The Bible is a huge book, and sometimes looking at it, let alone reading it, seems to be daunting, much less taking the time and effort to study it. In studying any topic, we are usually led or guided by someone. In school, we had subjects to study, and we had the help of our teachers, professors, and/or textbooks. The study of the Bible is no different. I believe that a primary source of helping us to study the Bible, besides God’s Holy Spirit, should be our pastor. But there are other places where one can study the Bible, such as an adult Sunday school class, a woman’s Bible study, or simply during a quiet time of personal Bible study. One of my motives behind writing my books was that I wanted to encourage women to read their Bible and also use my books as part of their daily devotions.
I believe it is both a privilege and duty for every Christian to meet with God daily. This is sometimes referred to as “personal Bible time,” “devotional time,” or “quiet time.” Whatever you call it, and whatever time of the day you decide to do it, read a portion of Scripture, talk to God in prayer about your desires, and intercede for the needs of others. These things are vital to your Christian walk. In your time of prayer and Bible reading, you are meeting with and communing with your God, your Savior, and your friend. Just as we communicate with our loved ones every day, we need to connect with our God every single day.
I started to write my Bible study devotionals after I taught a children’s Sunday school class on the life of the biblical King David. I developed my own lessons and curriculum for the class, and my teaching attracted an adult lady. I endeavored in my teaching to make David and his friends and foes come alive. But I wanted not only to simply relate the narrative to David, but I also wanted to apply what happened in his life to our present-day lives. After all, at times and in many ways, we modern day people are not really all that much different from the ancient king of Israel.
The story of David, as well as other Old Testament men and women of faith, was not placed in the Bible simply for the sole purpose of Sunday school teachers having wholesome stories for their students. The Bible verse that sums up my devotionals is found in Romans 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” These Bible “stories” are far more than merely feel-good tales. They are history. They are part of God’s love letter to us. They are examples recorded and preserved for us to learn, and they are for us, today, to build up our faith. My desire is that women not only develop a daily habit of Bible reading, but that they go further and study the Bible, learn from these men and women, and draw closer to God through the knowledge of His Holy Word, while at the same time, develop a daily habit of prayer and praise to God.
I believe that words are powerful, so I guess I do have a “ministry” after all. Thank you, Karen, for asking me to share. Thank you for reading about what I do. If you would like to read any of my books, the e-book versions are free on Kindle Unlimited. If you read them, please write a review about them on Amazon so that others will know what to expect. You can learn more about me by visiting my website at https://maryjanehumes.com.