Our Beloved, Our Friend: Explore the Word, Experience Jesus, Share His Love

Our Beloved, Our Friend invites readers to be a part of and grow in the greatest love story of all time as they…

• explore the Word using a simple, natural method,

• experience Jesus through the Word and prayer,

•and are thereby encouraged and equipped to naturally share His transforming love.

Through forty Bible-study meditations and prayers with journaling space for personal insights and prayer, readers have the opportunity to experience Jesus and His unconditional, limitless, liberating love as they draw near to Him, grow in love with Him, or possibly meet Him for the first time through His Word. These meditations are set in an easy to use relational method called the Pattern, taken from Psalm 119 and designed as an aid for deepening prayer and illuminating the Word.

After completing the forty Bible study meditations, readers can continue to use Our Beloved, Our Friend’s easy to use Pattern to help them dig into the Word for themselves, to deepen their relationship with Jesus, and to minister to others in numerous ways. The Pattern can serve the reader as a tool to:
• continue to use in ongoing personal devotional time
• share in one-on-one fellowship
• mentor, to disciple individuals and groups
• lead Bible studies, retreats, and seminars
• study a single verse, a portion of Scripture or a book of the Bible
• teach Sunday school or other small groups with little or no preparation.

The concluding Appendix shares practical, specific ways to help readers to explore the Word, ways to experience Jesus in prayer, and ways then to share Jesus and His love naturally with others in the words and deeds of their lives. Like the Pattern, it can continue to be used after the reader has completed the Bible study meditations.

Our Beloved, Our Friend assists readers – through the lens of the Word and the light of the Holy Spirit – to personally experience Jesus, to know and love Him more intimately. And it is we get to know Jesus in this way, we come to realize the depth of His love for us. His limitless love causes us to love Him in return and share His transforming love spontaneously with others in all we say and do.

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PREVIEW of part of a Bible study meditation

David was greatly distressed … but he found strength in the Lord his God
(1 Samuel 30:6)

I wanted to give my little daughter something special, expressing my love for her. As she slept, I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning, sewing together the seams to form a doll, stitching the fluffy red yarn to her head, and attaching her long, lanky limbs. I stuffed her plumply so she would be ready for life in this world. With the dawn of Christmas morning, Raggedy Ann was born and entered the life of my little one. Devotedly she would carry this larger-than-life friend, sharing one adventure after another. But as it inevitably does, time passes. With the wear and tear of a full life of many years, Raggedy Ann became limp. Her seams frayed and began to fall apart.

How like Raggedy Ann we all are. Sometimes with the wear and tear of life, we feel that the stuffing has been knocked out of us and that we no longer have what we need to make it through the day. Sometimes we feel that our world is falling apart at the seams. What can we do? Like David, we can look to our Maker. Raggedy Ann’s maker gently took thread, strengthened the seams, and stitched her back together. When we feel as though we are worn-out and our lives are coming apart at the seams, our Maker tenderly and lovingly—through the “thread” of His Word—speaks to us, strengthens us, and stitches us back together.

When have you felt like Raggedy Ann? What do you do, where do you turn when you feel like your world is falling apart? In what situation today do you need to turn to and rely on your Maker?

Thank you, Lord, that You are always present, always there for me as my Strength and Refuge when things around and within me seem to be falling apart. Thank you for Your Word that brings me healing and hope, that mends the seams of brokenness in my world and makes me whole again. In Jesus’ name.

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