"It's the Work of the Holy Spirit"

"You are a Christian, right?" Tim asked Stefani at the coffee shop. "Would you like to have Bible studies?"

Tim and Linda Carleton had started going to Hillside Church's Wednesday prayer meeting because they liked the new pastor. Pastor Donavan Kack was passionate about preparing members for giving Bible studies and took advantage of the prayer meeting time to present a series of Christ-centered studies which any member could use in their own studies with people. Both Tim and Linda agreed that they could do it if the opportunity presented itself.

A couple of weeks later, Tim was visiting with Stefani, and they got onto the topic of forgiveness. That's when Tim, without thinking, just blurted out the invitation to have Bible studies. "The cool thing about it was that her face just lit up," exclaimed Tim. She responded that she would love to. "So then I'm thinking, wow. Now what?" That's when the Bible study guides from prayer meeting came into use. The studies were designed to take 30 or 40 minutes, but none of their studies have been less than two hours.

"We have nothing to do with it. It's the work of the Holy Spirit," remarked Linda. "All this has made it clear that God is alive. He's real in my life. It's blown me away how powerful He is. I don't know my Bible like I should. During our Bible studies we'll go to texts that I don't know how I knew where they are."

Tim continued, "One time when we were studying the end times, I quoted the text warning not to go after those claiming to be Christ. Stefani asked where that was found. I kind of broke out in a little sweat. Where was it found? I didn't know. Linda suddenly said that she thought it was in Matthew 24. That had to be the Holy Spirit's words in Linda's mouth."

When asked what the Bible studies have done for them personally, Tim responded, "It has made me more hungry and thirsty because we're seeing it come alive." Linda added, "It's made me realize that God is real and will work through us if we just give Him the opportunity."

June 01, 2007 / Alaska Conference