Perspectives on BSF
by François du Preez
François and his family attend Church 21 in Montreal.
This is the church, the body of Christ. A group of strangers that meet to edify, build up faith through the hearing Word of God.
Faith can only come through the hearing by he Word of God. Without Faith it is impossible to please God.
Friends, we HAVE to get the Word of God in us.
I had to, unfortunately, step out of the study for 8 weeks because of some intense project at work. This did however, give me a perspective others may not have had. When I returned I could clearly see growth in the men around the table – more confidence not necessarily in themselves but in the Word. In fact, there was a lot more confession of brokenness in ourselves and more confidence in the Word!
I am looking forward to the June XCC with some of the brothers here – to deepen our brotherhood in Christ and I know September comes and others will be curious as to how that is even possible in 70 hours!
It is amazing how, just as we don’t get to choose our family members, we don’t get to choose our Church family either – but somehow we get so connected in a very deep and special way.
A big thank you to the guys, Victor, Gabe and Louis, who stepped out in faith to set BSF up for men in Montreal. It is because of your obedience that the church can advance in dark places like this city.
Lastly – a challenge for the summer.
Pray against complacency, laziness etc. Fill yourselves with the Word and witness to those God brings across your paths.
Pray for your families and your churches – stand watch!
I remember when we met at Victor’s place sometime in September to find out about BSF. Victor asked us to introduce ourselves and I was the first one to speak. I introduced myself by saying right away that it was due to the strong encouragement of my wife that I was planning to attend BSF. As it turned out, as we went around the room, I found out that I was not the only one. I’m sure we’re all glad and thankful to have listened to our wives!!!
The first Bible study that I attended was over 37 years ago, during a camping trip. I was not yet a believer at the time: someone had invited me to join their College and Career group for a weekend camping trip. It turned out to be something that the Lord used to draw me to Himself, the first of many steps. Beside the fact that I met the one who would eventually become my wife, I also got to meet and to know lots of other people. They were people who were like me in some ways: sports-oriented kind of people. But they were also very different from me in other ways. The Bible was something very meaningful to them, and Jesus was definitely present in their lives: on top of that, around the camp fire, they sang songs about Him and to Him. It was mind boggling to me at the time, and also very attractive.
Well, 37 years later, here I am attending another Bible study. Well, I have attended many Bible studies since then. Here again, I have gotten to meet and know people who are like me in some ways, and different in other ways. This time though, what is similar, what is common amongst us is not that we are necessarily sports-oriented: that was important to me 37 years ago when I was much younger, with a lot more energy. No, what is common amongst us is that we share a love for God’s Word, and a love for God. So we come here, free to express this important part in our lives, free to share with each other what God is doing in our lives: in the process, we are encouraged to keep going in our walk of faith. I also like the fact that we can come here to sing songs about God and to sing songs to God, just like in that camping trip: a bunch of very amateur male singers forming a choir before God: somehow, I believe God enjoys this type of music. As John Piper puts it, we are a singing people because we are the children of a singing God, a God who rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
So there is definitely something common between us all, but we are all also different from each other: different upbringing, different cultural background, and basically different life stories. Different, and yet part of the same Body, His Body: all inter-connected in some personal ways to the Head of the Body, who is Christ our Lord.
BSF has allowed me to meet and get to know new people, my spiritual brothers. BSF has also allowed me to get to know better 3 people from the Old Testament: Saul who didn’t seem to have a heart for God, Solomon who was more half-hearted, and David a man after God’s own heart. And BSF has also allowed me to get to know better the God of those 3 men, the God who is also my God. A faithful and loving God, faithful to his promises to His people Israel back then, and still faithful to us today. A God who deserves full obedience and worship, for what He has done for us and continues to do, for who He is.
I am certainly considering joining BSF again next year. The prospect of studying the book of Acts along with some epistles is very appealing. This last year, we have spent time in the Old Testament, the First Testament: in it, we could see definite pointers to Christ. Next year, as we open the New Testament, we will see Christ openly revealed. As II Cor 1:20 says, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God”.