HEAVEN is the theme of a new 12-part series of Bible studies for 2019 from The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters Women’s Ministries team. ‘On the Way to Heaven’ is inspired by the text of Philippians 3:20 (‘our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ’), and each study explores how Christians’ heavenly citizenship influences the way we live on earth.
Each part includes four sections that can be undertaken individually or as a group discussion – ‘What the Bible says’, ‘Our lives today’, discussion questions and ‘Our journey to Heaven’. Topics in ‘On the Way to Heaven’ include ‘Heaven is real’ (focusing on John 14), ‘Heaven’s sacrifice’ (Hebrews 9), ‘Heaven’s ambassadors’ (Luke 4) and ‘Heaven for all nations’ (portions of Genesis 11, Luke 13 and Acts 2).
The nations are also conveyed through the authorship of the studies. Twelve of The Salvation Army’s women leaders from around the world have contributed to the series, representing countries as diverse as Australia, Nigeria, Sweden, Kenya, India, the UK and USA. The varying cultural perspectives add richness to the exposition and discussion questions, with participants encouraged to share their ‘experience of resting in the arms of God’ and talk about a Bible verse that ‘assures you of God’s protection and makes you feel safe’.
To further reinforce the internationalism and enable as many people as possible to access the material, the Bible studies have been translated into eight additional languages, including French, Spanish, Russian and Mizo.
Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, World President of Women’s Ministries, prays that the Bible studies will give women linked with The Salvation Army a ‘direction and meaning to our life’ and an opportunity to share and learn together.
‘What could be a better start to the new year than a commitment to read, understand and apply God’s Word together?’ she asks. ‘A greater biblical underpinning to our worship, fellowship and diverse ministry is central to the General’s Call to Mission, which also reiterates the importance of developing an increased confidence in the gospel.’
The Commissioner continues: ‘“On the Way to Heaven” is designed to enable us to celebrate and rejoice in our own various cultures while also emphasising the things that unite us. It’s all about Kingdom culture and the spiritual values that we see in Jesus. I’d encourage all women connected to The Salvation Army – in whatever way – to download a copy of these studies, read the Bible and see where God leads us together.’