Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Mrs. Bright on the Importance of God's Word

Leslie Basham: Have you ever been in worship on Sunday morning saying, "Lord, I need more of You." The answer to that prayer involves cracking open the Bible on Monday morning. Here's Vonette Bright.

Vonette Bright: It's impossible to really develop an intimate relationship with the Lord without spending time in the Word. I think sometimes we think we can run in and out of God's presence but to really get to know God, you need to spend time with Him.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, July 19.

Cultivating a love for God's Word is a life-long process. Today, Nancy will talk with a woman who has gained a lot of wisdom over the years about the Bible and she's still learning today. Here's Nancy to introduce our guest.

Nancy Leigh Demoss: This week we have the great privilege of hearing from the heart of one of my very favorite women. I've known Vonette Bright literally all of my life and she has been, oh, so much to me. She has been a mentor, a friend, a prayer partner, an encourager, almost a second mother. Her Husband was Dr. Bill Bright and together they founded Campus Crusade for Christ in 1951.

One year ago this week the Lord took Dr. Bright home to heaven and I remember so clearly just the opportunity to be with Dr. and Mrs. Bright in the days before he went to heaven and to see the song of praise and the spirit of gratefulness that was on his heart and on his lips right to his final breath. Oh, what a celebration there was in Orlando, Florida, as so many came together to give thanks to the Lord for this life well-lived.

But, several months before Dr. Bright's home-going, I had the wonderful privilege of talking with his wife, Vonette, about some of the things God has done in her life. And I found it such a joy and a delight to sit at the feet, so to speak, of this older woman who has walked with God for so many years and just to listen and to learn from the wealth of what God has done in her life.

So, I want to invite you to join in with Vonette Bright and me and to listen in on the conversation we had that morning.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: As you know, the burden and the mission God has given us here at Revive Our Hearts is to encourage women in particular in their walk with the Lord to help them become fruitful in their relationship with Christ and in their ministry in their homes and their churches and in their communities.

In fact there's a passage in the New Testament that gives us a summary of our curriculum and what it is that we're trying to accomplish as women. You remember when Paul said to Titus, talking about how the local church was to be structured, how people were to be discipled in their faith.

And then he began to talk about the teaching and ministry role of women in the church and he speaks first about older women. He says, "Older women are to be reverent in their behavior, they're not to be slanderers, they're not to be addicted to much wine, they're to have self control" (Titus 2:3). So, he talks about the character that godly older women are to have.

But, as you know, getting to be godly isn't something that just happens overnight. It involves a process and there is time and effort and discipline involved in getting there. One of the provisions God has made for younger women to become godly older women is that the older women are to help us as younger women to learn what it means to walk with God and to fulfill His purposes.

So Paul goes on to say in Titus chapter 2:4-5 that those older women who walk with God are then to teach other women, to teach them what is good, to train them to love their husbands and their children, to be self-controlled and pure and working at home and kind and submissive to their own husbands and here's the bottom line: So that the Word of God may not be reviled. So people will think well of God and His ways.

When I think about that process in Titus chapter 2, I think about some of the women God has used in my own life to help me develop a heart and a hunger and a love for the Lord Jesus and to help me become fruitful as a woman of God.

Really close to the top of my list of women who have influenced my life would be my life-long friend, mentor and second mother, probably, Vonette Bright, Mrs. Bill Bright as she loves to be called.

And Vonette thank you so much for your willingness to join us here on Revive Our Hearts this week. I love you. I thank the Lord for you. And I just consider it a privilege for us to have these moments to sit in your living room and to just talk about what God has taught you in your walk with Him, so thank you for joining us.

Vonette Bright: Nancy, you know you're about as near a daughter as I could possibly have and I really love you so much and I have admired you through the years even as a child, your maturity, and of course your parents being such very, very good friends.

So, I guess I treated you just many times as if you were my own daughter. When you remind me of some of the things I have said to you from time to time"¦

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We were talking about that this morning. I was telling you some of the very practical things you had taught me when I was a little girl and I said only a mother could say those kinds of things. But, I'm so thankful for it.

Vonette Bright: Well, I treated you as a daughter. I was very eager to see you successful. I was very eager to see you pretty, I was very eager to see you mannerly and to be a lady.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And you did so well and I thank the Lord for a lot of practical and wise things you have taught me over the years. You are a lover of the Lord, a lover of people, a lover of your family and you have brought under your wings a lot of younger women through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ and have had such a mentoring, discipling, training ministry in many ways just through your example.

You've walked with the Lord for many years and I want us to explore some of the things, as you look back on your Christian journey, some of the things that have been the most important to you in obtaining and maintaining a walk with the Lord.

I think a lot of people are really, though they have a relationship with Christ, it's something that for many they endure rather than enjoy. And I look at you as a woman who loves knowing Christ and walking with Him.

For example I know the Word, the Scripture, has played such a crucial role in your spiritual journey and you quote from it often. You came to me this morning and said, "What did you read in the Word this morning?" and you were quick to tell me how the Lord had met with you in His Word.

Tell us about how you developed the habit of getting into the Word, is that a daily habit for you and why has it been such an important part of your life?

Vonette Bright: Well, actually it's impossible to really develop an intimate relationship with the Lord without spending time in the Word. I think sometimes we think we can run in and out of God's presence in two or three minutes or five minutes or whatever"¦

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Like we do fast food restaurants.

Vonette Bright: Yes, and that doesn't mean those times aren't important and it's a beginning. But to really get to know God, you need to spend time with Him, to read His Word, to meditate on what it has to say, to make some notes on what it means to you.

I like to study with a commentary and this has all been a growth process. I didn't start out immediately just being able to spend long periods of time in the Word.

First of all, I married a very successful businessman and I was also teaching school at the same time and we were very involved in our church. So, time was really of essence. To find time to really study, I really had to work at it.

I had a very dear friend who received Christ about the same time I did. She had two children, she was at home, she was a full-time mom and her children were away at school a lot and she had such a hunger for the Word, she was able to spend hours.

She would come by and pick me up in the afternoon after school so she would have her Bible and tell me as she was taking me home what she had learned that day. She had a Scofield Bible and she was just devouring it,

And I was learning so much from Louise that she was learning. She didn't have any idea that she was teaching me so much, but I was learning and the fellowship that we had together was so good.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And you were really developing a hunger.

Vonette Bright: Yes, I was developing a hunger as well. Then we were asked to teach a ninth grade Sunday School class. And so I suggested that we would do this together. Well, it turned out that she had a class and I had a class.

We were teaching the same thing and so we were studying somewhat together. That really caused me even more to get into the Word of God, the responsibility of teaching someone else.

Then when we started Campus Crusade I had just been a Christian about two to two and a half years so I was so unprepared for what we were going to be doing and the Navigators were actually doing the first follow-up of our ministry.

They didn't have a campus ministry at that time but there were young women who were doing some of the discipleship. So they were spending a lot of time teaching me to memorize the Word and teaching me to use the Bible studies they were doing and that was wonderful.

I remember telling Bill as I was having time to study during the third year we were married and I remember having the time of my life being able to spend adequate time with God and in study. I was learning so much and I would say, "Bill, look at this, look what I just learned!"

I was so excited about what I was learning and I felt like it was the place marked "X" for me so I knew that it was God's will and plan that I join my husband in ministry. And then if I was going to be giving out, I most assuredly had to be taking in.

So, it was a question and answer just beginning to learn the Word. I've done all kinds of studies. I like to read through the Bible once a year and a good way to do that is a one-year Bible that puts you into the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Psalms and Proverbs each day and you can gauge yourself in terms of how you're getting along.

If you miss a day or you don't get quite all of it done, you can catch up at another time. But, it helps you to get through the Bible in a quick fashion but you're gaining the Word of God and at the same time applying it to your life.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We've been listening to Vonette Bright, the widow of Dr. Bill Bright, and I know that you will want to tune in the rest of the week as we continue our conversation.

Vonette shared some very personal and precious things about the process of losing her husband, what that was like and also the process of aging and different experiences in her life of learning to deal with sorrow and grief and doubt and I think you will be challenged as I have been.

I'm so glad Vonette started our conversation on the subject of the Word of God and the importance of getting into the Word and getting the Word into us.

I know that many of our listeners have a desire to have a more intimate relationship with God and to have a more meaningful daily devotional life. Now, you may already have a track to run on for your devotional life but I find that many people have said to me over the years, "I don't really know how to have daily devotions. Can you help me to know how to get into the Scripture?"

Because so many people asked me questions like that, I wrote a book called A Thirty-Day Walk With God In The Psalms and here's what I've done. I've selected thirty of my favorite Psalms and written a study on each of those and it challenges you to read the Scripture, to answer some questions related to that Psalm and then to make it personal in your own life.

So many people have shared with me that this has been a very encouraging, helpful tool in their daily devotional life and in their relationship with the Lord.

So, I hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to order this book and to get into the Word and to make it more a part of your daily life.

Leslie Basham: Here's how to get a copy. Just call us at 1-800-569-5959. Or, go on-line to ReviveOurHearts.com and click on the on-line store. We have that link in yellow. Again our web address is ReviveOurHearts.com.

Tomorrow we'll hear some practical advice on how women can find time to pray and more importantly why we should pray. I hope you can be here again for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.