When Bonnie & I get to mentor these NextGeneration missionaries, we are overwhelmed with joy. This week we got to spend this final chapel with the class that has journeyed through a month of Bible Classes with us. Here are their precious questions, and our answers to them from our hearts. We hope that this Chapel will bless you also.
Below are the questions for the Q&A Chapel this next week.
Describe your relationship with Jesus Christ.
What was the most exciting experience you had in your life?
What is your favorite time of the day and why?
What is each of your testimonies and life verse?
What is your love story?
Dr. Barnett, what is your favorite book of the Bible to teach?
Mrs Bonnie, what is one piece of advice you would give to young, single women?
What direction do you believe God is leading your life now?
What is your method of memorizing Scripture?
What time in your life did you need the most wisdom from God?
How many Bible verses have you memorized?
How do you keep the love between you and your wife?
How do you maintain motivation and encourage each other?
Dr. John Barnett: Hello students, John Barnett here, Bonnie right over there. I would like to read everything that you sent me to remind some of you of your very challenging questions that you sent us, and I split the time with Bonnie. She said that she would like six minutes, so I get 19 minutes.
Here are the 13 questions, 12 you asked me.
- Number one, describe your relationship with Jesus Christ.
- What was the most exciting experience you had in your life? By the way that was when I met Bonnie and married her.
- What is your favorite time of the day and why?
- What is each of your testimonies and life verse?
- What is your love story? That’s what I already said was the greatest, most exciting day of my life.
- Barnett, what is your favorite book of the Bible to teach?
- Bonnie, what one piece of advice would you give to young single women?
- Number eight, what direction do you believe God is leading your life now?
- Number nine, what is your method of memorizing scripture?
- 10, what time in your life did you most need wisdom from God?
- How many Bible verses have you memorized?
- Number 12. How do you keep the love between you and your wife?
- The last one, how do you maintain motivation and encourage each other?
So those are the 13 questions and I’m done, it’s just reading them was too hard. I’ll go through them with you. It’s such a blessing to answer my part of the questions. My training when I was trained, like all of you are there in Bible school. I was trained to always think of a verse from the Bible whenever I was asked a question and to locate in the scripture the answer to the question.
I went through your 13 questions and now if you look at the screen, my first answer to you is all of these questions to me are about decisions that I’ve made and my wonderful wife, Bonnie has made. You will never be in the future what you’re not becoming today. I meet so many young people and they say someday, I’m going to date a Christian or someday I’m going to memorize a verse or someday I’m going to serve the Lord. You’ll never be in the future what you aren’t in your life doing today.
In the next slide, what were the 10 most life-changing decisions that you made in your life? Basically, that’s what I’m answering for you because that’s what you ask on this sheet of paper. Every one of your questions were about a major life changing choice. That we made to respond to the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved or that we made to memorize scripture. If you think of each of these questions, all of them that you wrote have to do with choices that we made. In the next slide, I’ll show you my answers.
- The question about how I was saved. It was the decision to respond, to Acts 16:31, which is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The second one about what keeps me motivated, it’s based on Romans 12:1 & 2. Dedicating my life.
- You ask about what verses and passages, that was a decision to have a word filled Joshua 1:8-9 life, which basically is all about believing that the word of God can fill our hearts and minds.
- The fourth one is the decision to prepare and study as 2 Timothy 2:15 says. That we’re supposed to study to show yourself approved unto God.
- Then what we’re doing in our life. In fact, when you said here, what direction do you believe God is leading in your life? That’s that fifth decision, a Matthew 28:18-20 great commission life.
- The sixth decision was Acts 13:36, and each of these verses are among my most favorite verses in the Bible. Acts 13:36 says that, David fulfilled God’s purpose. So, that’s really as you ask, what direction do you have, how you maintain motivation, et cetera it has to do with believing that God has called me, my wonderful wife, and us together to fulfill His purpose.
- Number seven. The decision to pursue an Ephesians 5:25-33 marriage like the Bible says. That of course was the greatest day of my life.
- Number eight the decision to invest my life, as Peter said, the greatest investment we can make is in Christ church. 1 Peter 5 says that those that serve Christ church receive an unfading crown.
- Number nine. The decision. In fact, when you said what direction do you believe God’s leading in your life right now and what keeps you motivated? A lot has to do with number nine there. 2 Peter 1:15 is Peter saying, after I depart, actually the word is launch, he’s talking about going to Heaven, he said I want to make sure you’re reminded of everything I said. That’s a wonderful reminder to me, that if you’d spend 20, 30, 40 hours a week preparing messages, make sure that they’ll be around. This was Peter saying he was going to write down, in his epistles, the word of God. But it’s a reminder for each of us that we can leave behind a testimony. For me right now, I have 3000 little testimonies online, and those are Bible questions that I’ve answered and taught in classes just like you, and as well as other groups. That is from what Peter said.
- In number 10 the decision to follow 2 Timothy 4, which means to finish well.
Let me just show you all of these; the 10 best decisions, that your questions reflect, that I’ve made in my life biblically, is the decision to respond to God in an Act 16:31 life of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. That happened to me, I was six years old. I have it over here on the board. When I was born, I lived six years in sin and wickedness. I was saved at the moment of my salvation, all of my sins from birth to salvation, all the way to when the Lord calls me home. All of them were put onto the Lord Jesus Christ.
Then one of you ask on here, describe your relationship with Christ. One of the lessons I taught you, I began in my walk with the Lord at age six praying and as I pray, I focus on the Lord. I surrender to Him, asking Him to control me, lead me through that day, supply me with enough strength, cleanse me. We’re supposed to confess and forsake and have right relationships with those around us and with the Lord. To protect me and to empty me so that I can serve Him. The neat thing about my relationship with the Lord today is, it’s just as simple as it was when I was six and believed on the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
The second one on your screen there, the decision to present my body as a living sacrifice, as Romans 12:1-2 says, to have that Joshua 1:8-9 word filled life of hiding God’s word. When I was your age, students, I began memorizing while I was in Bible school one verse a day. I did that all the way through my time in Bible school. I was in Bible school for four years. That means that I memorize 1500 verses, one a day. You say how? The simple and I’ll show you here on the marker board. Here’s the verse. I memorized John 3:16 and I always do the first letter. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The first letter of each word, on my cards that I carry around with me.
My favorite time of the day, there’s another question, is the morning when I begin the day in prayer, seeking the Lord to focus and control and lead me, but then I work on my verses. I rotate between all my different packs of verses. On one side of the card, I have this reference and those letters. On the other side of the card, I actually have the verse taped onto the card. So, that is the decision to have a Joshua 1:8-9, number three there, word filled life.
You didn’t ask me, but I would say one of your great decisions in your lives is that you’re deciding to have 2 Timothy 2:15 formal training. That verse says, study to show yourself approved unto God.
While I was getting my education, number five there, I began to decide I was going to commit my life to obeying what Matthew 28 says. Now, if you look here, they’re all right here, see these verses are the answers to your questions and they’re also the decisions that are reflected in our lives. Acts 16:31, to be saved, dedicating our lives to the Lord, becoming word filled. If you were in our house, you would notice, right at the sink where my wonderful wife works, preparing three meals a day that we share and she’s done that for the last 30 plus years with all of our children, right in the center in front of her sink are her verse cards. Paper verse cards, the same verses that we learned when we were your age in Bible college. She’s still working on them, still meditating on them and those verses are because we want a word filled life.
That’s really what keeps us motivated. You asked in your questions, how do you keep the love between you and your wife? The Bible answers that. In fact, that’s number seven. There that’s pursuing in Ephesians 5:25-33, a life of loving Bonnie as Christ loves the church and seeing her as the gifted helpmeet I’ve prayed for my whole life. In fact, that’s what I told her when I met her. Really, I hoped it wouldn’t scare her away, but as soon as I met Bonnie I said, you’re the one I prayed for my whole life. You’re you are exactly the answer to my prayer.
I skipped over this, Acts 13:36 is fulfilling God’s purpose. That’s focusing your life. Most people want to be somebody else. In fact, most people I talk to lament they’re not someone else. They wish they look like someone else. They wish they could do what other people do. I always say, what did God create you to do? See that’s what Acts 13:36 is about. Do you know why David was a man after God’s own heart? Because he fulfilled God’s purpose in his generation. God created David to do something no one else could do. God created you to do something no one else can do. That’s getting focused in life. When I was working with Dr. John MacArthur, do you know what he told me to do? He says, plan to neglect everything but what God called and designed and created you to do in life. Most people do everything else and they basically are frustrated and empty because they don’t realize the joy of doing what God created you to do. Really, I encourage you to focus on what God created and designed you to do.
Number seven, there you can see on the screen pursuing Bonnie.
Number eight, the decision to invest my life in a 1 Peter 5:1-4 pattern of shepherding Christ’s flock. You want to get an unfading crown? Serve Christ’s Church. There are a lot of people that are involved in all kinds of things and disconnected from Church, what Jesus Christ is focusing on. In fact, if I was there teaching the book of Revelation, I would remind you that the book of Revelation says that the focus of Jesus Christ from the cross onward is singularly on His Church and you want to be involved with what He is involved with. If you want to be tied together with what the mighty creator of the universe is involved in, get tied to the Church. I’m so excited to hear about many of you that got baptized and are serving, but make sure not just in Bible school but for life, you’re church focused.
Number nine, the decision to plan a 2, Peter 1:15 15 discipline of communicating God’s truth to the next generation. I decided I would not only do my job, but I would start discipling from on that screen. By the way, all those numbers there, the year I made those decisions. In 1986, a long time ago I said Lord, I’m going to start pouring my life into small groups. I started meeting for breakfast with groups of men, and I would show them how to memorize. Like you see on the board here. I would show them how to study the Bible. I would show them how to pray. I taught them how to lead people to Christ and to witness. That was the discipline of commuting God’s truth, discipleship.
Then finally, Number 10 there, the decision to follow the 2 Timothy 4 goal of pouring my life out as a drink offering to the end. Remember what Paul said? I fought the good fight. I have finished the course that the Lord laid down. Like David, his focused life.
So, to answer your questions before my wonderful Bonnie comes, describe your relationship with Jesus Christ. I believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and I was saved at age six. All of my sins were placed on Jesus Christ.
What was the most exciting experience you had in life? Marrying Bonnie? She was the answer to my life prayers. I prayed 27 years to meet her. So, that’s certainly an exciting event.
What’s your favorite time of the day and why? Because I want a word filled life my favorite time of the day is when I can spend time listening to God. When I memorize my verses, when I read His word, I’m hearing His voice and then that issues into what you see over here. Me, praying back to Him, asking for Him to focus and control and lead and supply and cleanse and protect and empty me.
What’s my testimony in life? First, my testimony is I believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. He took all of my sins on Himself. I don’t have one life verse, but I have many. One of them would be, I want to present myself as a living sacrifice. I don’t want to be dismayed for the Lord’s with me. I want to study to show myself approved. I want to go into all the world and share the gospel because Christ said He’d be with us as we do that. I want to fulfill His purpose. So, I guess I have 10 life verses on the board for you.
What is your love story? I grew up in a dysfunctional home, abused I would say, by my father, according to the current terminology. He used to choke me. Squeezed my neck until I couldn’t breathe and would turn red. He would tell me if I did whatever I did that made him mad, he would break my neck next time. But you know what? I didn’t want to have a marriage like my parents. So, I began, as a tiny boy, praying that the Lord would give me a wife like the one I read about in the Bible. That’s my love story. That’s how I met Bonnie.
My favorite book of the Bible to teach, whatever one I’m teaching. Right now, I’m actually preparing for a group of students that I’m teaching the book of Revelation, coming up in about a week or two. So, I’m so excited about that. In fact, right now I’m working on the Anti-Christ, the mark of the beast, this whole COVID era. I won’t, I could take the whole question and answer time on that.
What direction you believe God is leading in your life right now? To pour my life out into the next generation, to encourage leaders of Christ Church, and to finish the course well.
What’s your method of memorizing scripture? I wrote it right there, showed you.
What time in your life did you most need wisdom from God? Marrying. If you want to have an unhappy life marry the wrong person, if you want to have the most glorious joy filled overflowing life marry the one that God has perfectly designed for you. That’s when I needed the most wisdom with
Number seven here, how many Bible verses have you memorized? Just in Bible college, 1500.
How do you keep the love between you and your wife? I was holding her hand this morning as we read our daily devotions and I had more fun. She was laughing at me because we read back and forth. We’re going through the one-year Bible and we read all the footnotes and everything, but just listening to the voice of God together in devotional time, as we read, and pray together, that’s how you keep the love between you and your wife. That’s how God designed it in His word. That’s what He describes in Ephesians 5.
How do you maintain motivation and encourage each other? How I encourage Bonnie is, I tell her all the time that she is the most beautiful reflection of Christ’s love that I’ve ever, ever experienced in my life. I’ve never seen anybody that reflects Christ like her.
I’m getting into her time, so I am going to have to quit.
What keeps me motivated? I want to finish the course, I want to pass on to the next generation, I want to invest my whole life focusing on Christ Church, I want to fulfill what God called me to do in partnership with Bonnie. Obedient, doing the great commission, studying, and rightly dividing His word. Filling my mind every day with His word. Living as a sacrifice and thanking Him that He saved me and washed all my sins away.
So there, there are my 12 questions. Thanks for asking them. Now I’m going to turn it over to my wonderful, wonderful wife.
Mrs. Bonnie Barnett: Wow, John left two minutes for me, because cause that’s all I need. I’m not sure which questions you wanted me to answer, but I’ll start with a few of them.
Describe your relationship with Jesus Christ. I would say Jesus is my best friend. He’s my Everlasting Savior, my King, my Rock, my Light. This Psalm 27 says, He is my Salvation, and He is the Strength of my life. Psalm 31. He is my Rock, my Fortress, or my Masada, my Strength, and my Redeemer. Psalm 40 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; […] He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. He has put a new song in my mouth, praise to our God.”
What was the most exciting experience in my life? Was definitely coming to Christ. John, you are the second most in my life, but the first one it really was knowing that my sins were as scarlet, and Jesus washed me white as snow. Acts 26:18, one of my favorite verses says, Jesus, as said in my words, He opened my eyes and turned me from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God. I received forgiveness of my sins. Hearing John’s voice on the phone when he called me was the second most exciting.
Number three, what’s my favorite time of the day? John said the morning, I am not a morning person at all. I often stay up to one o’clock in the morning working and thinking, and that’s when I’m most creative. But my favorite time is in the morning when John and I sit together, as he said, and have morning devotions together. We don’t read through books written by human authors, we always read the word of God for our devotions together. We’ve done this since we were dating and newlyweds, we sit holding hands and each of us with our Bible and we read aloud back and forth. We read to each other taking turns. That is my favorite time of the day.
My testimony is that, I was dead in my sins and separated from God until I was 21. All we like sheep have gone astray and we have turned everyone his own way. My heart was wicked, and it was never satisfied. I made a mess of my life through alcohol, rebellion, and the occult. There’s a verse in Isaiah that describes my life perfectly. Isaiah 57:20, “the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’ “ God sent many Christians into my life to plant the seeds of truth, but I just couldn’t believe that Jesus was the only way to God.
Finally, I hit bottom and in a blizzard of nine feet of snow, I was alone and hopeless, and I cried out begging God to show me if Jesus really was the way, the truth, and the life. Alone in my rented room, I opened a Bible, and I began reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. My heart broke as I read of God’s great sacrificial love for me. God proved His love for us while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Jesus saved me that night. He turned me from my sins to follow Him, from the darkness to the light. I became a new creature in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Now that I can’t see my notes because I’m crying. My life verse is Psalm 71:14-16, which the Lord gave to me at Word of Life, New York when I was about 19 years old, I think. It says, “but I will hope continually, and will praise thee yet more and more. My mouth shall show forth thy salvation and thy righteousness all the day, for I know not the numbers thereof. I would go in the strength of the Lord God.”
What is our love, my/ our love story? Our love story is, “wait on the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” I was saved in 1978 and prayed for God’s will. I heard John preach during my first month at Bible college. Then for the next five years, I followed John around and heard him every time, every single time he preached on campus, but I never met John, for five years. In 1983, he called me on the telephone just one month before we both were headed in different directions. We were leaving the university where he’d been for eight years and I’d been there five years and was just one month before I was going to New York and he was going to Michigan. See God’s timing is perfect. We fell in love. We are headed in the same direction and we knew we were both fully dedicated to the Lord and surrendered. The Lord gave us love in our hearts for each other, from the very beginning.
What piece of advice would I give to not just a single young woman but any single young person I would say, but especially I’m acquainted with a young woman, I would say turn to Psalm 37. There are three words in Psalm 37 that I would highlight. Verse 3, trust. Verse 4, delight. Verse 5, commit. Verse three, “Trust in the Lord, and do good.” I would add to that Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him. And He shall direct your paths.”
The second word is delight, in verse 4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” I would say, young person, love the Lord with all of your heart, know Him and know His word. Let Jesus and God become your joy.
The next word, at verse 5 is commit. “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and he shall bring it to pass.” I would say, commit your way to the God who is El Shaddai, the God who is enough. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that He has a plan for our future and a plan for good. To give us a future and a hope. So, I would share Psalm 37 with any young single person waiting on the Lord.
I think that’s probably enough questions from me. I think your time is probably out, but I thank you for listening and letting John and I share with you. It’s such a blessing to see you there, and we do pray for you that the Lord will lead you and guide you, and you will commit your way to Him and trust fully in Him.
John says, should I close in prayer, I would love to. Let’s pray.
Dear gracious, Heavenly Father. We come before you though we’re thousands of miles apart. You hear us and you see us, and you see each young woman and young man there in the classroom who is, has dedicated their lives to you. Those that you’ve called to yourself and freed them from their sin, given them the gift of free life and salvation through Jesus Christ. I pray that you would direct their path. I pray that you would keep their minds stayed on you. That they would let your word dwell richly in you as they not just study, but as they seek you with all their heart. I pray all these things in the matchless name of Jesus. Amen.