“Every time I preach, whenever I am doing a Bible study, I am ultimately trying to use what they are going through today to get to the cross of Christ and salvation. I focus on not just how it will make a difference for eternity, but today — how they can live an abundant Christian life now. I challenge believers everywhere I go to ask why they believe x, y, and z. If you can’t answer that, you need to consider why. And then you need to find an answer.”

Combat may involve extended periods of absolute boredom, punctuated by a few minutes to a few hours of extreme anxiety and fear. “I have guys come out of a fire-fight saying, ‘Chaplain, I need to talk to you and I need to know about Jesus, because last night I almost lost my life,’” Struecker says. “I use those opportunities to get people plugged into a Bible study that they would normally turn up their noses at.”

To continually preach and mentor, personal Bible study is vital. Struecker’s own 30 minutes of daily study has evolved from reading the text to creating his own personal commentary by highlighting passages and taking notes.

When deployed, books aren’t easily toted. So, instead, Struecker relies on Bible software and the passages he has committed to memory after years and years of personal devotion to God’s Word. Younger soldiers listen to his advice to do the same because they know his story. “It got me through the most intense feat I have ever experienced (Somalia). I encourage my guys to write verses of Scripture on the walls and the little wooden poles in the tents,” he says. “I tell them, ‘Put a passage of Scripture up so that every time you come in here and see the graffiti you force yourself to memorize that verse.’”

Good advice. You never know when your recall might help save your life.

Interview with Jeff Struecker conducted by Scott Lindsey, Director of Ministry Relations at Logos Bible Software.

Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazine published by Logos Bible Software. Each issue of Bible Study Magazine provides tools and methods for Bible study as well as insights from people like John Piper, Beth Moore, Mark Driscoll, Kay Arthur, Randy Alcorn, John MacArthur, Barry Black, and more. More information is available at http://www.biblestudymagazine.com. Originally published in print: Copyright Bible Study Magazine (Sept–Oct 2009): pgs. 14–15.

Publication date: April 6, 2012