It began today. I honestly had no idea what to expect. I invited 20 guys over the last two weeks to come to this weekly Bible Study, and I had no idea how many of them would actually show up. I knew there would be at least two of us, and I figured, if that’s enough for the Lord, it would certainly be enough for me.
Turns out, there were six of us, all together, which was totally awesome. I was especially thrilled that one of them told me he hadn’t gone to church since he was a little boy — and he’s nearing retirement age. I can’t tell you how excited I was to have him in the room with us.
We’re studying the book of Ephesians. I selected that book for several reasons: First of all, because it’s short. This group is planned for the 14 weeks of summer, and we only have 30 minutes a week. (I wish we could spend 30 minutes per verse!) So we’re going to have to keep a good pace. Second, because it is such a gem of an epistle. It is so dense. As I said to the group, “All the major themes of the entire Bible converge in this one little letter. From Creation, to the Cross, to the Coming again; from grace, to peace, to love, to warfare. It’s all here in one condensed little book.”
But the main reason I chose it is because it sets out the gospel so clearly and beautifully. Grace, through faith, from God’s rich love. That’s it. That is the real message that I hope to proclaim loudly and clearly this summer.
To all of you who prayed for me last week, I want to express my sincerest gratitude! God definitely answered your prayers! If you would like to continue to support me in this way, please pray that I would know how to lead the group wisely and winsomely. (Those of you who know my background know that I could easily preach at these guys for 30-minutes-straight without coming up for air! But I want to leave room for the Lord to work through others and not just me. So I will need to know when to just keep quiet.) And pray also that if there are any other would-be attenders that are still on the fence (particularly like my friend with little church background), pray that I might be attentive for more opportunities to extend additional invitations.
There were so many times over the last few weeks that I found myself wondering, “What in the world am I getting myself into?” But the Lord has shown me time and again that He has His hands on this thing. Once I finally rested in that, I had great peace.
But today, it was just plain fun.