The Power of the Scriptures

The group of new Cru staff I coached.
The group of new Cru staff I coached.

What a joy it was to coach six new Cru staff members in studying the Bible! Their love for the Lord and passion for serving Him was obvious.

Mornings started with a meeting for coaches to discuss the day’s lesson plan. Then came a 30 minute lecture on a Bible study skill followed by a 90 minute coaching group. Group activities included devotionals, prayer, discussion of the previous day’s homework, guided practice of skills presented in the lecture, and time to work on assignments.

At the end of the course, the new staff filled out an evaluation; one of the questions was, “How did God work in your life through your study, reflection, and application of Ephesians?” Here’s how three of my group members answered :

“He gave me a greater appreciation for His word and used it to bring about greater desire for Him and a greater sense of my place in the kingdom. “

“God reminded me of the power of the scriptures while studying Ephesians. There were a few times when things that I had read before struck me in new ways. I was reminded also of the richness of scripture. There is so much more in this letter than we even had the time to dive into. I’m more excited than I have been in a while to dig deep into the scriptures. “

“The assignment on the broken family relationship was pretty big for me.  He showed me how much I need Him to help me extend grace and forgiveness to others.”

What a privilege to be part of God’s work in the lives of these six missionaries-in-training! Thank you for helping me equip messengers for God’s mission!

The small group coaches for the Bible Study Methods course.
The small group coaches for the Bible Study Methods course.

 

Developing and Being Developed

“Thank you! You changed the way I read the Bible and gave me greater confidence and a vision for where I want to be.”

That’s what one person said after taking Bible Study Methods, a foundational course in the theological training received by all Cru staff members. From June 16 to July 2, I’ll serve as one of 20 coaches for the Bible Study Methods class being held in Fort Collins, CO. I’ll guide a small group of new staff members as they practice Bible study skills they learned during large-group lectures.

I love equipping messengers for God’s mission! Our staff members are wonderful, dedicated people who are winning people to Christ, building them in their faith and sending them out to reach others. I feel so privileged to have this opportunity to develop some of them as they embark on God’s mission!

As you know, my job throughout the year is to plan and teach at events designed to develop Cru staff members, students, and other Christian leaders. From July 19-26 it will be my turn to be developed! I’ll join 5000 other staff members at Cru19, our biennial staff conference, to hear exciting stories of what God is doing through Cru around the globe. I’ll be challenged by God’s word through skilled Bible teachers and experience the incredible joy of joining 5000 other voices in musical worship. I’ll hear from our leaders and gain renewed vision for our mission to give every person on the planet the opportunity to hear about Christ. It will be wonderful to simply attend Cru19 (also in Colorado) so I can be refreshed and developed.

PLEASE PRAY:

  • for safe travel for both trips
  • for wisdom as I coach my Bible Study Methods group
  • that I would be encouraged and equipped by Cru19.

Thank you for praying. I am so grateful for your prayer partnership; you are helping me to equip messengers for God’s mission!

Jesus Our Great High Priest, Part 1

Entering the Most Holy PlaceThe high priest played an incredibly important role in the annual Day of Atonement. He alone entered the innermost room of the tabernacle (or later, the temple) where God manifested His presence, and he could only do it on that one day each year.

The book of Hebrews in the New Testament teaches that Jesus is our high priest. Hebrews 1 shows Jesus’ deity, then Hebrews 2 shows His humanity, and most of the book compares Jesus to the priesthood and sacrificial system in the Law of Moses.

Our study group is doing a bible study exercise with Hebrews 2: 14-18, Hebrews 4:14-5:6 and Hebrews 7:20-28, which are all about Jesus’ high priesthood. I’ll describe the steps so you can do the exercise yourself.

Step 1: Print out the three passages in large print and with wide margins on both sides. You can do this by copying and pasting them from biblia.com, biblegateway.com or blueletterbible.org. I find that this makes it easier to focus on the text itself instead of getting distracted by my bible’s study notes, and I have plenty of room to mark up the text and write any insights or questions. This helps me listen to God as He speaks directly through His word.

Step 2: Pick three contrasting colors of pens, pencils, markers, or highlighters.
Use the first color to mark words and phrases that describe Jesus as high priest, the second to mark the benefits we gain from His ministry, and the third to mark descriptions of the Old Testament priests.

Step 3: Do a bit of analysis of what you’ve discovered and write insights or questions in the margins. For example, list comparison (similarities) and contrasts(differences) between Jesus as high priest and the Old Testament high priests.

Step 4: Make this personal; ask yourself questions about what you’ve learned like “What practical difference can this make in my life?” or “Is God asking me to do something in response?” God may speak to you about a specific circumstance in your life where you need to apply His truth, or He may lead you to practice a spiritual discipline like memorizing a verse from one of the passages, or you may simply be led to praise Him for what you’ve learned. Be open to His leading, and He’ll let you know!

Last Wednesday our group looked at the first two passages this way, and tomorrow we’ll look at the third. Then in my next post I’ll list some of what our group found in the process.

(This post is part of a series. See Entering the Most Holy Place: a Study on the Day of Atonement for an introduction and list of posts.)

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