Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tuesday Bible Study

Psalm 119:130
The entrance (or unfolding) of Your words gives light. it gives understanding to the simple.

Pulled up at the camp last night for Bible study, and it looked like the old days.
Guys were out throwing a football....
Groups were gathered on porches, laughing and talking.

Of course the first thing that comes to my mind is "I bet this is the first time in a long time that some of these men have laughed." Addiction has a way of stealing all the "Funny" from life.

"Bro. Mike!!" began to resonate throughout different groups as I stepped from my car. It was almost 7 p.m. and it was time to gather for our weekly Bible study. Since the meeting is voluntary, I never know how many will show up. Tonight was a good night, as we had seven come through the door. I think what made it an even better night was that we had seven hungry men come through the door.

My goal in our Tuesday night Bible study is to open the Scripture up in such a way that they understand the principals we're going over. That if we are reading about an incident or event that took place as Jesus moved from town to town, then what does what we read have to do with us. What can I take away from the study that is applicable to my own life. You hear a lot about pastor's having a three-point sermon. Well, I only want a one-point sermon. 

Our focus for the evening was Mark chapter five. Demoniac man....religious man. Opposite ends of the societal scale, but both of these men needed Jesus. He met them right where they were. In the midst of a demon-oppressed life, Jesus brought freedom.....To a man whose daughter was dying...a man of religion, Jesus brought healing where the religion could not. Life to everyone involved.

What better example of a life of addiction than the Gadarene demoniac. Living among the tombs....a place of death, this man was in agony. Addiction is a place of death....And it takes Jesus, His Power, and His love to deliver us from such an existence.  This demonized man didn't just have one, two, or three demons....he was full of boogers. But even though they outnumbered Jesus, they knew who it was who had shown up. They knew the authority and Power Jesus possessed, and what He was capable of as evidenced in verse seven.
The demon speaking...."What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me."

Jesus stepped up...
He cast the demons from the man...
Sent them into a herd of pigs...

The pigs all ran over a cliff..
Isn't that weird?

When the demons entered the pigs, the pigs killed themselves...
I guess there is a moral there.
Pigs know better than humans....
A human will let a demon control them, and do so with their eyes wide open.

What did the guys take away from the study?
Step # 2 --- Came to believe in a POWER greater than ourselves who could restore us to sanity.
Quickly followed by Step #3--- Made a decision to turn will and life over to the care of God, as we understood.

The evening was full of questions....not that I always had the answers.
Afterward, several wanted to have a one on one talk.
They shared from the heart, which is always encouraging.
Much prayer for those who asked....

As I drove away, I was filled with gratitude for the evening. I thought to myself, "You know, God.....You've got some good soil here at Rapha to plant in....mighty good  soil. Can't wait for the harvest to come out."

I'm asking for prayers for Curtis Arnold and family. Curtis' niece died yesterday. Remember the family as they move through these coming days, that God would grant comfort and strength to them.

God on you...


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