Monday, October 29, 2012

Even for just one!

Last night Frankie and I were invited to attend a local Bible study while visiting here in Colorado and it was wonderful.  The group was women from their twenties to their sixties or so from all parts of the United States gathered together to begin a study on Philippians.  It was the first time they gathered so to begin the teacher began with the background information of the book of Philippians and the author, Paul.

I must say right up front it was great!  I enjoyed the background of exactly where this was happening, what was going on around the writing of this letter, and the setting up of the scene.  I love to think about what is going on with the people in God's word as the stories happen, so this was right up my alley!  I loved it!

We began by learning to important points about the book of Philippians that the word "joy" appears 16 times and that Christ is mentioned over 50 times in a 4 chapter book!  Wow!  I knew both were mentioned a lot, but I had not counted them and don't remember if I've heard heard that fact before, but what touched me most was the study of Acts 16 and what exactly Paul was dealing with during the time he planted the church of the Philippians.

Paul was ready to share the news about Jesus with others.  He was trying to go to Asia, but God closed that door and opened the door of Macedonia (Greece) through a vision.  So he headed for Greece to bring the special news of Jesus to a group of women and a guard that was put in charge of Paul!  Yes, Paul went through some pretty major things all for the special news of Jesus to reach these people!  God is going to do what it takes for each of us ~ even if that means pain for the ones delivering the good news!

Yes, Paul arrives in Macedonia and begins to look for the local church, but can't find one.  Do you know it only took ten men to form a Jewish synagogue?  Yet, in this really large city there was not one, so he headed to the river to find a place to pray.  Upon arrival they found a group of women that were there to share news about God, but Paul began to share and their hearts were opened.  Lydia responded to the message and ask Paul to her home.  Paul stayed and the beginning of this new church.

Along the way a small slave girl that told futures and made a group of men a large amount of money crossed Paul's path.  This little girl began to get on Paul's last nerve with her shouting of the truth.  Yes truth, but it must have been in a very aggravating manner because Paul finally had enough and demanded that demon out of this little girl!  Yes, so these men lost their money maker and became angry.  So Paul was in trouble now.  Yes, they attacked Paul and Silas.  Stripping them, flogging them, and then threw them in an inner cell and placed in stocks.

A very long day for anyone, but these two special men at midnight began to sing and praise God!  Imagine it.  We complain about long days, but our day usually don't include any of the above.  No it may be we miss an appointment, we have an argument with a spouse, we have a sick child, we lose our job, we receive bad news at the doctor, but not usually a beating, naked in front of a huge crowd throwing us in jail in the dark attached to another human in chains!  No this was a bad day all for this guard that was told guard this man or your life...

Well, God showed up!  Earthquake form and everyone was freed to run.  But no one runs because of Jesus showing up through these two men singing and praising God in the jailhouse!  Yes, they all heard the news that they each needed!

God is going to go to extremes to reach even one!  I look around right now and ponder isn't God really trying to reach a whole lot of us?  Truly look around for yourself and God loves us all so much that He is going to get our attention.  Yes, even through difficult situations He will get our attention because He loves us and wants to spend eternity with us.

It gives me chills up and down my spine at just how much God really does love each of us!  Even through the pain of another He will do what it takes to reach us.

Paul still had the joy of Jesus even after all he went through to plant this church!  He knew the importance of sharing with others, do we?

Sharing how happy I am that God took me to this study last night to be reminded of how much God loves each of us!  He will share it with or without us, but don't you want to be one of the ones that is allowed to be part of this amazing adventure?  Imagine it through everything Paul went through he still felt joy and love and was excited to share it with everyone!  

Share today,

1 comment:

Frankie said...

What an example Paul was then and even now!