Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hungry for God's Word

Martha and I just smile every time we think about the Wednesday night Bible studies at the Love In Action Ministry Center. Those who attend know why joy fills our hearts at the very mention of these special nights.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:19-20, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Wednesday nights are an awesome time of discipleship, and we are seeing people who are becoming more and more hungry for God's Word.

We have great discussions during our Bible studies. I encourage them each week to ask questions and participate. I call out scriptures and different ones volunteer to read, and by the questions they ask you can tell they are hungry to learn more about Jesus.

The discussion that takes place is often so moving. Last Wednesday night, one of the men gave the most beautiful description of Matthew 16:24-27. That's where Jesus says, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done."

He remembered a teaching he heard years ago and shared it. I wish I had recorded what he said. We were all blown away as he described Jesus rewarding believers in Heaven. It was beautiful. And, it wasn't a famous preacher sharing it. It wasn't even me, the teacher of the class sharing it. It was an inmate from work release sharing something that will stay with everyone who heard it for the rest of our lives.

Then yesterday as our work day was winding down, some of the men started asking Martha and me questions about the Bible. I have been encouraging them to read each week on their own. I tell the new Christians or those seeking to read John and Luke. I've been encouraging others to read Acts and see how the church came into being.

They have started reading and had plenty of questions Saturday. One man asked Martha if he could write down some questions and bring them Wednesday. Of course she said yes.

That thrills us. These men are hungry for the Word of God. They are seeing the truth in God's Word and realize Jesus can change their lives. Praise God!

God says in Isaiah 55:11, "my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

Yes it does. We are seeing it every week. We thank God for Wednesday nights and for all of the lives that are being transformed by His Word. And it's not just the homeless and work release inmates who are being changed. It's all of us who are there and hungry for God's Word.