I really enjoyed the campus Bible studies this week! On Thursday, we read the footnote for John 19:34, and a few paragraphs from the first message from Life-study of Romans.
But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.
So, I had read this footnote before, and appreciated that the blood is for redemption, the purchasing of the church, and that the water is for imparting life, for the producing of the church. It’s pretty amazing to see that, to realise that it is not random or even just for biological reasons that both blood and water came out of the Jesus’ side, but that both are so significant. But in our fellowship at the Bible study, I saw in a fresh way that the blood was for the purchasing of the church, and that the water was for the producing of the church.
- Yes, He loved the whole world (John 3:16)
- He died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 9:22)
- He died to terminate everything of the old creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), the old man (Romans 6:6), and the flesh (Galatians 5:24), Satan (Hebrews 2:14), the world (John 12:31), sin (John 3:14), and death (2 Timothy 1:10).
(I enjoyed looking up these verses! I hope you enjoy reading them too. :) Hover over the links to read the verses, and click on the links to go to the footnotes in the Recovery Version!)
But He didn’t do this just for us as individuals, He did this to redeem, to purchase the church, and to produce the church. The church is what is on God’s heart!
So, we also looked at the picture of Adam and Eve, and how Eve was built from a rib out from Adam’s side. Adam and Eve had the same source, the same nature, the same life, and even the same living. We also, as the church, have come out of the Lord’s pierced side, we have His life and His nature, and now we are learning to have one living with Him!
This couple is the secret of the universe. The secret of the whole universe is that God and His chosen ones are to be one couple. Hallelujah! We, God’s chosen ones, and God are of one source, of one nature, and have one life. Now we also need to have one living. We are not living by ourselves or for ourselves; we are living with God and for God, and God is living with us and for us. Hallelujah!Life-study of Romans, message 1
What about us? Is the church also on our heart? I realised that I need to see a fresh vision of the church, to see the church as God sees the church, to love the church as Christ loves the church!
Here is a very sweet song that matches this thought. (You can click on the link below to listen to it and sing along!)
1. Don’t you want to know your God?
What’s hidden in His heart for you?
How much He longs for you to come
And open up—
To let Him in to every part
Let Him reveal what’s on His heart
What was the joy set before Him?
It was for her the church—His bride
It was for her, willingly He died
She is the joy deep in His heart
2. The Lord chose you to be a part
Of His great plan, His work of art.
What wonder! What a privilege!
His yearning to share all He is—
Divine, unsearchable riches!
What wisdom, multifarious expressed!
3. As we enjoy and enter in
To all He is then we’ll begin
To understand the feeling in
His heart toward us.
What love that motivated Him
To come to us, despite our sin
Why did He go and sell all that He had?
Lord Jesus, cause my heart to be a duplication of your heart, that I would see the church as You see the church, and love the church as You love the church.
Day 2 (Wednesday 20th June 2012)
It was easy to get up in the morning after a good night’s sleep and a small amount of jetlag. After breakfast, the rest of our group began to arrive from their hospitality. Actually, one couple who had helped to coordinate the trip were unable to join us as a passport didn’t return on time from the visa office. Another sister was not joining us until later in the week, and a brother and sister had got stuck in Houston the previous evening when their flight was cancelled. (Funny story: their mother called the coordinating brother and thought they were in Dallas airport… but eventually the “rescue team”, the saints, worked out where they were and picked them up from the airport. They caught another flight to Jackson on Wednesday and joined us later in the day.
Down the Natchez Trace
In total, there are 13 of us from the UK (on this part of the trip), joining a couple from Jackson and a dear brother who used to be in Jackson as our drivers. After some introductions and getting to know one another, we hit the road, heading south to Louisiana. We drove down the Natchez Trace, stopping at Emerald Mound (the previous site of a native American Indian campground, and the current home of plenty of chiggers – more on those later!), and the Pig Out Inn in Natchez for lunch (where we also saw the Mississippi River).
Well somehow I ended up missing most of the meetings of the University Conference that took place last weekend, but I still very much enjoyed all the saints coming and especially having the sisters in my home.
I received a little overview of what was shared during our fellowship times in the evening, and I’ll be looking out for the mp3s of the messages so I can catch up! The encouraging stats and a few pictures are below, but first here is a little titbit that I did enjoy:
Our natural humanity is like rotten wood. A house built with rotten wood, even if it is overlaid with gold, will collapse.
Can you imagine how foolish it would be to build with rotten wood? That reminds me of the bookshop – and yes a post on that is coming! There is no way that any builder who is interested in the longevity of a property would build with rotten wood. That is just asking for trouble.
Sorry brother Don, I wasn’t able to make a post about the bookshop yet!
Well here, the University Conference (a.k.a. Autumn 2011 College-Age Conference) is about to begin! The campus serving saints have been here all day preparing, the brothers have gone out to the stations to do the shuttle pick-ups, and some of us are about to do our assigned meal-prep service in a few minutes.
I’m really looking forward to this time and being with all the students to dive into the Word together, both in the meetings and in the group times, both here at Bower House and in the homes. The subject of the conference is The Full Ministry of Christ in Three Stages â€“ The First Stage, “The Stage of Incarnation”. Some of the brothers shared a little snippet of the content with us on Wednesday. It sounds so good! Lord, do prepare and unload us all so that we can receive Your speaking, and we can be infused with your wonderful, divine humanity!
As of Wednesday’s registration figures, we are expecting around 241 to be here this weekend, and some of those will be attending part-time (like me!). Most will be university students (both undergraduate and graduate students), with some A-Level students, and some working and serving brothers and sisters.
Do pray for the conference, for all the serving and coordinating saints, for the practical arrangements such as food, hospitality, and transportation, for the atmosphere and release of the spirit, and for all the fellowship and blending. Lord, gain more of each one of us!
The Full-Time Training in London (FTTL) restarted on Monday 8th August, and the trainees are now going into their third week of term. How time flies! (And here’s a cool post related to time: Infinity within Finite Beings).
It seems like I was only just telling you about the FTTL Spring 2011 graduation, yet that was a few months ago. On the same note, this evening I was emailing a friend from university, as well as chatting to a Christian sister on Gmail, and in both conversations I was reminded that it is now more than four years since my graduation from the Full-Time Training in London.
That means I am now going into my fifth year of serving the Lord. Wow!
When I put it like that, it sounds so long, and yet… it really hasn’t felt like a long time, a suffering, or a drag. Instead it has been a real joy and delight, and a real learning and growing with the Lord. I love the Lord, and I love the church, and although I am very open for any change the Lord may bring, at this present moment in time, I am very happy in my service. Amen, more of You Lord, each day! :)
But now, let’s get back to this term!