Good grief! We’re already closing up! How is that even possible? I am so grateful to God that we’ve had the opportunity to spend the summer together in Bible study and hope with everything in me that the last six weeks have been profitable to you. 1 Timothy 4:8 is popping into my mind:
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (NIV)
Look at it again: it holds PROMISE and not only for the future when we see God face to face. It holds promise right now. Right here in this present life. Just where we could really use some help. We women are stretched and stressed to ripping seams from every conceivable direction. We are constantly faced with multiple choices concerning how we’re going to spend the limited resources of our day and our energies. We so often give way to the thing that screams the loudest…and, if it’s your baby, Lord have mercy, you should! But sometimes God doesn’t speak through the wind, the thunder and storm. He lowers His voice so that we’re forced to get quiet and still if we want to hear.
And, boy, do we ever want to hear. If we’ve learned the value of His life-giving, life-defining, life-refining, life-forgiving, life-surviving, life-thriving voice, boy, do we ever want to hear. I have no doubt that you’ve heard some things from God this summer through our study of Nehemiah so let’s get to it and share a few of them in closing.
As usual, your comments to this post will come AFTER your gathering but here’s the part that will be very different! EACH of you will comment this time individually rather than through a representative from your group. Your comment will be in answer to question #3 below and will be addressed straight to your teacher for Siesta Summer Bible Study, Kelly Minter. (Start it very simply, Dear Kelly…)
In our wrap up today, I’d like you to answer three primary questions. The first will be drawn from Session (or Week) Five, the second from Session (or Week) Six then the last one will be in reflection of the study as a whole. It’s the one you will EACH answer in your comment to this post. After the questions, I’d like you to join me for just a few minutes in the 3rd Chapter of the Book of Ezra. First, the three questions:
1. From Session Five: Review the top half of p.120 and the Derek Kidner quote that Kelly included. If your personal response to the question in the middle of the page is appropriate to share, share it! Get very specific about how some difficult facts in your life right now are reframed in light of “eternity…and of God’s unimaginable greatness.” Read Romans 4:18-25 for the perfect paradigm.
2. From Session Six: Go back to p.150 and reread the personal reflection question in the left-hand margin. Again, if your answer is not too personal to share, what do you long to see God bring full circle in your life? Listen carefully to one another as you share, jot down some reminders, and, at the end of your gathering, agree with one another in prayer for God to bring those things full circle.
3. In reflection of the study as a whole: What is the primary thing you’re taking with you out of this study? Your party favor, so to speak? Your take-home? In other words, what do you know for certain He meant for you to receive? Try to be as succinct as possible. Share it in the context of your gathering but, this time, I want you to answer this question as your concluding comment to this post. It will be the only one you answer in writing this time around.
Our brief devotional time in Ezra 3 will be in the video only. Please forgive any inconvenience. It was just better suited that way. If you’re unable to watch the video today, no problem! The most important part for the wrap up is right here in writing through the three questions. The devotional was just for added reflection.
Oh, mercy, Sisters. Thank you so much for joining in! I’m so crazy about all of you. Words fail to express the joy this community brings me.
Honestly, Sister, I cannot fathom how I could love you more unless I just flat out moved in next door. You are so loved and appreciated by the Body of Christ. God has gifted you enormously with a unique voice and a beautiful pen with which to express it. We have learned from you, our sister. Thank you for pursuing God so flagrantly that we catch your fever. Don’t stop writing. Don’t stop sharing your works and your quirks. We find you believable, teachable, reachable, and, even on occasion, hysterical. We are the better for having pulled up a chair in your classroom. Thank you, dear teacher.