The Context of Scripture
Have you ever read a verse (or verses) in the Bible and wondered, "What does this mean?" Well, you're not alone. Many times when you read a passage in the Bible from the context of the people who were living at the time, it opens up a whole new understanding of what the author was trying to say. For example, here is an excerpt from an assignment one of our students completed while they studied Ephesians:
When it's Hard to See the Way
During one of the most tumultuous times of our life, I was driving our son to a hospital almost 3 hours away. Jonathan had fallen asleep and when he woke up, a deep bruise was imprinted on the side of his face where he had rested it on his palm.
Sometimes, a spur of the moment decision turns into a life-changing event. At least, that was the case for a woman named Rose. My name is Carl, and I used to live in Australia. My friend and I decided to take a trip down the coast during one of our vacation weeks. While we were traveling, someone recommended a small town that was slightly out of the way. We didn’t really want to go since it was slightly out of our way, but we had a free day and decided to check it out.
Giving Lacy Hope
What was just a normal walk home from praying at the mall, turned into a divine encounter with the love and mercy of Jesus.
When our team was walking home from ministering at the mall, we were stopped and asked for money. This was the second time this happened to us on our walk home, so it struck me as an odd coincidence and possibly a time where God was wanting to move. The woman who stopped us, I'll call her Lacy, was carrying groceries and had just run out of money at a nearby pay phone. None of us were carrying cash at the moment, but immediately 'Acts 3:6' popped into my mind. I could hear Holy Spirit prompting me to say to Lacy, “We don’t have money, but what we do have, we can give to you.” I asked Lacy if she needed prayer for anything and if there was anything we could do to practically help her out (besides give her money). She began crying and explaining her poor health and her life situation to us. I believe Holy Spirit really moved through us because she kept saying, “Wow, I’ve never met anyone like you guys. You are so kind. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me.”
Slow and Gentle
I recently became a mom for the first time. Friends and family try to tell you what it’s like, but no one can really prepare you for parenthood. I knew becoming a parent would change things about me, although it was NOT what I expected.
Whether it's a testimony of healing, family reunification, financial provision, etc, sharing stories of God's faithfulness can be powerful. They bring encouragement, healing, and so much joy! We asked some of our staff to share stories of the Lord's unique provision for them or their teammates during their DTS.
My husband and I recently went to Asia to teach at a Discipleship Training School. We are missionaries, and like other missionaries, we rely on a team of generous supporters to fund what we do. . Our supporters aren’t just financial partners with us, but they are prayer and ministry partners as well. I would say that our ministry partnership is the most important part for us.
Rest in Jesus
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Find your rest in God.”? Do you know what it means? Do you really know what it means, like, have you ever had to actually do it? Sleep didn’t get me through this week. Coffee, good friends, healthy food, exercise, and orange juice didn’t get me through this week. I’m not kidding when I say that Jesus is what I lived off of.