Tuesday, 25 April 2006

What wisdom once devised the plan?

At Mons yesterday evening, we rejoiced in the gospel. There were only 4 of us there at the GBU meeting: me, the group leader (who leaves for an Erasmus year next year), the most faithful group member after her (who probably also leaves, due to moving house & uni) and a fairly new member (from an RC background). It would've been good to have more of us there to rejoice in the gospel, but it was génial as it was!

It was supposed to be another of our studies in Luke, and to be led by a guy whom I'd helped prepare it before Easter. It was all planned: this week a study, next week an end-of-year prayer & praise (and I'd asked to also go through '2 ways to live' with them), and the final week before exams to be a social. I'm not great at thinking outside of a plan - I tend rather to beat myself up about stuff in hindsight! Yet yesterday afternoon, a thought sprang to mind: What if X forgets to bring his notes to lead the Bible study? And a second thought sprung to mind: Well, then that would be perfect for doing '2 ways to live' with them - I'd better prepare it in case. I had just the time necessary to prepare to study through various Bible passages for 2 ways to live, and to look up a few key expressions in French to ensure good communication, before catching the bus/metro/train for Mons. And sure enough, the guy with the study hadn't been able to come. Praise God for prompting me to prepare 2W2L!

We studied through it and rejoiced in the gospel. Then I played the sceptic and plied them with questions to help them grasp it more and see how to use it as a framework tool in evangelism. We were struck again by the truth and power of the gospel. It gave our RC member a chance to ask, "I know Jesus' death means we can be forgiven, but I don't actually understand why?" What a JOY to explain to him and to see him grasping that in Jesus all our sin is already completely punished and paid for, that God looks on us as if we were Jesus and cannot punish our sin again - he is just and will forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Ah, quelle joie, quelle grâce! And to see him eagerly asking questions related to what he'd read, and wanting to know the answers from Scripture :)

Praise God then to hear them praying about the gospel and that they would use the knowledge of 2W2L in chatting with their friends.

Praise God for giving me the privilege of doing what I love (and in French, which flowed particularly yesterday evening) - teaching students the gospel by leading them through Scripture and seeing them grasp it by the gracious power of the Holy Spirit, and respond in joyful worship and a desire to share it.

Praise our gracious and sovereign God!

What wisdom once devised the plan where all our sin and pride
was placed upon the perfect Lamb, who suffered, bled and died?
The wisdom of a Sovereign God whose greatness will be shown,
when those who crucified Your Son rejoice around Your throne.

And oh the glory of the cross,
that You would send Your Son for us.
I gladly count my life as loss,
that I might come to know the glory of the cross.

What righteousness was there revealed that sets the guilty free,
that justifies ungodly men and calls the filthy clean?
A righteousness that proved to all Your justice has been met,
and holy wrath is satisfied through one atoning death.

What mercy now has been proclaimed, for those who would believe -
a love incomprehensible, our minds could not conceive?
A mercy that forgives my sin then makes me like Your Son,
and now I'm loved forevermore because of what You've done.

(c) Bob Kauflin 2000 PDI Praise (BMI)

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