I wrapped up my last post Well At Least There’s Some Change In Me, by talking about how the Lord brings events into our lives that confirm that He’s with us, and that He continually wants to use us – even if we feel we’ve blown it once too often! That happened late one afternoon when our doorbell rang.
Who could that be? We’re not expecting anyone!
There outside on our doorstep stood two of our neighbors who lived a couple houses away. The woman was a strong Christian and had known the Lord for many years, yet her husband had just recently come to a saving faith in Jesus. Gary and I kind of looked at each other before we opened the door – what would they be ringing our doorbell for?
Let me explain that in our neighborhood there were some wonderful people, however our neighbors didn’t just knock on doors for no reason!
Well our God is certainly the God of the unexpected. We invited them in (at least we had the sense to do that!) and then they started asking questions about our church and if it still had a Saturday evening service available since the husband sometimes had to work Sunday mornings and it was difficult for him to attend church on a regular basis. And let me tell you something: This new believer was ON FIRE FOR JESUS AND WANTED TO ATTEND CHURCH!
Well unfortunately we had to tell them that there was no longer a Saturday night service at our church. But then suddenly my mouth opened and I asked them if they might be interested in doing a couples Bible study with us. Wait a minute – where on earth did THOSE words come from? I certainly hadn’t planned on saying that!
But God was definitely at work because there was no hesitation at all as they excitedly expressed their interest. We decided to start in about 3 weeks since we all had vacations planned before school started back up.
But the Lord wasn’t done surprising us, as a couple days later I got a call from a dear friend who stated her and her husband were going through difficulties so I ended up asking them to join us (they accepted!), and then I was out talking to another neighbor one day and mentioned it to her – who then told us their new Korean neighbor had just been asking about a Bible study and gave me her phone number.
The next thing I knew – before I even had a chance to call her a couple days later – our doorbell rang again, and it was the sweet Korean lady who was SO EXCITED to hear about the Bible study and wanted to know all about it!
Well one thing led to another, and the next thing I knew I actually made a few invitations to some of our neighbors who lived closest to us – had a few more of them decide to attend – and then other friends from outside the neighborhood started coming too. So began our journey into leading home Bible study groups; which we never really had even thought of doing previously!
A real exciting thing about all this is the variety of the people involved. We had people from probably 5 different churches attend at one time or the other – and even though at times we had minor disagreements about some sort of theology – we always agreed with one another that we were all brothers and sisters in Christ. I like how the New Living Translation states Galatians 3:28:
There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians – you are one in Christ Jesus.
We need each other. Being connected with other believers helps us to grow. Gary and I hadn’t thought of holding Bible studies in our home before, but now we’ve both been involved leading studies with neighbors and friends at church or in our home for almost 20 years! Hebrews 10:25 tells us to keep meeting together, because we need to encourage each other; and Ecclesiastes 4:12 talks about how you cannot stand alone for its so much easier to be overpowered by the enemy. However being joined together – with the Lord as the third strand in our cord – gives us strength.
Wow, every day is a new adventure with our God, isn’t it? And let me just go on the record to tell you that both Gary and I needed the encouragement and prayers of our friends in Christ as we began a new venture with Jeffrey starting at a new school…