Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spring '10 update

by Val
We are in full swing here at SDSU, aka State. We are studying Hebrews in our our Nav Nights, our large group Bible study on Thursday nights on campus. It's been challenging to delve into a book with such rich and complex meanings. However, I've been so encouraged by the depth of the discussions and applications the students have come up with.

Men's and women's studies have started up again. Monday nights the men get together on campus and have been learning about biblical manhood. Coincidentally enough, my friend Jenelle, a recent grad from State, is leading a study for the female students on biblical feminity. She also had the great idea of having both genders get together next Monday night to disucuss what each gender group has been learning. We offered up our house for that night since we now have more sitting space, thanks to the new couches Lee and Deb Maschhoff donated to us, so I am so excited to hear what the students have been learning.

On Tuesdays God has allowed me to coordinate two women's bible studies and we just finished 2nd Timothy today. As Navigators we put such a high calling on discipleship relationships, so for me it was so beautiful to listen in on Paul as he gave his encouragement to Timothy, a man that Paul was training in a discipleship relationship. My prayer is that all these women in our ministry would experience discipleship in some sense while in college. Both as the person being discipled and as the one doing the discipling.

Speaking of disciplship, God has given me two wonderful ladies this semester that have commited to being in a dicipleship relationship with me, and I give thanks for them to God everyday. I love these women and I hope God can use me in their lives to use the Word for "teaching, rebuking, correcting and training [them] in righteousness so that [these woman] of God may thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Marvelous Grace of God: Brokeness for His people

[Hosea 2:6,7 "Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths. She will pursue lovers, but not overtake them; and she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now!'"

Lately I have been reading and studying the book of Hosea, and I have been struck by how much of the gospel is presented in this book! I have only gotten through part of the second chapter, yet I have seen the whole of the Gospel shown and exposed in this wonderfully rich and deep book! As you may know, Hosea was a man commanded by God to marry a women who would be a harlot, and who would have children of harlotry. This marriage relationship was to be a visual representation of God and His people; God being the husband, and His people playing the harlot.

In the second chapter, God talks about how He will expose the nakedness of His adulterous wife (Israel), take away all her lovers and idols, and cause her to be thirsty and hungry. Basically, He was going to strip away everything that Israel would run to other than the Lord and would  prevent Israel from going to these other lovers "...I will hedge up her way with thorns...so that she cannot find her paths..." God desired that His people find their satisfaction in Him alone, and to rejoice in His marvelous, perfect provision. He wanted there to be a marriage relationship with His people of mutual delight, but instead His people played the harlot with other nations and strange gods and idols.

Therefore, God took all of that away from His people in order to draw them back to Himself, and to show them that He is all they need or could ever possibly want. And this is what God is faithful to do for us! He desires that He is our Great Desire, and for us to delight ourselves in Him. He is faithful and good to strip away all of those other lovers we seek after who do not love us back, those strange gods whom we willfully and blindly obey who do not communicate to us nor do they provide for us! These things are different to different people, but what is the same is that Christ is the true Bridegroom, who has purchased us with His blood, and who perfectly loves us, provides for us, protects us, and delights in us!

Let us allow Christ to be the One we turn to for our Delight and the satisfaction of our Desires; and let us run to our Husband (Christ) and allow His to strip away all of our false lovers and strange gods who only use us and have mastery without love over us! Praise be to God that now, in Christ, we can call "...Me Ishi [Husband] and will no longer call Me Baali [Master]." (Hosea 2:16)!

Written by: Ryan Buss