Wow! What a week! This 4th week of the Foundry Bible Immersion has been packed with Scripture reading, teachings from God’s Word by faithful leaders, evangelism, and more. Here is a summary of how the Lord worked in a few ways this week…
This morning began with our usual devotional time. Jordan Skyped with Pastor Will Peterson, our youth pastor from Prescott Valley, AZ. (Let’s just say the Arizona 1/2 of the crew was super pumped!) Pastor Will talked with us about Colossians 2:8-15, reminding us that, in Jesus, we’ve been made complete, cleansed, given new life, and forgiven of all sin. Christ is sufficient!
Our Bible reading took us from 1 Kings 13 to 2 Kings 9. We learned about many kings, most of whom turned away from the Lord time and again. This is a great reminder that, as sinners, we sin. Often. Repetitively. And God’s grace is still enough. When we confess Jesus as Lord and repent of our sins, Jesus’ sacrifice cleanses us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9, Romans 10:9)
For the afternoon class, we spent time with a new teacher – Pastor Michael Connor. Pastor Michael is the Pastor of Mission & Outreach at Immanuel Bible Church and taught us about a neat perspective on “Mission.” He explained that his title has been changed from the Pastor of “Missions” (plural), to the Pastor of “Mission” (singular). He made this change because of the connotations behind the plural form of the word – projects, events, etc. Really, he explained, God has ONE Mission – for the Name of Christ to be lifted up and made known among the nations. Pastor Michael took us through an overview of what God’s Mission looked like in the Old Testament: calling people everywhere to Come & See the glory of God.
In the evening, we went to George Mason University to share the Gospel with students on campus as well as attend the Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting.
Today, Ryan Francis led our morning devotion in Colossians 2:8, gave us an overview of the church in Colossae, and reminded us that Jesus is the answer to all of the philosophical “big questions” life can throw at us.
We learned from 2 Kings 10 to 1 Chronicles 4 about more kings (a couple of good ones today!), exiles, and the fact that God’s plan will always succeed in the lives fallen man.
Pastor Michael transitioned into talking about God’s Mission in the New Testament. Instead of “Come & See” God’s glory, it has now become for believers, “Go & Tell” the good news of Jesus Christ. We discussed that the cross is the pivotal moment in God’s Mission and we watched Jesus give practical instructions in the Gospels about how to share the truth with a lost and dying world.
Tonight, we went to dinner at Gary & Elaine Holmberg’s home. We ate yummy lasagna, shared a little about ourselves, and learned about the Holmberg’s grandchildren, home, mission work, etc. What a neat time of fellowship with people who love Jesus so much!
This morning, we read a devotional from John Piper that talked about our weakness and the Lord’s strength. Then we continued reading God’s Word. From 1 Chronicles 5 to the end of the book, we learned that disobedience to God always brings punishment/a curse, while
obedience brings blessings. Something that stuck out to me in the reading today was that there were people whose job was specifically to praise the Lord! (1 Chronicles 16:41) Imagine, going to work, walking in the door, and immediately giving thanks to God for His love… All day… Every day… It’s a cool reminder that this IS our job – we were created to worship!
In class, Pastor Michael walked us through God’s Mission in the book of Acts. When Christ left the earth, He left the disciples with this: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) We followed the footsteps of the early church and saw the Gospel spread from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria, and watched the Gospel’s reach into the Gentile people groups.
After some free time in the afternoon, we headed into Old Town Alexandria. It was a super fun time of perusing shops, walking, trolley-riding, eating dinner, more walking, and taking pictures! A night we won’t soon forget 🙂
Today, Stephen Procopio led our devotional time in John 3, talking about Nicodemus, a man who should have known all there was to know about spiritual things, and yet was coming to Jesus. God calls people to be born again, that is, He has given them new life in Him – and that changes the way His chosen ones to act, talk, and think.
A few things that stuck out to me in today’s Bible reading… God cares about details. God uses ALL things to accomplish His purposes. God loves humility.
Pastor Michael talked about several miscellaneous topics today regarding Missions, one of the main things being Persecution. This was not a fun thing to hear about, but it was eye-opening. The persecuted church needs our prayers!
At College Bible Study, we learned about the biography of every true follower of Christ from Jordan’s friend Robert. If you are a follower of Christ, God foreknew you, meaning He lovingly selected you for salvation in eternity past. God predestined you by His sovereign
choice. God called you, raising your spiritually dead self to life. God justified you, making the greatest exchange ever – Christ took on the full weight of your sin and the punishment you deserve, and Jesus’ perfect life of righteousness is credited to your account. God promises the event of glorification, at which point you will have the presence of sin in your life removed altogether, forever. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, this is your story!
Dan Crabtree continued teaching us today about the Doctrines of Grace. Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement… These we’ve already covered. Next: Irresistible Grace. This doctrine basically says that if God chooses someone to be His for eternity through salvation, there is nothing that person can do that will stop God from accomplishing that event. Lastly, Dan talked about the Perseverance of the Saints. To sum this up, if someone is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, there will not be a time when they simply walk away from following Jesus. There are certainly valleys and mountains in our Christian walk, but if someone is living like they never met Jesus Christ, then whether or not they “said the prayer,” they probably don’t have a personal relationship with the Lord. When God saves someone in His grace, He keeps them for Himself throughout his/her entire life.
In our class time today, we got to meet Pastor Juan Ancalle, the pastor of Hispanic Ministries at IBC. He told us about himself and his family, as well as sharing about the Hispanic Ministries and how he is involved in Missions. Pastor Juan told us that his favorite part about Missions is raising up leaders through the different trips the group takes together.
For dinner, we were welcomed in to Nigel & Beth Azer’s home. This was a great night of fellowship, food, and fun with family in Christ 🙂
We got to sleep in today! Woohoo! After some rest time in the morning, we met up with
Jordan to head in to D.C. We had a tasty lunch at the Shake Shack, then went to the Natural
Museum of American History. The day off ended at the house of our new friends Curtis and Drew who taught us a new game 7 Wonders! this might have been the highlight of my day! The museum was neat, but what can beat a strategy board game with friends?!
Today was packed full of time with God’s people and in His Word. Evangelism Class was first on the agenda with Jordan teaching about the qualities of an evangelist. Then we piled into the mini-van and drove to Fredericksburg, VA, where Jordan preached on Psalm 145 at Grace Memorial Church. After lunch with one of the elders of the church, his family, and a few college students, we drove back “home.” At the evening service at IBC, Alex Hargrove taught about The Church that Christ Built from Ephesians 2. What a great time of worship and communion tonight! Following the crazy day, we landed at Jordan & Jenny’s house for dinner – this is always a great time of debrief, food, craziness, and a sweet time with our Virginia Family 🙂
God has been faithful this week, protecting us as we travelled, guiding us through His Word, giving us leaders to teach and train us in our discipleship, and more. As a group, we would be grateful for your continued prayers that we would grow in our love for one another and for Jesus Christ! (John 13:34-35, Matthew 22:37-39)