I am a Christian and I don't like to brag. Well, that is a lie. I do like to brag when I do something right. It happens so very seldom that I don't get to brag too often.
I am going to have to travel back in time at least 50 years. I had to go back to the time when I was first baptized and as a new Christian I was requested by the church to give a Bible study to an "interest". Now an interest is a person who sends in a card found in The Bible Story books that are placed in doctor's offices or wherever the book salesman chooses to place them. By sending the card the "interest" is requesting Bible studies. I did not do a cold call. I was going where I was invited. I was thrilled! I was excited! I was scared! I had never in my life tried to tell anyone else what I believed.
The night before I was to do the Bible study lesson with my "interest" I was sick to my stomach. I prayed almost all night that there would be nothing asked to which I didn't know the answer and that Jesus using me, would have another person's name written in the book of life. Morning came. I got my kids ready for school and saw them off. I was happy for I felt I was serving God. I had never done this before and I quickly reviewed the lesson for this week. Yes! I was prepared. I knew the lesson backwards and forwards. All the way to the home of my Bible study I was rehearsing what I was going to say as a greeting. I was leaving no stone unturned. I wanted this Bible study to be one of the great Bible studies in the world. I realized that I was concentrating a great deal on "my" part in the Bible study and less on the part that was to be played by the Holy Spirit. Quickly, I changed the direction of my prayers and asked God to send the Holy Spirit to lead the study.
Finally, I drove up in front of the house. I offered one final prayer to God and a crossing of the fingers. I got out of the car and walked to the front door. I saw the knocker and knocked. No one answered. I knocked again and checked the address. Yes, I was at the right house and it was the agreed upon time. Then I saw it. A large rock was sitting on the front porch and under that rock was the finished Bible study from last week. Along with the study was a note telling me to put the new study under the rock.
I was crushed. I felt that God had played a cruel joke on me. I had forgotten that God does not do cruel jokes. But, because of this incident I never did another Bible study for 45 years. I was willing to teach Sabbath School or fill some of the other positions that came open at church, but I would never lead a Bible study. I felt that God had given me a firm "NO" the last time and I wasn't going to repeat that humiliating experience.
Now, after all that time I am again leading a Bible Study. I led Prayer Meeting at church for about 3 years and it was wonderful. But now I am studying with a friend. We have done around 7 different Bible Study formats put out by different ministries within the Adventist church. We have found some of them to be extremely informative and some to be a total waste of paper. But by looking at the different facets of the Bible as revealed by so many different men and groups we are getting a unique view of the Bible. This is something no one ever told me about. Not only am I learning and re-learning the truths as revealed by the Holy Spirit; I am getting an All Dimensional look at the Father as revealed by the Son.
It is one thing to study with Paul and John and Peter and Luke about the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, but it is an entirely different aspect of His sacrifice if you add the elements that were surely there. He was bruised beyond belief and yet the way He was nailed to the cross, He was forced to slide up and down on that bruised and torn back just to breathe. He was bleeding through uncountable open wounds. Flies were buzzing around His head and laying eggs in the wounds themselves. Birds of prey were swooping down to try to eat His eyes. He was naked and unbelievers walked by Him and spat upon Him and made jokes about Him as He hung there for THEM! He made them an offer of everlasting life and they not only refused it they defecated upon both it and Him.
Looking upon what Jesus went through just from this small worldly point of view leads us away from our petty disappointments. I was crushed many years ago because someone didn't want to hear what I had to say about Jesus. How much I had to learn. I thank God no one was home to hear and see me as I tried to show them the Jesus who sacrificed for us. I am glad because I didn't know Him then so who would I have shown them. Father, I am here. I am poor, filthy, blind and naked. Please wrap me in Jesus' robe of righteousness to cover my nakedness. Anoint me with eye salve so that my eyes will be open and I can see and give me water with which I can be made clean. After the Holy Spirit does all these things to me I find that I am no longer poor. I know now that I am rich. My Father is the King. Now I can brag and say I am the daughter of the King!