01.27.15

What the Bible really says about Jesus

Posted in church, ministry, Newsletters at 11:50 am

The Christmas season in Italy stretches on a bit longer that it does in the US. Everything officially ends on Epiphany (January 6), and school starts soon after. So it seems like January gets off to a slow start and then very quickly picks up speed.

Last month I mentioned the Bible study groups that we are currently doing. I continue to be amazed at the groups’ responses when they take the time to simply read what the Bible says about Jesus.

It’s not uncommon to hear things during the study like, “Why hasn’t anyone ever told us these things?” They are often amazed at the bold claims that Jesus made. It is a joy to see them wrestle with who Jesus is and if the things He said and taught are true and can be trusted. Did Jesus mean it when He said He came not to condemn the world, but to save the world? Is Jesus really the only way to get to God? What does it mean to be a branch that gets cut off of the vine? It is really possible that no one can snatch us out of God’s hands?

Then there are almost always the hard questions that they throw at us. If God is so loving, why doesn’t He stop evil in the world? Why aren’t bad people, even bad religious leaders, punished for what they do? I know questions like these are often connected to something bad in their past, so we try our best to patiently answer as best we can and continue to point them to Jesus.

These studies are so simple. We do them in English, but are encouraging our church members to do the same thing in Italian or English or whatever language works best. Just simply studying God’s Word is powerful, and we are praying that the group members move from simply being curious about Jesus to taking the step to follow Him and becoming His disciples. We are praying for them and we thank you in advance for praying for them as well. God is working and we are happy and humbled to be a part of that.

I also mentioned last month that our church was happy to welcome two new babies into the fold. Sometimes our church services sound like a hospital nursery, but it’s great to see new life!

We thank you all so much for being with us in the nearly ten years we have been in Italy. Can you believe that? We thank God for taking care of us so well (often He used you all to answer our prayers!) and for allowing us to work alongside of Him.

Blessings to all of you!