Monday, August 25, 2014

Post BBQ

It's 9:36, and its been a long (but fantastic) day, so this will be short.  But in a nutshell (which I'll expand in a few days), the BBQ and engagement with students today was very blessed!  We had over 110 students present at the BBQ, and engaged with 200-300 at the Fall Festival yesterday.  
Anyway, here are some quick photos, I'll add more soon.  

Please pray that God would...
  1. be drawing and softening hearts to hear the gospel, repent and treasure Jesus in the coming days.
  2. be granting us the students that he would have be involved in Equip this year.  We currently have over a dozen Bible studies, and are almost already maxed out on those.  Needles to say...
  3. pray that God would give us faithfulness and perseverance.
Enough for now, Praise God for his greatness!  I'm reminded at just how insignificant we are, yet our heavenly Father loves us and cares for us.  I want students to know him, pray that they would.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A few hundred more

While I'm at it, I'd ask you for prayer for our upcoming Campus and Community Fall Festival (C2F2, as they call it). 

So, although in many ways we are already brimming with freshmen names and will be striving to minister to as many as we can in a qualitative way as possible, we will be at C2F2 on this coming Monday, having a few hundred more names of students to engage with, follow-up with, share the gospel and invite into fellowship and to hear the word preached on Wednesday evenings at our large group. 

Please pray God would continue to bless  our efforts and that all we do would be with a heart to please our Heavenly Father, to bring him praise by the delighting and treasuring of him by his children. 

(The photos are of the extra 600 surveys I just prepared)

Bible studies everywhere, and not a drop to...drink

So, we have a new situation here at Equip for the beginning of a Fall semester.

Not only do we currently have 12 Bible studies ready to go for the fall (times, locations, leaders, etc.), but those Bible studies are nearly 80% filled with (mainly) incoming freshmen and returning upperclassmen Equippers.  This is unprecedented for us.  We have not only never had this many Bible studies in one semester, we have certainly never had them nearly filled before the semester actually starts.  We are planning on have 75-100 students involved in these small group Bible studies.

So please pray for us.  We have several new changes this year, this one about Bible studies not least among them.  We will be meeting on campus for about 80% of our Wednesday night large group meetings, which might be a bit iffy whether we can fit into the room we currently have reserved.

Good things and great things.  God is good.  Please pray that we would continue to "make the horse ready for battle", knowing that the victory belongs to the Lord.  Please pray that we would continue to be diligent and faithful in the watering and planting that God calls us to do.
It's old, but it's a Bible study directly below our large group meeting room

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Godward Focus of Faithfulness

I preached at Dawson Covenant Church (DCC) yesterday. (I can't find any better pictures...)
  It is the church that Emma and I have, for a year now, been adopted as one of their "domestic missionaries".  We are grateful and excited for this, and pray that the gospel might increase and be more known as a result.   It also happens to be the church where my mother is a member, which means I am gladly familiar with many people in the church since my 'younger days'.

I spoke on God's Faithfulness and, with a little help from Piper, entitled my sermon "The Godward Focus of Faithfulness".  The Piper help was that I completely stole the title from a short article Piper wrote, which I forgot to mention yesterday [so, DCC people: "I stole the name" :) ].

Anyways, here is the article which gave the impetus for piggy-backing on the 125 years that DCC is celebrating as a church.  It's point is primarily this: God is faithful to his name and glory before he is faithful to us.  He is most ultimately concerned with his glory, more than anything else.  This is good, because it means we (if you are in Christ through faith) get Him in all his fullness of joy for all of eternity.  It is the best news there can be.

So here it is...

The Godward Focus of Faithfulness

One of my long-standing dissatisfactions with the focus of biblical theology is the habit of tracing God’s faithfulness only as far back as his covenant-keeping. Righteousness (tsedeqa) is portrayed as covenant-keeping. Love (hesed) is portrayed as covenant-keeping. Faithfulness (emet) is portrayed as covenant-keeping.
This has an ill-effect. It skews biblical revelation by making God’s relation with man seem more ultimate than God himself. There is always something more ultimate than God’s faithfulness to his covenant, namely, God’s faithfulness to God.
If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. (2Timothy 2:13)
Here is how Jeremiah pleads for God’s covenant-keeping mercy:
“Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake;
do not dishonor your glorious throne;
remember and do not break your covenant with us.” (Jeremiah 14:21)
Beneath covenant-keeping there is a more ultimate foundation: God’s allegiance to his name—God’s jealousy for the honor of the glory of his throne.
This emphasis on God’s allegiance to his own name and glory behind his allegiance to his covenant and his people, is desperately needed in a day when we are spring-loaded by nature and culture to make ourselves ultimate: “Of course, God will keep his covenant, he made it with us!”
There is a great biblical antidote for our pride. God keeps covenant for his name’s sake:
“Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name” (Ezekiel 36:22).
John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.