Dankbar für den Heiligen Geist

 The water that I will give him will become in him
 a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
John 4:14

              Last night my German family and I all met together for our weekly Wednesday night Bible study. I met Christina on my hall freshman year. We talked and hung out randomly but didn`t form a friendship until last semester when we did a Bible study with other girls from our dorm. Since then we have been growing closer as friends and learning more about who Christ is together. In January at ACROSS, the international student ministry I am involved in, I met Christoph and Claus-two german exchange students here for the 2010-2011 school year working on their Masters in Mathematics. Later in January Christina, who is part german and speaks fluently, started coming to ACROSS fridays and hanging out with us. Since then we have quickly become a family :) (Literally, they call me mom because I am the responsible one and the one who drives them everywhere).
             It is incredible to stop today and look back and see where I am, and how God has so graciously and faithfully brought me here, every step of the way. And how in his sovereign power he has woven everything together to his perfection. Lately I have wondered if God called me to serve in Germany and Switzerland and study German in school so that I could have these relationships with these three incredible people, and the ability to share Jesus with them. I have also stepped back and wondered if the reason I am back in Blacksburg this semester is for these relationships. I am seeing how perfect God`s plan and timing are, and how He is using me and changing me through these relationships he has set before me and the ministry he is planting me in.
Line dancing at ACROSS fridays
           A few weeks into February, it was obvious how close the "family" grew. I could see how much their hearts were opening to the Gospel and desiring to understand God. I asked Stephen, a mutual friend who speaks German and attends ACROSS, if he would want to co-lead a german Bible study with me. Although studying hard for his MCATs and trying to graduate in May with a Biochemistry degree from Tech, he said he would! We met a few days later and shared that we both wanted to go through the gospel of John. So we started there and prayed that God would open our hearts and theirs to what he wanted to tell us, and that we would trust and be patient with his timing. 
          It is nearly April and so many things have changed. I am left in awe looking back over God`s hands in the past few months. I am thankful for the strength he gave me to endure suffering, weariness, and insecurity. I am thankful for the wisdom he gave to answer tough questions and deal with difficult issues. I am thankful for his hand of grace and mercy over my life after so many mistakes and reoccurring sin in my life. I am absolutely nothing apart from him...
           After last night I look back over the past few months and I am so incredibly thankful for the Holy Spirit. I know it is impossible for any of this to have happened apart from his guidance, his counseling, and his directing. That is why it was such a special gift to go over John 4 with these three amazing friends and try to grasp who he is and what that means for us. 
          John four tells the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. It is an incredible story that breaks social norms and racial prejudice to bring a story of healing, a story of freedom, not only to a woman who desperately needed it, but to her town, and ultimately to all! While talking to her, Jesus uses the term living water to represent a dual meaning of both physical water which brings life to our physical bodies, and also the Holy Spirit who brings spiritual water to our spirits. This story is an incredible reminder of the work of the Spirit in our lives. It reminds me that he alone is ultimately satisfying, and that he alone can guide and counsel us as we draw near to God and purse him more. Last night we also talked about John 3:8,  "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." What an incredible truth. Think about the wind. It is always there, we hear it, but we don`t see it. Just like the Spirit, always there, always moving but never able to be grasped. And we see the Spirit through working in and through people. We see the evidence, like we see the leaves moving as the wind carries them. 
         Lastly we talked about the Samaritan woman`s reaction to Jesus. First, wanting to know more (vs 15). Second, after coming to know he was the Christ, her first reaction was to run and tell others (vs 28). We talked about how that should be true of our lives, and how it is for each of us, just on different levels. And lastly we read over verse 42, "They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” Stephen and I shared how this simple verse is the testimony of all believers. It is not until we really know He is Christ, that we believe, and our perspective widens to see him as not only our Savior but the Savior of the world! 
Dragon`s Tooth, Virginia AT
                  What a beautiful truth. What beautiful truths. And all only understood and believed through the power of the Holy Spirit living in and through us! "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:26 Praise God for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Praise you Spirit for your advocacy on our behalf; for keeping, maintaining, sustaining, encouraging, reminding, counseling, and guiding us. It is because of you and in you we are able to believe, and walk faithfully before our God. I thank God for the time I have had with these sweet and incredible friends. I thank God for how they have loved me and challenged me, and all that I have learned from it. Lord have our hearts, that is my prayer. Make us yours, living sacrifices, proclaiming your glory forever.

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