It was the summer of 2006, and a group of members from my church and I were outside of New Orleans to help with the rebuild of the area, recently devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Our assignment was simple: replace a badly damaged roof of a home that week. The owner of the home was in the military, called out constantly to serve our country while his family’s needs remained. We were proud and honored to serve our Jesus as we served this family in this way.
Over the course of the week, a neighbor kept checking in on us. Usually drunk in the middle of the day, he would shout out comments to us, asking us about how much longer we would be there, and even attempting to climb up to be with us (we stopped him from his climb up the ladder).
On the third day, however, he asked us for a favor. He needed to go to the store and wanted one of us to take him in our church van. On the ride, I gladly offered to take him and we began to talk about him, his life, and the reason for us being in the community in the first place. We arrived at the store and he went in to make his purchases. To my surprise, he came out with a 24-pack of beer, meaning essentially that I had just taken him in our church van on a beer run!
He got in and I began to drive, picking up where we left from our earlier conversation. I then shared the gospel with him, how he could make a life change, and that he needed to take a step of faith. We returned back to the house and parked for a minute, and he began to share the pain in his life and how he had struggled with this pain during the time after Katrina. I listened, offered to pray for him, and I encouraged him to place his trust in Jesus. That day, in the church van, he prayed to receive Christ, finishing with a sentence that I will never forget: “I don’t need this beer; take it, I don’t need it anymore!” His life was changed forever that day!
What can we learn from this? That in the midst of crisis, there is a world hungry for the sweet, soothing words of Jesus Christ. They want to make sense of the world in order to find purpose and meaning beyond what they see. Some people turn to alcohol, drugs, or even pornography, but none of those things bring satisfaction and only make things worse. Instead, they need what we have, the truth of God’s Word, the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ!
This summer, the Explore the Bible adult and student groups are going to take a journey through the wisdom books of Proverbs and Song of Songs. This journey is going to help all of us make sense of a world that is changing. And as they do, they will see that it begins with a relationship with Jesus. If you have not spent time considering this study, check out an audio introduction by Dwayne McCrary, adult team leader, on these two books. You can listen to it here.
To purchase our summer quarter which includes Proverbs and Song of Songs, simply go to this site and add it to your cart. Both digital and print options are available for all ages.
I hope that this study will help you to hunger to share with others the wisdom that only comes from Jesus Christ. You never know when and how God will place a person in front of you who needs to hear about His life-changing message. May He use this study to inspire, teach, and encourage you in His gospel work!