Tracey and I have been conducting a Bible study for the past few months at our favorite downtown Coffee shop, the Coffee Connection. It is a non-profit place ran entirely by donations. The idea was to have a place where everyone is welcome no matter their social or economical status. People can come in, relax, have some coffee and maybe a light snack. If they don’t have any money, no matter, it’s on the house. Our former mayor Wally Bryan and Terri Henderson, along with several others, opened the place and it has become an amazing crossroads, and cross section of people of all types.
Terri has told me she wanted to have a place that wasn’t overtly Christian in nature. She’s definitely a believer in Jesus Christ, but she wanted a place that was accessible to everyone especially those that may not be comfortable in the average church setting. At any given time of the day there are discussions about everything from jobs, crime, twelve step meetings, housing, children, the latest news story and most likely a Bible study or two you can attend if you so desired. There are many who have frequented the shop over it’s year and half existence from the local salvation army who are looking for work or housing. There is no possible way to know how many prayers and counseling sessions that have taken place. If the people that volunteer can’t personally help them they jump in and point them in the direction of someone who can. Over all it is quite a remarkable place with the goal of connecting you to the right people in order for you to reach your necessary goal no matter what it might be.
We have been studying verse by verse Romans six through eight and having a blast. We have a few regulars and several that have come intermittently. We have talked at great length about how God has transferred us out of Adam and into Christ, by way of the cross, by crucifying us with Christ and setting us free from sin and the law. This in itself is quite remarkable and radical for the ones who have never heard such a thing. The good news is there is even more to it than that! Not only have we been set free from sin and the law we have been given the Holy Spirit and he now lives out the life God requires of us in and through us. We couldn’t fulfill the righteous requirements of the law because of the weakness of our flesh, but thank God he has come to live in us, and he, himself, is now fulfilling those requirements in us.
Several of the ladies Tracey has ministered to in our local jail have attended and are really seeking Jesus Christ; wanting him to be the center of their lives. Last night was no different. It was one lady’s second time in the study, and she testified how she has been set free from racing thoughts and has found the peace and rest she has longed for. She told us about a recent visit to her therapist. She told him she had been going to this Bible study and she didn’t think she needed all of that anymore. The therapist asked “What Bible study are you going to?” She told him “It’s at the Coffee Connection downtown!” We were all into her story and amazed at how one Bible study could change someone’s outlook so much. She told us she is in love with Christ and she now has peace and rest in him; so she doesn’t need those things anymore. I never get over the power of Christ and his word!
The excitement on this lady’s face reminded me of when I was first born again. She went on to tell us how she has been studying and taking courses in ministry and even though she has read and taken tests on the Bible being a part of our study has changed her. She grew up in a very religious environment and she never knew Christ would actually live in her. Once she heard about God living in us as his temple and how he is joined to us Spirit to spirit the void in her was filled. The bible study takes place in a place called “The Coffee Connection”, but beyond all the coffee and helping of others what we’re really after is a Christ Connection!