Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Shelter Day 1--A First Look

I'm going to start posting the "Shelter" study that all of the groups in Mexico and Nigeria are going through. I'd love to dialogue or hear your thoughts on Psalm 91 as we continue to understand the idea of "dwelling in the shelter of the Most High." Enjoy!

The theme that we are exploring together this year is that of “Shelter.” Now immediately upon reading that word “Shelter,” chances are ideas come to you mind. Let’s start with some questions:
• How would you define the word “Shelter”?
• In what ways do you think God provides you shelter?
• In what ways do you think you provide shelter for others?

Did you know?
• ½ of the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day;
• 26,500-30,000 children die everyday due to poverty;
• Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names;
• In 2005, approximately 1 billion people were living in slum conditions.

Their upcoming week, you are going to have the opportunity to serve in several children’s homes and impoverished neighborhoods around the city of Monterrey or Jos that reflect the reality of these statistics.
Imagine if your family, and everyone you loved, woke up one morning in one of these slums around the world. How would that affect your above definition of God’s shelter?
Oftentimes, we associate God’s shelter with the material provisions He gives us. Yet, all men are created equal, and God provides shelter to all human beings regardless of race, class, or country of origin.
Therefore, how would God define His shelter to us? How does God want us to experience His shelter? Where do we find God’s shelter?
Read Job chapters 1 and 2 (Old Testament, 18th book of the Bible). What was Job’s response when the Lord allowed everything in his life to come crashing down (Job 2:9-10)?
Job understood that true shelter in God is not found in family, possessions, or wealth, and he refused to curse Him when his fortune was reversed. Are we to praise God when things go well and curse Him when they do not? Job found his shelter in the Lord, not in what the Lord provided him.
We oftentimes think that the Lord provides shelter through our families, the houses we live in, and the comfort we are fortunate enough to have. But as Job shows us, true shelter is found by resting in the promises of the Lord.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 62:5-6

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 28:11

God gives His promises to all people, that if we find shelter in Him, He will give us rest. God provides the same shelter to the 1 billion people living in slum villages as he does to you and me. Christ came to earth to sacrifice for all people. Everyone, regardless of wealth, race, or country of residence can find comfort and rest in His promises.

Reflection Questions:
How can you show this kind of Shelter as you serve those financially less fortunate than you?

How have we been called to provide shelter to others (Matthew 25:31-46)?

How does the Bible describe pure religion (James 1:27)?

When you visit the children’s homes and impoverished neighborhoods this week, how can you provide shelter and fulfill the verses above?

How can you allow God to provide more shelter in your own life?

Rethink the first three questions asked at the top of the beginning of today’s study. How have your answers changed?

Read through the rest of Job throughout the week and reflect on the idea of God’s shelter.

Remember, you are not here to save, but to serve. Reflect and journal on the promises of God, knowing that as you serve, you will in fact gain a better understanding of what it means to rest in the shelter of the Lord.


mom said...

One way I rest in God's shelter is knowing that though my daughters are in two different countries right now, God will answer my prayers by keeping them safe. And if God allowed something to happen to them, it would ONLY be because he had a greater purpose--something that would bring more to Him in the long-run. Of course, heaven forbid something DID happen to either of my daughters, my reaction would probably not be as solid as Job's was, but I would ultimately have to find my peace in God.

Justin said...


Love it - it's so easy to tell people, "This is what God is like". It's another thing to SHOW people, "This IS what God is like". heart breaks so often when I see evangelicals thinking it's just about individualistic salvation, then using God as a genie to help with the American dream...we often have a shelter that God calls actually idolatry, and misunderstand it as God's favor and will.

Keep it up sistah!