Today is the day of the Great Solar Eclipse. No doubt for the past few days, you have heard the dire warnings and hysteric messages alerting you to avert your gaze and avoid looking directly at the Sun lest you be rendered blind, shamed, and scorned for your reckless actions.
As we prepare Get Into God’s Word in our daily Bible reading, I want to give you permission to do the exact opposite. As we begin the Gospels, the whole point of your reading is to look directly at the Son (See what I did there?).
At the center of our faith, stands a PERSON. Christianity isn’t a collection of PRINCIPLES to live by or a compilation of PRACTICAL PRECEPTS for you to incorporate into your daily routine so you can live your best life now.
Christianity is founded upon the PERSON Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus of Nazareth was a man born into obscurity, raised up in the backwaters of ancient Israel under Roman occupation and rule. Jesus of Nazareth was an iterate preacher, healer, and miracle worker. Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified agitator of the religious establishment died at the hands of a Roman official who was egged on by a misguided and zealous crowd. Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah and King, raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of God.
When we read scripture, we are invited to stare directly at the Son and as we do we find our vision for who Jesus is and who we are in relationship with him is sharpened and strengthened.
I believe with all my heart that Jesus of Nazareth is FASCINATING. Everything that the scriptures reveal to us about Him draws you in deeper and further than you can imagine. Some questions that are raised about him are answered while many answers raise more questions. As you read the Gospels in the coming weeks, you will find yourself irresistibly drawn to the Son. Do not look away.
I believe with all my heart that Jesus of Nazareth is AMAZING. Jesus says some amazing things. Jesus does some amazing things. Jesus promises some amazing things. The most amazing part of it all is that He actually fulfills these amazing things in some pretty amazing ways. As you read the Gospels in the coming weeks, you will find yourself constantly and consistently amazed by the Son. Do not look away.
I believe with all my heart that Jesus of Nazareth is WORTH giving my whole life to following. It is not enough to say that Jesus is a good man, a great teacher, a fascinating and amazing historical figure. As you read the Gospels in the coming weeks, do not come simply to be INFORMED about Jesus. Lay yourself bare before him and seek to be utterly TRANSFORMED by the Son. You will not want to look away.
So here is your assignment for today as you prepare for your journey into the Gospels to look at the Son:
First, determine you will take this journey with us. The readings are approximately 2 chapters a day (an a Psalm) which will take you about 15-20mins to read. Add 10mins for journals or meditation on the passages and you have a commitment to 30mins a day with Jesus. This is a doable challenge and you can make it happen.
Second, invite a friend along with you on the journey. You could invite your spouse, a child, a coworker, or friend to walk alongside of you, hold you accountable for your reading, and someone to converse with on the road.
We will start the Gospel of Matthew on August 24. I hope you will join us as we get into God’s Word so that God’s Word gets into us.