Steeping in the Word

Journal Entry // April 20, 2022

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, [32] and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32 ESV

We are always looking for the steps to success in this life. Rules or ideas that will bring happiness and joy or success and wealth if we just follow them. There are a thousand books written every year claiming to know the secret to success and the pathway to riches and happiness. We all want this life to be easy and we all want this life to be simple. Here Jesus tells me that the Christian life is a simple formula: abide in his word –> true disciple –> know the truth –> set free. It also seems so simple and easy doesn’t it? It’s the most simple message that is seemingly so very difficult to follow. My heart is a lot like the people who Jesus is speaking to. His words are difficult to hear as they cut through all the clutter of my mind and penetrate straight to my heart and pierce my pride.

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Burning Heart

Journal Entry // April 7, 2022

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

Luke 24:32 ESV

In this chapter, the risen Christ comes and spends time with his followers and disciples. The writer gives an honest heartfelt assessment of their inability to comprehend that Jesus died and was now alive, just as he said it would happen. These very ones who had heard the message of the resurrection did not understand this message, even when it was standing in front of them talking! The portion that stood out to me in this section was that Jesus had to open their minds to understand the Scriptures. Both here in this verse and later on with the eleven, Jesus explained the writings of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms to those he encountered. Although they did not recognize or truly believe it was him standing among them, he used the Word of God to reveal himself to them.

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Hungry God

Journal Entry // January 8, 2022

And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

Matthew 4:2-3 ESV

I enjoy passages of scripture like this one because it packs so much truth about Jesus and God himself into such a simple passage. In this one passage, we see the fullness of Jesus and his gospel purpose. We see the display of Jesus being both fully man and fully God. Humanity and divinity wrapped up in a single person come to save us and redeem us. This is our God. This is Jesus.

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Dictated Faith

Journal Entry // January 16, 2021

Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

Matthew 8:21 ESV

This verse always feels odd to me when I read it. It seems as though the person making this request is wanting to follow Christ and is willing to give up everything. He seemingly even makes a reasonable request of Christ that he first bury his father before he leaves to follow. Surely this would be considered a good and righteous thing to care for the family and to show respect to his father. But Jesus is firm in his response that he follow Christ first.

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Godly Completeness

Journal Entry // October 15, 2021

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, [17] that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

The Bible is central to living a godly righteous life in that it is profitable for maturing faith into completeness. We are all looking at the world around us and looking for greater simplicity: ten steps to joy, four keys to happiness, or three rules for peace. We all want to find a path that is simple, easy, and painless. But the way of godly righteousness, the way of the cross, is filled with teaching, reproof, correction, and training in the Bible. All of these are difficult in some way and necessary for our development. Completeness before God requires struggle.

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