Monday: Law of Grace
Read John 1:14-18, Ezekiel 11:19, Jeremiah 31:33, 2 Corinthians 3:3
We can be too quick to look down upon the laws of the Old Testament and forget how important law is in our world and our lives. We could never have a society without law. We couldn’t have a functioning universe without natural laws that seem to have been written by God himself. Similarly we cannot govern ourselves to be successful without law.
What biblical laws are you grateful for? What laws might you need to examine in your life? (i.e.: the need for Sabbath rest or laws about purity)
The Old Testament laws of stone were important. The church’s first historian, Eusebius, believed that the Mosaic law influenced the whole world to become civil enough for Christ to come. Even with their importance, the prophecies of the law moving from stone to heart have been fulfilled in Jesus.
What are some of the laws of Jesus? (See Matthew 5-7 if you’re stumped) Are you living by the law of Christ?
Are there any ways that you are taking grace for granted and dismissing the truth? Even though Jesus brought grace upon grace, he also brought truth.
In what ways are laws written upon our hearts and smothered in grace more difficult than laws written in stone?
Tuesday: Who Are You?
Read John 1:19-23, 1 Kings 19, Acts 9:1-9, Isaiah 40:1-8
Questions like “who are you?” and “What are you doing here?” come up often in scripture and also in our lives today. Elijah had a crisis of confidence that caused God to ask him twice, “What are you doing here?” And then he sent him on a mission. Saul was so confident that he know who God was and what God wanted him to do that he traveled to Damascus to round up and kill Christians. But when he actually met the God he felt so confident about he said, “Who are you?”
John the Baptist was different. He knew that he was God’s messenger whom Isaiah had prophesied about in a section of scripture that we call the Servant Songs. They begin with what would become John’s mission in Isaiah 40 and go to the end of the book.
Who are you? What are you doing here?
Those are big questions but people with clarity of identity and purpose are powerful.
What scriptures come to mind when you think about who you are and what you are doing here. Write a couple of verses down that answer each question.
Spend some time talking to God about your identity and your purpose. If you can, talk to a fellow disciple too.
Wednesday: Beyond The Jordan
Read John 1:24-34, Genesis 12:7, Joshua 3:1-4:7, Hebrews 6:13-20
The LAND of Israel was a BIG deal. It was promised to Abraham. It was entered into by the people freed miraculously from slavery in Egypt as they crossed the sea and then 40 years later crossed the Jordan River. When taken into captivity in Babylon the people mourned and longed for their land. In Jesus’ day the land was ruled by the Roman Empire and kings subservient to Rome but the Jews were at least allowed to live and worship there (until 70 AD when the temple was destroyed by Roman armies because of rebellion).
As special as the Promised Land was, it was never God’s intention for Israel to link their hope of salvation to the land. Thus John called people to leave the land and re-enter it with new hearts by being baptized in the Jordan before going back to their lives in Israel.
Religion and tradition can often lull us into getting our security from things that don’t actually promise security. Are you relying on habit, tradition, dogma, or anything besides Christ for your hope?
What do you think it looks like to hope in Christ alone? How can hoping in the right things (God) be like an anchor?
Thursday: Come And See
Read John 1:38-42, Matthew 16:13-23, Acts 2:14-24
In John’s gospel we are told that Andrew, Peter’s brother, introduces Peter to Jesus. Peter would be the first to confess Jesus as Christ (and get rebuked immediately). He’d walk on water (and sink). He’d promise never to deny Jesus (and deny him three times). He’d be reinstated at the end of John. He’d lead the apostles on Pentecost (first day of the church). He’d become a great shepherd (1 Peter 5) of the early church and an indispensable witness of Jesus.
What if Andrew hadn’t shared his faith with his brother? What if Andrew was feeling a little selfish or unloving toward Peter? What if he came to see Jesus alone?
We can apply these questions directly to our lives as people who claim to know and walk with Jesus. Are we keeping him to ourselves for whatever reason? (apathy? cowardice? faithlessness?) Or are we asking people to come and see Jesus?
Write down a few names of people that you can pray about and ask the Spirit to show you an opening to introduce them to Jesus.
Friday: Come and See Goes Viral
John 1:43-46, Mark 1:14-20, Matthew 28:18-20
Maybe it’s too soon to use “going viral” as an illustration as we are still emerging from the pandemic but Jesus’ answer to Andrew’s request (John 1:39) goes viral instantly. Jesus calls Philip. Philip calls Nathaniel and uses the same line, shortened it and maybe he even added a hashtag!
I love “come and see” as evangelism 101. It takes the pressure off. Sometimes we falsely think that sharing your faith means saving someone. Nope! That’s God’s job. We are simply sharing our faith. We are making an offer. Most people aren’t ready for the offer but that’s okay – it’s God’s job to get them ready and the Holy Spirit is really good at that. What can we do? We can ask people to “come and see” Jesus. Are there church services, special events, house churches, bible talks, etc… going on that you could invite people to? No pressure – just see if they want to come and see!
You made a list yesterday. Have you prayed for them?
Now make a list of upcoming events (check the church calendar) and pray about what you could invite them to. You got this! Remember, the Holy Spirit is always doing his job.
Saturday: You Will See Greater Things
Read John 1:47-51, Genesis 28:10-22, Habakkuk 1:5, John 14:12
Jesus alludes to Jacob/Israel’s dream of heaven opening as he promises Nathaniel that he ain’t seen nothin’ yet! In scripture, when God promises to do a new thing, it’s not always positive in the moment (read the context of Habakkuk 1:5). God is a God of history and he uses the events of our world and the happenings in our lives to work his might.
What have you seen God do in the world?
What have you seen God do in your life?
What do you think God is doing right now?
Jesus astoundingly says that we can do even greater things than him because he is with the Father. What amazing things might Jesus have in store for you as you continue to dwell in him?