Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Where to Begin?

Have you ever wondered where to start? You want to study the Bible, you truly do, but you’re not sure what verse to start with. Perhaps you listened intently on Sabbath as we looked through the power of Bible study. Then you felt a tug on your heart to add Bible study to your Journey with Jesus, and came up short with where to start.

Sometimes the starting point is the hardest part of doing a word study, or memorizing a verse, or conducting a verse comparison, or engaging in a topical study, or even articulating your personal beliefs. So here is my professional advice, just start.

Inspiration for a starting point for Bible study comes from many locations. Maybe your friend texted you a favorite Bible verse. Start there, look at the key word in the treasured text and start looking. How about when a favorite Bible reading app popped up a promise text for the day, choose to memorize it. There is inspiration all around us. From a billboard that quotes a text, to your Sabbath school lesson app, or even a foot note in a book you are reading. I even found inspiration on Facebook from a misquoted scripture. It leads me to dig deeper into that scripture’s true meaning.

The goal of Bible study is to Journey with Jesus, to know your Savior. By choosing one verse over another is to begin. Just begin by opening the precious words of the Holy Scripture and spending time reading them with their author.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Response Time

When did you first meet Jesus? Maybe a specific moment comes to your memory as you read that question. That moment of realization where he became a person instead of an abstract concept. Think for a minute about the details.

Step into that memory in your mind and recall your response. When you realized that Jesus is real, that he truly exists, how did you respond? Recall what it was like to peak into the unknown and realize Jesus’ presence and personhood.

For me that moment was a shift. It caused a change in perspective from a distant character of laws, to a feeling of being infinitely valued. My heart felt so pulled to this Savior. It awoke a deep curiosity to know Him more deeply.

As we begin the Journey with Jesus series, I invite you to bring that wonder and curiosity with you. Take these seven weeks as an opportunity to build on that initial realization and deepen your walk with Jesus.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Testimony Time

This Sabbath is my opportunity to share with you about my identity as a Christian, to share my story. I grew up in a double pastor’s family, and regularly heard stories from my parents about their love for Christ. I even caught my mother sitting on the couch with her Bible open reading letters from her friend Jesus. They both modeled to me what it looks like to be a growing disciple of Christ.

And yet this was not enough. There came a time when I had to decide if He was my Savior, or just theirs. Was He a God I heard stories about, or a God I knew in a personal way. As I wrestled with these questions a verse often came to mind, Psalm 34:7-8. “For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!”

I took up the challenge issued here to taste and see that the Lord is good. In the looking I found a God who loved me enough to send His son to die in my place, and I found a Savior I committed my life to.

What is your story? Tell me the story of a living, resurrected Savior. Tell me the story of how you encounter and know Him. Tell me your stories and I want to hear it and watch your eyes sparkle as you describe your Jesus.