Here we go again! Many of you participated in our study in the fall, and we are launching our spring study this Sunday. I would like for you to consider making this a part of your daily routine, for the next 11 weeks.
My desire in writing this study is simple. I want to see us, as a church, come to know more of Jesus Christ. I believe this happens best when we spend time with Him, in His Word, and discussing what we have read together, working out how we can apply it to our lives.
We identify as Christians, and this means all kinds of things in our culture. Being called a Christian may indicate to some the type of life you lead, how you vote, and to others it will mean you think you’re better than them or you hold to a strict set of values they don’t share.
However, the pure meaning of Christian is simply one who follows Christ. And if we say we follow Him, it is important for us to know all about Him, understanding what He did and said when He was here on earth. Much of this study will be spent reading stories about Jesus, considering what He did and who He is.
John is the fourth of the Gospels. The others (Matthew, Mark & Luke) are referred to as the Synoptic Gospels. They follow a similar format, describing the life of Jesus, focusing on what Jesus did. John’s focus is different; he wants us to know who Jesus is. His purpose is described well in John 20:31 — “But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him you will have life by the power of His name.”
So let me invite you on this adventure. If you believe in Christ already, you know time spent in His Word will increase your understanding and love of our Savior. And if you’re not sure about Jesus, this study will help you gain a better understanding of how much He loves you, and the lengths to which He has gone to have a relationship with you.
Each day, I will provide a verse or quote, to help us focus on the reality of heaven, and allow the Lord to begin to speak to us. It will be followed by the Scripture reading for the day, and questions to help process what we’re reading. Let me encourage you to spend this time, seeking not just to learn more about Christ, but to know Him.
We will hand out these studies at church each week, beginning Sunday, January 20th, and our groups will start meeting to discuss them the week of January 27th. If you’re not a part of a group, I’d love for you to join one. If you’re not at church, you can download a study, or follow along online. Resources for finding a group or downloading the study can be found at this link (www.acfnorthwest.org/john).
My hope and prayer is that you will not only learn more about Jesus in the next 11 weeks, but you will meet with Him. I’m confident He is waiting to meet with you, as you spend time in His Word!