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"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32
This is a spin-off of last week as we went searching for what “Hear” means. This is a hunt for the Truth about who we are as believers, how God views us and how we can rest in that Truth.
As before, use any Bible or Bible study tools to help you in your search. Sometimes it can be intimidating to do these kinds of studies. I was a little nervous about the last two assignments. But these assignments can be a way to learn how to do this kind of Bible study. Don’t feel you have to know it all in order to do this. We aren’t Bible professors here, but we are all in need of learning and understanding God’s message to us. God, our Abba, our Daddy, wrote this Book, the Bible, to us! Let’s see what He wants to share with us about all the wealth that is ours as His children.
Assignment: Dig around in the Word and share what you find about any or all of the following:
Who is Jesus Christ? (Yes, the obvious, but dig around, what are some of His names?) What has God given us in Christ, what benefits are ours right now? Because of Christ’s work on the cross on our behalf, what can we count on from Him in our daily lives?
If you need some ideas of where to get started check out these chapters in the New Testament and see where they take you:
John 15, Romans chapters 6, 7 and 8, Galatians chapters 2 and 5, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Corinthians and 1 Peter are also great.
Doug said something during our family devotion time the other day which really struck me. I thought it neat that it went right along with this assignment...but then, I really shouldn't be so surprised. There are, afterall, no coincidences!
One spring day, you are walking along, not paying too much attention, just strolling down the middle of the boulevard. Suddenly, a dump truck rounds the corner and comes barrelling down on you. You are paralyzed and can't even react! Without warning, you are abruptly shoved out of the road and into the ditch. You're safe, but the guy who saved you -- let's call him Dave -- he was killed.
You go to Dave's memorial service where everyone around you is talking about Dave and what a great guy he was. A gentleman walks up to you and asks, "Did you know Dave?" How do you respond?
Would you say, "Oh, well, I didn't really know him, but he seemed like a nice guy"? More than likely your response would be more along the lines of, "Let me tell you! He saved my life! I was being dumb, and even though I knew better than to walk in the street, I did it anyway. Dave didn't even know me, but he gave his life for me. He saved me!"
When our kids began going to AWANA -- way back "when" -- the first verse they learned as Cubbies (3 and 4 year olds) was
1 John 4:10 "...God loved us and sent His son..."
I can still picture each one of my kids as they proudly quoted that verse (using hand motions, of course). But y'know what? That's not the whole verse. It's a shortened, 3-year-old version. I know why they shortened it. Here's the whole verse:
1 John 4:10 And this is love: not that we loved God, but that God loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Most three year olds can't even say "propitiation", let alone comprehend what it means! Many adults stumble over it and only have a vague idea of its definition.
propitiate: to cause to be favorably disposed; appease; conciliate; to pacify, placate, mollify or reconcile
Jesus was sent by God to "be the propitiation for our sins". Jesus stepped in and took the blame, took the fatal impact, of our disobedience. It's more than "God loved us and sent His son", although it really is that simple.
When we begin to realize what Jesus actually did for us, we can better respond to Him. How we respond to Jesus reflects who He is in our lives. It's a personal response and one that each person needs to work out "with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12).
So, that having been said, my question to you is this:
Who is Jesus to you?