Theme of the Week: Making A Godly Impact
Bible Verse: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29 ESV
Scripture Reading: Matthew 11:25-30
The expression “to learn Christ” was a common one among the earliest Christians, but it’s not a phrase we use much these days. In the early centuries of the Christian movement, conversion involved denying the pagan gods and entering a period of catechism, committing oneself to an intensive study of the person and work of Jesus. We would do well to institute a habitual study of the Gospels ourselves today.
There are two primary reasons why I’m commending this emphasis on learning Jesus. One is the devotional value of growing closer to Jesus, fostering intimacy with God, hearing the promptings of the Spirit, and sensing his presence through the beauty of his Word in your life. There is also great devotional value in learning Jesus’ teaching and seeking to conform your life more and more to his will. But there’s a second, more missional reason why I want you to learn Jesus. We need to know him if we’re going to share him as the reason for the hope we have.
In fact, when we’re living questionable lives, both the devotional and missional purposes for studying the Gospels intersect. I think that if we’re being sent into the world to live intriguing lives, arouse curiosity, and answer people’s inquiries about the hope we have within, we need more than ever to know what Jesus would do or say in any circumstance. And we can’t know that without a deep and ongoing study of the biographies of Jesus written by those who knew him best—the Gospels.
How are we to do that—unless we become avid students of the life, work, and teaching of Jesus? How are we to truly dwell among the neighbours to whom God has sent us patterning ourselves on the example of Jesus, figuring out what Jesus would do in any instance (“Would Jesus attend that Super Bowl party on a Sunday? Would he laugh at that colleague’s joke? Would he disagree with that neighbor’s opinion?”)—without fostering the habit of learning the Gospels?
Spending just one chunk of time on learning Christ is no great sacrifice.
Some content taken from Surprise the World: The Five Habits of Highly Missional People by Michael Frost. Copyright © 2016 by Michael Frost. Used by permission of NavPress, represented by Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.
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